Dr Christopher Birch


8th Floor
Garfield Barwick Chambers
53 Martin Place Sydney NSW 2000

Courses Taught:

  • Philosophy of Mind and Legal Responsibility
  • Precedent, Interpretation, and Probability
  • Aspects of Law and Justice

Areas of Interest

  • Legal philosophy
  • Legal reasoning
  • Moral philosophy and law

Brief Biographical Detail
Christopher Birch graduated with Honours in Philosophy from the University of Sydney in 1980. He graduated with Honours in law in 1982. he has practised as a barrister at the Sydney Bar since 1982. He specialises in the areas of commercial law, equity, administrative law and anti discrimination law, and has extensive experience at both the trial and appellant levels. In 1999 he was appointed Senior Counsel. In 1997 he was appointed to the Council of Law Reporting for New South Wales and was Chairman of the Council from 2001 to 2006.

In 1993 he completed his PhD at Sydney University. The thesis topic was on the role of morals in the justification of legal decisions. In 1994 he commenced lecturing part time in the Sydney Law School  at Sydney University teaching courses in legal philosophy, and in the same year commenced teaching an introductory course in Jurisprudence for the Law Extension Committee. His interests outside law and philosophy include history, natural history, especially entomology, bushwalking, skiing and cycling.


Journal articles

  • Birch, C, 'Memory and Punishment' (2000) 19 Criminal Justice Ethics 17-31.
  • Birch, C, 'Mill, Frege and the High Court: The Connotation/Denotation Distinction in Constitutional Interpretation' (2003) 23 Australian Bar Review 296.
  • Birch, C, 'The Connotation/Denotation Distinction in Constitutional Interpretation' (2003) 5(2) The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 101.

Book Chapters

Birch, C, "Corrective justice and the paradox of Future Individuals" in G Doeker-mach and K A Ziegert (eds), Law & Legal Culture in Comparative Perspective, Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart (2004).