Richard Joyce


Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Richard Joyce is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. His main research interests are in the history and theory of international law, with a particular focus on sovereignty, violence and responsibility. He draws extensively on continental philosophy and post-colonial theory.

He is the author of Competing Sovereignties (Routledge, 2013) and, with Professors Fleur Johns and Sundhya Pahuja, the editor of Events: The Force of International Law (Routledge, 2011). He is currently leading an ARC-funded project into populism and international law, with colleagues from Monash, Melbourne Law School, Kent Law School and the State University of San Francisco.

He has a BA/LLB(Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from the University of London (Birkbeck College) and prior to commencing his PhD practised as a solicitor in the intellectual property group of a leading Australian law firm.

Prior to joining Monash he taught at Reading University, Birkbeck College, King's College London and University College London. He currently serves as a member of the Global Faculty of the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School.

Richard is an Associate of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and a member of the Feminist Legal Studies Group at Monash.

He welcomes PhD, Masters and Honours students in international law, legal theory and development.



Richard Joyce, Authoritarian Populism and International Law (in progress).

Richard Joyce, The ‘New’ International Law (Routledge) (in progress).

Richard Joyce, Competing Sovereignties (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013) (297 pages).

Fleur Johns, Richard Joyce and Sundhya Pahuja (eds), Events: The Force of International Law (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011). 


Richard Joyce, 'International Law, Faith and Critique', Law, Culture and the Humanities (accepted, forthcoming).

Richard Joyce, ‘International Law and Targeted Killing: Complicity and Critique’ (in progress)

Richard Joyce, ‘Anarchist International Law(yers): Mapping Power and Responsibility in International Law’ London Review of International Law, (2017) 5 London Review of International Law, 397.

Richard Joyce, ‘Law’s Outside: A reading of “Non-Legality in International Law”’, (2014) 27 Leiden Journal of International Law 947-53.

Richard Joyce, ‘Sovereignty, Faith and the Fall’ (2013) 7 Polemos: Journal of Law, Literature and Culture 285-305.

Richard Joyce, ‘Sovereignty and Imperial Law’ (2013) 9 Journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities 475-487.

Richard Joyce, ‘The Challenge of Defending and Critiquing Sovereignty’ a review of C Bickerton, P Cunliffe and A Gourevitch(eds), Politics Without Sovereignty: A Critique of Contemporary International Relations (Abington: UCL Press, 2007) in (2007) 19 (1) King’s Law Journal 207-13.

Peter Fitzpatrick and Richard Joyce, ‘The Normality of the Exception in Democracy’s Empire’ (2007) 34 Journal of Law and Society 65-76, re-published in M D A  Freeman, Lloyd's Introduction to Jurisprudence (8th edition, London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2008), 1482-90.

Richard Joyce ‘Sovereignty and IMF Intervention in Cambodia’ (2003) 12 (2) Griffith Law Review 166-189 (Special Issue: Tracking the Postcolonial in Law).

Richard Joyce, ‘Fiduciary Law and Non-Economic Interests’ (2002) 28 Monash University Law Review 239-267. 


Richard Joyce and Sundhya Pahuja, 'Authoritarian Populism and Solidarity' in E. Karageorgiou and G. Noll (eds), Solidarity in International Legal Discourse (in progress).

Richard Joyce, 'A Sovereignty that is "Useless to Fascism"' in S. Chalmers and S. Pahuja (eds) Routledge Handbook of International Law and the Humanities (Routldege, 2021).

Peter Fitzpatrick, Kathleen Birrell, Ben Golder, Richard Joyce and Sundhya Pahuja 'A Training in Conduct' in S. Chalmers and S. Pahuja (eds) Routledge Handbook on International Law and the Humanities (Routledge, 2021).

Richard Joyce, ‘International Law and the Cold War: Reflections on the Concept of History’ in Matt Craven, Sundhya Pahuja and Gerry Simpson (eds), Cold War International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019), 27-48.

Richard Joyce, 'Westphalia: Event, Memory, Myth' in F Johns, R Joyce and S Pahuja (eds), Events: The Force of International Law (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011), 55-68.

Richard Joyce, 'Sovereignty After Sovereignty' in C Barbour and G Pavlich (eds), After Sovereignty: On the Question of Political Beginnings (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010).

Peter Fitzpatrick and Richard Joyce, ‘Copying Right: Cultural Property and the Limits of (Occidental) Law’ in F Macmillan (ed), New Directions in Copyright Law: Volume 4: Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Culture (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2007). 


