JSI Seminar Series: Discretion, authority, and relationship: situating the importance of procedure

12 September 2019



Discretion, authority, and relationship: situating the importance of procedure

Speaker: Associate Professor Kristen Rundle, The University of Melbourne

In other work ('Fuller's Relationships', forthcoming), Kristen Rundle has developed an account of Lon Fuller's contribution to theorising the demands of the rule of law in terms of prescriptions to be imposed on all governing relationships framed by the authority of law. The place of procedure within this account is central. As the primary vehicle for relational contact between legal officials and legal subjects, procedures provide the structure through which the authority of law directly touches upon those subject to it. It therefore follows that procedures must be burdened with the same relational demands that inform the creation of a condition of lawful authority in the first place.

Administrative discretion constitutes a particular form of legal relation in which the quality of procedural participation afforded to subjects is determinative of whether it operates as a form of authority or mere power. This paper seeks to develop an understanding of the demands of procedural justice in discretionary settings in a way that builds upon the connections between authority, procedures and relationships revealed in Fuller's thought. In doing so, the paper aims to illuminate the significance of procedure to the authority of discretion as a particular form of legal relation at the same time as it seeks to contribute to a growing scholarly interest in the application of Fuller's jurisprudence to questions of administrative law. The paper will form part of an interdisciplinary volume on procedural justice edited Denise Meyerson, Therese MacDermott and Catriona Mackenzie, to be published in early 2020.

About the speaker

Kristen Rundle is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School where she teaches administrative law and legal theory and is co-Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. Closely informed by her work on the intellectual legacy of the mid-twentieth century legal philosopher, Lon Fuller, Kristen's research is located at the interface of legal theory and public law in its effort to trace the conditions of legal form and human agency necessary for law to act as a limitation on power. Her book, Forms Liberate: Reclaiming the Jurisprudence of Lon L Fuller (Hart Publishing, 2012) was awarded second prize, UK Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship, 2012, and the University of Melbourne's Woodward Medal in the Humanities and Social Science, 2017. She is also the co-author, with Peter Cane and Leighton McDonald, of Principles of Administrative Law and Cases for Principles of Administrative Law (OUP, 3rd edition, 2018).

CPD Points: 1.5

The JSI Seminar series is hosted by the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at The University of Sydney Law School.


Time: 6-8pm

Location: Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, University of Sydney

Cost: Complimentary, however registration is essential.

Contact: Professional Learning & Community Engagement

Phone: 02 9351 0429

Email: 1a293d625d3d084524392b253408242312622a0d1d6c581b