Thornton, Margaret

Name: Margaret Thornton
Department: College of Law
Institution: The Australian National University
Address: Building 5, Law School ACT 0200 Australia
Phone: 61 2 6125 8363
FAX: 61 2 6125 3971

Margaret Thornton is Professor of Law and ARC Professorial Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. She has degrees from Sydney, New South Wales and Yale Universities. She is a Barrister of the High Court of Australia, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. She has held visiting fellowships at various institutions, including Oxford, London, Columbia and York, Canada. Her research spans the areas of feminist legal theory, discrimination, legal education, legal profession and the corporatisation of universities. Her current research project examines the retreat from social justice within a neoliberal climate in the context of discrimination. Her most recent book is an edited collection, Sex Discrimination in Uncertain Times (ANU E Press, 2010

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Publications (Gender & the Legal Academy/Legal Profession)



Thornton, Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1996) Chinese translation, Law Press, Beijing, 2001


Chapters and Articles:

Thornton, Portia lost in the Groves of Academe wondering what to do about Legal Education, Inaugural Lecture, La Trobe University (Melbourne: La Trobe University Press, 1991) reprinted in (1991) 9 Law in Context 9-26; (1991) 34 Australian Universities Review 26-32 excerpted (1991) 26 Law News 18-20


Thornton, ‘Discord in the Legal Academy: The Case of the Feminist Scholar’ (1994) 3 Australian Feminist Law J 53-71


Thornton, ‘Women as Fringedwellers of the Jurisprudential Community’ in  Diane Kirkby (ed), Sex Power and Justice: Historical Perspectives on Law in Australia (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1995) 188-201


Thornton, Dress Codes and the Neutral Woman of Law’ (1995) 8(5) Purely Dicta 10-12 reprinted in Kathy Laster Law as Culture, Federation Press, Sydney, 1997, pp 273-75


Thornton, `“Liberty, Equality and ?”: Endowing Fraternity with Voice’ (1996) 18(4) Sydney Law Rev 553-67; Chinese translation [Spring 1997] Nanjing Law Rev 13-24


Thornton (with the assistance of Weiping Wang), ‘Sexing Modernity: Women in the Chinese Legal Academy’ (1998) 10 Canadian J of Women and the Law 401-437


Thornton, ‘Technocentrism in the Law School: Why the Gender and Colour of Law Remain the Same’ (1998) 36(2) Osgoode Hall Law J (Can) 369-398


Thornton, ‘Authority and Corporeality: The Conundrum for Women in Law’ (1998) 6(2) Feminist Legal Studies 147-170


Thornton, (with the assistance of Weiping Wang) ‘Between Tradition and Modernization: Contradictions for Women in the Chinese Legal Academy’ in F Van Loon and K Van Acken (eds), 60 Maal Recht en 1 Maal Wijn: Liber Amicorum Prof. Jean Van Houtte, Acco,