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University of Melbourne

1. Barr, Olivia McLeod. A minor jurisprudence of movement.

Degree: 2012, University of Melbourne

Different offices carry different responsibilities. This thesis addresses the office of jurist and their responsibilities in relation to common law, including the creation and conduct of lawful relations. In Australia, where the dominant form of law continues to be Anglo-Australian common law, it is for the jurist to attend to common law and its practices. By taking seriously the question of office, this thesis shows the jurist how to account for and take responsibility for some of the forms of common law practice as a matter of office. As a way of taking responsibility for this colonial form of law, this thesis creates a minor jurisprudence of movement that accounts for technical and material forms of common law practice. Paying attention to the material dynamic of movement and its relation to the practice of the care of the dead, this thesis reveals how common law moves with a tendency to slide by, unnoticed, through technologies of jurisdiction. Noticing these movements, especially movements in relation to the dead, this thesis carefully engages with two sets of materials, one historical and one contemporary: the historical is a burial party that walked in colonial New South Wales and the contemporary is the struggle to bury the dead in Antarctica. Engaging with these materials with a jurisprudential method of slowness, this thesis narrates and redescribes two vignettes as a way of accounting for the place of movement in the technical and material forms of common law practice. Through the creation of a minor jurisprudence of movement, this thesis offers a better understanding of the place of movement in the technical and material forms of common law practice. In doing so, this thesis challenges the jurist to move well; to attend to the responsibilities of office. While taking responsibility for the practice of a colonial form of law is not an easy task, it is part of what it means for the jurist to take up and hold office. Moving carefully, this thesis offers a way this might be done.

Subjects/Keywords: jurisprudence; minor jurisprudence; movement; jurisdiction; office of jurist; care for the dead; Anglo-Australian common law; responsibilities of office; technologies of law; material practices of law; critical legal theory

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APA (6th Edition):

Barr, O. M. (2012). A minor jurisprudence of movement. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Melbourne. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Barr, Olivia McLeod. “A minor jurisprudence of movement.” 2012. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Melbourne. Accessed February 26, 2021.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Barr, Olivia McLeod. “A minor jurisprudence of movement.” 2012. Web. 26 Feb 2021.


Barr OM. A minor jurisprudence of movement. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Melbourne; 2012. [cited 2021 Feb 26]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Barr OM. A minor jurisprudence of movement. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Melbourne; 2012. Available from: