DENNIS LESLIE MAHONEY PRIZE IN LEGAL THEORY

The Dennis Leslie Mahoney Prize in Legal Theory, which is funded by a generous gift from the Honourable Dennis Mahoney AO QC, former President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, is awarded to the author or authors of the entry that, in the preceding five years, has best advanced the sociological approach to jurisprudence that Julius Stone pioneered. It is worth AU$50,000. It was first awarded in 2006.

2011 Professor Ran Hirschl

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).