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School of Law

Professor Maksymilian Del Mar, BA LLB (Qld), PhD (Edinburgh), PhD (Lausanne), Solicitor (Qld)

Maksymilian

Professor of Legal Theory

Email: m.delmar@qmul.ac.uk
Room Number: Mile End

Profile

Maksymilian (Maks) Del Mar is Professor of Legal Theory in the Department of Law. He joined Queen Mary in 2011. In 2020-21, he is on research leave as a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow.

Professor Del Mar is committed to theorising law in a way that brings disciplines and scholarly traditions into dialogue with each other.

His educational background is multi-disciplinary. As an undergraduate, he studied law, literature and philosophy, completing an LLB (Hons I) and a BA (Hons I) at the University of Queensland, Australia, including an honours thesis on the concept of beginnings in Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller… As a graduate, he completed two doctorates, one in law at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2009) and one in philosophy and the social sciences at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (2012). While still in Australia, he qualified and worked as a solicitor, as well as serving as a Judge’s Associate to the Honourable Justice Margaret White in the Supreme Court of Queensland and leading a professional ethics project at the Queensland Law Society.

In his research, Professor Del Mar has sought to draw on many different disciplines and scholarly traditions, and brought these to bear on a variety of problems and issues in legal theory. These include: putting into dialogue legal theory and legal history (see Law in Theory and History, 2016, edited with Michael Lobban); drawing on analytical jurisprudence, sociology of law and legal history in theorising authority (see Authority in Transnational Legal Theory, 2016, edited with Roger Cotterrell); combining literary theory, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind to theorise the role and value of imagination in legal reasoning (see Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication, 2020); drawing on philosophy and psychology to theorise the relations between virtue, emotion and imagination in law (see Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Law and Legal Reasoning (2020, edited with Amalia Amaya); and seeking to revive the importance of the humanities for legal scholarship, and of law for research in humanities (see The Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities, 2020, edited with Simon Stern and Bernadette Meyler).

At present, Professor Del Mar is working on his second monograph: Neil MacCormick, Scottish Jurist: A Life in Law, Philosophy and Politics, for Stanford University Press. The project includes a website, containing a timeline, full bibliography, and audio and video resources. An important aim of the project is to argue for the importance of historicising jurisprudence, with a specific focus on the distinctive contribution of the Scottish tradition of legal and political thought. He is also developing further interdisciplinary research projects, in particular at the intersection of law, history and aesthetics. These include work on relating the theory and history of rhetoric to law, and on exploring the relevance, to law, of the history of visual forms and practices of seeing.

Professor Del Mar’s research has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust (Leverhulme Research Fellowship), the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Newton Fund, and the British Academy (Mid-Career Fellowship).

Professor Del Mar is also committed to developing and nurturing multi- and inter-disciplinary research communities. As part of this commitment, he has served as: the Founding President of the Australian Legal Philosophy Students Association (2003-2005); the Founding Convenor of the Edinburgh Legal Theory Research Group (2006-2008); the President of the UK Branch of the International Association of Legal and Social Philosophy (UK IVR) (2013 to 2018); and the Founding Director of the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) (2013 to 2019). He continues to serve as a Founding Co-Convenor of the International Network of Transnational Legal and Political Theory (since 2013).

In terms of editorial responsibilities, Professor Del Mar serves as an Editor of the Law-in-Context series at Cambridge University Press, a series deeply committed to theorising law in relation to developments in other disciplines. He is also the Founding Editor of a new series of interdisciplinary book reviews ‘Books from Other Disciplines’ in the International Journal of Law in Context.

As with his research and academic community work, so in his teaching Professor Del Mar is committed to exploring the relevance of other disciplines for understanding law. He has taught/teaches a variety of courses at Queen Mary, including Contract Law, Jurisprudence & Legal Theory, and optional courses on Legal Reasoning in a Global Context and Law / Knowledge / Power: Past and Present in the Undergraduate degree, and courses on Common Law Reasoning, Visual Jurisprudence and Historical Jurisprudence in the LLM programme. He has a special interest in the value of the arts and humanities in legal pedagogy, including leading a project on the visual and dramatic arts in teaching legal reasoning, funded by the Westfield Fund for Enhancing Student Experience.

