History of the JDG


(The following text was borrowed from the old JDG website maintained by Maris Köpcke Tinturé)

The JDG was created in 1997 by Timothy Endicott (then Fellow of St Catz). Meetings were held in the evenings at St Catz, and regular attendees included Julie Dickson, Aileen Kavanagh, Bradley Miller, Nick Barber and a shadowy duck. It was the first discussion group established in the framework of the Law Faculty. Many others have followed. (You are strongly encouraged to attend those related to your subject!)

In 2000, Nick Barber (then Fellow of Brasenose) took over from Timothy Endicott as convenor, and was joined in 2001 by Samantha Besson (then JRF at Queen's). The meetings took place in the Danson room at Trinity College - the JDG's location till 2006.

D.Phil. students Dwight Newman and Danny Priel became convenors in Michaelmas 2003. Under their leadership (2003-05), the JDG continued to develop as an integral part of the Oxford Jurisprudence community - as well as one of its windows to look into the outside world (and a window for the outside world to look into Oxford Jurisprudence). Since then the JDG has been convened by M.Phil. and D.Phil. students. You can find their list below.

The JDG was and remains a highly popular forum hosting lively debates amongst graduates, faculty members and anyone with an interest in the philosophy of law. Thanks to all who have made possible the JDG as we know it today!

Hall of fame (past convenors)

2019-2020 Hafsteinn Kristjánsson, Crescente Molina, Joshua Pike
2018-2019 Hafsteinn Kristjánsson, Crescente Molina, Joshua Pike
2017-2018 Achas Burin and Hasan Dindjer
2016-2017 Mikołaj Barczentewicz, Hasan Dindjer, James Manwaring
2015-2016 Mikołaj BarczentewiczJames ManwaringLeah Trueblood
2014-2015 Mikołaj Barczentewicz, Rob Mullins, Leah Trueblood
2013-2014 Mikołaj Barczentewicz, David Frydrych, Sam Kukathas
2012-2013 Kate Greasley, Christopher Hinchcliffe, Sam Kukathas
2011-2012 Tom Adams, Asif Hameed, Christopher Hinchcliffe
2010-2011 Luís Duarte d’Almeida, Andrea Dolcetti, James Edwards
2009-2010 Paul Brady, Andrea Dolcetti, Pablo Stafforini
2008-2009 Raquel Barradas de Freitas, Guy Sela, Maris Köpcke Tinturé
2007-2008 Jorge Menezes Oliveira, Guy Sela, Maris Köpcke Tinturé
2006-2007 François Tanguay-Renaud, Maris Köpcke Tinturé
2005-2006 Michelle M. Dempsey, Maris Köpcke Tinturé, Paul Yowell
2003-2005 Dwight Newman, Danny Priel
2002-2003 Nick Barber, Samantha Besson
2001-2002 Nick Barber, Samantha Besson
2000-2001 Nick Barber

Convenor bios

Hafsteinn Kristjánsson
BA, MagJur (Iceland), MJur (Oxford), LLM (Harvard)

Hafsteinn Dan Kristjánsson is an Adjunct Professor (ice. aðjunkt) at the Law Faculty of the University of Iceland. He has lectured in the areas of legal method (sources of law and legal interpretation), administrative law, EU-law/EEA-law and introduction to criminal law. He was Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland (ice. aðstoðarmaður umboðsmanns Alþingis) 2013-2018. Before that he was a lawyer at the Parliamentary Ombudsman 2009-2013 and part-time 2007-2009. Hafsteinn Dan has published books, book chapters, law review articles and a book review as well as written a teaching manuscript. They are in several languages and in the fields of jurisprudence, legal method, administrative and constitutional law, civil and criminal procedure, property law, human rights law and EU-law/EEA-law.  He has been a country/section editor of the Nordic Administrative Journal (d. Nordisk Administrativt Tidsskrift) since 2016, which is the oldest cross-disciplinary journal in the Nordic countries. He is currently working on his DPhil on norms of legal method. 

Crescente Molina

Crescente's interests are mainly in moral, legal, and political philosophy. He is particularly interested in understanding the ways in which social practices impact our obligations. His doctoral dissertation explores the relationship between contracts and promises and, more generally, the idea of normative power in law and morality. Before coming to Oxford, Crescente studied at University of California, Berkeley, and at the Catholic University of Chile.

Joshua Pike

Josh is currently working on his DPhil in Law, under the supervision of Professor John Gardner. His research focuses on the relationship between law and reason, specifically on what it means to be given guidance on what reason requires, and whether the law can (or should) seek to provide such guidance. Josh is also Martin Senior Scholar and lecturer at Worcester College, Oxford, where he previously read for his BA and BCL.

