UCL Faculty of Laws

Dr Tim Causer

Dr Tim Causer

Senior Research Associate

The Bentham Project

Faculty of Laws

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2010

Research summary

Tim Causer's research interests include the life and thought of Jeremy Bentham, and the histories of convict transportation, crime and punishment, and colonial Australia. He is co-editor, with Professor Philip Schofield, of Panopticon versus New South Wales and Other Writings on Australia, a forthcoming volume of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. In addition to hitherto unpublished material which sheds light on debates around colonialism, the punishment of criminals, the operation of government, and Bentham's unsuccessful panopticon penitentiary scheme, the volume contains Bentham's hugely influential critique of criminal transportation to New South Wales.

His current research projects include, with Professor Schofield and Professor Margot Finn (UCL History), a collection of essays exploring Bentham's writings on Australia, and with Professor Schofield and Dr Chris Riley, editing the final two volumes of Bentham's Correspondence. Tim is also preparing an edition of Bentham's Auto-Icon Writings, which will include Bentham's several wills, as well as the unpublished 'Auto-Icon; or, the Farther Uses of the Dead to the Living', Bentham's treatise on the utility of human remains. 

Tim is the author of Memorandoms by James Martin, an edition of the earliest Australian convict narrative, the original manuscript of which is in the Bentham Papers at UCL. The Memorandoms is the only first-hand account of perhaps the most famous escape from Australia by transported convicts, that led by Mary and William Bryant in March 1791. 

Teaching summary

LAWS0051/0052: Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition (LLM)


University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2010
University of Aberdeen
Other higher degree, Master of Letters | 2006
University of Aberdeen
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2004


Tim joined the Bentham Project in October 2010. Until 2015 he was co-ordinator of the award-winning crowdsourced transcription initiative, Transcribe Bentham. He also worked on the European Commission-funded tranScriptorium programme, which developed solutions for the searching, indexing, and full transcription by machines of historic handwritten manuscripts. From 2016 to 2019 he worked on the AHRC-funded project, 'Convict Australia and Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham's Writings on Australia', the main output of which is a volume of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.

Tim's PhD research was carried out at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King's College London, and focused on the notorious penal station at Norfolk Island, which operated from 1825-55. He appeared, as a convict extra, in the ABC/BBC television drama, The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce (2008).