Richard Joyce, 'Civilisation, Materialism and Indeterminacy in International Law: A review of Ntina Tzouvala, Capitalism as Civilisation: A History of International Law'Australian Yearbook of International Law (accepted, forthcoming). 


Richard Joyce, Elisabeth Lopez Desvars, Sundhya Pahuja, Rose Parfitt, Andrew Benjamin and James Martel, 'International Law, Populism and Extremism', submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Extremism in Victoria, 13 May 2022 (public hearing on 15 June 2022).


'International Law and the Challenge of Populism', Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Lisbon and online, 13-16 July 2022.

'Right-wing Populism and International Law' (with Prof James Martel), Western Political Science Association Annual Conference, online, 1-3 April 2021.

'International Law, Faith and Critique', Law, Culture and Ethics Colloquium, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 25 September 2019.

'A Sovereignty that is "Useless to Facism"', Countering the Rise of Authoritarianism: Philosophy, Law, Politics, Monash University, Prato, Italy, 11-12 April 2019. Revised version presented at the Research Symposium, International Legal Studies Research Group, La Trobe Law School, 11-12 December 2019.

'The Faithless Faith of Critical International Lawyers', Offices of the Southern Jurist-Diplomat: Taking Up a Training in Lawful Encounters, Melbourne Law School, 21-23 August 2019.

‘Universality or infinity?’, Third World Approaches to International Law Conference, National University of Singapore, 19-21 July 2018.

'Faith of the Faithless? Critical International Lawyers, Universality, and the "future"', Celebrating the life and work of Judge Christopher Weeramantry: A roundtable with Professor Tony Anghie, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University, 5 March 2018.

'International Law and Targeted Killing: Complicity and Critique’: Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, Harvard Law School, Madrid, 18-23 July, 2016.

‘Progress and Restraint in International Law during the Cold War’, Cold War International Law: Workshop 3, London, 14-15 July 2016.

‘Cold War as Katechon (or, what’s our excuse now?)’, Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law Annual Conference, Canberra, 30 June – 2 July 2016.

‘International Law and the Cold War: Reflections on the Concept of History’, Law and Society Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 2016.

‘Violence and Critique in International Law: Drone strikes and resistance’: Institute for Global Law and Policy Conference, Harvard Law School, 1-2 June 2015.

‘Sovereignty and the Cold War: Thoughts on Future Research’ International Law and the Cold War Workshop, Melbourne Law School 16-17 April 2015.

‘Globalisation, Sovereignty and Independence’, Monash Roundtable on Separatism and Independence in a Global Era, Monash University, 26 February 2015. This roundtable was recorded for Radio National’s ‘Big Ideas’ programme, broadcast 31 March 2015.

‘Anarchist International Law(yers): Actors, Networks and Responsibility’, International Global Law and Policy Workshop, Harvard Law School, Doha, Qatar, 2-11 January 2015.

‘Future and Critique’, Working with Law: Critical Futures Workshop, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School, 9-10 December 2014.

‘Self-Determination and Collectives’ Annual Conference of the Australasian Society of Continental Philosophy, held at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 4-6 December 2014.

‘Walter Benjamin and the Messianic Promise of International Law', Law and Contemporary Theory Working Group, Department of Rhetoric, University of California Berkeley (26 September 2014) and the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School (9 October 2014)

‘Law’s Outside: A reading of “Non-Legality in International Law”’, Law on the Edge Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, July 2013 (a joint conference of the Canadian Law and Society Association and the Australian and New Zealand Law and Society Association).

‘Sovereignty, Faith and the Fall’, Critical Law Conference, Stockholm, September 2012.

‘Sovereignty: Immanence and Transcendence’, Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, Griffith University, December 2009.

‘The Promise of Self-Determination’, New Approaches to Self-Determination Conference, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, June 2008.

‘Sovereignty without Borders – WTO, India and Intellectual Property’, Critical Law Conference, London, September 2007.

‘Sovereignty After Sovereignty’, Law and Society Association Conference, Berlin, July 2007.

‘The Sovereign Position and the Force of (International) Law’, Third Workshop at Birkbeck Law School on Critical Approaches to International Law: The Force of International Law, London, May 2006.

Research interests

International law


Law, globalisation and development

Legal theory

Continental philosophy


Monash teaching commitment

Sovereignty and Globalisation

Public International Law

International Human Rights Law and Development



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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • International law
  • Law globalisation and development
  • Legal theory
  • Continental philosophy
  • Intellectual property law

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or