Michael Stuckey

UTAS Home Professor Michael Stuckey

Michael Stuckey

Dean and Head of School, Law

Room 2.03 , Faculty of Law Building

+61 3 6226 2066 (phone)

Historiography requires curiosity, patience and keen eye for the less obvious stories overlooked beneath the official version of history.

Professor Michael Stuckey always had twin passions - the Law and History. As a historiographer, he combines both, researching the history of the unfolding of legal history.

Historiographers put the official history to the test, sometimes revealing less obvious reasons to challenge the accepted versions of events. Their work is an important reminder that multiple witnesses to history will often have differing views on what took place and might also record these recollections in very different ways.

Professor Stuckey began at the University of Tasmania in 2021, with a 30-year career spanning academic and executive roles at universities in Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as legal practice as a barrister and solicitor. He has published numerous books, chapters and journal articles on legal history and property rights and was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2019.

Despite being immersed in the digital age, as a legal historiographer Professor Stuckey is no stranger to sorting through dusty library cards, analysing the use of archival technologies such as sealing wax and understanding the historical legal significance of entrenched rituals such as weddings and burials.

He researches the way events and ideas have been recorded through documents, oral accounts, artefacts and buildings. However sometimes legal history comes merely from an idea that endures over hundreds of years, developing an almost mythical quality until it is seemingly beyond legal questioning despite a lack of foundation in documentary evidence.

Historiography requires curiosity, patience and keen eye for the less obvious stories overlooked beneath the official version of history. It is less significant in areas of law that are constantly evolving, such as tax law. But other areas, such as the holding of land and wills and estates, which have remained little changed for hundreds of years, legal historiography is critical in understanding their genesis and emergence.

Professor Stuckey’s current research focuses specifically on the legal historiography of English scholar and historian John Mitchell Kemble. His most recent works on this topic are “Introducing Miss Gertrude Kemble” in Notes & Queries (2017) and “John Mitchell Kemble’s Anglo-Germanic Legal Historiography”, Acta Universitatis Lodziensis: Folia Iuridica (2020).

In his leadership of the Law School, Professor Stuckey is interested the real contribution staff and students can make in justice and fairness across the breadth of the Tasmanian community.

“This is a comparatively small law school in staff and student numbers, but its research is of a high standard and we know our students have a very high level of satisfaction. In this way it has the attributes of a large, elite law school. We also have a high proportion of international students, which means a diverse and interesting cohort,” he said.

“I am really excited to be able to build on the successes here, and we need to do this because we are in a very competitive environment. I am keen for us to appeal to more students of diverse backgrounds and through them to make a better contribution to the whole of the community, with this contribution including but by no means limited to the legal practice community.”

Professor Michael Stuckey is the Dean of Law at the University of Tasmania. He was the Dean of Victoria University College of Law & Justice from April 2017 until February 2021. Further, Professor Stuckey was the Head of School and Professor of Law at the University of New England and the Head of School of Law at The University of Glamorgan from 2003 to 2012. He was a lecturer at the University of Ulster and at the University of Newcastle; and tutor and assistant lecturer at Monash University.


From 1991-1992, Professor Stuckey was a volunteer solicitor with Springvale Legal Service. In 1991 he was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor to the Supreme Court of Victoria. He was also a holder of Practising Certificate (Solicitor) New South Wales, working as a Solicitor in commercial practice; and in 1990 was admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales and as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia. In 2019, Professor Stuckey was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and in July 2020, he was appointed as a Member of the Legal Services Council’s Admissions Committee. Professor Stuckey has written many journal articles, chapters in books, and reviewed several books and
case notes. He has presented papers and refereed at numerous overseas and Australian conferences as well as giving public lectures, interviews and published various other material in relation to his professional and academic interests.

Professor Stuckey has served on many University boards and committees throughout his academic career.

Career summary


BA (Hons), LLB, LLM (Hons), PhD (Syd), Grad Dip PLT (UTS)


Committee associations

Member, Admissions Committee – Legal Services Council

View more on Professor Michael Stuckey in WARP

Fields of Research

  • History and philosophy of law and justice (500202)
  • Legal theory, jurisprudence and legal interpretation (480410)
  • Other law and legal studies (489999)
  • British history (430304)

Research Objectives

  • Understanding Europe's past (130704)
  • Justice and the law (230499)
  • Legal processes (230406)
  • Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology (280113)
  • Other law, politics and community services (239999)


Total publications


Journal Article

(5 outputs)
2020Stuckey M, 'John Mitchell Kemble's Anglo-Germanic legal historiography', Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Iuridica, 91 pp. 51-66. ISSN 0208-6069 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.18778/0208-6069.91.05 [eCite] [Details]


2019Stuckey M, 'The study of English national history by Sir Francis Palgrave: the original use of the national records in an imaginative historical narrative', Law, Culture & the Humanities, 15, (2) pp. 421-447. ISSN 1743-8721 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1177/1743872115587064 [eCite] [Details]


2017Stuckey M, 'Introducing Miss Gertrude Kemble', Notes and Queries, 64, (1) pp. 100-101. ISSN 0029-3970 (2017) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1093/notesj/gjw263 [eCite] [Details]


2015Stuckey M, 'Francis Palgrave's historico-legal world of science and theology', LR Legal roots: The International Journal of Roman Law, Legal History and Comparative Law, 3 pp. 297-312. ISSN 2280-4994 (2015) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2014Stuckey M, 'Francis Palgrave and the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon racial distribution in Britain: nineteenth century thought and (recent) DNA evidence and its significance', Australian Celtic Journal, 12 pp. 115-125. ISSN 1030-2611 (2014) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


Chapter in Book

(3 outputs)
2012Stuckey M, 'Antiquarianism and Legal History', Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodologies, Cambridge University Press, A Musson and C Stebbings (ed), Cambridge, UK, pp. 215-243. ISBN 9781107014497 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


2010Stuckey M, 'The idea of the continuation/extinguishment of 'Welsh' customary land law in the face of Norman/English conquest and legal regime-change', The Celts in Legend and Reality, University of Sydney, P O'Neill (ed), Sydney, pp. 223-233. ISBN 9781742101897 (2010) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


2007Stuckey M, ''Enjoyned by the Laws of this Assembly': The Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries and the Prosopographical Approach', Prosopography approaches and applications: A handbook, P & G, KSB Keats-Rohan (ed), Oxford, UK, pp. 499-525. ISBN 9781900934121 (2007) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Conference Publication

(2 outputs)
2019Stuckey M, 'Early Manuscripts of John Mitchell Kemble, held by the Library of Congress: Collections for the Early Law of England'', Proceedings of the 24th British Legal History Conference, 10-13 July 2019, University of St. Andrews, Scotland (2019) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Stuckey M, 'The legal historiography of free trade: William Welwood's Biblical and Aristotelian legitimation of maritime dominium', Proceedings of Free trade agreements: Hegemony of the West or Path to Development? Conference, 19 May 2017, Beijing Foreign Studies University (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]