Professor William MacNeil

LLB(Dal.), LLM(Lond), MA(Tor), JSD(Col) 

Professor William MacNeil is the inaugural holder of The Honourable John Dowd Chair in Law, as well as the Dean and Head of the School of Law and Justice. MacNeil is a scholar of jurisprudence and cultural legal studies and his most recent book, Novel Judgements: Legal Theory as Fiction, won the 2013 Penny Pether Prize for Scholarship in Law, Literature and the Humanities. He is the editor of the book series, Edinburgh Critical Studies in Law, Literature and the Humanities, and is completing a book on the philosophy of law in science fiction, fantasy and horror. 


Teaching and research keywords

#jurisprudence, #culturallegalstudies, #criticallegalstudies, #lawandliterature, #lawandfilm, #lawandpopularculture, #lawandpsychoanalysis, #lawandcriticaltheory, #philosophiesofhumanrights.

Selected recent publications

‘Machiavellian Fantasy and the Game of Laws: Rex, Sex and Lex in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire’ in Crawley, K & Peters, TD, eds., Envisioning Legality: Law, Culture and Representation (Routledge, 2017)

'The Litigating Dead: Zombie Jurisprudence in Contemporary Popular Culture’, (2017) 14 NoFo: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice, 108-123.

 ‘His Dark Legalities: Intellectual Property’s Psychomachia in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy’, (2017) 38 Liverpool Law Review, 11-31.

‘Let the Right Law In: True Blood, the Twilight Saga and The Passage as Lex Vampirica’, in Carpi, D. & Leiboff, M., eds., themed issue ‘Fables of Law: Fairy Tales in a Modern Context’, (2016) 13 Law and Literature, 331-354.

‘From Rites to Realities (and Back Again): The Spectacle of Human Rights in the Hunger Games’ (2015) 5 UC Irvine Law Review, 483-498

Select professional affiliations and academic organisations

2017-present, Chair (2017-2018), Executive Committee member (ex officio) and Member, Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD)

2017-present, Member, Committee of New South Wales Law Deans

2017-present, Member, Committee of Queensland Law Deans

2017-present, Member, Law Admissions Consultative Committee (LACC)

2017-present, Member, Legal Education Committee, Law Council of Australia

2017-present, Executive Member, Australasian Law Teachers Association

2016-present, Executive Member, Law & Society Association of Australia and New Zealand

2015-present, Selection Panel Member, Penny Pether Prize for Scholarship in Law, Literature and the Humanities

2015-present, Member, Organising Committee, Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities

2012-present, International Advisory Board member, Birkbeck Centre for Law and the Humanities, Birkbeck School of Law, University of London, London, England.

2012-present Executive Member of the Management Committee, Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia.