Professor Desmond Manderson

Professor
BA (Hons) LlB (Hons) (ANU), DCL (McGill), FRSC
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

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.

06
Jun
2016

Professor Desmond Manderson argues that the real problems confronting Australian society are being religiously avoided by political parties and the media in the 2016 election.

In the Media

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

Past events

24
Apr
2017
Utopia - Thomas More
7.05PM to 7.30PM
Radio Broadcast

ABC Radio National broadcast of Big Ideas program on Utopian Thinking - recorded on 28 March at a joint event presented by the National Library of Australia and ANU Law's Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities.

PHP:
28
Mar
2017
Image: Étienne-Louis Boullée, Cénotaphe de Newton
6.00PM to 7.30PM
Forum

Thomas More wrote a book, coined a word… and changed the world.  Since then, Utopia has beckoned to dreamers, thinkers, and critics across the globe.  It has appealed to the very best in us.  But it has also drawn out the very worst in us. And after 500 years, utopia seems as far off as ever.

PHP:
02
Dec
2016
Professor Michael Coper
12.00AM Conference

A conference in honour of Professor Michael Coper.

PHP:
03-04
Nov
2016
Event image
8.30AM to 6.00PM
Workshop
  • Professor Zenon Bankowski
  • Professor Desmond Manderson

This workshop aims to challenge the preponderance of words in legal education and address the growing need of thinking of law in its current setting that is highly influences by changing imageries, visual media and technological progress utilising different means of perception. 

PHP:

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