Dr Maks Del Mar, Reader in Legal Theory at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), has won a British Academy / Newton Mobility Grant for a project entitled ‘Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Legal Reasoning’, with Professor Amalia Amaya (UNAM, Mexico).
This research project aims at examining the role that virtue may play in a theory of legal reasoning. More specifically, the project will focus on the way in which a virtue approach to legal reasoning is tied up with a conception of legal decision-making that recognizes the various ways in which emotions and imagination are critical to sound legal judgment. They also aim to explore the implications that a complex conception of legal decision making that makes room for emotions, virtue and imagination has for legal education and, in particular, for judicial education. From the complex account of what is involved in legal decision-making that they aim to develop in this project it follows that legal education should be designed with a view to cultivating virtue as well as developing emotional capacities and imaginative abilities among the judiciary.
The outcomes include an intensive course, designed and delivered by Dr Del Mar and Dr Amaya, to judges in Mexico; a conference on the theme in Mexico, leading to an edited collection; and joint visits by Dr Del Mar and Dr Amaya giving papers and guest lectures. Dr Del Mar will also deliver an intensive course to postgraduate students at the Philosophical Research Institute at UNAM on ‘Imagination and Practical Reason’.