Big Ideas: the rule of law: pasts, presents, and two possible futures

BigIdeas

Event details

Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 27 September 2016
12.30pm–1.30pm

Venue

Coombs Extension 1.04
ANU Canberra

Speaker

Martin Krygier

Contacts

RegNet

The recent rise of the rule of law, from controversial legal ideal to unopposed international cliché/slogan, has rendered increasingly murky what the concept might mean, what the phenomenon might be, and what it might be worth. In this seminar, Martin will argue, nevertheless, that the concept engages with fundamental and enduring issues of politics and law, particularly the dangers of arbitrary power, and the value of its institutionalised tempering.

In this seminar Martin argues, nevertheless, that the concept engages with fundamental and enduring issues of politics and law, particularly the dangers of arbitrary power, and the value of its institutionalised tempering. He seeks to support the rule of law ideal, if not all the ways it is invoked, by recovering some past thinking about and experience with and without the rule of law understood this way. Martin’s review also criticises current discussions for their temporal parochialism and their inadequate treatment of ideals and of contexts. The seminar concludes with two pleas: a call for a social science that does not exist, and a suggestion that, in order to pursue its own ideals, the time might have come to move beyond the rule of law.

About the speaker

Martin Krygier is Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of New South Wales, co-director of its Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law, and Honorary Professor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

His writings are generally concerned to explore the moral characters and consequences of large institutions, among them law, state and bureaucracy. A particular focus of his research is institutional and social development in post-communist Europe. He has written extensively on the nature of the rule of law, and on attempts to promote it worldwide.

His most recent book is Philip Selznick. Ideals in the World (Stanford University Press, 2012). In 2005, he published Civil Passions, a selection of his essays on matters of public debate.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet