Articles by: Desmond Manderson

Author Biography:

Professor Desmond Manderson is jointly appointed in the ANU College of Law, and the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University, where he directs the Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities. His most recent books include Law and the Visual: Representations, Technologies and Critique (Toronto 2018) and Danse Macabre: Temporalities of Law in the Visual Arts (Cambridge, 2019). He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Australian Academy of Law, and the Academy of Social Sciences, Australia.

A Virus Is Colonising Our Public Life

Viruses, bacteria and colonialism are related; the connection linking colonialism and pathogens is metaphorical as well as literal. We can make sense of one by referring to the others.

‘Push’Em All’: Corroding the Rule of Law

Australian society is being slowly fractured into classes of differential vulnerability, to whom different laws and rights apply.

Informit: ‘Push’em all’: Corroding the rule of law

We are no longer an open society At first glance, the combination of neoliberalism and authoritarianism might be puzzling. Wasn't the economic prosperity that neoliberalism promised premised precisely on a small state and individual freedom? Well, not exactly. The question of freedom must always be answered by another question - freedom for whom? Way back in 1978 and shortly before his untimely death, Nicos Poulantzas described the rise of an 'authoritarian statism' featuring untrammelled executive…

Malice in Wonderland, by Desmond Manderson

The Abbott government and the erosion of the rule of law

Informit: Not Yet: Aboriginal People and the Deferral of the Rule of Law

The double standard of the Australian state in supporting the 'rule of law', while simultaneously having been deferring its application in the context of its own Aboriginal people is criticized. A radical policy change is recommended to provide equal opportunities and services to Aborigines to enable them control their lives without state manipulations.

Informit: Malice in wonderland

It is the little things that count. Particularly when we are most alone, most overwhelmed or most abandoned, it is the small gestures of friendship that keep us from despair. And it's the little things that hurt, too, like an unanswered phone call, or a letter to a friend that goes missing. When it is not one letter but 2000 that go missing, it doesn't look like carelessness; it begins to look like malice.

Informit: Crocodile tears

Five years ago, when I was last in Australia, there was a crisis in Indigenous affairs. The release of the 'Little Children Are Sacred' report in June 2007 set off a firestorm of political fury and in the last days of the Howard government over 500 pages of legislation were passed which radically changed the treatment of Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory. In 2008 I wrote about these laws and tried to understand how…