Special Issue in Celebration of Peter Fitzpatrick and his Scholarship

Special Issue in Celebration of Peter Fitzpatrick and his Scholarship

Guest Editors: David Sugarman and Abdul Paliwala

International Journal of Law in Context (2021) Vol. 17, No. 1

Peter Fitzpatrick (1941–2020) was a much-loved and inspirational scholar, and a wonderful friend and mentor. He contributed immeasurably to the intellectual, organisational and cultural life of post-colonial legal studies, critical legal studies, and law and the humanities – fields he helped to consolidate. It is a tribute to Peter that work with a colonial or postcolonial theory dimension or concerned with racism and empire is now to be found in most law departments and legal journals.  Legal theory, law and the humanities, and law and society as they relate to the colonial and post-colonial, also owe much to him. An early proponent of the significance of poststructuralist theory, he wrote powerful accounts of how racial othering constituted modern law.  His remarkable influence, however, extends well beyond his scholarship. He taught and supervised an incredible number of students and colleagues at Kent, and, subsequently, at Queen Mary and Birkbeck, University of London. All admire and adore him.

In a newly published Special Issue of the International Journal of Law in Context, ten friends, former colleagues and students of Peter’s contribute new insights into his personal and professional development, celebrating his life and many achievements.  The collection elucidates Peter’s significant contribution to scholarship, engages with his ideas and illuminates specific junctures in his life. The contributors also consider how specific fields and subjects not usually associated with Peter – including international law, and the relationship between musical improvisation and law – might be advanced through an engagement with his ideas. The collection ends with an edited transcript of Peter’s final seminar in February 2020 and addresses a variety of themes in his work.

The Special Issue was initiated and co-edited by Professor Emeritus David Sugarman, a Senior Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London.  Commenting on the Special Issue, David said that “The recent eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement; the toppling of statues associated with the Atlantic slave trade and a colonizing empire; the movement to Decolonise the Curriculum, and the attendant pushback, all testify to the ongoing struggles over the extent to which we recognise the enduring legacies of colonialism, post-colonialism, imperialism and empire.  In these as in other respects, Peter’s work and example remain as important and relevant as ever.”


  • Upendra Baxi (Warwick Law School and O.P. Jindal Global University)
  • Eve Darian-Smith (Global Studies, University of California Santa Barbara)
  • Ben Golder (Law, University of New South Wales);
  • Sundhya Pahuja (Melbourne Law School)
  • Abdul Paliwala (Warwick Law School)
  • George Pavlich (Sociology, University of Alberta)
  • Sara Ramshaw (Law, University of Victoria)
  • David Sugarman (Law, Lancaster; IALS, London; CSLS, Oxford)
  • Patricia Tuitt (Legal Academic)
  • William Twining (Law, UCL)

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-law-in-context/issue/501A6D6095CA96B711C8F70EB1A0C0BD (free access until the end of June 2021)