Book Launch: Research Handbook on Natural Law Theory

Book Launch

Research Handbook on Natural Law Theory (Edward Elgar, 2019)

Edited by Jonathan Crowe and Constance Youngwon Lee

To be launched by Suri Ratnapala, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, University of Queensland

6:00pm for 6:30pm, Thursday 16 January 2020

Central Queensland University, 160 Ann Street, Brisbane

Research Handbook on Natural Law Cover

This thought-provoking Research Handbook provides a snapshot of current research on natural law theory in ethics, politics and law, showcasing the breadth and diversity of contemporary natural law thought. The Research Handbook on Natural Law Theory examines topics such as foundational figures in Western natural law theory, natural law ideas in a variety of religious and cultural traditions, normative foundations of natural law, as well as issues of law and governance. Featuring contributions by leading international scholars, this Research Handbook offers a valuable resource for scholars in law, philosophy, religious studies and related fields.


‘This Research Handbook is profoundly enlightening. The authors and editors all understand Natural Law not as a set of God’s commands, and not as a foil to legal positivism, but rather, as a tradition within which scholars explore and debate the content of the good, the common good, human nature, and the good or flourishing life as a guide to the content of ideal and just law. The volume as a whole presents a vibrant set of questions and reflections on law’s purpose, a wonderful intellectual history of an often overlooked and badly misunderstood scholarly tradition, and a deeply probing and critical examination of law’s role in promoting the conditions necessary for human flourishing.’

– Robin West, Georgetown University

‘This revolutionary revival of the natural law tradition quenches the thirst of those who are parched by the modern assumption that ethics, politics, and law must be devoted to the zero-sum distribution of rights to self-interested agents whose own good is the only good. In chapters both broad and deep, this Handbook reveals how a concern for the objective conditions of human flourishing can reinvigorate the role of common goods, cooperative enterprises, and pluralism in a theory of just governance.’

– Heidi M. Hurd, University of Illinois

Please register your attendance by emailing by Tuesday 14 January 2020.

Call for Papers: Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory

The 12th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory will take place on 9 and 10 December 2019 at Melbourne Law School.

The Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory is an annual interdisciplinary workshop hosted by graduate researchers at Melbourne Law School. The forum brings together graduate research students and early career researchers from a range of academic disciplines to engage with social, political, theoretical and methodological issues raised by law and legal theory. 

This year’s theme is ‘Law on a Tightrope’. We invite and challenge participants to think about law, legal theory, method and critique while holding in mind the image of the tightrope walker and the themes of tension, stasis, rupture, precarity and collapse that such an image invokes. Abstracts are due by Friday 26 July 2019.

The call for papers and further details are now available on our website:

Call for Papers: Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy Annual Conference

Group Photo - ASLP 2018

The annual conference of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy will be hosted by the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney on 18-19 July 2019.  Keynotes will be delivered by Professor Connie Rosati (University of Arizona) and Professor Ngaire Naffine (University of Adelaide).

The annual book symposium will focus on Natural Law and the Nature of Law by Professor Jonathan Crowe (Bond University), which is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Commentary will be provided by Professor Margaret Davies (Flinders University), Dr Matthew Lister (Deakin University) and Dr Joshua Neoh (Australian National University).

Call for Papers

The ASLP welcomes philosophical or theoretically-oriented papers from any field of legal inquiry. The aim of the ASLP Conference is to provide a forum for the discussion and debate of a range of issues in legal theory, broadly defined. It is by no means restricted to analytic legal philosophy, and we strongly encourage the involvement of participants from other disciplines and the inclusion of topics from outside mainstream legal theory.

Postgraduate Workshop

A Postgraduate Workshop for PhD students will be held before the conference. The workshop provides PhD students with the opportunity to receive feedback on works-in-progress on any topic in legal theory in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts for both the ASLP Conference and the Postgraduate Workshop should be emailed to the ASLP President, Dr Kevin Walton, by Wednesday 1 May 2019. Abstracts should be 100-200 words in length.

