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 joined the Bentham Project in 2010, where he is currently working on Jeremy Bentham's writings on convict transportation, colonialism, and imperialism for the AHRC-funded project, ‘Convict Australia and Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham’s Writings on Australia.’ One of the main outputs of this work will be a volume of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, containing three seminal texts: the two 'Letters to Lord Pelham', and 'A Plea for the Constitution', better known collectively as Panopticon versus New South Wales, and the never before published 'Colonization Society Proposal'. The volume will also include a hitherto-unpublished third 'Letter to Lord Pelham', and the 'New Wales' manuscript fragments of 1791, containing some of Bentham's earliest writings on the penal colony. This research will help to shed more light on the failure of Bentham’s panopticon prison scheme, and on the enduring importance of his critique of transportation.

Until the end of 2015 Tim was responsible for the co-ordination of the award-winning crowdsourced transcription initiative, Transcribe Bentham. He also worked on the EU-funded tranScriptorium programme, which developed solutions for the searching, indexing and full transcription by machines of historic handwritten manuscripts. 

Tim’s research interests are in the histories of convict transportation, crime and punishment, colonial Australia. In 2014 he travelled to Norfolk Island to appear in an episode of Coast Australia, and he recently published an edition of Memorandoms by James Martin—the earliest Australian convict narrative, the manuscript of which is in the Bentham Papers—with UCL Press.

Teaching summary

LAWSG021/021A: Jeremy Bentham the Utilitarian Tradition (LLM module)


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's PhD research was carried out at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King's College London, which focused on the notorious penal station at Norfolk Island (1825-55).