Undergraduate Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching

Research

Professor Del Mar is currently working on Neil MacCormick, Scottish Jurist: A Life in Law, Philosophy and Politics for Stanford University Press (in their ‘Jurists in Profile’ series). The book seeks to make a contribution methodologically and substantively. Methodologically, the book is an essay in the historiography of jurisprudence. It argues for the importance of historicising jurisprudence, and seeks to make space for a history of jurisprudence that is not dominated by the labels and problems of the Anglo-American tradition. Within the context of the United Kingdom, the book thus argues for the importance of an ‘archipelagic historiography’ of legal thought, namely one that recognises the distinctive contributions of, as well as complex relations between, Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English legal thought. The book focuses on one way in which jurisprudence can be historicised, namely by examining the life of a jurist. The book identifies a number of markers of continuity and change in the life of a jurist, including sociality (the relationships and communities in which a jurist engages); affect (a jurist’s attitudes, traits and dispositions); and aesthetics (the style and tone of a jurist’s work). Substantively, the book applies the above method to the legal thought and political life of Neil MacCormick (1941-2009), one of the twentieth century’s most important Scottish jurists. The book examines MacCormick’s jurisprudence, and in particular his accounts of reason, value and institution, by situating them within MacCormick’s engagement with Scottish legal and political thought as well as his involvement in Scottish politics (both in the United Kingdom and in Europe). It shows how MacCormick integrated his theoretical pursuits with his political life, developing his jurisprudence, even at its most abstract, in tandem with a pragmatic, civic and constitutionalist Scottish nationalism, and a related vision of Europe guided by subsidiarity rather than the zero-sum games of sovereignty. The book thus argues that MacCormick’s distinctive contribution, which remains important today, is better appreciated and understood when located within the tradition of Scottish legal and political thought and the history of Scottish politics.

In addition to the current focus on MacCormick, and the historiography and history of legal thought, Professor Del Mar is developing a number of long-term research projects at the intersection of law, history and aesthetics. One focuses on ‘rhetorical jurisprudence’, and attempts to articulate the importance of the theory and history of rhetoric for theorising law. Another focuses on ‘visual jurisprudence’, and seeks to explore the relevance of the history of visual forms and practices of seeing for the theory and history of law.

Professor Del Mar’s research interests have included:

  1. General jurisprudence and the methodology of legal theory, including: historical jurisprudence, and the relations between legal theory and historiography; the fact-value distinction; legal and social normativity; institutional legal theory; visual jurisprudence; and the methods and concepts of law and humanities. Examples of work in this vein include: The Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities (with Simon Stern and Bernadette Meyler); Law in Theory and History (co-edited with Michael Lobban, Hart / Bloomsbury); Contemporary Legal Theory: Series 1 and Series 2 (lead editor, six volumes, Ashgate); and New Waves in Philosophy of Law (sole editor, Palgrave).
  2. Transnational, international and global legal theory, including: relations between law, power and knowledge in a global context; global historical jurisprudence; pluralist jurisprudence, including legal reasoning under conditions of legal pluralism; the role of metaphor in international customary law; and fragmentation in international law. Examples of work in this vein include: Law as Institutional Normative Order (co-edited with Zenon Bankowski, Ashgate); and Authority in Transnational Legal Theory (co-edited with Roger Cotterrell, Edward Elgar).
  3. The theory and history of legal reasoning, including work on the role and value of imagination and emotion; on rhetorical and aesthetic dimensions of legal reasoning; and on the role of the arts and humanities in legal education. Examples of work include: Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication (Hart / Bloomsbury); Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Law and Legal Reasoning (co-edited with Amalia Amaya, Bloomsbury / Hart); Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice (co-edited with William Twining, Springer); The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life (co-edited with Zenon Bankowski, Ashgate); and The Arts and the Legal Academy (co-edited with Zenon Bankowski and Paul Maharg, Ashgate).

Publications

Download Dr Maks Del Mar's full CV [PDF 243KB]

Selected Publications

Legal Reasoning (Imagination, Emotion, Narrative)

  • Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication (Hart / Bloomsbury, 2020)
  • Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Legal Reasoning, co-edited with Amalia Amaya, Hart Publishing, 2020
  • ‘New Horizons for the Study of the Legal Mind: Relating Virtue, Emotion and Imagination’, with Amalia Amaya, in Amaya and Del Mar (eds.), Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Legal Reasoning, Hart Publishing, 2020, 1-22
  • ‘The Legal Imagination: Individual, Interactive and Communal’, in Amaya and Del Mar (eds.), Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Legal Reasoning, Hart Publishing, 2020, 235-260
  • Emotion Experiments in Legal Thought’ (2018) 5(2) CAL: Critical Analysis of Law, Special Issue on ‘New Literary Analysis of Law’ 
  • Educating the Legal Imagination’ (2018) Law & Method, Special Issue on Active Learning and Teaching in Legal Education 
  • ‘Common Virtue and the Perspectival Imagination: Adam Smith and Common Law Reasoning’, (2018) 9(1) Jurisprudence 58-70
  • ‘Legal Reasoning in Pluralist Jurisprudence: The Practice of the Relational Imagination’, in Andrew Halpin and Nicole Roughan (eds.), In Pursuit of Pluralist Jurisprudence, Cambridge University Press, 40-63
  • ‘Imagination in Legal Thought: Abilities, Devices and their Comparative History’ (2017) 12(2) The Journal of Comparative Law77-94
  • Metaphor in International Law: Language, Imagination and Normative Inquiry’ (2017) 86(2) Nordic Journal of International Law(Special Issue on ‘Language and International Law) 170-195
  • Imagining by Feeling: A Case for Compassion in Legal Reasoning’ (2017) 13(2) International Journal of Law in Context 143-157
  • ‘The Role and Value of Coherence in Theories of Legal Reasoning’, (2017) 30(4) Ratio Juris 491-506
  • Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, co-edited with William Twining, Springer, 2015
  • ‘Introducing Fictions: Examples, Functions, Definitions and Evaluations’, in Del Mar and Twining (eds.), Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, Springer, 2015, ix-xxxv
  • ‘Legal Fictions and Legal Change in the Common Law Tradition’, in Del Mar and Twining (eds.), Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, Springer, 2015, 225-254
  • ‘The Forward-Looking Requirement of Formal Justice: Neil MacCormick on Consequential Reasoning’ (2015) 6(3) Jurisprudence 429-50
  • ‘Judging Virtuously: Developing an Empathic Capacity for Perceptual Sensitivity’ (2014) 5(1) Jurisprudence 177-89
  • 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
  • ‘Recovering Legal Fictions: An Introduction to the Special Issue’ (2013) 4 International Journal of Law in Context 437-441
  • Legal Fictions and Legal Change’ (2013) 4 International Journal of Law in Context 442-465
  • Exemplarity and Narrativity in the Common Law Tradition’ (2013) 25(3) Law & Literature 390- 427

 Historical Jurisprudence

  • The Declamatory Tradition of Normative Inquiry: Towards an Aesthetic History of Legal and Political Thought’ (2020) 2 Jus Cogens: A Critical Journal of Philosophy of Law and Politics Online First
  • ‘Global Historical Jurisprudence: Relating Law and Power in a Global Context’, in Jorge Zamora (ed.), Jurisprudence in a Globalised World, Edward Elgar, 2020, 100-126
  • ‘Philosophical Analysis and Historical Inquiry: Theorising Normativity, Law and Legal Thought’, in Markus Dubber and Christopher Tomlins (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Legal Historical Research, Oxford University Press, 2018, 3-22
  • ‘On the Hinges of History: For a Relational Legal Historiography’, in Christopher Tomlins and Justin Desautels-Stein (eds.), Contemporary Legal Thought, Cambridge University Press, 2017, 61-79
  • Law in Theory and History: New Essays on a Neglected Dialogue, co-edited with Michael Lobban, Hart Publishing, 2016
  • ‘Beyond Universality and Particularity, Necessity and Contingency: On Collaboration between Legal Theory and Legal History’, in Del Mar and Lobban (eds.), Law in Theory and History, 2016, 22-38
  • ‘Modelling Law Diachronically: Temporal Variability in Legal Theory’, in Del Mar and Lobban (eds.), Law in Theory and History: New Essays on a Neglected Dialogue, Hart, 2016, 108-126
  • Legal Theory and Legal History: Contemporary Legal Theory, Series 2, Volume 1, co-edited with Michael Lobban, Ashgate, 2014
  • ‘What Does History Matter to Legal Epistemology?’, (2011) 5 Journal of the Philosophy of History 383-405

Global and Transnational Legal Theory

  • Authority in Transnational Legal Theory: Theorising Across Disciplinary Borders, co-edited with Roger Cotterrell, Edward Elgar, 2016
  • ‘Legal Reasoning in Pluralist Jurisprudence: The Practice of the Relational Imagination’, in Andrew Halpin and Nicole Roughan (eds.), In Pursuit of Pluralist Jurisprudence, Cambridge University Press, 40-63
  • ‘Introduction’, with Roger Cotterrell, for Cotterrell and Del Mar (eds.), Authority in Transnational Legal Theory, 2016, 1-23
  • ‘Concluding Reflections: Transnational Futures of Authority’, with Roger Cotterrell, for Cotterrell and Del Mar (eds.), Authority in Transnational Legal Theory, 2016, 387-404
  • ‘Imaginaries of Authority: Towards an Archaeology of Disagreement’, for Cotterrell and Del Mar (eds.), Authority in Transnational Legal Theory, 2016, 220-251
  • ‘Images of Borders and the Politics and Legality of Identity’, with Zenon Bankowski, in Richard Nobles and David Schiff (eds.), Law, Society and Community: Socio-Legal Essays in Honour of Roger Cotterrell, Ashgate, 2014, 61-77
  • ‘Beyond the State in and of Legal Theory’, in Sean Donlan and Lukas 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
  • ‘The Moral Quality of Work in International Economic Institutions: Resisting Complacency’, with Oche Onazi (2008) 4(4) International Journal of Law in Context 337-372
  • ‘Jurisprudence on the Frontline’ (2008) 5 European Journal of International Law 1095-1108
  • ‘System Values and Understanding Legal Language’ (2008) 21(1) Leiden Journal of International Law 29-61

 Legal Education

  • ‘Ludic Legal Pedagogy: Mooting in Early Modern England’, in Subha Mukherji and Camilla Temple (eds), Law and Poetics in Early Modern England and Beyond, Palgrave, forthcoming
  • Educating the Legal Imagination’ (2018) Law & Method, Special Issue on Active Learning and Teaching in Legal Education 
  • ‘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, 2016, 244-266
  • 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
  • ‘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
  • ‘Moral Education in Law Schools and Law Firms’ (2009) 59(2) Journal of Legal Education 298-304

Scottish Legal Theory and Neil MacCormick

  • ‘The Role and Value of Coherence in Theories of Legal Reasoning’, (2017) 30(4) Ratio Juris491-506
  • ‘The Forward-Looking Requirement of Formal Justice: Neil MacCormick on Consequential Reasoning’ (2015) 6(3) Jurisprudence 429-50
  • ‘Learning from W.D. Lamont: Towards a Science of Situated Judgement’, in Ross Anderson, James Chalmers, and Johnnie MacLeod (eds.), Festschrift in Honour of the Tercentenary of the Regius Chair in Law, Glasgow Law School, Edinburgh: Avizandum, 2014, 105-124
  • ‘The Works of Neil MacCormick: A Complete Bibliography and a Bibliographical Essay on Scottish Themes’, in Neil Walker (ed.), MacCormick’s Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012, 25-69
  • ‘The Smithian Categorical Imperative: How MacCormick Smithified Kant’ (2012) 98(2) Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 233-254
  • Law as Institutional Normative Order, co-edited with Zenon Bankowski, Ashgate, 2009

 Methodology of Legal and Social Theory

  • ‘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, 2016, 224-241
  • ‘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
  • ‘Relational Jurisprudence: Vulnerability between Fact and Value’ (2012) 2 Law and Method 63-81
  • New Waves in Philosophy of Law, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
  • ‘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

Supervision

Professor Del Mar welcomes proposals for supervision in legal theory. He is willing to consider any proposal in legal theory, but is likely to be most helpful as a supervisor if the proposal falls within his main areas of research:

  1. Theories and histories of legal reasoning, including the role of imagination and emotion in adjudication, and the relevance of the theory and history of rhetoric for legal reasoning;
  2. Law and humanities, including both law and literature, and law and visual studies, and especially cognitive theories of the humanities;
  3. The theory and history of legal thought, especially in Scotland and England;
  4. The theory and history of law in a transnational and global context; and
  5. Historical jurisprudence, including relations between legal theory and historiography.

Professor Del Mar is currently supervising:

  • Ms Emma Raucent, The Metaphor of Balancing in European Human Rights Law, with Dr Eva Nanopoulos, Law, Queen Mary University of London, 2019-.

Recently completed students:

  • Ms Adela HaloEnding the French Revolution: Germaine de Staël and the Birth of Liberalism in France, with Gareth Stedman-Jones, Schools of Law and History, 2015-2020

Public Engagement


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