Dr Ron Levy

Senior Lecturer
BSc (McGill); JD (Toronto); LLM (Columbia); PhD (Osgoode); admitted to Bar of Ontario
+61 2 6125 0814
0407580995
Room 264

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Biography

Dr Ron Levy researches and writes on public law and political theory, especially constitutional law, the law of politics, and deliberative democracy. He is the winner of several research awards including grants from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Australian Research Council. Ron was recently a chief investigator on two ARC Discovery Projects: 'The Law of Deliberative Democracy: Theory and Reform' (DP130100706, 2013-2015) bridging research on election law with deliberative democratic theory; and 'Confronting the Devolution Paradox' (DP140102682, 2014-2016) on federalism and political culture.

Ron co-wrote The Law of Deliberative Democracy (Routledge, 2016, with Graeme Orr) and was guest co-editor-in-chief of the Election Law Journal for its 2013 symposium issue on the same topic. He is also the lead editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (under contract, CUP; with Hoi Kong, Jeff King and Graeme Orr). Ron's other projects include studies of constitutional reform, including prospects for reform via deliberative democracy in conflict societies. He has published works on law and political theory, in four countries, in books and journals including Public Law, McGill Law Journal, UBC Law ReviewUNSW Law Journal, Melbourne University Law Review, Griffith Law Review, Public Law Review, Election Law Journal and The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy.

Ron co-directs the Project on Deliberative Governance and Law, hosted jointly at ANU and McGill University. The project is an international network of scholars advancing research on institutional innovations based on studies of law, governance and deliberative democracy; and a platform for innovative ideas to influence domestic and international approaches to governance.

Ron has been a Visitor at Yale Law School, Cambridge University, Stanford University, McGill University and King's College London. He previously worked in the Ministry of the Attorney-General of Ontario, Constitutional Law Branch.

Current appointments: Co-director, ANU-McGill Project on Deliberative Governance & Law; Academic Editor, Federal Law Review.

Current teaching: 'Commonwealth Constitutional Law' and 'Contemporary Issues in Constitutional Law'

Significant research publications

Books & Edited Collections

  • Ron Levy and Graeme Orr, The Law of Deliberative Democracy (Routledge, 2016)
  • Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, Jeff King and Graeme Orr (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, under contract)
  • Mark Bruerton, Tracey Arklay, Robyn Hollander and Ron Levy (eds), A People's Federation (Federation Press, 2017, forthcoming)
  • Ron Levy and Graeme Orr (eds), Symposium: The Law of Deliberative Democracy (2013) Election Law Journal 12:4.

Other Publications

Recent news

24
Nov
2016
Deliberative Deomocracy - compelling new book

Dr Ron Levy from the ANU College of Law has co-authored a book with University of Queensland’s Graeme Orr on The Law of Deliberative Democracy. Justice Peter Applegarth of the Supreme Court of Queensland recently launched the book.

05
Apr
2016

Australian politicians should put socially contentious issues to the public vote to help break political impasses, according to a key speaker at the upcoming ANU National Law Reform Conference.

In the Media

15
Oct
2013
Ron Levy writes in ABC The Drum
2
Oct
2010
Into the too-hard basket: A simple yes or no campaign won’t suffice for constitutional changes
Ron Levy speaks to The Weekend Australian

Past events

15
Nov
2016
The Law of Deliberative Democracy
5.30PM to 7.00PM
Book launch
  • Dr Ron Levy
  • Professor Graeme Orr
Laws have colonised most of the corners of political practice, and now substantially determine the process and even the product of democracy.
PHP:
27
Oct
2016
Event image
1.30PM to 2.30PM
College seminar
  • Professor Luke McNamara, UNSW

This seminar will discuss the findings of a study that was originally motivated by the (re-)emergence, during the 2010s, of ‘alcohol-fuelled violence’ as a matter of policy concern and law reform attention. 

PHP:

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

Research biography

Dr Ron Levy researches and writes on public law and political theory, especially constitutional law, the law of politics, and deliberative democracy. He is the winner of several research awards including grants from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Australian Research Council. Ron was recently a chief investigator on two ARC Discovery Projects: 'The Law of Deliberative Democracy: Theory and Reform' (DP130100706, 2013-2015) bridging research on election law with deliberative democratic theory; and 'Confronting the Devolution Paradox' (DP140102682, 2014-2016) on federalism and political culture.

Ron co-wrote The Law of Deliberative Democracy (Routledge, 2016, with Graeme Orr) and was guest co-editor-in-chief of the Election Law Journal for its 2013 symposium issue on the same topic. He is also the lead editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (under contract, CUP; with Hoi Kong, Jeff King and Graeme Orr). Ron's other projects include studies of constitutional reform, including prospects for reform via deliberative democracy in conflict societies. He has published works on law and political theory, in four countries, in books and journals including Public Law, McGill Law Journal, UBC Law ReviewUNSW Law Journal, Melbourne University Law Review, Griffith Law Review, Public Law Review, Election Law Journal and The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy.

Ron co-directs the Project on Deliberative Governance and Law, hosted jointly at ANU and McGill University. The project is an international network of scholars advancing research on institutional innovations based on studies of law, governance and deliberative democracy; and a platform for innovative ideas to influence domestic and international approaches to governance.

Ron has been a Visitor at Yale Law School, Cambridge University, Stanford University, McGill University and King's College London. He previously worked in the Ministry of the Attorney-General of Ontario, Constitutional Law Branch.

Current appointments: Co-director, ANU-McGill Project on Deliberative Governance & Law; Academic Editor, Federal Law Review.

 

Research projects & collaborations

  • Deliberative constitutionalism
  • The law of deliberative democracy
  • Constitutional referendums in divided societies
  • Federalism and deliberation

Grants

  • ARC Discovery Project, 2013-2015: ‘The Law of Deliberative Democracy: Theory and Reform’ (with Graeme Orr) bridging research on law and deliberation
  • ARC Discovery Project, 2014-2016: Confronting the Devolution Paradox’ (with AJ Brown, Robyn Hollander, Paul Kildea, Rodney Smith) on federalism and political culture

Books & edited collections

  • Ron Levy and Graeme Orr, The Law of Deliberative Democracy (Routledge, 2016)
  • Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, Jeff King and Graeme Orr (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, under contract)
  • Mark Bruerton, Tracey Arklay, Robyn Hollander and Ron Levy (eds), A People's Federation (Federation Press, under contract)
  • Ron Levy and Graeme Orr (eds), 'Symposium: The Law of Deliberative Democracy' (2013) 12(4) Election Law Journal

Book chapters

  • 'Deliberative Constitutionalism', in André Bächtiger, John Dryzek, Jane Mansbridge and Mark Warren (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) (with H Kong)
  • 'The "Elite Problem" in Deliberative Constitutionalism', in Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, Jeff King and Graeme Orr (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, under contract)
  • 'Introduction', in Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, Jeff King and Graeme Orr (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, under contract) (with H Kong)
  • 'A People’s Federation? Populism, Deliberation and Federal Reform', in Mark Bruerton, Tracey Arklay, Robyn Hollander and Ron Levy (eds), A People's Federation (Federation Press, 2017, forthcoming)
  • 'Constitutional Codification and Deliberative Voting', in Robert Blackburn (ed.), Case Studies on Constitution Building, UK Parliament, 2014
  • 'Dibujando fronteras: igualdad de la ley electoral y sus consecuencias democráticas', in Carlos Báez Silva (ed.) (Antonio Márquez Aguilar transl.; based on Drawing Boundaries: Election Law Fairness and its Democratic Consequences), Sistemas electorales y principios constitucionales, viii Congreso Mundial de la Asociación Internacional de Derecho Constitucional, 2012
  • 'Deliberative Constitutional Change in a Polarised Federation', in P. Kildea, A. Lynch and G. Williams (eds.), Tomorrow’s Federation, Federation Press, 2011
  • 'Drawing Boundaries: Election Law Fairness and its Democratic Consequences', in J-C. Tham, B. Costar and G. Orr (eds.), Electoral Democracy: Australian Prospects, Melbourne University Press, 2011

Refereed journal articles

 

