UCL Faculty of Laws


Dr Causer discusses Jeremy Bentham's role in establishing the state of South Australia

19 July 2018

Dr Causer presented on Jeremy Bentham's suggestions for creating a 'free, ordered and democratic colony'

Dr Tim Causer presents at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas

Dr Tim Causer yesterday participated in a panel conversation at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, titled 'The radical ideas that created South Australia'. The event was also recorded for ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas programme.

Dr Causer's talk focused on Jeremy Bentham’s discussions of convict Australia and colonialism, and in particular ‘Colonization Company Proposal’, Bentham’s outline of a free, ordered, and democratic colony which might be established in South Australia. ‘Colonization Company Proposal’, which was written in August 1831, has never before been published but will appear for the first time in Writings on Australia, a forthcoming volume of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, in a project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Adelaide’s Festival of Ideas first ran in 1999, and this year's line-up included speakers such as the Space Industry Association of Australia, Robyn Archer, and Benjamin Law.

Dr Causer spoke alongside Stephanie Johnston, an independent planning consultant based in Adelaide, who has been working on a bid to have the Mount Lofty Ranges Agrarian Landscape inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage register. Amongst its other aims, a key component of the bid is to recognise the role of philosophical radicals, many of whom were inspired by Bentham, in the colonisation of the land which became the state of South Australia.

Listen to the audio session