Associate Professor Nicole Roughan

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

Profile Image
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. Nicole’s co-edited volume (with Andrew Halpin) In Pursuit of Pluralist Jurisprudence was published by Cambridge in 2017; and her monograph, Authorities: Conflicts, Cooperation, and Transnational Legal Theory by Oxford in 2013. Nicole has also published articles in leading law journals as well as a number of commissioned book chapters.

Research | Current

Nicole’s research field is the philosophy of law, where she specialises in the interactions of legal systems and orders, and the resulting challenges for pluralist jurisprudence. Nicole is currently working on a new book, Officials, which examines the centrality of the idea of the legal official to both the existence and legitimacy of law’s authority. She is also engaged in collaborative projects exploring the theoretical foundations of indigenous laws, and theories of recognition.  In January 2018, Nicole took up a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship awarded by the Royal Society Te Apārangi, to pursue a five-year project on Legalities: Jurisprudence without Borders.

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.

Areas of expertise

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

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). 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, A. (2017). A response<sup>*</sup>. 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
  • Roughan, N. (2016). Polities and relative authorities. Paper presented at Law and Polity Project: Introductory Conference, Edinburgh, UK. 2 December - 3 December 2016.


Contact details

Primary office location

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

Web links