Researching practical reforms and the theoretical underpinnings of a life in the law

We recognise the importance of the legal profession and legal education in the promotion of answers to the novel and new problems, as well as issues of the rule of law and access to justice. Legal education must produce law graduates who are work-ready in this new and constantly evolving context for legal practice.

At the same time, it is essential to develop graduates who are equipped to deal with the multiple interacting issues that the law seeks to regulate. It is possible to discern the emergence of multi-level ‘global law’ in which international, regional, national and sub-national laws and institutions interact. Practicing lawyers must cope with the challenges of global lawyering, the impact of changing technologies of legal practice and modes of communication, the twenty-first century court-room, and the demands of increasing layers of external regulation.

Researchers in this Program focus on innovative forms of legal education, including developing, testing and evaluating on-line and blended learning and experiential and active learning as part of a pattern of life-long legal learning. They investigate the complex world of legal practice and the changing expectations of legal practitioners, the judiciary and the public. The Program also has a focus on the future of law as viewed through the lens of the humanities and future studies. The ways in which law is conceptualised, mapped, and represented within contemporary media and culture are integral to framing, developing and responding to the possibilities of law’s futures.

Researchers consider the way in which the nature of law as rhetoric—encompassing the arts and techniques of persuasion, debate and argument—is used in response to uncertainty (whether in terms of climate change, financial crisis or movement of populations) and in shaping the imagination of desirable futures.

Exploring Lawyering, Legal Education and Law’s Future

Law Futures Centre: John Flood

Project highlights

Professor Michael Salter Griffith University Short Term Visiting Research Fellowship ‘Carl Schmitt in the Asia–Pacific’

This project is a systematic analysis of the influence of German Thinker Carl Schmitt’s ideas in the Asia–Pacific Region. In it Professor Charles Lawson, Associate Professor Kieran Tranter, Dr Tim Peters, Dr Edward Mussawir, Dr Chris Butler, Dr Roshan da Silva Wijeyeratne and Dr Bikundo together with Professor Michael Salter, will examine and explore the highly controversial as well as highly regarded German Jurist, futurist and political thinker Carl Schmitt’s influence in academic as well as political and policy debates.

Specifically, this project and its sub-projects aims to critically explore the limits and extent of Schmitt’s theoretical work to and in the Asia–Pacific. Michael Salter is a Professor of Law at the Lancashire Law School with expertise in the general areas of: Criminology and Policing, Law, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations. Professor Salter has written five books and over 45 academic articles on legal theory, philosophy, war crimes trials, law and security, and role of intelligence services within international criminal law proceedings.

The Buribunks: A Translation of Carl Schmitt's Die Buribunken

This project aims to translate and generate critical scholarship on Carl Schmitt’s Die Buribunken. Schmitt is a leading twentieth century legal theorist. This piece shines new light on his more famous works and has resonances today in its anticipation of digital media and self-archiving practices. The project will produce an edited volume containing the translation along with chapters by the applicants and leading international legal theorists. In it Professor Charles Lawson, Associate Professor Kieran Tranter, Dr Tim Peters, Dr Edward Mussawir, Dr Chris Butler, Dr Roshan da Silva Wijeyeratne and Dr Bikundo together with Professor Michael Salter, will contribute to the innovation of this project at three levels.

The first is the innovation in developing the field of knowledge around Schmitt through the translation of the text of Die Buribunken. The second innovation concerns development of knowledge: in the project the applicants will bring the legal and political literatures that have engaged with Schmitt into dialogue with highly contemporary concerns of the human in the digital and the tensions between legal and digital governance. The third is the use of ICT to provide for virtual meetings and workshops with international collaborators avoiding the time and costs obstacles that limit Australian based academics doing cutting edge international humanities collaborations.

Judicial Decision-Making and ‘Outside’ Extra-Legal Knowledge

This project involves several members of the Program including Dr Kylie Burns, Zoe Rathus and Dr Karen Schultz. Our research focuses on how judges use extra-legal knowledge in their decision-making in civil, family, criminal and other cases.  We collaborate with colleagues in criminology and the University of New South Wales.  This project has resulted in a special issue of the Griffith Law Review published in late 2016.

Legal Education Active Learning Research Network

Members of the Law Futures Centre, Dr Kylie Burns, Professor Mary Keyes, Associate Professor Therese Wilson, Kate van Doore and Joanne Stagg-Taylor form part of a national network of legal academics interested in active learning methods and technology in legal education.

The research undertaken in the network has been presented in Griffith University, at University of Newcastle and in national and international conferences.  Our research influences our own innovative teaching in Griffith Law School and contributes to Australian and International legal education more broadly.

New Law, Lawyering and Legal Education Book

On 15 February 2017, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia launch a new book by LFC members Charles Sampford and Hugh Breakey.

The text, Law, Lawyering and Legal Education: Building an Ethical Profession in a Globalizing World, is an important addition to the field.  As Chanellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, of the University of California observes, the book “illuminates the important struggles to make legal education responsive to the contexts and institutions in which the law is made, theorized about, and practices.  The volume … intelligently examines our past, and provocatively and importantly suggest the path for our future”.

Connect and collaborate

If you would like to work, study or collaborate with us, get in touch