Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books and working papers. Other papers and publications can be found on SSRN and the ANU Researchers database.

England and the Rediscovery of Constitutional Faith

England and the Rediscovery of Constitutional Faith

Author(s): Matthew Zagor

England is currently experiencing a widely recognised constitutional renaissance, with traditional English ‘liberties’ at its core: historic rights and liberty-affirming documents of the past are cited by counsel and judge alike, the Prime Minister waxes lyrical about constitutional values which define the British nation, scholars call for the revival of a purported rights-centric common law constitution, and a new breed of media-star historians are rediscovering English liberties in political institutions and re-imagined constitutional moments. Even the mythology of Magna Carta is resurfacing in the popular imagination, the date of its signing selected by public poll as ‘the best date to celebrate Britishness’.

The rhetoric contrasts with the dominant popular trope for much of the twentieth century, which portrayed the English constitution as essentially clever politics. Today’s constitutional veneration, however, has a long and complex history. This paper charts the variety of constitutional veneration that arose in the post-reformation period, as well as its decline, and contemporary revival. Starting with an overview of the seventeenth century, it charts the emergence of a constitutional language arising out of the rich theological and philosophical tradition of the age, and the persuasive use by the principal judicial figures of the day of new forms of historiography, traditional natural law philosophy, and emerging ethnic nationalism. Underpinned by contended notions of liberty and religiosity, this potent mix ensured that the newly minted English constitution enjoyed a quasi-religious status, embracing divinely ordained values and institutional arrangements that at once defined what it was to be both English and Protestant, and therefore was worthy of veneration. The decline of this constitutional model in the 19th and 20th century is then considered against the backdrop of empiricism, utilitarianism, nationalism and the victory of a political understanding of the constitutional model. The purported disappearance of the ‘legal’ constitution in this period, however, was never to be consolidated, nor were the contradictions inherent in the new ‘sovereignist’ model reconcilable with the explosion of rights jurisprudence in the latter part of the twentieth century. The article therefore concludes with a brief overview of the re-emergence of the language of constitutional faith in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, and the renewed reliance on this rhetoric of constitutional veneration by the judicial branch of government in an attempt to influence the development of a normative English constitutional and national identity.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, LRSJ

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Religion, Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Migration and Movement of Peoples

Genesis

Genesis

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

This chapter forms the introductory essay to a collection of new essays on the relationship between the ethical philosphy of Levinas and the law, with a particular focus on delimiting the range and implications of Levinas' ambitious ethical agenda. Issues of responsibility and hospitality, self and other, ethics and politics, law and justice, are outlined with reference to the implications for law and to their further elaboration in the rest of the essays contained in this collection.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Citizenship and Identity in Diverse Societies

Citizenship and Identity in Diverse Societies

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein, Mark Nolan

This article examines the relationship between the legal status of citizenship and psychological research about blended identity in diverse societies such as Australia. A blended identity could include Australian national identity as well as other identities relevant to a person's self-definition. Analysing the link between citizenship law and the psychological enjoyment of blended identity is important after the reforms to Australian citizenship law in 2007. As discussed below, the former Liberal-National Government introduced a new citizenship knowledge test for citizenship-by-conferral applicants. In doing so, that government expressed strong beliefs about the power of a shared, unitary, national identity. It also supported calls for citizenship applicants to sign a statement of Australian values (different to the citizenship pledge) and to complete an English language test. In light of the reforms and political debate, we attack the suggestion that blended identification (for example, as a Greek Australian) is somehow inconsistent with true Australian national identification and citizenship, and moreover we argue that a single national identification sits uneasily with the legal acceptance of dual and multiple citizenship in current Australian legislation.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, LGDI

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Criminal Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Law and Psychology, Law and Social Justice, Law, Governance and Development, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples, Military & Security Law

Academic Un-Freedom in the New Knowledge Economy

Academic Un-Freedom in the New Knowledge Economy

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This chapter considers the impact on research of the neoliberal turn, a world-wide phenomenon. Instead of the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, research is now expected to have use value in the market. What is privileged is its status and income-generating capacity, together with its value to end users. Drawing on the notion of governmentality, the chapter shows how the market ideology came to be quickly accepted through mechanisms of control that emerged at the supranational, the national, the university and the individual levels. The chapter considers how public goods, such as academic freedom, are being eroded as a result of the commodification and privatisation of knowledge.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Filling or Falling between the Cracks

Introduction: Filling or Falling between the Cracks? Law’s Potential

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein, Jeremy Farrall

This is the introduction to the first volume of the new Cambridge University Press series Connecting International law with Public law.

