About John Finnis

John Finnis is Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy Emeritus in the University of Oxford, where he was a Tutorial Fellow of University College and a teaching member of the Faculty of Law from 1966 to 2010. He was a member of the Sub-Faculty of Philosophy from 1987 to 2010. Since 1995 he has also been the Biolchini Family Professor of Law and adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Since 1990 he has been a Fellow of the British Academy, elected to the Law section and recently appointed to the Philosophy section as well.

Finnis was born in Adelaide, South Australia, in July 1940; he was the eldest of four children. His father, then and until retirement, taught in the Department of Philosophy in the University of Adelaide, and his maternal grandfather was the Professor of Philosophy. Finnis was educated from 1947–56 at South Australia’s leading Church of England school; confirmed in the Church of England at the age of 10 or 11, he spent his teenage years as an atheist reader of Rationalist Press Association publications, Bertrand Russell, and in due course David Hume. He was dux (academic leader) of the school in his final year, before starting four years of Law studies (with some Economics and Politics) at the University of Adelaide, which he completed in 1961 before going on to Oxford University as Rhodes Scholar for South Australia in 1962. There he undertook a doctorate under the supervision of H. L. A. Hart, the Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford.

During his final two years as an undergraduate in Adelaide, Finnis became convinced both of the truth of God’s existence and of the reality of his self-disclosure to Israel and in Christ, by extensive reading in philosophical works critical of empiricism, among them B. J.  F. Lonergan’s Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, along with some of Newman’s work on revelation.

Less difficult was reaching the conviction that Christ, in order to transmit his message of salvation and the sacramental extensions of his salvific actions, established and constituted a Church on the Apostles and their successor bishops, around their communion with Peter, rock and special pastor of the Lord’s flock—a role attested convincingly in each of the Gospels, and in the Acts of the Apostles—and that the Catholic Church in communion with Peter’s see of Rome is the only assembly of Christians that can credibly hold itself to be integrally (despite its members’ failings and defections) that same Church today.

On his way by ship and rail towards England in 1962, Finnis spent a day alone in Rome, where in St. Peter’s he saw the seating arranged for the opening of the Second Vatican Council. He was received into the Catholic Church in St. Aloysius Church, Oxford, on 19 December 1962, at the end of his first academic term in Oxford.

On completing his doctorate in 1965, Finnis was nominated by Hart to a year’s junior teaching position in the Law School at the University of California, Berkeley. The post left plenty of time for wider reading, and in the stacks of the main university library Finnis came upon Grisez’s review of Insight. This alerted him to the name Grisez when he made a one-time visit to a Catholic bookshop in Berkeley, where Contraception and the Natural Law happened to be on display. He bought it, and in it found the outlines of an adequate theory of first principles of practical reason, principles which Insight had spoken of but manifestly failed to articulate or even accurately to conceive. Grisez’s book also opened the way for Finnis to read Aquinas fruitfully.

Spending some months in mid-1966 teaching in the Law School in Adelaide on his way back to take up the position as Law Fellow of University College Oxford that he was to hold until 2010, Finnis read intensively in the works of Vitoria, Suarez, and later scholastics whose moral theories and accounts of law and obligation were spoiled by their failure to grasp reflectively practical reason’s per se nota first principles and their normativity.

On returning to Oxford in October 1966, Finnis was asked by Hart to contribute a book to the Clarendon Law Series, a series that Hart founded, edited and made internationally known by his own volume, The Concept of Law (1961). Hart specified to Finnis that the book should be called Natural Law and Natural Rights,  and encouraged him not to hurry. In the event, Finnis delivered the typescript in 1978, the year of his return from nearly two years as Professor and Head of the Department of Law in the University of Malawi (on secondment from Oxford).

During the intervening years, the encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, had appeared and been the subject of one of Finnis’s early publications, a note in the Law Quarterly Review; and Grisez and Finnis had been brought together for the first time (in Rome in 1974) by the initiative of Fr.  Ronald Lawler,  O.F.M.Cap., to co-author the moral chapters of A Catholic Catechism for Adults.

