Dr Maksymilian Del Mar, BA LLB (Qld), PhD (Edinburgh), PhD (Lausanne), Solicitor (Qld)
Reader in Legal Theory
Maksymilian (Maks) Del Mar is Reader in Legal Theory and Co-Director of the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) at Queen Mary University of London, and Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
Dr Del Mar arrived at Queen Mary in June 2011. He was educated at the Universities of Queensland (BA Hons I in Literature and Philosophy, LLB Hons I), Edinburgh (PhD in Law) and Lausanne (PhD in Philosophy / Social Science). Following his undergraduate studies, he qualified as a solicitor in Queensland and served as a Judge's Associate (Clerk) to the Hon. Justice Margaret White at the Supreme Court of Queensland. He also worked in-house for the Queensland Law Society, where he directed the Legal Professional Ethics Project, and as a solicitor at Macrossans.
Dr Del Mar is President of the UK Branch of the International Association of Legal and Social Philosophy, the Founding Co-Convenor of the International Network of Transnational Legal and Political Theory, and serves as a Member of the Executive of the Association of Transnational Law Schools. He has been the lead at Queen Mary on the new LLB with History, and is a Member of the Board at the Centre for History of Political Thought.
Dr Del Mar is currently engaged in three large research projects: 1) Neil MacCormick: A Practical Philosophy, for Stanford University Press; 2) Imagination and Legal Cognition, for Hart / Bloomsbury; and 3) a project on thinking relationally about mind, society and law.
The monograph on MacCormick seeks to understand the relationship between the political and the philosophical in MacCormick's life and work, while also articulating MacCormick's significance for contemporary legal theory. Politically, MacCormick was a vital force - predominantly of constitutionalism and gradualism - in the Scottish National Party from the 1970s right through to his death in 2009. He was also a Member of the European Parliament, and a long-time advocate of Scotland in Europe. Philosophically, he questioned many dogmas of twentieth century legal theory (eg the relation between law and the sovereign state, and between deductive reasoning and law), thereby opening up new ways of thinking about law. In both politics and philosophy, he was a voice of moderation and responsiveness to diversity (political, moral, and epistemological). Research for this monograph has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust and the Royal Society of Scotland. See also: http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/maccormick/.
The second book is on the role and value of imagination in legal cognition. Imagination is understood broadly to encompass any form of cognitive expression or exploration that is not immediately present to the senses. The book analyses and evaluates a number of devices of imagination in legal cognition, including legal fictions, future-oriented hypotheticals, uses of perspectival reasoning, and figures of speech (especially metaphor). The value of these devices is defended as generating resourcefulness - they are seen as forms of communication across time, which create cognitive space for legal inquiry. Related research on this topic has been funded by the British Academy / Newton Fund.
The third project focuses on what it means to think relationally - as an ethics, a method of scholarship, and as a theory of mind and cognition, normativity, sociality and legality. This work draws on Dr Del Mar's doctoral thesis at the University of Lausanne, which explored the notion of social normativity from a second-person perspective. It also connects to more recent work on techniques and forms of legal reasoning under conditions of legal pluralism. As a method, it seeks to present legal theory as a form of inquiry into the limitations of one's own understanding - in the name of greater responsiveness to how others see and experience law.
In addition to these main projects, Dr Del Mar continues to work on issues in transnational / global legal theory and the methodology of legal theory (especially the prospects for multi- and inter-disciplinary collaboration). His latest collection in transnational legal theory is Authority in Transnational Legal Theory: Theorising Across Disciplines (co-edited with Roger Cotterrell, Edward Elgar, 2016), and in methodology: Law in Theory and History: New Essays on a Neglected Dialogue (co-edited with Michael Lobban, Hart / Bloomsbury, 2016).
Dr Del Mar's research interests include: 1) legal reasoning / legal cognition (and especially its poetics and aesthetics in context and over time); 2) the methodology of legal theory, especially relations between the theory and history of law; 3) transnational / global legal theory; 4) the role and value of the arts and humanities in legal scholarship and legal education; and 5) the history and historiography of ideas about law and society.
- LAW4005 Elements of Contract Law (Tutorial)
- LAW6021 Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
Dr Del Mar is currently working on:
- Neil MacCormick: A Practical Philosophy, Stanford University Press
- Imagination and Legal Cognition, Hart / Bloomsbury.
Project: Neil MacCormick: Philosophy, Law and Politics
View the Neil MacCormick digital archive website.