The first volume is titled Sanctions, Accountability and Governance in a Globalised World and is edited by the authors of this introduction and explores fascinating questions that arise when legal regimes collide. Until now, international and public law have mainly overlapped in discussions on how international law is implemented domestically. While there is some scholarship developing in the area of global administrative law, and some scholars have touched upon the principles relevant to both disciplines, the publications to date contain only a subset of the concept underpinning this book. This first book aims to broaden understanding of how public and international law intersect. It is unique in consciously bringing together public and international lawyers to consider and engage in each other’s scholarship. What can public lawyers bring to international law and what can international lawyers bring to public law? What are the common interests? Which legal principles cross the international law/domestic public law divide and which principles are not transferable? What tensions emerge from bringing the disciplines together? Are these tensions inherent in law as a discipline as a whole or are they peculiar to law’s sub disciplines? Can we ultimately only fill in or fall between the cracks, or is there some greater potential for law in the engagement?

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Gender, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples

The Wages of Sin

The Wages of Sin: Compensation for Indigenous Workers

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

After two centuries of exploitation, Indigenous people in Australia are now engaged in a struggle to recover what has come to be known as ‘stolen wages’, although there is uncertainty as to the best legal avenue. This article overviews the course of the struggle, which began in the industrial arena but moved to the discrimination arena, where modest damages have been awarded, although academic commentary favours breach of fiduciary duty or breach of trust. Drawing on the Kantian binary of active and passive citizens, the authors argue that the initiation of civil action represents an important site of active citizenship. Viewed in this light, it is argued that breach of fiduciary duty should be rejected, if the time of the misappropriation allows it, as it instantiates the passivity and inequality associated with the colonial era, while breach of trust entails monumental problems of proof. Further recourse to anti-discrimination legislation is advocated because its theoretical framework is based on equality - a foundational premise of citizenship.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

The Spectral Ground

The Spectral Ground: Religious Belief Discrimination

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper considers the ground of religious belief under anti-discrimination law and argues that it is a spectral ground. While discrimination is proscribed in the same way as other grounds, religious belief is never defined; it merely has to be ‘lawful’, which is also not defined. While the proscription emerged from an official commitment to state secularism, in addition to tolerance and diversity, its permeable character allows mainstream Christianity, neoconservative fundamentalism and other variables to seep into it. An analysis of discrimination complaints shows how this occurs metonymically through proscribed grounds, such as sex, sexuality, ethnicity and race. The phenomenon is most marked post-9/11 through what has come to be known as ‘Islamophobia’. The proscription of religious vilification and incitement to religious hatred, which takes discrimination on the ground of religious belief to a new plane, further reveals the tendency of the spectral ground to absorb prevailing political influences.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Disabling Discrimination Legislation

Disabling Discrimination Legislation: The High Court and Judicial Activism

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This article takes issue with detractors of judicial activism, such as Australian High Court judge, Dyson Heydon, who claim that it undermines the rule of law. It is argued that all judging necessarily involves an activist element because of the choices that judges make. Their reliance on values is starkly illustrated in the area of discrimination law where there may be no precedents and judges are perennially faced with interpretative crossroads. The neoliberal turn and a change in the political composition of the Australian High Court post-Wik underscore the activist role. With particular reference to the disability discrimination decisions handed down by the Court in the last two decades, it is argued that it is not so much the progressive judges as the conservatives who are the rogue activists engaged in corroding the rule of law; because of the way they consistently subvert legislative intent.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Two Turns of the Screw

Two Turns of the Screw: The Hart-Fuller Debate

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

Henry James’ short novel The Turn of the Screw appeared in 1898. It is a ghost story, uncanny both in content and in form. It relates such uneventful events that the reader is left turning from interpretation to interpretation, trying to determine just what is going on. Yet like the ghosts themselves, wherever we look, there is nothing to see. Until the very last sentence of the book, which hits one like a fist, nothing happens, nothing is proved, and yet a palpable feeling of tension and anxiety builds. It is therefore not fanciful to suggest that the real power of the story lies not in its narrative but in its rhetoric. The book creates a mood of anxiety that infects the reader’s reading. This is what one might call the ‘performative’ dimension of the story. James’ tale constitutes a reader, alert but confused, who thereby experiences the feeling of being part of a ghost story rather than merely reading about one.

