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Macquarie Law School

Joel Harrison

Law School Staff - Joel Harrison

Position: Lecturer
Tel: 02 9850-7100
Location: W3A 512


MSt, DPhil (Oxon)
BA/LLB (Hons) (University of Auckland)


Dr Harrison's scholarship focuses on law and religion, human rights, and constitutional law.

He received his first law degree from the University of Auckland, serving on the editorial board of the Auckland U. L. Review and graduating as a senior scholar in law. After law school, he clerked for Sir Grant Hammond of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand and was a Teaching Fellow at Victoria University, Wellington. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2007. In 2008 he worked as a Legal and Policy Advisor at the New Zealand Law Commission, focusing on sentencing reform. He was then awarded a Woolf Fisher scholarship (NZ) to read for a doctorate in law at the University of Oxford, Magdalen College. While at Oxford, Joel was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Public Law and he taught Constitutional Law at Lady Margaret Hall and Harris Manchester College.  From 2012 till 2014, he was an Associate-in-Law (Lecturer and Post-Doctoral Researcher) at Columbia Law School.

Teaching Responsibilities

LAWS108 - Legal Ethics
LAW 314  - Constitutional Law
LAWS807 - Constitutional Law

Research Interests and Research Supervision

Law and religion; human rights; comparative human rights; constitutional law; post-secular theory.


  • (with Nicholas Aroney and Paul Babie) 'Religious Freedom under the Charters' in Matthew Groves and Colin Campbell (eds), Australian Charters of Rights a Decade On (Federation Press 2016) (forthcoming)
  • 'Debating Rights and Same-Gender Relationships' (2016) 4 Journal of Law, Religion and State 194
  • (with Patrick Parkinson) 'Freedom beyond the Commons: Managing the Tensions between Faith and Equality in a Multicultural Society' (2014) 40 Monash University Law Review 413
  • 'A Communion in Good Living": Human Dignity and Religious Liberty beyond the Overlapping Consensus' in Christopher McCrudden (ed) Understanding Human Dignity (Oxford University Press/Proceedings of the British Academy 2013).
  • 'The Resurgence of "Religion": Definitions, Commodities, and the Zero-Degree Dialectic in Religious Rights Jurisprudence' in Andrea Pin (ed) I Nuovi Diritti Dell'Uomo: Le Sfide Della Società Plurale [The New Human Rights: Challenges of a Plural Society] (Marcianum 2012) 97
  • 'Truth, Civility, and Religious Battlegrounds: The Contest between Religious Vilification Laws and Freedom of Expression' (2006) 12 Auckland U L Review 71
  • 'Review: Timothy Willem Jones, Sexual Politics in the Church of England, 1857-1957' (2014) 1 law&history 162
  • 'Review: N Doe Law and Religion in Europe, and R McCrea Religion and the Public Order of the European Union' (2012) 1 Ox J Law Religion 311

Essays and Media

  • 'When are Plebiscites Legitimate?' on RN The Minefield with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens (1 September 2016) (download)
  • 'Against Popular Will: Why Plebiscites Need Not be Binding' on ABC Religion and Ethics (8 August 2016) (download)
  • 'Good Disagreement over Same-Sex Relationships: What Can We Learn from the Anglican Church in New Zealand' on ABC Religion and Ethics (3 August 2015) (download)