Dr Shane Chalmers

  • Shane Chalmers

McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow

+61 3 8344 7193 | shane.chalmers@unimelb.edu.au | Room 0934


Shane Chalmers joined Melbourne Law School in January 2018 as a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow. Based in the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, his Fellowship involves a collaborative cross-disciplinary research project on "the rule of law". The aim of the project is to recast our understanding of this important concept by showing how the rule of law is a socio-cultural phenomenon and everyday practice. This will open the frame around the concept in two ways: (1) by focusing on communities' law-making capabilities, it will broaden our understanding of "law" in the rule of law; and (2) by focusing on everyday life as the critical arena of the rule of law, it will broaden our understanding of the agents, modes, and locations of "rule". At the same time, by examining the rule of law as a socio-cultural phenomenon and everyday practice, the project's normative agenda is to explore how the rule of law might be more radically democratic - informed by Indigenous experiences, cultures and histories as well as those of migrant communities.

Shane's McKenzie Fellowship builds on his doctoral research, undertaken between 2012-2016 in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at The Australian National University, which combined an historical study of the colonial origins and making of Liberia with an empirical study of the everyday life of law in Liberia and law's role in remaking the nation-state post-war. The results of his doctoral research are published in a monograph, Liberia and the Dialectic of Law: Critical Theory, Pluralism, and the Rule of Law (Routledge-Birkbeck Law Press, 2018), as well as a series of journal articles.

Shane also holds a Master of Laws in Comparative Law from McGill University (2011), and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (2010) and Bachelor of International Studies (2007) from the University of Adelaide. His teaching includes Legal Theory in the Melbourne JD. He has also worked for the Crown Solicitor's Office in Adelaide and for the Solicitor-General of South Australia, as a research intern for the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok, and as a legal intern for the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington, DC

Other Faculty and University Responsibilities

  • Committee Member, Staff Equity, Diversity & Wellbeing Committee, Melbourne Law School

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School
  • Affiliate, Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities, The Australian National University
  • Member, OƱati Socio-Legal Network, International Institute for the Sociology of Law
  • Member, Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia