Art and Law

IILAH’s Art and Law program facilitates a suite of conversations and collaborations that explore the different ways in which the arts relate and contribute to the thinking of law.

It aims to:

  • Promote discussions between legal scholars and arts practitioners
  • Engage the Melbourne Law School community in conversations around the arts
  • Support legal scholars in a comparative exchange of ideas and methods for addressing arts in different forms and fora, with and as law.

Program activities include:

  • Arts/Law Talks in which legal scholars engage with artists, art curators and art scholars in public discussions of how art and art practices inform law and legal thinking
  • MLS on Art events in which members of the Melbourne Law School community speak to an artwork or arts initiative from the perspective of their work or areas of research
  • Arts/Law Workshops of scholars whose research of law engages the arts, to identify and interrogate common themes and methods in their scholarship.

Past events include:

  • Landscapes disrupted: A conversation about art and law

    An event hosted by the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH)
    In person at the Melbourne Law School, Wednesday 27 April 1-2pm

    International laws protect the natural environment for its value, including its ‘aesthetic’ value. But these laws have operated to endorse a Western European and British landscape tradition as universal at the expense of plural understandings of aesthetics. Artist Danie Mellor joined Alice Palmer to discuss how Mellor’s artworks disrupt a colonial vision of the Australian landscape and engage First Nations’ conceptions of Country.

  • Three Little Words
    IILAH Festival of Conversations, October 2021
    Panelists engaged in a live online conversation about art-based methods in legal scholarship, teaching and practice, inviting the audience to participate in an interactive discussion about 'art', 'law' and the 'and' between. With Alice Palmer , Ruth Buchanan, Sara Ramshaw and Sean Mulcahy. The podcast can be accessed here.

Program Director Dr Alice Palmer's research addresses the interfaces between law and image with a focus on legal interpretation in international law, theories for the visual arts and philosophies of environmental aesthetics.

Dr Alice Palmer


Dr Alice Palmer

Melbourne Law School