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The Australian National University

Geoffrey Sawer and the Art of the Academic Commentator: A Preliminary Biographical Sketch

Michael Coper (2014) 42 (2)

Geoffrey Sawer was the Foundation Professor of Law at The Australian National University, appointed in 1950 at the age of 39. He was a pioneer in the understanding of law in a broader context, especially at the intersection between law and politics, and his fluid and incisive writing has been a major influence on succeeding generations of academics, practitioners and judges. Drawing on Sawer's writings, oral history interviews and private papers, Michael Coper makes an affectionate biographical sketch of this outstanding scholar and warm and genial human being. In particular, he explores how Sawer's scholarship stands up today, when so much has changed in the legal and political landscape; what is enduring and what is transient in a life's work; and what lessons we can draw when we look at law and life through the lens of biography.

Vol 42, Issue 2, 2014

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