Call for Papers: Vertigo: Fake News/Real Theory, 12 Dec 2018, Australian National University


Vertigo: Fake news/real theory

Call for papers

The ANU contemporary critical theory group is hosting a one-day seminar exploring law, art, politics, and society in the 21st century.

Does critical theory matter? To what extent do the works of modern or contemporary critical theorists afford insights into the crises and perplexities of the world we live in?  In what ways are these analyses in cahoots or at odds, inadequate or partial, complementary or prophetic?

This event will feature short papers of no more than 15 minutes that make an intervention or articulate an argument with succinct vigour, leaving plenty of room for lively and even contentious discussion.

We particularly encourage the attendance and participation of HDR students from a wide range of disciplines, as well as from early career and established scholars working on critical theory and critical legal theory.

The program offers several bursaries of up to $500 each specifically targeted to HDR students from around the country.

Your abstract, like your presentation, should be pithy and relevant. It should make an argument about critical theory or the work of a specific theorist, drawing it into dialogue with the problems and predicaments of the world we live in.

Date: Wednesday 12 December 2018
Venue: Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building, 120 McCoy Circuit, The Australian National University
Contact: Robyn Ferrell

Save the Date: Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy Conference, University of Sydney, 18-19 July 2019

Next year’s Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy Conference will take place at Sydney Law School on 18-19 July 2019. Keynote addresses will be delivered by Connie Rosati (University of Arizona) and Ngaire Naffine (University of Adelaide). The book symposium will focus on Jonathan Crowe (Bond University)’s Natural Law and the Nature of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Call for Papers: Redistributive Human Rights?, University of New South Wales, 31 Jan – 1 Feb 2019

Redistributive Human Rights?

Thursday 31 January and Friday 1 February 2019

Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales

This workshop aims to consider the different ways in which the language and frameworks of human rights have been deployed and mobilized both to make redistribute justice claims or to contest economic inequalities, but also to close down political discussions around distributional questions and crush Third World demands for global wealth redistribution. We hope to interrogate, why and how, at specific moments and in specific places, human rights movements and NGOs operated as either “powerless companions” or as “fellow travellers” to elitist economic agendas as well as to excavate moments when rights movements committed to companionships of solidarity based on building the power of the marginalized. We invite papers that seek to understand the historical, political and economic conditions in which rights frameworks function.

This workshop aims to build on and extend current debates about the relationship between human rights and economic inequality. We hope to enrich these discussions by paying attention to the complex and varied nature of human rights movements, the historical contingency of human rights frameworks and the differing visions and forms of rights. In doing so, we aim to deepen understandings of the “distributional imagination and political economy” of human rights.

We welcome engagements with the thematic of the workshop from the perspective of multiple disciplines: philosophy, political theory, sociology, law and legal theory, history, and anthropology. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • The use of human rights discourses to contest economic inequality.
  • The relationship between human rights and neoliberalism.
  • Uses of the language of human rights both for and against the New International Economic Order.
  • The contemporary relevance of Marxist and Third World Approaches to International Law (‘TWAIL’) critiques of human rights.
  • Genealogies of social and economic rights.
  • Human rights-based campaigns against global corporations.
  • Human rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (‘CSR’).
  • Non-human rights based movements (or alternatives to human rights) to contest economic inequality
  • Human rights, communism and utopia

Please send a 400 word abstract of your proposed paper to the workshop organisers at by Monday 12 November 2018.

Convenors: Jessica Whyte, Ben Golder and Julia Dehm

Supported by: Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney and the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School

Confirmed keynote speaker: Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History, Yale University

Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory: Call for Papers

The 11th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory will take place on 4 and 5 December 2018. The Forum brings together graduate researchers and early career scholars from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to think methodologically, theoretically and critically about law and legal theory. The theme for this year’s Forum is ‘Facts, Law and Critique’.

Please submit abstracts of up to 500 words and biographies of up to 200 words to Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory by 5 September 2018. Applicants will receive a response by late September.

Full details can be found here: