DENNIS LESLIE MAHONEY PRIZE IN LEGAL THEORY

The Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence is delighted to announce that the Dennis Leslie Mahoney Prize in Legal Theory for 2016 has been awarded to Martin Krygier, Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of New South Wales.

Professor Krygier’s submission – several of his articles from the last five years on the rule of law and his book Philip Selznick: Ideals in the World, which was published by Stanford University Press in 2012 – was judged to be the most impressive of many excellent entries by a committee that consisted of Justice Mahoney, Professor Jonathan Crowe (Bond University), Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan (University of Sydney), Dr Michael Sevel (University of Sydney) and Dr Kevin Walton (University of Sydney). Professor Krygier’s sympathetic account of Selznick’s way of thinking and his own thinking about the rule of law in that way were thought by the Committee to further substantially the sociological approach to jurisprudence that Julius Stone pioneered.

About the Prize

The prize is funded by a generous gift from the Honourable Dennis Mahoney QC AO, former President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. Throughout his life and especially in his seminal work of 1946, The Province and Function of Law, the late Julius Stone, rather than taking a purely historical or conceptual approach to law, sought to understand it according to the operation and, moreover, the needs of particular societies. Every five years, AU$50,000 is awarded to the author or authors of the entry that has best advanced Stone’s sociological and justice-oriented approach to jurisprudence.

Terms & conditions of the prize (PDF)


Previous Winners

Professor Ran Hirschl (2011)

Professor Ran Hirschl of the University of Toronto

The Dennis Leslie Mahoney Prize in Legal Theory for 2011 was awarded to Professor Ran Hirschl of the University of Toronto for his book Constitutional Theocracy, which was published by Harvard University Press in 2010.

Professor Hirschl was chosen as the winner from a most impressive field by a committee that consisted of Justice Mahoney, Professor Gillian Triggs (Dean and Challis Professor of International Law, Sydney Law School), Professor Martin Krygier (Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory, University of New South Wales), Professor Wojciech Sadurski (Challis Chair in Jurisprudence, Sydney Law School) and Dr Kevin Walton (Director of the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence). The committee regarded Constitutional Theocracy as a brilliant analysis of law in its social context and a fascinating exploration of an issue of contemporary and global significance, namely, the role of constitutional law and courts in non-secular societies.

2006 Professor Brian Tamanaha

Professor Brian Tamanaha - portrait

The inaugural Dennis Leslie Mahoney Prize in Legal Theory was awarded to Professor Brian Tamanaha, Chief Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo Professor of Law, St John’s University, New York.

Professor Tamanaha’s book A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2001, was the outstanding entry in a very strong field. The committee described it as a major contribution to sociological jurisprudence, which ventured a sociological reorientation of legal positivism. The Committee consisted of the Justice Mahoney, Professor Ron McCallum (Dean, Sydney Law School), Professor Tom Campbell (Australian National University), Professor Ngaire Naffine (University of Adelaide) and Mr Kevin Walton (Acting Director of the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence).