Associate Professor Nicole Roughan

JSD (Yale) LLM (Yale) LLM (VUW) BA/LLB (Auck)

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Associate Professor


Nicole joined the Law Faculty in 2018, from the National University of Singapore where she was Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and Deputy-Director of the Centre for Legal Theory. Nicole formerly held appointments at the University of Cambridge, Trinity College, Cambridge, the University of Kent at Brussels, and Victoria University of Wellington.  She currently holds an appointment as a Visiting Professor in the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London. Nicole’s co-edited volume (with Andrew Halpin) In Pursuit of Pluralist Jurisprudence was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017; and her monograph, Authorities: Conflicts, Cooperation, and Transnational Legal Theory by Oxford University Press in 2013. Nicole has published a number of commissioned book chapters, and her articles appear in leading law journals including the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, European Journal of International Law, and International Journal of Constitutional Law.

Research | Current

Nicole’s research field is the philosophy of law, where she specialises in theorising the interactions of state and non-state legal orders (including Indigenous, international and transnational law) and the resulting challenges for general jurisprudence. Nicole is currently working on a new monograph, Officials, which examines the centrality of the idea of the legal official to accounts of law’s normativity. In January 2018, Nicole took up a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship awarded by New Zealand’s Royal Society Te Apārangi, to pursue a five-year project on Legalities: Jurisprudence without Borders. Her ongoing collaborative projects examine fiduciary theories of the state, the idea of office in public and private law, theories of recognition, and the theoretical foundations of indigenous laws.

Teaching | Current

  • Jurisprudence


In 2016, Nicole was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship from the Royal Society Te Apārangi. As a student, Nicole was a recipient of a Fulbright Graduate Student Award, and a NZ Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Award.


  • Co-Director, New Zealand Centre for Legal Theory

Areas of expertise

  • Jurisprudence
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Legal Pluralism
  • Authority
  • Theories of Indigenous Law
  • International Legal Theory
  • Theories of Fiduciary Law

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Co-Chair, International Network on Transnational Legal and Political Theory
  • Reviews Editor, Jurisprudence
  • Associate Member, NUS Centre for Legal Theory

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Roughan, N. (2018). Polities and relative authorities. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 16 (4), 1215-1222. 10.1093/icon/moy091
  • Roughan, N. (2018). The Official Point of View and the Official Claim to Authority. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 38 (2), 191-216. 10.1093/ojls/gqy010
  • Roughan, N., & Halpin, H. (2017). A response. Transnational Legal Theory, 8 (4), 415-423. 10.1080/20414005.2017.1420106
  • Roughan, N., & Halpin, A. (Eds.) (2017). In pursuit of pluralist jurisprudence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Pages: 376.
  • Roughan, N., & Halpin, A. (2017). The promises and pursuits of pluralist jurisprudence. In N. Roughan, A. Halpin (Eds.) In pursuit of pluralist jurisprudence (pp. 326-366). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781316875056.014
  • Roughan, N. (2017). Sources and the normativity of international law: From validity to justification. In S. Besson, d'Aspremont J (Eds.) The Oxford handbook on the sources of international law (pp. 680-700). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/law/9780198745365.003.0033
  • Roughan, N. (2016). Mind the gaps: Authority and legality in international law. European Journal of International Law, 27 (2), 329-351. 10.1093/ejil/chw021
  • Roughan, N. (2016). From authority to authorities: Bridging the social/normative divide. In R. Cotterrell, M. Del Mar (Eds.) Authority in transnational legal theory: Theorising across disciplines (pp. 280-299). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. 10.4337/9781784711627.00019


Contact details

Primary office location

17 EDEN CRESCENT - Bldg 803
Level 3, Room 311
New Zealand

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