Dr Julian A Sempill

  • Mr Julian Sempill

    Senior Lecturer

+61 3 9035 5368 | jsempill@unimelb.edu.au | Room 0757


Dr Julian A Sempill. DPhil (Oxford), LLB (Hons), BA (Melbourne). Barrister & Solicitor (Victoria). Solicitor (England & Wales).

Dr Sempill is a Senior Lecturer at Melbourne Law School, where he has taught since 2009. He is a member of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, and the Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation.

Dr Sempill’s research traverses legal, constitutional and moral theory, and it has implications for public law, labour/employment law, corporations law, and legal ethics. Its unifying preoccupation is the relationship between liberal legal thought and commercial society.

Currently, Dr Sempill is completing a book that addresses aspects of liberal constitutionalism and the Rule of Law. Its title is Power & the Law, and it will be published by Cambridge University Press (United Kingdom).

Power & the Law will build on the inquiry Dr Sempill commenced in a 30,000-word article published in the United States in 2016: “Ruler’s Sword, Citizen’s Shield: The Rule of Law & the Constitution of Power” 31 Journal of Law & Politics 333 (2016) (University of Virginia). The paper is available via the link to SSRN above. The paper offers a fresh perspective on contemporary debates within liberal Rule of Law scholarship.

Dr Sempill’s work also comprises a speculative, critical strand that explores tensions within the liberal Rule of Law project. See, for example, “The Lions and the Greatest Part: the Rule of Law and the Constitution of Employer Power”, The Hague Journal on the Rule of Law (2017). The article stands at the intersection of labour/employment law and constitutional theory.

See also the forthcoming chapter in the "Law with Class" edited collection (Fernwood Press, Canada), an earlier version of which was presented at a conference held at Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto.

The Osgoode and Hague Journal pieces mark a return to critical inquiry relating to labour/employment law: see J. Sempill, "Under the Lens: Electronic Workplace Surveillance" (2001) 14 Australian Journal of Labour Law 111-144.

Dr Sempill presented papers in 2014 and 2016 at the Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de theorie critique, which is held in Paris annually and is convened by the Institut Mines-Telecom, the Université Paris Descartes and the Department of Philosophy, Villanova University.

Dr Sempill has taught Corporations Law, Trusts, Legal Ethics, Legal Method & Reasoning, Legal Theory, as well as an elective subject, The Rule of Law in Theory & Practice.

His teaching reflects his research interests as well as his experience as a lawyer in Melbourne, Tokyo and Paris.


The Melbourne JD


Other School and University Responsibilities

  • Co-convenor of the Faculty Research Seminar Series, with Professor Adrienne Stone and Cait Storr.