Sixty years later, HLA Hart and Lon Fuller likewise do not merely describe two different approaches to legal interpretation: in their style, rhetoric and structure they perform these approaches. This essay similarly wishes to connect its argument with its form and for this reason I have chosen to devote considerable space to discussing a work of literature. The Turn of the Screw illuminates certain essential features of the Hart/Fuller debate. Both are tales about law, interpretation, and ghosts. Through James, this essay argues that the debate between Hart and Fuller epitomizes legal interpretation as haunted. Rhetorically, they present two largely incommensurable visions of law. Yet their efforts to exclude the other’s approach fails. But instead of choosing between Hart and Fuller we can gain a richer understanding of legal interpretation if we treat their performance as mutual and interactive. I do not mean that Hart and Fuller can in any way be reconciled through compromise or synthesis. I mean rather that each remains ‘haunted’, and therefore productively unsettled, by the perspective of the other. To be haunted is never to be comfortable with one’s judgment or knowledge, never at peace. This may be ‘a horror’ in a story, but necessary in a legal system.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Trust US Justice

Trust US Justice: '24', Popular Culture and the Law

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

The television series ‘24’ has been a television phenomenon which over seven series has spawned a mass following and innumerable spin-offs including webisodes, prequels, games, and action figures. More significantly it has been enormously influential in the construction of the relationship between rule of law and security issues, particularly in relation to terrorism. Jack Bauer’s actions, and specifically his use of torture in the common good, have been important influences in the development of the US debate. Nonetheless, to situate ‘24’ as a purely contemporary phenomenon – a child of 9/11 – is to miss the larger point.

On the one hand ‘24’ frames law against questions of singularity which appeal to a longstanding tradition of vigilante justice evident in familiar archetypes of cowboys and superheroes. At the same time such a tradition reaches back to much older Christological models of justice and subjectivity which modernism has deflected but never defeated. In ‘24’ and elsewhere, popular culture does not merely keep these memories of law alive: it actively realizes and advances them, and needs to be understood not only as a depiction of law but as a law-making force in its own right. A pluralist theory of law ties contemporary technological manifestations of popular culture back to law’s enduring social and discursive roots as we see, for example, in EP Thompson’s Cultures in Common. One might even characterize popular culture as a defence of some sort of ‘moral legality’ against the ‘market legality’ of modernity.

On the other hand, ‘24’ frames law against questions of urgency and emotion. While popular culture has for centuries reflected an older form of law and justice, its capacity to undermine the very pluralist and discursive openness which are its well-spring, demonstrates the dangers to which the rhetoric of urgency and the emotional power of medium and message are prone. In a world shorn of its faith in the traditional structures which sustained the moral economy and the moral legality, the appeal to simply trust in an inarticulable justice sustained by an emotional pitch which is in ‘24’ at every moment apparent, opens the prospect of legal terrorism.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Shakespeare and Judgment

Shakespeare and Judgment: The Renewal of Law and Literature

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

Legal theorist Desmond Manderson and Shakespearean Paul Yachnin develop parallel arguments that seek to restore a public dimension of responsibility to literary studies and a private dimension of responsibility to law. Their arguments issue from their work as the creators of the Shakespeare Moot Court at McGill University, a course in which graduate English students team up with senior Law students to argue cases in “Court of Shakespeare,” where the sole Institutes, Codex, and Digest are comprised by the plays of Shakespeare. Yachnin argues that modern literary studies suffers from impermanence and isolation from real-world concerns and that it can redress these limitations — developing attributes of corrigibility, temporality, judgment, and publicity — by learning from law. Manderson finds modern legal judgment bereft of affective engagement with the subjects of law and wedded to an ideal of objectivity, regulation, and impersonality. Literature can restore to legal judgment the elements of narrative, character, context, and self-reflection. Together, the essays argue that the question of judgment, so integral to the disciplines of law and of literature, needs the renewal that an inter-disciplinary engagement provides.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Chapter 3: Citizenship Law

Chapter 3: Citizenship Law

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein

This chapter analyses Justice Kirby’s constitutional judgments, drawing out various themes in his approach to Australian citizenship law, and considers whether his approach to citizenship has been influenced by underlying ideas that are supranational (acknowledging nationality as a status beyond one nation-state) and universal, as applying to all citizens in all states, or indeed colonial (that is, influenced primarily by Australia’s British subject origins).

The chapter explores the distinction, drawn in several of Justice Kirby's citizenship judgments, between constitutional and statutory forms of nationality. Kirby J has rejected the idea that statutory forms of citizenship adopted by the Federal Parlaiment can define exclusively those who are Australian nationals, and thus 'non-aliens' - that interpretation, he argues, 'deprives the separate constitutional idea of Australian nationality of any content'.

However, while Justice Kirby has been keen to develop a contemporary understanding of the meaning and signifi cance of constitutional nationality, applied in a social and political context far removed from the understanding of the framers of the Constitution, his broadest view of membership beyond statutory citizenship status includes only those non-citizens who hold British subject status and who enjoy most of the rights normally attributed to democratic citizenship (such as voting). This “broad” view does not necessarily include those non-British-subject permanent residents who have spent almost their entire life in Australia and have been absorbed in most other social and political ways. To this extent, his view of citizenship is not supranational or universal, but linked directly to Australia’s historical colonial origins.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples

England and the Rediscovery of Constitutional Faith

England and the Rediscovery of Constitutional Faith

Author(s): Matthew Zagor

England is currently experiencing a widely recognised constitutional renaissance, with traditional English ‘liberties’ at its core: historic rights and liberty-affirming documents of the past are cited by counsel and judge alike, the Prime Minister waxes lyrical about constitutional values which define the British nation, scholars call for the revival of a purported rights-centric common law constitution, and a new breed of media-star historians are rediscovering English liberties in political institutions and re-imagined constitutional moments. Even the mythology of Magna Carta is resurfacing in the popular imagination, the date of its signing selected by public poll as ‘the best date to celebrate Britishness’.

The rhetoric contrasts with the dominant popular trope for much of the twentieth century, which portrayed the English constitution as essentially clever politics. Today’s constitutional veneration, however, has a long and complex history. This paper charts the variety of constitutional veneration that arose in the post-reformation period, as well as its decline, and contemporary revival. Starting with an overview of the seventeenth century, it charts the emergence of a constitutional language arising out of the rich theological and philosophical tradition of the age, and the persuasive use by the principal judicial figures of the day of new forms of historiography, traditional natural law philosophy, and emerging ethnic nationalism. Underpinned by contended notions of liberty and religiosity, this potent mix ensured that the newly minted English constitution enjoyed a quasi-religious status, embracing divinely ordained values and institutional arrangements that at once defined what it was to be both English and Protestant, and therefore was worthy of veneration. The decline of this constitutional model in the 19th and 20th century is then considered against the backdrop of empiricism, utilitarianism, nationalism and the victory of a political understanding of the constitutional model. The purported disappearance of the ‘legal’ constitution in this period, however, was never to be consolidated, nor were the contradictions inherent in the new ‘sovereignist’ model reconcilable with the explosion of rights jurisprudence in the latter part of the twentieth century. The article therefore concludes with a brief overview of the re-emergence of the language of constitutional faith in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, and the renewed reliance on this rhetoric of constitutional veneration by the judicial branch of government in an attempt to influence the development of a normative English constitutional and national identity.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, LRSJ

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Religion, Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Migration and Movement of Peoples

Access to Essential Medicines

Access to Essential Medicines: Public Health and International Law

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein

Historically, there have been intense conflicts over the ownership and exploitation of pharmaceutical drugs and diagnostic tests dealing with infectious diseases.

Throughout the 1980’s, there was much scientific, legal, and ethical debate about which scientific group should be credited with the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus, and the invention of the blood test devised to detect antibodies to the virus. In May 1983, Luc Montagnier, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, and other French scientists from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, published a paper in Science, detailing the discovery of a virus called lymphadenopathy (LAV). A scientific rival, Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute, identified the AIDS virus and published his findings in the May 1984 issue of Science. In May 1985, the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded the American patent for the AIDS blood test to Gallo and the Department of Health and Human Services. In December 1985, the Institut Pasteur sued the Department of Health and Human Services, contending that the French were the first to identify the AIDS virus and to invent the antibody test, and that the American test was dependent upon the French research.

In March 1987, an agreement was brokered by President Ronald Reagan and French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, which resulted in the Department of Health and Human Services and the Institut Pasteur sharing the patent rights to the blood test for AIDS. In 1992, the Federal Office of Research Integrity found that Gallo had committed scientific misconduct, by falsely reporting facts in his 1984 scientific paper. A subsequent investigation by the National Institutes of Health, the United States Congress, and the US attorney-general cleared Gallo of any wrongdoing.

In 1994, the United States government and French government renegotiated their agreement regarding the AIDS blood test patent, in order to make the distribution of royalties more equitable...

The dispute between Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo was not an isolated case of scientific rivalry and patent races. It foreshadowed further patent conflicts over research in respect of HIV/AIDS. Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia diagnosed a clash between two distinct schools of philosophy - ‘scientists of the old school... working by serendipity with free sharing of knowledge and research’, and ‘those of the new school who saw the hope of progress as lying in huge investments in scientific experimentation.’ Indeed, the patent race between Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier has been a precursor to broader trade disputes over access to essential medicines in the 1990s and 2000s. The dispute between Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier captures in microcosm a number of themes of this book: the fierce competition for intellectual property rights; the clash between sovereign states over access to medicines; the pressing need to defend human rights, particularly the right to health; and the need for new incentives for research and development to combat infectious diseases as both an international and domestic issue.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples

Judicial Rhetoric and Constitutional Identity

Judicial Rhetoric and Constitutional Identity: Comparative Approaches to Aliens' Rights in the United Kingdom and Australia

Author(s): Matthew Zagor

A comparison between the judicial reasoning adopted by the House of Lords in Belmarsh and Torture Evidence cases, and the High Court of Australia's administrative detention cases (especially Al-Kateb) reveals stark differences in the approach to common law rights, judicial reasoning, and constitutional rhetoric. Using the language of historically-based identity-informing constitutional values, their Lordships' speeches can be seen as exercises in public and political persuasion, made within the idiom of constitutional veneration which is enjoying a renaissance in the UK. This emerging judicial rhetoric combines an appeal to a mythologised constitutional past with an emphasis on the quintessentially 'British' nature of the rights at stake to consolidate both the constitutional status of the 'principle of legality' and an inclusive notion of 'equality'. By contrast, the High Court's majority decisions are virtually devoid of the language of values, and are silent on the nature or status of the rights which Parliament was impliedly abrogating. The decisions are instead shrouded in the equally powerful rhetoric of strict legalism. Behind this purportedly valueless methodology, however, their Honours' decisions reveal attitudes towards aliens as 'illegal,' 'unlawful' and 'unwanted' rather than rights-bearers, and a judicial deference to Parliament to 'protect' an undefined Australian community. The arrival of French CJ to the helm of the High Court might see a reinvigoration of common law rights via the principle of legality.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, LRSJ

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Religion, Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Migration and Movement of Peoples

Reflections on Human Rights, Law and Justice

Book Review: Watching Brief: Reflections on Human Rights, Law and Justice (Julian Burnside)

Author(s): Matthew Zagor

Julian Burnside’s collection of essays provides an insight into the mind of one of the Howard era’s most vocal public critics. Located within traditional liberal values and orthodox human rights principles, Burnside’s stories of human suffering and his Kantian appeals to human dignity are aimed at awakening our ‘imagination to understand the realities’ behind the political and legal spin of the times. Although sometimes loose with his legal language, his vision of a ‘just society’, his concerns for democracy, and his fury at the disempowerment and silencing of ‘voiceless minorities’ (notably asylum-seekers, indigenous peoples, and ‘terror’ suspects) remain persuasive and relevant to the new administrations in both Australia and the US.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, LRSJ

