Topic: Equality under and before the law

Presenter: Professor William Lucy - Manchester University

This paper attempts to defend two claims. First, that there is at least one intelligible and coherent concept of juridical equality extant in the law. This concept, I argue, has three components and two aspects and is found in an interestingly diverse range of doctrinal contexts. The fact that it is well rooted in doctrine, and that it applies to law application rather than just law creation, sets it apart - in a virtuous way - from other available accounts of juridical equality. The second claim is that this concept of juridical equality, despite the many complaints that might be made against it, is normatively significant and (possibly) normatively respectable. It is argued that this concept of juridical equality, construed as an inclusionary claim, can flourish only in a limited range of normative environments, one of which is a community of principle. The paper is one instalment in a qualified defence of an allegedly 'formal', supposedly uninteresting and institutionally embodied concept of equality, a concept often overlooked by contemporary political philosophers and regarded as anachronistic by many contemporary jurists.

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Beth Williams, ph: 334 69350, email:

About Research Seminar Series

The UQ Law Research Seminar Series provides an opportunity to explore and critically discuss legal and interdisciplinary issues in an academic environment. The seminars are an integral part of the School’s research culture.

For further enquiries about this Seminar Series or if you are interested in presenting a seminar, please contact the Research Office (

You may also be interested in related seminar series:

To receive notice of upcoming seminars and other law school news, please subscribe to the School’s E-Newsletter.


Sir Samuel Griffith Room, 1-W341, Forgan Smith Building