Mikołaj Barczentewicz

LLM, MJur, MPhil

Mikołaj is a Lecturer in Public Law and Legal Theory at the University of Surrey School of Law and a
DPhil candidate in the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford. He is an alumnus of the University of Warsaw, where he studied law and philosophy. He also holds MJur and MPhil degrees from Oxford. Mikołaj served as a co-convenor of the JDG between 2013 and 2017. He works on topics in theory of public law (constitutional theory) and in general jurisprudence (rules of change and rules of recognition, authority).
More on his website:

Raquel Barradas de Freitas
DPhil (Oxon), Mst (Oxon), BA Law (UNL)

Born in Angola, Raquel was raised in Lisbon. She studied Law and briefly taught Legal Theory at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She completed an Mst in Legal Research and a DPhil in Law (Jurisprudence) at Oxford between 2009 and 2014. Raquel co-convened the JDG in 2008-2009 and has been teaching Jurisprudence at Oxford for five years. Her research focuses on the concepts of interpretation and authority and their role in judicial decision making and adjudication. She is particularly interested in possible points of contact between the philosophy of law and philosophical aesthetics- more specifically, between legal interpretation and the interpretation of works of abstract music-, in the conceptual connections between emotion, belief and action, in the distinction between reasons for belief and reasons for action, and in the possible application of virtue ethics to a theory of adjudication and judicial reasoning. She is now Teaching Fellow (Jurisprudence) at University College, London.

Achas Burin

Achas is DPhil candidate in the Faculty of Law, as well as a practising barrister. She has been instructed in cases such as Coventry v Lawrence [2015] UKSC 50; [2015] 1 WLR 3485 and the Kenya Emergency Group Litigation. She completed her LLB at Leeds University, where she also tutored Land Law, followed by the BCL at Balliol College, Oxford.

Michelle Madden Dempsey
Michelle Madden Dempsey

DPhil (Oxford), LLM (LSE), Michigan (JD), Illinois (BA, Philosophy)

Originally from Chicago, Michelle served as JDG co-convenor in 2005-06. Before entering academia, she served as a criminal prosecutor and civil trial attorney in the U.S.  Self-described as a ‘philosophically-curious-feminist-domestic-violence-criminal-prosecutor-turned-philosopher’, Michelle continues to work on issues at the intersection of criminal law philosophy and violence against women (with occasional jaunts into general jurisprudence). Presently, she serves as the Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Professor of Law at Villanova University (near Philadelphia) and as the Co-Director (with Antony Duff) of the Criminal Theory Program at the Robina Institute for Criminal Law & Criminal Justice at the University of Minnesota.

Hasan Dindjer

Hasan is an Examination Fellow at All Souls College and a DPhil candidate in the Faculty. His doctoral work is in the philosophical foundations of public law—in particular, on the idea of reasonableness in administrative law. His interests lie mostly in jurisprudence and public law. Hasan read for his BA and BCL at New College, and an LLM at Harvard Law School, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He returned to Oxford in 2015.

James Manwaring

James studied law at the University Warwick before coming to Oxford for the BCL and MPhil. His is currently an AHRC-funded DPhil candidate. His research focuses on the philosophy of criminal law, in particular the interaction of (in)capacities and culpability. He is interested in most areas of jurisprudence and criminal law.

Rob Mullins

Robert completed degrees in law and literature at the University of Queensland. Since arriving in Oxford his interests have turned to moral and legal philosophy. His current doctoral research examines the structure of our morally important relationships and their constitutive obligations in order to better understand certain relational features of the law.

Pablo Stafforini
BA (Buenos Aires), MA (Toronto), BPhil (Oxford)

After finishing his academic studies in philosophy, Pablo started working as a researcher for the Centre for Effective Altruism, an Oxford-based nonprofit. He served as co-convener in 2009-2010, together with Andrea Dolcetti and Paul Brady. 

François Tanguay-Renaud
François Tanguay-Renaud
BCL, LLB (McGill), BCL, MPhil, DPhil (Oxon.)

Since 2008, François has been an Associate Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Member of the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Philosophy at York University, in Toronto. He is also Director of the Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security. He works primarily in criminal law theory, public law theory, international law theory, and associated areas of political and moral philosophy, as well as just war theory. His specific interests include corporate and collective responsibility, emergencies, the rule of law, punishment, self-defence, and justifications and excuses. He has published in leading journals including Ethics, Law and Philosophy, Legal Theory, Criminal Law and Philosophy, and Res Publica, as well as many edited collections with Oxford University Press and Hart Publishing. In 2012, he edited Rethinking Criminal Law Theory: New Canadian Perspectives in the Philosophy of Domestic, Transnational, and International Criminal Law (Hart Publishing). At Oxford, he was successively a member of Balliol College and University College, and a Stipendary Lecturer in Law at Corpus Christi College. In 2011, he came back as a HLA Hart Visiting Fellow. He co-convened the JDG in 2006-2007.

Leah Trueblood
Leah Trueblood

Before coming to Oxford for her D.Phil., Leah studied philosophy at the University of Alberta and law at the London School of Economics. Her research principally concerns the role(s) of referendums in the process of constitutional change. In 2019, she was appointed as a Career Development Fellow at Worcester College in Oxford, and a Postdoctoral Fellow of the British Academy.