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


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


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. Programmes from recent workshops are available here and here.


07may12:00 pm1:30 pmVincent Chiao: 'Criminal Law in the Age of the Administrative State'

08may11:00 am4:00 pmRound Table on Neuroscience and the Law

09may4:00 pm5:30 pmJonathan Crowe: 'Not-So-Easy Cases"

10may6:00 pm7:30 pmStephen Morse: "Neuroethics: Neurolaw"

16may6:30 pm8:00 pmAllen & Overy Lecture: Frederick Schauer, 'But That's Not Law!'


14jun(jun 14)10:00 am15(jun 15)4:00 pmSurrey Workshop on Law of Interpretation

News & Social Media

Highlighted Recent Publications

Mikołaj Barczentewicz, 'The Illuminati Problem, Rules of Recognition, and What Distinguishes Law from Non-Law?' (2018) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming) (SSRN)

M.E. Newhouse, ‘Juridical Law as a Categorical Imperative,’ in Ruhi Demiray & Alice Pinheiro Walla (eds), Reason, Rights and Law: New Essays on Kantian Philosophy, (University of Wales Press 2018) (forthcoming)

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 2018) (forthcoming) (link, SSRN)

Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, ‘Intention in Criminal Law: The Challenge from Non-Observational Knowledge’ (2017) 30(4) Ratio Juris 451 (link)

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)

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

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)

M.E. Newhouse, 'In Defense of Liberal Equality' (2017) 9(1-2) Public Reason 98 (forthcoming)

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)

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

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 (SSRN)