Funding Source: Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2013-2014
For more than thirty five years, Professor Sir Neil MacCormick (1941-2009) was Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh. He was also a leading figure in the Scottish National Party, including serving as a Member of the European Parliament. This project explores the relationship between MacCormick’s intellectual life as a legal philosopher of world-renown and his political life within both Scottish and European politics. Drawing, for the first time, on MacCormick’s private and Parliamentary papers, this project will examine the development of MacCormick’s philosophy of law alongside his political involvement. The project will culminate in the publication of a book, currently under contract with Stanford University Press, in their Jurists: Profiles in Legal Theory series.
Project: Creative Legal Skills Workshops
1 September 2012 to 30 August 2013
Funding Source: Westfield Fund for Enhancing the Student Experience
Project outline: The project aims to develop a series of workshops that will use methods and resources from the visual and dramatic arts to teach legal skills. Two pilot workshops have already been held, both on ‘How to Read a Case’ (February 2013). Project members: the project is led by Dr Del Mar, who will work closely with Ms Rogalska, a visual artist and an educator at the Tate Gallery, and Ms Jacqueline Defferary, an experienced theatre and television actress and drama teacher.
The Legal Mind Network
This network is an international collaboration between the Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London, the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and the PEARL Centre at the College of Law, Australian National University. The network explores the theory and history of legal reasoning and its teaching, under the heading of three concepts: Imagination, Communication and Cognition. A triad of workshops is planned:
- London 2016: ‘Legal Reasoning and Imagination: History, Theory and Pedagogy’ (June, 2016, organiser Maksymilian Del Mar)
- Canberra 2017: ‘Legal Reasoning and Communication: History, Theory and Pedagogy’ (June, 2017, organiser Paul Maharg)
- Toronto 2018: ‘Legal Reasoning and Cognition: History, Theory and Pedagogy’ (June, 2018, organiser Simon Stern)
The aim of these events is to bring together scholars from a range of different disciplines all interested in legal reasoning – with a focus on discussing common themes as well as differences in the history and theory of the practice of legal reasoning and its teaching. We shall consider what common themes might properly frame any discussion of the comparative history of legal reasoning and its teaching, including: the practice and teaching of communications (including rhetoric and advocacy); the variable influence of scientific and humanistic models on reasoning in the law; the relations between legal reasoning and reasoning about matters of proof; and the various so-called external influences (including economic, social and cultural) on legal reasoning and its teaching; and the intersections of cognition, brain and legal study, and the interface between human cognition and artificial cognition.
1) Legal Reasoning
- 'The Forward-Looking Requirement of Formal Justice: Neil MacCormick on Consequential Reasoning' (2015) Jurisprudence
- Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, co-edited with William Twining, Springer, 2015
- Special Issue on Legal Fictions (2013) 9(4) International Journal of Law in Context, 437-519
- Special Issue on Exemplary Narratives in Law and Legal Reasoning, co-edited with Randy Gordon (2013) 25(3) Law & Literature 331-482
- ‘Legal Fictions and Legal Change in the Common Law Tradition’, in Del Mar and Twining (eds.), Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, Springer, 2015
- 'Judging Virtuously: Developing an Empathic Capacity for Perceptual Sensitivity' (2014) 5(1) Jurisprudence 177-89
- ‘Exemplarity and Narrativity in the Common Law Tradition’ (2013) 25(3) Law & Literature 390-427
2) The Arts and Humanities in Legal Education
- The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life: Beyond Text in Legal Education, co-edited with Zenon Bankowski, Ashgate, 2013
- The Arts and the Legal Academy: Beyond Text in Legal Education, co-edited with Zenon Bankowski and Paul Maharg, Ashgate, 2013
- Learning How to Read a Case: Resources and Activities from the Visual and Dramatic Arts’, in B. von Klink and B. de Vries (eds.), Academic Learning in Law: Theoretical Positions, Teaching Experiments and Learning Experiences, Edward Elgar, 2015
- ‘The Education of Attention and Encounter in the Legal Academy’, in Bankowski and Del Mar (eds.), The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life: Beyond Text in Legal Education, Ashgate, 2013, 33-63
- ‘Legal Understanding and the Affective Imagination’, in Caroline Maughan and Paul Maharg (eds.), Affect and Legal Education, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011, 177-193
- ‘Beyond Text in Legal Education: Art, Ethics and the Carnegie Report’ (2010) 56 Loyola Law Review 101-144
3) The History, Methodology and Metatheory of Ideas about Law and Society
- Legal Theory and Legal History: Contemporary Legal Theory, Series 2, Volume 1, co-edited with Michael Lobban, Ashgate, 2014
- Legal Theory and the Humanities: Contemporary Legal Theory, Series 2, Volume 2, co-edited with Peter Goodrich, Ashgate, 2014
- Legal Theory and the Natural Sciences: Contemporary Legal Theory, Series 2, Volume 3, co-edited with Burkhard Schafer, Ashgate, 2014
- The Anxiety of the Jurist: Legality, Exchange and Judgement, co-edited with Claudio Michelon, Ashgate, 2013
- New Waves in Philosophy of Law, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
- The Methodology of Legal Theory: Library of Essays in Contemporary Legal Theory Volume I, co-edited with Michael Giudice and Wil Waluchow, Ashgate, 2010
- Legal Theory and the Social Sciences: Library of Essays in Contemporary Legal Theory Volume II, co-edited with Michael Giudice, Ashgate, 2010
- Legal Theory and the Legal Academy: Library of Essays in Contemporary Legal Theory Volume III, co-edited with William Twining and Michael Giudice, Ashgate, 2010
- Law as Institutional Normative Order, co-edited with Zenon Bankowski, Ashgate, 2009
- 'Thinking in Images in Legal Theory', in Del Mar and Michelon (eds.), The Anxiety of the Jurist: Legality, Exchange and Judgement, Ashgate, 2013, 43-67
- 'What Does History Matter to Legal Epistemology?', (2011) 5 Journal of the Philosophy of History 383-405
1) Transnational Legal Theory
- 'Beyond the State in and of Legal Theory', in S. Donlan and L. Heckendorn-Urscheler (eds.), Concepts of Law: Comparative, Jurisprudential, and Social Science Perspectives, Ashgate, 2014, 19-41
- 'Legality as Relative Institutionalisation: MacCormick’s Diffusionism and Transnational Legal Theory' (2014) 5(2) Transnational Legal Theory 177-217
- 'System Values and Understanding Legal Language' (2008) 21(1) Leiden Journal of International Law 29-61
5) Legal and Social Normativity
- ‘The Natural and the Normative: The Distinction, not the Dichotomy between Facts and Values in a Broader Context’, in Sanne Taekema and Bart van Klink (eds.), The Development of Law: Creating Legal Facts and Norms Through Interdisciplinary Research, Edward Elgar, scheduled for 2015
- ‘Must We Play to Win? A Reply to Morgan’ (2015) 45 Philosophy of the Social Sciences 266-72
- 'The Smithian Categorical Imperative: How MacCormick Smithified Kant' (2012) 98(2) Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 233-254
- 'Concerted Practices and the Presence of Obligations: Joint Action in Competition Law and Social Philosophy' (2011) 30(1) Law & Philosophy 105-140
- 'Marmor's Social Conventions: The Limits of Practical Reason' (2011) 41(3) Philosophy of the Social Sciences 420-445
- 'Normativism, Anti-Normativism and Humanist Pragmatism' (2010) 33(2-3) Human Studies 305-323
- 'Legal Norms and Normativity' (2007) 27(2) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 355-372
- ‘The Normative Ontology of the Law’ (2003) 22 University of Queensland Law Journal 239-250
Dr Del Mar welcomes proposals for supervision in legal theory.
Dr Del Mar is currently supervising:
- Ms Adela Halo, The Constitutional Thought of Mme de Staël, with Gareth Stedman-Jones, Law / History, Queen Mary University of London, 2015
- Mr Daniel Davison-Vecchione, Chaos and Continuity: Law’s Suspension of Disbelief, with Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Law, Queen Mary University of London, 2015
- Director of the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC)
- Convenor of the UK Branch of the International Association for Legal and Social Philosophy
- Academic Fellow (2013-2016) of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
- Member of the Executive Committee of the Centre for the History of Political Thought, Queen Mary University of London
- Queen Mary Point Person for the Association of Transnational Law Schools
Dr Maks Del Mar speaks on legal fictions at Oxford
15 March 2016
Dr Del Mar to speak on Neil MacCormick at St. Andrews
17 September 2015
Events Schedule: Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context
24 September 2014
Dr Del Mar edits new three-volume series on Contemporary Legal Theory
12 September 2014
Dr Del Mar to speak on legal reasoning in Edinburgh
26 March 2014
Dr Maks Del Mar invited to join two editorial boards
22 January 2014
Dr Maksymilian Del Mar awarded prestigious fellowship
27 October 2013