Conference papers & presentations

  • 'Shotgun Referendums', featured speaker, Melbourne Law School, Legal Theory Workshop, 16 Sept 2016
  • ‘Deliberative Constitutionalism’, co-organiser and opening conference presenter, McGill University Faculty of Law, 9-10 April 2016
  • ‘Deliberative Constitutionalism’, co-organiser and opening conference presenter, University College London, Faculty of Laws, 7-8 Nov 2015; McGill University Faculty of Law, 9-10 April 2016
  • 'Constitutional Deliberations', Public Law Weekend, co-organiser and opening conference presenter, Australian National University, ANU College of Law, 1-2 October 2015
  • ‘Deliberative Democracy and Political Law: The Coercion Problem’, Public Law Conference, Cambridge University, 15 Sept 2014
  • ‘Deliberative Voting in European Referendums’, Conference on Referendums in Europe, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France, paper presentation by video, 7 June 2013
  • ‘The Law of Deliberative Democracy’ co-organiser and opening conference presenter, New York University Straus Institute for Advanced Studies in Law and Justice (5-6 Apr 2013) and King’s College London, Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies (9 Apr 2013)
  • ‘Deliberative e-Democracy in Referendums’, presentation to University of Edinburgh, Schools of Law and Political Science, 2 May 2012
  • ‘Election Law Fairness and its Democratic Consequences’, attendee/paper submission, Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law (triennial event), 6-11 Dec 2010, Mexico City, Mexico

Government submissions

  • Citation in Report of Commonwealth Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration (June 2013)
  • Commonwealth Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, hearings on citizen-initiated referendum bill, invited oral testimony and written submission (with Graeme Orr) (2013)
  • 2010-15 research project on Mapping the Path Towards Codifying – or Not Codifying – the UK Constitution led by Professor Robert Blackburn, invited submission ‘Changing Constitutions through “Deliberative Voting”’ (2012)
  • Amnesty International Queensland Parliamentary Scrutiny Project, advisor (2011)
  • Queensland Attorney-General, advised public initiative on participatory and deliberative democracy (2010)
  • Advised Chair, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, on public participation in policymaking on climate change (2009)
  • Federal Canadian Attorney-General’s dept, advised on policy, law and ethics of racial profiling (2006)

Committees

External Organisations

Internal ANU Committees

Case notes & book reviews

Currently supervising

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: Diasporas involved: can diasporas be involved in constitutional deliberations in their home countries? Diaspora studies has emerged as a distinct academic field in recent years, focusing on the relationship between dispersed ethnic populations and their countries...
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  • Laws of politics and democracy
  • Constitutional law, theory, history and reform
  • Deliberative democracy
  • Referendums
  • Rights

SJD supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

MPhil supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

LLM Masters thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

Honours thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2017 LAWS2202
Class #7327
Commonwealth Constitutional Law
2017 LAWS6202
Class #8401
Commonwealth Constitutional Law

Previous courses

Year Course code Course name
2016 LAWS4213
Class #4613
Contemporary Issues in Constitutional Law

Past courses

  • Commonwealth Constitutional Law
  • Contemporary Issues in Constitutional Law (advanced elective)
  • Torts
  • Law of Politics

How my works connects with public policy

Dr Levy co-directs the Project on Deliberative Governance and Law (DGAL), within the Centre for International and Public Law. Based at the Australian National University and McGill University, DGAL is an international network of scholars. The project advances research on institutional innovation based on cutting-edge studies of law, governance and deliberative democracy, and provides a platform for innovative ideas to influence domestic and international approaches to governance.

 

Books

26
Jul
2016
Author(s): Ron Levy, Graeme Orr, University of Queensland.

The quantity and quality of political opinion polling are sources of concern for electoral democracies worldwide. A significant number of countries regulate polling by embargoing publication in the latter stages of the election period, or by mandating disclosure of key information about each poll. Such regulation, however, is rare in common law systems, where ‘free speech’ arguments tend to hold sway, sublimating concern for the deliberative health of political discourse. This article examines the issue, comparing regulation and case law internationally in light of the evolution, benefits and pathologies of opinion polling. A distinction can be made between polling on issues, which permit us all to reflect on the positions of fellow citizens on substantive issues, and the almost endless stream of polling on voting intentions, which offers little from a deliberative perspective. We recommend regulation to ensure disclosure, at the point of publication, of key information about each opinion poll (eg who conducted it, the wording of questions and margins of error), as well as a campaign-period embargo on publishing electoral opinion polling.

Centre: DGAL

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