2019 - Supporting Personhood: An Examination of the Evolving relationship Between The Legal Person and the State
AN EXAMINATION OF THE EVOLVING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LEGAL PERSON AND THE STATE
The past decade has seen substantive shifts in the recognition of what constitutes legal personhood, the relationship between legal persons and human persons, and the role of the state in enabling personhood. There has been a transition across multiple fields of law, as the obligations on the state have shifted from non-interference in personhood, to active support and enabling of personhood. In disability contexts, international law now requires the state to support decision-making and agency of all people with disabilities. In environment law, rivers and other natural objects have been recognised as legal persons with specific rights, although highly varying levels of state support and increasing tensions between legal subjects and legal objects.
What do these new obligations say about the role of the state in enabling personhood? How is law evolving to both recognise new persons as well as enable their full agency? Does this re-framing also re-insert the power of the state, or does it harness this power to support vulnerable persons? This increasing emphasis on the obligations of the state provides a new way to imagine and envision the role of the state, as well as reconnecting ‘rights talk’ to a meaningful discussion of obligations, particularly in the context of vulnerability.
This workshop begun a conversation across multiple areas of law around the theme of personhood and the obligations of the state. It focused on bringing together scholars within Australia with select international guests from Aotearoa New Zealand, in order to first develop the discussion within the local context. It aimed to expand the discussion to include more international scholars in a larger event in the second half of 2020. The outcome from the workshop is a special issue of a law journal (e.g. Law in Context) in which the various developments in State support for legal personhood are explored and conclusions are made regarding the wider implications for law and legal theory.
Dr Anna Arstein-Kerslake, Senior Lecture (MLS)
Dr Erin O'Donnell, Senior Fellow (MLS)
"Recognising Personhood" Launch of Special Issue in Griffith Law Review
The launch of "Recognising Personhood" was held online on Thursday 3 March 2022.
In this launch, Dr Erin O'Donnell (Melbourne Law School) and Dr Anna Arnstein-Kerslake (Melbourne Law School) was joined by Dr Anne Poelina (Nulungu Institute of Research, University of Notre Dame) in a conversation with some of the Special Issue authors.
The final report for the workshop can be downloaded here.
Speakers and Discussants
- Dr Erin O’Donnell, Melbourne Law School
- Dr Anna Arstein-Kerslake, Melbourne Law School
- Uncle Dave Wandin
- Dr Katie O'Bryan, Monash University
- Dr Anne Poelina, University of Notre Dame
- Professor Kirsty Gover, Melbourne Law School
- Dr Alessandro Pelizzon, Southern Cross University
- Dr Elizabeth Macpherson, Canterbury University
- Professor Afshin Akhtar-Khavari, Queensland University of Technology
- Professor Ngaire Naffine, University of Adelaide
- Dr Laura Griffin, La Trobe University
- Professor Kristen Rundle, Melbourne Law School
- Professor Rosemary Kayess, University of New South Wales
- Dr Joanne Watson, Deakin University
- Dr Piers Gooding, Melbourne Law School
Monday, 26 August 2019
10:30am - 5:30pm
Room 628, Level 6
Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham street, Melbourne
This workshop was co-hosted with Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School