JSI Seminar Series: Shaun McVeigh

17 May 2012

Conduct of Law: the Meeting of Laws and the Office of Jurisprudent


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It is now twenty years since the High Court of Australia designated 'native title' as the site of engagement of Australian common law and jurisprudence with Indigenous law and jurisprudence in Mabo v State of Queensland (No. 2). Common law jurisprudence, however, continues to struggle to create the appropriate form and conduct of the relations between itself and Indigenous laws and jurisprudence. In light of recent attempts to amend the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), it is timely, then, to return to the first question that is addressed in the meeting of laws in Australia, that of the authorisation of laws and the quality and conduct of the meeting place. This paper investigates, as a matter of jurisprudence, the quality and practice of the engagement of lawful relations. In particular it addresses the affect and effect of the forms of jurisdictional practice through which the common law tradition has engaged Indigenous laws and jurisprudence. In part this essay offers a reminder of the importance of jurisdictional form in the meeting of laws. In part it offers a reminder of the commitments that are made in the conduct of lawful relations within the common law tradition. To do this - and contribute to this legal theory seminar - this paper refreshes, if not revives, some of the ways in which jurisprudence can be understood in terms of a conduct of an office or as the product of a set of obligations and responsibilities. This paper develops some arguments and themes from a recent monograph Jurisdiction (2012) co-authored with Shaunnagh Dorsett (Law School, UTS) entitled Jurisdiction (2012). It should be understood as jointly written, if not presented, with Shaunnagh Dorsett.

About the Speaker: Shaun McVeigh

Shaun McVeigh is an Associate Professor at the Melbourne Law School, Prior to joining the University of Melbourne in 2007 taught and researched Griffith University in Queensland as well as Keele and Middlesex Universities in the United Kingdom. He has a long time association with critical legal studies and law and humanities in Australia and the UK and is currently president of the Law, Literature, & Humanities Association of Australasia. Shaun McVeigh has research interests in the fields of jurisprudence, and legal ethics. His current research projects centre around themes associated with refreshing a jurisprudence of jurisdiction; the importance of a civil prudence to thinking about the conduct of law (and lawyers); and, the continuing need to take account of the official character of law.

Time: 6pm - 8pm

Location: Sydney Law School, Building F10, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Cost: Free - Registration Essential

Contact: Events Coordinator

Phone: 02 9351 0248

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