Seminar: Trish Luker, University of Technology Sydney

Trish Luker

Trish Luker, associate professor in the Faculty of Law at UTS (Australia) and iSchool visiting scholar, will present "Law’s Documentary Practices."

In this seminar, Trish Luker, associate professor in the Faculty of Law at UTS (Australia) and visiting scholar in the iSchool at Illinois, will discuss her most recent collaborative research project, "What is a Document? Evidentiary Challenges in the Digital Age" (with Katherine Biber and Priya Vaughan). The project engaged with scholars from a wide range of fields to explore and re-think law’s relationship with the documentary form and resulted in the publication of a scholarly collection, entitled Law’s Documents: Authority, Materiality, Aesthetics (Routledge, 2022). The collection opens with a chapter by the iSchool's Bonnie Mak and includes contributions from other scholars, visual artists, and poets who explore the material, aesthetic, and intellectual attributes of legal documentation; the political and colonial orders reflected and embedded in documents; and the legal, archival, and social systems which order and utilize information.

 Luker’s chapter, "Law’s Signature Acts," examines the role of the signature as a material artefact of legal documentary practices. This line of research was developed in relation to Australian First Nations peoples’ legal actions through petitions. Building upon this work, Luker is pursuing an area of research for her next project, "Pro Forma: Law’s Documentary Practices," which focusses on a particular genre of document, namely the form, including the role and function of paper, writing, and the signature, in law.

Luker holds degrees in library science, linguistics, and law. Her interdisciplinary research is concerned with how, and on what basis, legal decisions are made. It focuses on analysis of legal decision-making and court processes; and evidentiary assessment, including theories of the documentary form in law. Her work engages with cross-disciplinary methods and sources, examining the impacts of legal practices upon women, First Nations peoples, refugees, and others whose experiences are erased or overlooked by dominant legal doctrines and processes. 

Please register for Zoom participation information.

Masks are requested for this seminar.