Susan Bartie

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Susan Bartie


Room 2.07 , Faculty of Law Building

+61 3 6226 1953 (phone)

+61 3 6226 7623 (fax)


Dr Susan Bartie is a legal historian who has spent the last decade studying the intellectual agendas, social relations and endeavours that have accompanied the rapid growth in the size and stature of law schools in the 20th century.  Her latest book, Free Hands and Minds — Pioneering Australian Legal Scholars (Hart Publishing, 2019), a study of three jurisprudentially inclined legal scholars, counters fatalist attitudes within the legal academy, inviting academic lawyers to view their situation differently.  

Recently Susan, along with David Sandomierski, created a network of legal historians to examine a common element within legal education systems, US influence. Their comparative project is designed to provide stronger understandings of the degrees of global homogeneity and local distinctiveness among these systems, uncovering the reasons why certain models, practices and ideas have emerged.

Susan is a committed law teacher who draws on her broader studies of the discipline to inform her teaching.  She has been awarded citations for outstanding contributions to student learning from the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training (2016) as well as from the Vice Chancellor at the University of Tasmania (2015). She received a full British Chevening Scholarship to study a Masters of Law at the University of Cambridge and was awarded a Dean’s Commendation for her PhD in legal history. She has practised law as a litigator, working on cases litigated in English, Australian and Hong Kong courts, and began her career as an associate to a Federal Court judge.

Teaching Responsibilities

Susan has channelled her interests in the history, present and future of lawyering into the subject, Law-History and Context, designed to provide her students with a deeper appreciation of the social, intellectual and political issues they will encounter following their studies.

She also co-ordinates a large compulsory legal reasoning subject that adopts interactive methods (flipped classrooms and writing workshops) to promote an emphasis on student learning.

Susan brings her interest in American Legal Theory to her teaching of Legal Theory and applied her meta-studies of legal scholarship when creating an online honours research methods unit.

Career summary


Degree Title of Thesis University Country Awarded
PhD The Political Enterprise of Theory and Education within Australia’s Discipline of Law University of Adelaide Australia 2016
LLM   University of Cambridge UK 2002
LLB (Hons)   Flinders University Australia 2000

View more on Ms Susan Bartie in WARP


Susan’s areas of expertise include the role of lawyers in society (historical and sociological), US legal theory and its translation to British colonies and the history, theory and pedagogy of legal reasoning and its operation in contexts beyond courts and legal practice.  Her research uses life and intellectual histories to offer new insights into the role of law, lawyers and legal education in society. 

Susan welcomes proposals for supervision on issues falling within any of her research or teaching expertise.  She is currently supervising two intellectual histories of prominent lawyers (a trailblazing woman lawyer from Bangladesh and an architect of the International Criminal Court) and a project investigating the role of women judges in Sri Lanka.

Fields of Research

  • Law (180199)
  • Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation (180122)
  • Law and Society (180119)
  • Legal Institutions (incl. Courts and Justice Systems) (180120)
  • History and Philosophy of Law and Justice (220204)
  • Tort Law (180126)
  • Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) (210303)
  • Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession (180121)

Research Objectives

  • Justice and the Law (940499)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies (970118)
  • Law, Politics and Community Services (949999)
  • Understanding Australia's Past (950503)
  • Legal Processes (940406)


Total publications


Journal Article

(10 outputs)
2018Bartie S, 'Studying women legal scholars: the challenges of life history', International Journal of The Legal Profession, 25, (3) pp. 279-301. ISSN 0969-5958 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09695958.2018.1481849 [eCite] [Details]


2017Bartie S, 'Is Mazur the new Langdell? The strange trajectory of interactive law teaching', Legal Studies, 37, (3) pp. 520-542. ISSN 0261-3875 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/lest.12164 [eCite] [Details]


2014Bartie S, 'Histories of Legal Scholars: the power of possibility', Legal Studies, 34, (2) pp. 305-327. ISSN 0261-3875 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/lest.12019 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 9


2014Bartie S, 'Towards a History of Law as an Academic Discipline', Melbourne University Law Review, 38 pp. 444-481. ISSN 0025-8938 (2014) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 6


2012Bartie S, 'Review essay: The social sciences in Australia and the experience of law', Sydney Law Review, 34, (2) pp. 371-389. ISSN 0082-0512 (2012) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2012Bartie S, Gava J, 'Some problems with extrajudicial writing', Sydney Law Review, The, 34, (4) pp. 637-658. ISSN 0082-0512 (2012) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2010Bartie S, 'The lingering core of legal scholarship', Legal Studies, 30, (3) pp. 345-369. ISSN 0261-3875 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2010.00169.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 18


2010Bartie S, 'A full day's work: A study of Australia's first legal scholarly community', University of Queensland Law Journal, 29, (1) pp. 67-99. ISSN 0083-4041 (2010) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2009Bartie S, 'The impact of legal meta-scholarship: Love thy navel', Griffith Law Review, 18, (3) pp. 727-751. ISSN 1038-3441 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/10854662.2009.10854662 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2


2007Bartie S, 'Ambition Versus Judicial Reality: Causation and Remoteness Under Civil Liability Legislation', University of Western Australia Law Review, 33, (2) pp. 415-436. ISSN 0042-0328 (2007) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


(1 outputs)
2019Bartie S, 'Free Hands and Minds Pioneering Australian Legal Scholars', Hart Publishing, United Kingdom, pp. 1-344. ISBN 9781509922611 (2019) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]



(2 outputs)
2017Bartie S, 'The Teaching of Criminal Law: The Pedagogical Imperatives by Kris Gledhill and Ben Livings (eds.), Routledge, 2017, 212 pp (ISBN 978113841994; 9781315731902 (ebook))', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 29, (1) pp. 103-106. ISSN 1034-5329 (2017) [Review Single Work]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Bartie S, 'Review of The Campaign Against the Courts: A History of the Judicial Activism Debate by Tanya Josev, Federation Press, 2017', University of New South Wales Law Journal, The pp. 1-4. ISSN 0313-0096 (2017) [Review Single Work]

[eCite] [Details]


Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Beyond Harvard: Transplanting Legal Education (2018)$10,203
This project will critically examine the role that US legal education played historically in the development of law and law schools globally during the 20th century. It will bring together at a symposium legal scholars who share an interest in the history of legal education, legal transplants and US legal theory. The symposium will form the basis of further research collaborations including a book (edited collection) and journal articles
American Society of Legal History ($10,203)
Funding - Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Bartie S; Sandomierski D

Research Supervision




PhDTowards an Effective Engagement with the Critiques of Human Rights2017
PhDAssessing the ICC's Responsibility for International Criminal Accountability: Tracing the history of the court to better contextualize its current challenges2018
PhDDiversity in the Legal Profession: the impact of women judges on the law making process of Sri Lanka, Australia and International Courts2018