About Us

The Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy promotes interdisciplinary research at the University of Surrey School of Law

SCLP 2017-18 group photo

The Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy is founded on the idea that legal inquiry and philosophical theorizing are mutually reinforcing pursuits. This is not simply because the two fields employ similar tools—like rigorous argument, close reading of texts, and careful attention to logic. The two disciplines also examine similar questions: What is justice? What are our individual rights and obligations? What are our collective responsibilities? How do we create a freer or fairer society? What principles should guide the use of state power?

The Centre thus is committed to the idea that the study of law is deepened when grounded in philosophical principle, and philosophy is of greater benefit to society when relevant to pressing practical and legal issues. The Centre’s members consist not only of legal theorists, but also of lawyers with philosophical training and philosophers with interests in legal questions—all of whom are invested in an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to research.

The Centre organizes workshops and seminars throughout the year to promote the free exchange of ideas on important questions at the intersection of law and philosophy. We also seek to engage and inspire students, legal practitioners, and members of the public through our fellowship programmes, large lecture events, and media outreach.

Research Fellows

Ryan Abbott square portrait Sept 2017 hi res

Professor of Law & Health Sciences

Joshua Andresen Square

Senior Lecturer in National Security and Foreign Relations Law

hrafn_asgeirsson square photo

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Law


Lecturer in Public Law and Legal Theory

Steve Bero square photo Sept 2017 hi res

Lecturer in Private Law

Bebhinn square photo

Professor of Neuroscience, Law, and Legal Philosophy

Ken Ehrenberg square portrait Sept 2017 hi res

Reader in Public Law and Legal Theory

Ambrose Lee square photo Sept 2017 hi res

Lecturer in Legal Theory

Ira Lindsay square portrait Sept 2017 hi res

Deputy Director of the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy, Senior Lecturer in Finance Law and Ethics

Marie Newhouse square portrait sept 2017

Director of the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy, Lecturer in Law, Philosophy, and Public Policy

Dennis Patterson square portrait Sept 2017 hi res

Professor of Legal Philosophy


Head of School of Law, Professor in Moral and Political Philosophy (Jurisprudence)


Reader in Legal Philosophy


Lecturer in Moral and Political Philosophy

PhD Student Fellows


Graduate Student Fellow


Graduate Student Fellow


The Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy holds events throughout the year to ignite imagination and promote collaborative and interdisciplinary research. We have three series on which we particularly focus:

Hart Seminar Series:

These regular seminars feature a diverse group of leading scholars who work at the intersection of law and philosophy. Hart Publishing contributes generous support to make the seminar series possible. The complete 2017-18 line-up is available here.

Allen & Overy Lectures:

These lectures bring diverse audiences together by bridging two divides simultaneously: the divide between law and philosophy, and that between legal scholarship and legal practice. Allen & Overy generously supports these lectures.


Workshop Series:

Our intensive, invitation-only, pre-read workshops bring together leading scholars to focus on some of the hardest problems in legal philosophy.


27sep(sep 27)4:30 pm(sep 27)4:30 pmHeidi Hurd & Michael Moore: 'Moral Combat and the Hohfeldian Analysis of Active Rights'


18oct(oct 18)4:00 pm(oct 18)4:00 pmMassimo Renzo: 'Why Colonialism is Wrong'


15nov(nov 15)4:00 pm(nov 15)4:00 pmChristopher Essert: 'Justifying Property'

22nov(nov 22)6:30 pm(nov 22)6:30 pmAllen & Overy Lecture: Philip Wood on 'The Future of Law and Lawyers'

News & Social Media

Highlighted Recent Publications

Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, ‘Intention, Action and Non-observational Knowledge’ (2017) 30(4) Ratio Juris (forthcoming)

Mikołaj Barczentewicz, 'The Limits of Natural Law Originalism' (2017) 93 Notre Dame Law Review Online (forthcoming) (SSRN)

Alexander F. Sarch, 'Who Cares What You Think? Criminal Culpability and the Irrelevance of Unmanifested Mental States' (2017) Law & Philosophy (link)

Ira K. Lindsay, 'Tax Fairness by Convention: A Defense of Horizontal Equity' (2016) 19(2) Florida Tax Review 79 (LexisSSRN)

Alexander F. Sarch, 'Equal Culpability and the Scope of the Willful Ignorance Doctrine' (2016) 22(3-4) Legal Theory 276 (link)

M.E. Newhouse, 'Two Types of Legal Wrongdoing' (2016) 22(1) Legal Theory 59 (linkSSRN)

Christopher P. Taggart, 'Retributivism, Agency, and the Voluntary Act Requirement' (2016) 36(3) Pace Law Review 645 (link)

Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, A Philosophy of Criminal Attempts (Cambridge University Press 2015)

Mikołaj Barczentewicz, 'Miller, Statutory Interpretation, and the True Place of EU Law in UK Law' (2017) Public Law (forthcoming) (SSRN)

Alexander F. Sarch, 'Ignorance Lost: A Reply to Yaffe on the Culpability of Willful Ignorance' (2017) Criminal Law & Philosophy (link)

Ryan Abbott, 'I Think, Therefore I Invent: Creative Computers and the Future of Patent Law' (2016) 57 Boston College Law Review 1079 (link)

Kenneth M. Ehrenberg, (2016) 7(2) 'Law as Plan and Artefact'. Jurisprudence 325. (link)

Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, 'Action in Law's Empire: Judging in the Deliberative Mode' (2016) 29(2) Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 431 (link)

Hrafn Asgeirsson, 'Can Legal Practice Adjudicate Between Theories of Vagueness?' in Geert Keil and Ralf Poscher (eds.), Vagueness and Law: Philosophical and Legal Perspectives (Oxford University Press 2016) (paywalledSSRN)

Joshua Andresen, 'Putting Lethal Force on the Table: How Drones Change the Alternative Space of War and Counterterrorism' (2016) 8(2) Harvard National Security Journal 426 (link)