Law and Literature

11 December 2012

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce this March 2013 intensive, taught by Professor Bernhard Schlink and Emeritus Professor Reg Graycar.

The purposes of Law and Literature is to offer access to fundamental problems of legal philosophy not through philosophical but through literary texts.

From Shakespeare to Brecht, from Melville to Camus, it will examine the role of the narrative and problems of interpretation in law and literature.

Bernhard Schlink is a writer and a professor of public law and legal philosophy and for many years he was also a judge at a German constitutional law court.

He was born in 1944, grew up in Heidelberg, lived in Germany, France, and USA, has a son and two granddaughters and teaches now at Humboldt University in Berlin and at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

He began publishing crime novels in 1987 and other fiction in 1995.

His first fiction to appear in English was his novel The Reader, 1997; since then his collections of stories Flights of Love and Summer Lies, the novels Homecoming and The Weekend and his trilogy about the private detective Gerhard Self, Self's Punishment, Self's Deception, and Self's Murder, have come out.

His essays Guilt about the Past deal with Germany's recent past, collective and individual guilt, forgiving and forgetting, law and morality, his scholarly work focusses on fundamental rights, the role of the police, and the meaning of justice.

Professor Graycar is a practising barrister, and is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Sydney.

She was Professor of Law at the University of Sydney from 1997 to 2012, prior to which she was Professor of Law at UNSW.

She has been a visiting professor at the Université de Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne); Cornell Law School, USA; the University of British Columbia, Canada; the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and in 2003 and 2004 was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Law, European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

She is co-author, with Jenny Morgan, of The Hidden Gender of Law (1st ed, 1990; 2nd ed 2002) and has published widely on a range of legal issues

She is also on the editorial or advisory boards of a number of international and Australian publications.

She has served as a full time member of the NSW Law Reform Commission and as a part time member of the Australian Law Reform Commission, as well as being a member of the Family Law Council.

She has also been a legal member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and a Hearing Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.


Sydney Law School

New Law Building (F10)

Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Semester 1 Intensive

1, 2 & 15, 16 March 2013


  • Class Participation (30%)
  • 7 X Short Reflective Pieces of approximately 1,000 Word each (total 7,000 Word) on a selection of the readings for the unit no later than two weeks prior to the first class (70%)

Law and Literature is available to study through the following Sydney Law School degree programmes:

Legal practitioners can count this unit of study towards Mandatory Continuing Legal Educaiton (MCLE) or Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Candidates can also enrol in this subject on a Legal Professional Development (LPD), Single Unit Enrolment or Cross-Institutional basis.

Candidates can elect to complete the assessment, claim the MCLE or CPD points and then count the unit towards a degree at a later stage.

Alternatively, candidates can elect not to complete the assessment but still claim the MCLE or CPD points.

For further enquiries or to apply or enrol, please contact the Postgraduate Team.

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 362b07055d623d50153f092f2359252910080b211238690d0c5a7a561e