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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 and Legal Humanities

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

Profile

Maksymilian (Maks) Del Mar is Professor of Legal Theory and Legal Humanities in the Department of Law.

Professor Del Mar's educational background is multi-disciplinary. As an undergraduate, he studied law, literature, and philosophy, completing a BA (Hons I) and an LLB (Hons I) at the University of Queensland, Australia, including an honours thesis in philosophy and literature 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 sociology 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.

Professor Del Mar has broad research interests in legal theory and legal humanities. They include, principally, interests in: 1) legal reasoning, especially in the common law tradition, with special attention to its aesthetic, rhetorical, poetic, narratological, and pedagogical aspects, and to neglected topics, such as the importance of imagination (including fictionality and figurative language), emotion and interaction to legal reasoning; and 2) historical jurisprudence, including methodology and historiography (i.e., how and why history matters to theorising law), the history of jurisprudential thought, and theorising law historically, especially in contexts beyond the state (e.g., sub-national, trans-national, imperial, and global contexts).

With respect to the first interest, Professor Del Mar has published Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication (500pp, Hart, 2020), which develops an account of the importance of imagination and emotion for common law reasoning. In broad terms, the book defends a view of legal reasoning as the inventive activity of embodied, affective, and social animals. A short video interview about the book is available on Youtube. Related editorial work has included: Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice (Springer, 2015; co-edited with William Twining); Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Law and Legal Reasoning (Hart, 2020, edited with Amalia Amaya); and The Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities, 2020, edited with Simon Stern and Bernadette Meyler). Professor Del Mar continues to be interested in developing multi- and inter-disciplinary work on legal reasoning. Current projects in this vein include: work on what the cognitive, rhetorical and material humanities can teach us about reasoning with and knowing cases; and research on the relations between law and comedy.

With respect to the second interest, Professor Del Mar is currently working on a long-standing project on the life and work of Neil MacCormick (1941-2009) for the Jurists: Profiles in Legal Theory series. The project includes a website, containing a timeline, full bibliography, and audio and video resources. The book is a biographical essay and pays close attention to the methodology and historiography of writing about the life of a jurist. Related editorial work includes: Law as Institutional Normative Order (Routledge, 2009, with Zenon Bankowski); New Waves in Philosophy of Law (Palgrave, 2011); Law in Theory and History (Hart, 2016, edited with Michael Lobban); and Authority in Transnational Legal Theory (Edward Elgar, 2016, edited with Roger Cotterrell). Further work on relations between history, historiography and jurisprudence is in progress. 

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 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); the Founding Director of the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) (2013 to 2019); and Founding Co-Convenor of the International Network of Transnational Legal and Political Theory (2013 to 2019).

Professor Del Mar serves as an Editor of the Law-in-Context series at Cambridge University Press, a series committed to theorising law in relation to developments in other disciplines. This series is also committed to contextual legal pedagogy. 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.

Professor Del Mar 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 dramatic and visual arts in teaching legal reasoning, having led a pilot project on this topic, funded by the Westfield Fund for Enhancing Student Experience. Related editorial work on legal pedagogy includes: The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life (Ashgate, 2013, co-edited with Zenon Bankowski); and The Arts and the Legal Academy (2013, Ashgate, co-edited with Zenon Bankowski and Paul Maharg).

Undergraduate Teaching

  • LAW6021 Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Semester 1 and 2
  • Legal Reasoning in a Global Context, Semester 1
  • Law, Knowledge, Power: Past and Present, Semester 2

Postgraduate Teaching

Research

At present, Professor Del Mar is working on his second monograph: Neil MacCormick: The Character of a Scottish Jurist, for Stanford University Press, as part of the Jurists: Profiles in Legal Theory series. The project includes a website, containing a timeline, full bibliography, and audio and video resources.

In addition to the current focus on MacCormick, Professor Del Mar is developing a number of long-term interdisciplinary research projects, with work in progress on:

  1. the importance of the cognitive, rhetorical, and material humanities for theorising case law;
  2. the relations between the history of comedy and law, including how the forms of comedy influence common law reasoning; and
  3. historical jurisprudence, especially by reference to the Scottish Enlightenment.

In addition to these current projects, Professor Del Mar has research interests in:

  • Relations between imagination, emotion and law, both theoretically and historically;
  • The poetics, rhetoric and aesthetics of legal thought, including the importance of literary genres and devices for legal reasoning;
  • The history and historiography of legal knowledge, and thus relations between law and materiality, especially visual dimensions of material forms;
  • The theory and history of legal pedagogy, especially its ludic dimensions; and
  • The practice of legal reasoning in transnational and global contexts, especially the imperial history of legal reasoning.

Publications

Download Professor Maks Del Mar's full CV [PDF 182KB]

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 and legal humanities. He is willing to consider any proposal in these fields, but is likely to be most helpful as a supervisor if the proposal falls within his main areas of research. Proposals in the following broad areas would be especially welcome:

  1. The aesthetics, rhetoric, and poetics of legal reasoning.
  2. Relations between law and cultural history (including literature and the visual arts).
  3. The history and historiography of legal philosophy, and the importance of, and prospects for, historical jurisprudence.

Professor Del Mar is currently supervising:

  • Ms Emma Raucent, The Metaphor of Balancing in European Human Rights Law, with Dr Eva Nanopoulos, 2019-
  • Ms. Luiza Tavares da Motta, Tense and Tensions between Law, Literature and Temporality, with Dr Tanzil Chowdhury, Law, 2021-
  • Ms. Gabrielle Schwarzmann, Trauma, Pain and Shame: Recovering the Experiences of Non-Elite Women in Late Medieval English Legal Culture, with Professor Miri Rubin, 2021-

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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