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Professor Martin Krygier winner of the Dennis Leslie Mahoney Prize in Legal Theory


13 December 2016

Professor Krygier's submission was judged to be the most impressive of many excellent entries
Professor Krygier's submission was judged to be the most impressive of many excellent entries

The Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney 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.

“Julius Stone was a great pioneer-advocate of the need to bring legal scholarship into fruitful interaction with the learning and insights of the social sciences and philosophy, both to increase our understanding of the law and to serve justice,” Professor Krygier said.

“My mentor, Philip Selznick, sought similarly to develop an 'ecumenical', more specifically 'humanist' social science, that melded philosophy, social science, and law, and sought both to illuminate and to guide.

“I cannot hope to fill the shoes of either of these giants, but we are all fortunate to have their example, to be able to stand on their shoulders, and also to follow in their footsteps. That is what I have tried to do.”

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.

“In recent years I have written an intellectual biography of Selznick, as well as a series of normatively driven, sociologically inflected analyses of the rule of law. I am honoured these writings have won me this distinguished award.

“Equally gratifying is that the award recognises and promotes the distinctive approach to legal theory of which Stone and Selznick were such exemplary, and uncommon, exponents, and to which I am committed.”