Kristen RundleKristen Rundle

Administrative support: Grant Bell
Room: New Academic Building 6.06

Kristen Rundle is a Lecturer in Law, with interests in legal theory and administrative law, whose research explores a number of themes concerning the relationship between the form of law and human agency. This line of inquiry spans her work on the jurisprudence of Lon Fuller, law and the Holocaust, and questions of legality and vulnerability in the context of contracted-out government power. Kristen holds an SJD from the University of Toronto, where she was also a Doctoral Fellow in Ethics at the Centre for Ethics. She also holds an LLM (honours) in public law and legal theory from McGill University, which she undertook as the 2001 Australian Lionel Murphy Postgraduate (Overseas) Scholar, and a combined BA/LLB degree (first class honours) from the University of Sydney. From 2003-2005 she taught at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, and from 2006-2009 held the position of Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Previously, she served as Associate to Justice Michael Moore at the Federal Court of Australia, and worked as a Legislative Policy Adviser at the New South Wales Attorney-General’s Department.

see also LSE Research Videos:

The moral structure of legal systems - part 1: positivism versus natural law

The moral structure of legal systems - part 2: an insurance against tyranny?


Research interests

Kristen’s current research interests include: the moral dimensions of the form of law, law’s relationship to agency and vulnerability, Nazi legality, law and the Holocaust, child migration, and questions of legality and subjectivity in the context of contractually outsourced government power.


External activities

  • Admitted to the practice of law in Australia (2001)




Forms liberate: Reclaiming the jurisprudence of Lon L. Fuller (Hart Publishing, 2012).  Awarded Second Prize, Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Book Prize 2012.

Lon L. Fuller’s account of what he termed ‘the internal morality of law’ is widely accepted as the classic twentieth century statement of the principles of the rule of law. Much less accepted is his claim that a necessary connection between law and morality manifests in these principles, with the result that his jurisprudence largely continues to occupy a marginal place in the field of legal philosophy. In Forms Liberate: Reclaiming the Jurisprudence of Lon L. Fuller, Kristen Rundle offers a close textual analysis of Fuller’s published writings and working papers to explain how his claims about the internal morality of law belong to a wider exploration of the ways in which the distinctive form of law introduces meaningful limits to lawgiving power through its connection to human agency. By reading Fuller on his own terms, Forms Liberate demonstrates why his challenge to a purely instrumental conception of law remains salient for twenty-first century legal scholarship.


Selected articles
and chapters in books

'Form and Agency in Raz's Legal Positivism', (2013 Law & Philosophy  32(6) pp.767-791

As two parts of one overarching legal positivist project, it is likely assumed that the constitutive elements of Joseph Raz’s analysis of the rule of law are compatible with his thinking on the nature of legal authority. The aim of this article is to call this assumption into question by reading Raz in light of the core, if under-recognised, preoccupation of the jurisprudence of Lon Fuller: namely, the latter’s concern to illuminate the relationship between the distinctive form of law and human agency. This not only opens up a new engagement between Raz and Fuller that was far from exhausted within debates about law and morality, but also reveals tensions between Raz’s analysis of the rule of law and his analysis of legal authority that proponents of Raz’s legal positivism need to address.

‘Law and daily life: Questions for legal philosophy from 1938’ (2012) 3(2) Jurisprudence 429-444.

'Improbable agents of empire: Coming to terms with British child migration' Adoption and Fostering Journal  Volume 35, Number 3, Autumn 2011 , pp. 30-37(8)

Prompted by the occasion of Gordon Brown's parliamentary apology to British child migrants in February 2010, Kristen Rundle reflects upon the experience of her grandfather who was sent to Australia as a child migrant in 1934. Integrating research from family records, government documents and her own background as a legal scholar, she explores the social and political architectures that facilitated the child migration scheme during her grandfather's time, and which constituted distinctive conditions of vulnerability from which some families of child migrants are yet to recover.

'Julius Stone and the Eichmann Trial: A Duty to Learn?', in Helen Irving, Jacqui Mowbray and Kevin Walton (eds), Julius Stone: A Study in Influence (Sydney: Federation Press 2010)

In his reports on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961, which he attended on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists, Julius Stone made some intriguing comments about the educational significance of the trial. In this essay, written for the occasion of the centenary of Stone’s birth, the author takes Stone’s comments as a starting point for exploring the phenomenon of didactic legality: the idea that trials not only can and often do serve an educational function, but that they should be intentionally used for this end. The author argues that the phenomenon of didactic legality remains significantly under-theorised at an institutional level, and that some inroads into remedying this neglect can be made by considering the Lon Fuller’s concern for the integrity of the different forms through which law is expressed.

Kristen Rundle, Review essay: “Myths of nation, law and agency: David Fraser, The Fragility of Law Constitutional Patriotism and the Jews of Belgium 1940-1945, 73(2) Modern Law Review 494 (2010)

'The Impossibility of an Exterminatory Legality: Law and the Holocaust', (2009) 59 University of Toronto Law Journal 65

Discussions of Nazi law in legal philosophy are most commonly concerned with how the Nazis' use of law as a means to persecute their opponents demonstrates the essential amorality of law. Attention is often also paid to the institutional debasements and interpretive excesses that characterized the operation of the Nazi political courts. Within these discussions, however, little or no consideration is given to the specificities of the Jewish experience of Nazi law, nor to the fact that the role of law in determining the nature and quality of Jewish life stopped short of the extermination program. In this article, the author seeks to correct this neglect by exploring the questions for legal philosophy, as well as for scholarship that probes the connections between law and the Holocaust, that arise from an examination of the Jewish experience of Nazi law. Drawing primarily upon the thought of the mid-twentieth-century legal philosopher Lon L. Fuller, the author investigates what the apparent shift from legality to terror within the Nazi persecution of the Jews might reveal not only about the institutional features of that persecutory program but also about the nature of legality more generally.

Book review: Stephan Landsman, ‘Crimes of the Holocaust – the Law Confronts Hard Cases’, (2006) Human Rights Law Review 191

Book review, David Fraser, ‘Law After Auschwitz – Towards a Jurisprudence of the Holocaust’, (2006) (28(1) Sydney Law Review 197

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