I am a Senior Lecturer at the 'Faculty of Law and Justice' working at the edges of law, on domains that, due to radical technological change or ruptures in our ethical imagination, require legal consideration in a philosophical register. The legal standing of collective ecological entities, the fashioning, use and ownership of human body parts, the legal status of non-human minds and agent-less creative processes; these are the frontiers of law across which I work, and though these are unstable and changing terrains, they necessarily feed back into classical questions of jurisprudence.
At the law school I teach across a range of courses from classical ‘Legal Theory’ and ‘Theories of Justice’, to electives on ‘Law and Biology’, 'FoodLaw' and, most recently, 'Transforming Environmental Law: exploring Legal Rights of Nature' (with Alice Bleby).
Before coming to Australia, I was a Junior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University. In 2017 I resided as a Visiting Fellow with the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California-Berkeley. During the academic year 2020/21 I am a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) participating in the research program "Science and the State".
I served as UNSW Law's Ethics and Grievance Officer (2018-2020), currently chair the "Theory Section", am a member of the UNSW Allens Hub for Law, Technology and Innovation where I am stream leader for "Hybrid Life and Legal Personhood", participate in the 'UNSW Environmental Law Group', and am a member of the 'Australian Center for the Rights of Nature'.
PhD, LLM or research thesis applications in legal theory & philosophy, socio-legal studies, biolegality, neurolaw, legal ecology (rights of nature, climate litigation), social study of law, technology and science, and the legal implications of 'cognitive assemblages' (AI/ Robotics) are all very welcome.
Since 2015 I convene the cross-disciplinary research platform UNSW Law Initiative for Biolegalities (IBL) which organizes workshops on the dynamic relationship between the biosciences, law and society in the 21th century. Closely related to this the book series I co-edit called Biolegalities (Palgrave MacMillan). Till now the Series published two books: Brave New Law: Personhood in the Age of Biolegality (2019) and The Viral Politics of Covid-19 (2022). The monograph Biolegalities (2022/ early 2023) is forthcoming.
At the The Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation I lead the "stream" Hybrid Life and Legal Personhood researching the impact of technological hybridization and cognitive assemblages (SmartRobots, Artificial Intelligence, Driverless cars, etc.) on our notion of legal personhood and legal accountability.
I initiated PhD research in "rights of nature" within the Environmental Law group. This project was granted two Scientia PhD's; closely related is my supervision of PhD and Honours projects on climate change litigation.
What ties all these projects together is their radical challenge to the fundamental legal binary of persons and things, private property and the public [natural] commons, and human agency and accountability. I perceive all the above as elements of a critical-affirmative philosophical anthropology focused on the dynamic between legality & life.
My books include the monograph Paul Ricoeur's Renewal of Philosophical Anthropology: Vulnerability, Capability, Justice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021), and the edited volumes Personhood in the Age of Biolegality: Brave New Law (Palgrave MacMillan, 2019), and Reading Ricoeur through Law (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022). My co-authored book Biolegalities is forthcoming with Palgrave MacMillan in 2022. I also co-edit the Biolegality Book Series which in 2022 will publish The Viral Politics of Covid-19 (Editors Miguel Vatter & Vanessa Lemm).
My Research Supervision
Aaron McIlroy, The Implications of the Rights Construct for the Environment on Legal Subjectivity (PhD)
Alice Bleby, Nature Rights and the Anthropocene (PhD)
Stefan Skolpelja, Causation: From Theory to Practice (LLM)
Bradley Gooding, Value Plurality and Pragmatic Legal Pluralism (PhD)
Armin Alimardani, Neuroscience as Evidential Tool in NSW (PhD)
Legal Theory [LAWS2320/ JURD7223]
Theories of Law and Justice [LAWS2326/ JURD7236]
Theories of Law and Biology [LAWS3149/ JURD7449]