Profile

STEPHEN GUEST is the Professor of Legal Philosophy at University College London. He graduated with honours in both Philosophy (1971) and Law (1973) from the University of Otago in New Zealand and taught logic for two years for the Philosophy Department while an undergraduate before studying with Ronald Dworkin at University College, Oxford. With Jo Wolff, he co-chaired with Dworkin the distinguished and internationally well-known annual Colloquia in Legal and Social Philosophy at UCL from 1999 to 2006 (see End of a Golden Era?) He was also staff editor until 2008 of the UCL Jurisprudence Review, the student edited law journal he founded in 1994. A barrister and solicitor of the NZ High Court, and barrister of the Inner Temple, he was a tenant at 199 Strand, London, from 1993 to 2005. Significant opinions he wrote were for the defence in the Privy Council of the NZ multiple murder case of Bain (1996) and for the Public Defender in the Pitcairn Island sexual abuse case of Fletcher & Others (2006) at all levels including the Privy Council. He was British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow for 2006-2007.

In August 1998 he gave his father's 30th anniversary lecture (the FW Guest Memorial lecture) at the University of Otago entitled 'Freedom and Status Revisited: Where Equality Fits In' which is published in the Otago Law Review 1999. His inaugural lecture, 'Why the Law is Just', was published in Current Legal Problems 2000 and received an unsuccessful riposte from Paul Johnson in The Spectator. In 2004, he delivered the Sir Frank Kitto lecture in Armidale, NSW, at the University of New England. He also has been on Radio 4's Unreliable Evidence with Clive Anderson and Lord Bingham. In 2001, UCL awarded him the distinguished teaching award for the Faculty of Laws. In 2011, a writing prize in his name was instituted by the UCL law students to mark the best writing in Jurisprudence within the Faculty. At present five of his successful PhD students are in permanent academic posts around the world.

In 1987, he was Visiting Scholar at New York University Law School and Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School. He was again Visiting Scholar at NYU for 1996. In both 2005 and 2006, he was Visiting Professor in Jurisprudence in the Faculty of Law at the University of Otago in NZ. At UCL, he was Sub-Dean and Faculty Tutor (1980-85), secretary to the Bentham Committee (1982-87), Vice-Dean and Deputy Head of Department (1993-1995), convener of the MA in Legal and Political Theory (1995-2000), Director of research students (2004-2006), and legal member of the UCL Research Ethics Committee (1985-1999). For two decades he was the convener of both the UCL LLB and University of London LLM programmes in Jurisprudence, and the convener and chief examiner for the University of London International LLB and LLM in Jurisprudence. For 12 years he was also the convener and chief examiner of the Law of Evidence for the London International LLB. He wrote subject guides for both Evidence and Jurisprudence for these international degrees.

He plays the violin and was formerly a founder member of the Dunedin Civic Orchestra, a violinist in the NZ National Youth Orchestra for seven years, an active member of the Dunedin Opera Company, and was twice a finalist in the NZ Chamber Music Federation competition. He was President of the OUSA Music Union 1968-1971 and Board member of the Dunedin Chamber Music society. He was also a violinist in the Oxford University orchestra, the Univ. orchestra, UCL opera and orchestra, and others. He has performed many times at the UCL & Hospital Chamber Music Society. His other main interests are painting, for which he won a prize at the NZ Universities Arts Festival in 1968 - Wind, Trees, Insects - and hunting deer in the South Island of NZ.