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Maksymilian (Maks) Del Mar is Professor of Legal Theory and Legal Humanities in the Department of Law. He joined Queen Mary University of London in 2011. In 2020-21, he is on research leave as a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow.

Event details of Does Imagination Matter to Legal Reasoning?
Date 27 September 2021
Time 15:30 -17:00

Abstract

Given how much we draw on imagination, both in everyday life and in technical contexts like the practice of science or philosophy, it would be surprising if imagination did not also play an important role in legal reasoning. In Artefacts of Legal inquiry (2020), Professor Del Mar argues that, indeed, imagination is crucial to adjudication, including in interactions between judges and advocates during argument, and in the making of judgement. This lecture will introduce the principal ideas discussed in the book – including the model of imagination it offers – and illustrate it by reference to one particular artefact, which invites imagining: the use of figures. The figure of the Officious Bystander is used as a test for the implication of terms in English contract law. Those who deploy it – including advocates and judges – imagine a scene of the negotiating parties in which the Officious Bystander intervenes. The lecture will consider how reasoning with the figure of the Officious Bystander involves the exercise of imagination, and when, and how, this is valuable for adjudication.

Speaker

Maksymilian (Maks) Del Mar is Professor of Legal Theory and Legal Humanities in the Department of Law. He joined Queen Mary in 2011. In 2020-21, he is on research leave as a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow.

Professor Del Mar's educational background is multi-disciplinary. As an undergraduate, he studied law, literature, and philosophy, completing a BA (Hons I) and an LLB (Hons I) at the University of Queensland, Australia, including an honours thesis in philosophy and literature on the concept of beginnings in Italo Calvino ‘s If on a Winter's Night a Traveller… As a graduate, he completed two doctorates, one in law at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2009) and one in philosophy and sociology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (2012). While still in Australia, he qualified and worked as a solicitor, as well as serving as a Judge's Associate to the Honourable Justice Margaret White in the Supreme Court of Queensland and leading a professional ethics project at the Queensland Law Society.