This unit of study introduces the history of legal theory through a critical analysis of the central debates in jurisprudence over the last two centuries. Students will read canonical Anglo-American legal thinkers (like Jeremy Bentham, H. L. A. Hart and John Finnis) and their contemporary interlocutors (like Ram Mohan Roy, Karl Marx and Marcia Langton). The unit situates each debate in its historical context exploring themes ranging from socialism versus capitalism, revolution versus reaction, and 'race' and 'sex'. For example, students will study how the Hart-Devlin debate (1957-65) connected the policing of homosexuality in 'Swinging London' to the policing of black bodies in colonial Africa. Students will develop skills as critical legal thinkers and intellectual historians that will assist them as lawyers engaged in contemporary Australian and international debates on the nature and future of law. This unit satisfies the Part 2 (Jurisprudence) requirement of the JD.
2 x 2hr seminars/wk
1500wd reflective essay (20%) and 4500wd research essay (80%)