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Religion, Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Migration and Movement of Peoples

The Idea of the University and the Contemporary Legal Academy

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

In light of the contemporary moves to transform the Australian university by subjecting it to the values of the market, the traditional idea of the university is in jeopardy. Freedom to teach, the unity of teaching and research, and academic selfgovernance are key factors associated with this idea. With its primarily professional and vocational focus, law has tended to be somewhat more ambivalent than the humanities about the freedoms associated with teaching and the pursuit of knowledge. Nevertheless, a liberal legal education is an ideal to which law schools have aspired over the last two or three decades. This article argues that, after a brief flirtation with a more humanistic legal education, the market is causing a swing back to a technocratic and doctrinal approach. The article draws on key proponents of the 'idea of the university', namely, Newman, Humboldt and Jaspers to consider what light these theorists might shed on the dilemma posed by the market imperative. It is suggested that a disregard for the presuppositions of the market could be disastrous for the future of the university law school.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

The Law School, the Market, and the New Knowledge Economy

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper considers how recent changes in higher education are impacting on the discipline of law, causing the critical scholarly space to contract in favour of that which is market-based and applied. The charging of high fees has transformed the delicate relationship between student and teacher into one of ‘customer’ and ‘service provider’. Changes in pedagogy, modes of delivery and assessment have all contributed to the narrowing of the curriculum in a way that supports the market. The paper will briefly illustrate the way the transformation has occurred and consider its effect on legal education and the legal academy.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Proximity – The Law of Ethics and the Ethics of Law

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

Emmanuel Levinas is one of the great writers on ethics of the 20th Century, but he is little known in law. His two main works, Totality and Infinity and Otherwise Than Being, or Beyond Essence, offer a reconstruction of human selfhood away from questions of identity and ego and towards an ‘ethics of the other’. His writing is passionate, mystical, and rational, at times erudite and elsewhere downright obtuse. But as reward for this struggle, Levinas offers a sustained meditation on the relationship of ethics, responsibility and law, and - remarkably - he does so using the language of the duty of care. Here then is a philosopher, largely unknown to legal theory, who at last speaks the language of torts. Central to Levinas’ meditations is an idea of ethics to which I will have recourse. For Levinas, and those who have been influenced by him, the word ethics implies a personal responsibility to another that is both involuntary and singular. The demand of ethics comes from the intimacy of an experienced encounter, and its contours cannot therefore be codified or predicted in advance. At least as opposed to the Kantian paradigm of morality as ‘a system of rules,’ ethics therefore speaks about inter-personal relationships and not about abstract principles. At least as opposed to most understandings of law, ethics insists on the necessity of our response to others, and the unique predicament of each such response, rather than attempting to reduce such responses to standard instances and norms of general application applicable to whole communities and capable of being settled in advance. Indeed, ethics constantly destabilizes and ruptures those rules and that settlement. Furthermore, ethics implies an unavoidable responsibility to another which Levinas exhorts as ‘first philosophy’: by this he means to indicate that without some such initial hospitality or openness to the vulnerability of another human being, neither language nor society nor law could ever have got going. At least as opposed to many understandings of justice, there is nothing logical or a priori inevitable about such an openness; except that without it, we would not be here to talk to one another. We cannot derive this ethics from rational first principles. Ethics is that first principle.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

The Idea of the University and the Contemporary Legal Academy

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

In light of the contemporary moves to transform the Australian university by subjecting it to the values of the market, the traditional idea of the university is in jeopardy. Freedom to teach, the unity of teaching and research, and academic selfgovernance are key factors associated with this idea. With its primarily professional and vocational focus, law has tended to be somewhat more ambivalent than the humanities about the freedoms associated with teaching and the pursuit of knowledge. Nevertheless, a liberal legal education is an ideal to which law schools have aspired over the last two or three decades. This article argues that, after a brief flirtation with a more humanistic legal education, the market is causing a swing back to a technocratic and doctrinal approach. The article draws on key proponents of the 'idea of the university', namely, Newman, Humboldt and Jaspers to consider what light these theorists might shed on the dilemma posed by the market imperative. It is suggested that a disregard for the presuppositions of the market could be disastrous for the future of the university law school.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

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