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Macquarie Law School

Joel Harrison

Joel Harrison Photo 2018 latest

Position: Senior Lecturer
Tel: +61 (2) 9850-7100
Location:  6 First Walk, Room 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

LAW 314  - Constitutional Law, Convenor
LAWS807 - Constitutional Law, Convenor

Research Interests and Research Supervision

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


Journal Articles
  • 'Pope Francis, True Religion, and Religious Liberty' Journal of Law and Religion (forthcoming)
  • 'The Liberal Political Imagination and Religious Liberty: Autonomy, Boundary-Refining, and State Power in Jane Calderwood Norton's Freedom of Religious Organizations' Australasian Journal of Legal Philosophy (forthcoming)
  • 'Debating Rights and Same-Gender Relationships' (2016) 4 Journal of Law, Religion and State 194
  • 'Freedom beyond the Commons: Managing the Tensions between Faith and Equality in a Multicultural Society' (2014) 40 Monash University Law Review 413 (with Patrick Parkinson)
  • 'Truth, Civility, and Religious Battlegrounds: The Contest between Religious Vilification Laws and Freedom of Expression' (2006) 12 Auckland University Law Review 71
Book Chapters
  • 'Sovereignty' in Nicholas Aroney and Ian Leigh (eds), Christianity and Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming)
  • 'Dworkin's Religion and the End of Religious Liberty' in Rex Ahdar (ed), Research Handbook on Law and Religion
    (Edward Elgar, 2018) (forthcoming)
  • 'Religious Freedom under the Charters' in Matthew Groves and Colin Campbell (eds), Australian Charters of Rights a
    Decade On
    (Federation Press, 2017) 120 (with Nicholas Aroney and Paul Babie)
  • '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) 45
  • '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
Essays and Media
  • 'The Problem and the Promise of Religious Liberty' on ABC Religion and Ethics (14 December 2017) (download)
  • 'Good Disagreement: The Same-Sex Marriage Debate Shows We Still Have a Long Way to Go' on ABC Religion and Ethics (28 November 2017) (download)
  • '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)
Book Reviews
  • 'Timothy Willem Jones, Sexual Politics in the Church of England, 1857-1957' (2014) 1 law&history 162
  • 'N Doe Law and Religion in Europe, and R McCrea Religion and the Public Order of the European Union' (2012) 1Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 311

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