Professor Desmond Manderson

Professor
BA (Hons) LlB (Hons) (ANU), DCL (McGill), FRSC
+61 2 6125 5792
Room Room 253

home icon ANU College of Law, Bld 7, Fellows Rd, Acton ACT 2601

mail icon ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Rd, Acton ACT 2601

 

Research Theme

Appointments

  • ARC Future Fellow
  • Professor, ANU College of Law and ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • Founding Director (2008-2011), Institute for the Public Life of Arts & Ideas, McGill Univ. Montreal
  • Editorial Boards: Law Text Culture; Macquarie Law Journal; Law & Literature; Law, Culture and Humanities; Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 

Significant research publications

  •  

Recent news

10
Oct
2017
Book
ANU Law has launched the Unrequired Reading List, a curated list of books, films, texts and artworks intended to complement students’ study of the law.
22
Mar
2017
Hieronymous Bosch, the Garden of Earthly Delights (middle panel)
If we could start afresh, how would we re-imagine the world? Could we?
30
Nov
2016
Professor Michael Coper
On Friday 2 December a conference celebrating the achievements of Michael Coper will be held in the Common Room, University House. Michael is a “big picture” person whose vision has always focused on the future. The conference’s title, “New Ways Forward”, with its tone of energy and optimism, could not be more fitting for an event celebrating the career of Michael Coper and reinforcing the continuing beneficial effects of his achievements.
11
Nov
2016
Freudian forces: American president elect Donald Trump's win is the victory of the rampant, undisciplined id over the controlling superego.  Photo: Getty Images
Many millions of words will be written on the ascendancy of Donald Trump. Much of it will be beside the point. We cannot talk about what the American voters were trying to "communicate", or what "policies" they supported. It is surely clear by now that voting has nothing whatsoever to do with communication, the use of words to convey a coherent or rational idea with someone else. Rather it is about expression.

In the Media

11
Nov
2016
Desmond Manderson writes in The Brisbane Times
18
Jul
2015
Desmond Manderson writes in Canberra Times

Past events

18
Oct
2017
Law in the pub
7.00PM to 9.00PM Discussion
  • Professor Margaret Thornton
  • Anne Macduff
  • Professor Desmond Manderson
  • Justine Poon
  • Dr Dorota Gozdecka

Questions of migration and citizenship have become so prominent that not a week passes without a new heated legal controversy surrounding the regulation of the lives of migrants.

11
Oct
2017
Philosophy
8.00PM to 9.00PM Panel discussion
  • Prof Desmond Manderson, ANU College of Law

A picture's worth a thousand words in the battle for hearts and minds. Terror groups know this and use images to great effect. How can we respond to the violent images freely available on the internet and controversies around artists who produce confronting images?

10
Oct
2017
Unrequired reading list hero
6.30PM to 7.30PM Launch and panel discussion
  • Genevieve Jacobs, host of Mornings on ABC Radio canberra
  • Professor Stephen Bottomley, Dean, ANU College of Law

This list of books and films is an expression of our Law School’s values and a reminder that a well-rounded education does not come solely from prescribed texts and journals. Reading for pleasure, and broadening one's world view, can be a wonderful supplement to the benefits that an education and a career in the law provides.

07
Sep
2017
Keally McBride
12.30PM to 2.00PM Seminar
  • Professor Keally McBride, University of San Francisco

One of the most interesting areas of scholarship in recent years has been the relationship between colonialism and the rule of law.  Several important books have used the materials of legal history to interrogate the meaning, development, and effects of the rule of law in colonial and post colonial societies.  

Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

Research projects & collaborations

  •  

Grants

  •  

Consultancies

  •  

Books & edited collections

  •  

Book chapters

  •  

Refereed journal articles

  •  

Conference papers & presentations

  •  

Commissioned reports

  •  

Government submissions

  •  

Committees

External Organisations

  •  

Internal ANU Committees

  •  

Case notes & book reviews

  •  

Other

  •  

Currently supervising

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: The impact of judicial culture on equality rights protection.

PhD supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  •  

I have previously supervised:

  •  

 

SJD supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  •  

I have previously supervised:

  •  

 

MPhil supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  •  

I have previously supervised:

  •  

 

LLM Masters thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  •  

I have previously supervised:

  •  

 

Honours thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  •  

I have previously supervised:

  •  

 

Internship supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  •  

I have previously supervised:

  •  

 

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2017 LAWS4286
Class #4905
Literature Law and Human Rights

Past courses

  •  

How my works connects with public policy

There is a crisis in law today.  At best we think of it as a technical power imposed on society that tells us what to do.  At worst we think of it as fundamentally unjust and corrupt.  We can address this crisis by improving our processes of law-making and law-enforcing.  But we can also address this crisis by radically shifting how we think about law – what it is and how it relates to us and to the rest of our lives.  What if law was not just ‘out there’ like a machine; but ‘in here’ like a person or a memory? What if law was not just made by lawyers and politicians – but a product of all of us through how we thought, saw, and spoke about it?

One of the most innovative areas of legal scholarship in recent years has been law and the humanities.  Its goal is to re-connect law to its roots in the humanities: in history, the arts, literature, philosophy. By studying how law is represented culturally in our society, we can gain crucial insights into its origins, its functions, and its problems.  We can give to law a relevance that it often seems to lack – by taking seriously ideas of law and justice in the work of Plato or Shakespeare and equally on the screen, on the box and on the web.  And we can give back to law a sense of its ethical and human dimensions – breaking down that sense of law as a coercive (even amoral) system outside of us and unrelated to us and encouraging instead a more engaged social dialogue about what we mean by responsibility and tolerance in the modern world.

  • Does law have a history and why does that matter?
  • Does justice have a philosophy and if so what is it?
  • Does literature tell us about law and with what effect?
  • Does TV?
  • Does art?
  • Does music?
  • Is justice a fact or an idea or a feeling? Is law? Is authority?
  • Is law more than the sum of its parts—or less?

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team