Jeffrey Goldsworthy

Emeritus Prof

1997 …2023

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Personal profile


Jeffrey Goldsworthy has worked at Monash University since 1984, and held a Personal Chair from 2000 until he retired at the end of 2016. In retirement he is still actively engaged in legal research.

His major interests are legal philosophy, and constitutional law, theory, and history. He has numerous publications in these fields, but is best known for his books "The Sovereignty of Parliament, History and Philosophy" (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1999) and "Parliamentary Sovereignty, Contemporary Debates" (Cambridge UP, Cambridge, 2010), his edited collection "Interpreting Constitutions, A Comparative Study" (Oxford UP, 2006), and many journal articles on statutory and constitutional interpretation.

He holds degrees from the University of Adelaide, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of California, Berkeley, including the degree of Doctor of Laws awarded by the University of Adelaide in 2002. He has also taught law at each of these Universities, as well as at the University of Nottingham and Monash.

He is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), and an honorary life member of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy, having served as its President from 2007 - 2014. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and a former Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

"Law Under a Democratic Constitution; Essays in Honour of Jeffrey Goldsworthy” (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2019), edited by L B Crawford, P Emerton and D Smith, was published to mark his retirement.

A selection of Professor Goldsworthy's publications is available on-line at:

Professional Qualification

Barrister and Solicitor, Supreme Court of South Australia (December 1977)

Professional Honours and Awards

Member of the Order of Australia (AM), "for significant service to education, particularly to legal history and philosophy", January 26, 2020. 

LLD, The University of Adelaide, 2002, for “work which constitutes an original and substantial contribution of distinguished merit to legal knowledge or understanding.”

Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) (elected September 2008).

Fellow, Australian Academy of Law (elected March 2014; resigned November 2017).

Honorary Life Member, the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy, from 2014.

2010 Coxford Lecture, Faculty of Law, Western University, Canada, November 2010 (the Faculty's most prestigious annual named lecture).

2007 Vice-Chancellors Equity and Diversity award for significant contribution to equity and diversity principles at Monash University.

2007 Vice-Chancellors special commendation for significant and sustained achievements and distinguished contribution to postgraduate supervision.



Constitutional Law and Theory

Constitutional History

Legal Philosophy

Statutory and Constitutional Interpretation

Monash teaching commitment


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Constitutional Law
  • Legal theory
  • Jurisprudence
  • Administrative law

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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