Researching public law: a panel discussion on legal method

This CCCS Global Public Law Seminar addressed the issue of method, and feature leading scholars who have contributed to the important forthcoming book, Researching Public Law in Common Law Systems (Edward Elgar). This collection, edited by Professors Paul Daly and Joe Tomlinson, is the first to offer a systematic treatment of public law methods in common law systems. Our international panel of leading public lawyers reflected on the issue of legal method, with a specific focus on doctrinal method and legal reason, Indigenous approaches, and comparative law.

Methodology is of rising importance in public law, and increasingly the subject of intense debate. Methodology implicates fundamental questions over what the public law academy is for, and how scholars ought to approach their task. But questions of method are also of wider significance, being of importance for anyone who wishes to understand and reason by reference to law, particularly legal actors such as practitioners and judges.

About the panel

Joe Tomlinson is Professor of Public Law at the University of York. He is also a member of the Academic Panel at Blackstone Chambers, an Associate Fellow of the Public Law Project, and Co-Chair of the Academic Panel of the Administrative Justice Council. His research focuses on the law of public administration. It explores how law operates in contemporary administrative systems, often with an emphasis on systemic issues. He is also interested in how these systems are perceived and experienced in everyday life.

Jason N E Varuhas is Professor of Law at Melbourne Law School, where he is Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. He is also Director of the Public Law Conference, the leading series of international conferences on public law in common law systems. His research interests lie in public law, private law, remedies and legal method.

Theunis Roux is Professor of Law and Head of the School of Global and Public Law at UNSW Sydney. He was formerly the (founding) Director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law. He researches in the area of comparative constitutional law, with a particular interest in the law and politics of constitutionalism in the Global South.

Janna Promislow is an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law. She is currently the law theme co-lead on the Modern Treaty Implementation Research Project (SSRCH-funded). Janna's teaching and research interests encompass constitutional and administrative law, Aboriginal law, treaties, colonial legal history, Indigenous–settler relations, Indigenous law, and legal pluralism.

View the webinar recording