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.
PhD Student Fellows
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:
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.
News & Social Media
Highlighted Recent Publications
Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco and Pilar Zambrano, 'One Myth of the Classical Natural Law Theory: Reflecting on the ‘Thin’ view of Legal Positivism' (2018) 31(1) Ratio Juris (forthcoming)
Alex Sarch and Daniel Wodak, 'Resolving Judicial Dilemmas' (2018) Virginia Journal of Criminal Law (forthcoming) (SSRN)
Kenneth Ehrenberg, 'Law is an Institution, an Artifact, and a Practice’ in Luka Burazin, Kenneth Einar Himma, and Corrado Roversi (eds), Law as an Artifact (Oxford University Press 2017) (forthcoming) (link, SSRN)
Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, ‘Intention in Criminal Law: The Challenge from Non-Observational Knowledge’ (2017) 30(4) Ratio Juris 451 (link)
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)
Kenneth Ehrenberg, The Functions of Law (Oxford University Press 2016) (link)
Alexander F. Sarch, 'Equal Culpability and the Scope of the Willful Ignorance Doctrine' (2016) 22(3-4) Legal Theory 276 (link)
Christopher P. Taggart, 'Retributivism, Agency, and the Voluntary Act Requirement' (2016) 36(3) Pace Law Review 645 (link)
Hrafn Asgeirsson, 'The Influence of the Sorites Paradox in Practical Philosophy' in Sergi Oms and Elia Zardini (eds.), The Sorites Paradox (Cambridge University Press 2018) (forthcoming) (link)
Ryan Abbott and Bret Bogenschneider, 'Should Robots Pay Taxes? Tax Policy in the Age of Automation' (2018) Harvard Law & Policy Review (forthcoming) (SSRN)
Ambrose Y.K. Lee, 'Defending a Communicative Theory of Punishment: The Relationship between Hard Treatment and Amends' (2017) 37(1) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 217 (link)
Michael S Pardo and Dennis Patterson, 'Morse, Mind, and Mental Causation', 2017 11(1) Criminal Law and Philosophy 111 (link)
Mikołaj Barczentewicz, 'Miller, Statutory Interpretation, and the True Place of EU Law in UK Law' (2017) Public Law (forthcoming) (SSRN)
Ryan Abbott, 'The Reasonable Computer: Disrupting the Paradigm of Tort Liability' (2017) George Washington Law Review (forthcoming) (SSRN)
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) (paywalled, SSRN)
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)