The publication of Natural Law and Natural Rights moved several neo-scholastics to criticize the theories both Finnis and Grisez now publicly held, and the two collaborated in responding to Ralph McInerny and others, as well as to consequentialist or proportionalist developments amongst moral theologians and other Catholic supporters of contraception and other kinds of acts regarded as intrinsically evil. This collaboration expanded into the major undertaking, with Joseph Boyle, of a book (1987) on nuclear deterrence, the ethics of which had been the subject of undergraduate publications by Finnis in and around 1961. (A sense of the rational robustness of Catholic moral teaching’s bearing on such matters had at that time contributed substantially to Finnis’s growing sense that Catholicism was truer both than atheism and than other forms of revealed religion.)

Finnis’s own books Fundamental of Ethics (1983) and Aquinas: Moral, Political and Legal Thought (1998) are shaped by what he learned about doing philosophy (and about reading Aquinas) in his collaboration with Grisez and Boyle. At the same time, not only the deterrence book but later works of Grisez and Boyle profited from Finnis’s special gifts and skills for identifying relevant data, analyzing texts, and minimizing the ambiguities in important formulations.

Meanwhile, in the late seventies, Finnis was appointed a consultor to the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, and in 1986, on the basis perhaps of his work on IVF for the British and Irish bishops and the Holy See, he became with William E. May one of the first two lay members of the International Theological Commission, where during his five years’ membership he was a principal redactor of a never-published Commission project on moral absolutes, the conclusions of which are reflected in John Paul II’s encyclical, Veritatis Splendor (1993), in the drafting of which Finnis was not involved.

Finnis’s book, Moral Absolutes: Tradition, Revision and Truth, (1991) sets forth compactly his understanding of the philosophical and theological grounds for affirming that there are some negative moral norms or precepts that exceptionlessly exclude from deliberation and choice some kinds of action specifiable without other normative moral premises.

In preparation for the first volume of The Way of the Lord Jesus,  Grisez and Finnis spent nearly a fortnight in Oxford reading through virtually all the documents of the Second Vatican Council in Latin, comparing the two principal English translations. Near the completion of the third volume, they spent a similar but much longer period together, in Notre Dame, Indiana, reading and thinking through virtually all the difficult moral questions. Some of those questions had earlier been worked through in public seminars organized by Finnis and conducted by Grisez in Boston College (Massachusetts) and in Oxford. Finnis has been involved in other ways in the preparation of each of the published and projected volumes.

In 2011 Oxford University Press published in five volumes 106 essays that Finnis had selected from his philosophical and theological papers, published and previously unpublished, along with introductions by him to each of the five volumes. These are grouped around, respectively, practical reason, intention and identity, justice and other moral problems, law and legal theory, and Christian revelation as public reason.

In 2013 the same press published Reason, Morality and Law: the Philosophy of John Finnis, edited by his former doctoral students John Keown and Robert George, with contributions by 27 associates, colleagues, former students, and critics, and a response to each by Finnis (125 of the volume’s 600 pages). The volume’s arrangement tracks that of the five volumes of the Collected Essays of John Finnis. It begins, then, with an essay by Joseph Raz on value theory and ends with an essay by Grisez on the proper articulation of the last end and first moral principle, and includes a wide range of philosophical, political, legal and constitutional issues (and two discussions, one by Finnis, of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure).

Since then, Finnis’s research has begun to look to Vatican II’s teaching on the eye-witness character of the Gospels; to that teaching’s unwarranted abandonment by mainstream biblical scholars professing to teach and write as Catholics; and to the critique of that mainstream being mounted by some mainly French and English-speaking scholars.

In June 1964, in Oxford, Finnis married Marie Carmel McNally, a fellow South Australian and a graduate in English Literature of the Universities of Adelaide, Cambridge and later Oxford. They have three daughters, three sons, and eleven grandchildren.


My Collaboration with John Finnis

by Germain Grisez

I first became aware of John Finnis when he sent me a congratulatory note on the publication of my 1970 book, Abortion: The Myths, the Realities, and the Arguments. One of the chapters in that book was the fruit of extensive research in law libraries, and I was tremendously pleased to get a favorable nod from an Oxford don and teacher of law.

John and I first worked together from April 25 to May 1, 1974, in a hotel in Rome, on four chapters pertaining to Christian ethics in The Teaching of Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults, edited by Ronald Lawler, O.F.M.Cap., Rev. Donald Wuerl, and Thomas Comerford Lawler—a book that has been translated into thirteen languages and gone through five editions, as well as a couple of simplified versions for young people.

Those six days spent on the Teaching of Christ were the first of forty-two days we eventually worked together on projects closely related to the Catholic Church’s teaching, including work I was asked to do on the early stages of John Paul II’s encyclical on fundamental moral theology, Veritatis splendor, and work John undertook on the encyclical on killing human beings, Evangelium vitae. John also reviewed amendments I had drafted to the first draft of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and I helped him with work he did during his service on the International Theological Commission.

After our work in Rome in 1974 on the Teaching of Christ project, we next worked together from April 16–27, 1979, in John’s office at University College, Oxford, on the major documents of Vatican II. That collaboration prepared me to use those documents in my theological project, The Way of the Lord Jesus. John’s understanding of Latin and his ability to extract the precise meaning from a text proved much better than mine.

Those twelve days were the first of eighty-two days we eventually spent working together on the volumes of the Way of the Lord Jesus. John not only helped me with the interpretation and translation of the passages from Vatican II and other Church documents, but with outlining several of the chapters of my volume II, Living a Christian Life, and with reworking drafts of my volume III, Difficult Moral Questions. Between August 19 and September 26, 1996, we spent twenty-six days in his apartment at Notre Dame University on the last revision of Difficult Moral Questions before I added its appendices on cooperation and published that volume.

After our work in Oxford in 1979 on the documents of Vatican II, we next worked together for a day, April 2–3, 1982, in Washington, D.C., and Emmitsburg, during which we discussed nuclear deterrence, among other things. That day was the first of sixty days we eventually spent on publications of which we were co-authors. Many of those days were spent on the book, Nuclear Deterrence, Morality and Realism, of which Joseph Boyle also was a co-author.

The three of us first worked together on a fairly detailed outline. Then each of us drafted some chapters—John, for instance, did a splendid job researching and writing about the resort to obliteration bombing during World War II and the emergence of deterrence after that war. In drafting some of the chapters, two or all three of us worked together. We revised the final draft working together, and not a single statement was included if one of us disagreed with it.

The three of us—John, Joseph Boyle, and I—later worked together on a careful restatement of many parts of the ethical theory we were developing: “Practical Principles, Moral Truths, and Ultimate Ends.” That article was intended to clarify points that critics of our work were misunderstanding or misrepresenting. Again, the three of us worked together on “‘Direct’ and ‘Indirect’: A Reply to Critics of Our Action Theory.” We also worked together, and with Bill May, on “‘Every Marital Act Ought to Be Open to New Life’: Toward a Clearer Understanding.”

In addition to the days already accounted for, there were a few odd days John and I spent on other matters. All told, we worked together eighty-six days in Emmitsburg, fifty-one days in Oxford, thirty-three days in Notre Dame, and seventeen days in other places.

Of course, we collaborated on many other occasions without being together in the same place.

In the early years, we communicated by mail—for example, I mailed John drafts of the article, Contraception and the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium, on which Father John Ford, S.J. and I were working in 1976–77, and John responded with valuable comments. At about the same time, for my article “Against Consequentialism,” John accessed and copied by hand something I needed from a work of Bentham preserved at University College in London—not University College in Oxford, as I had supposed when I asked him to get it for me. Later, we often sent each other faxes or e-mails exchanging ideas and commenting on drafts, related not only to the projects already mentioned but also to work that only one of us was doing but happened to be on some topic of common interest.

Extensive as our collaboration was, it of course had limits. John told me in 1974 that he was working on Natural Law and Natural Rights, and in that book he made use of work I had done in ethical theory—and gave me credit for it. But I contributed nothing to the planning, drafting, revising, or editing of Natural Law and Natural Rights—John did it all. Similarly, in the mid-1970s I planned, outlined, and wrote Beyond the New Theism almost entirely on my own.

Again, John helped me prepare to write Christian Moral Principles and commented on some drafts, but Joseph Boyle, not John, spent many months helping me outline that book and work out the arguments in it. Later, although John discussed his plans for his Aquinas book with me and got me to comment on some drafts, he alone did the tremendous work of researching and drafting it. And, of course, each of us did a good deal of work on matters in which the other had little interest or no expertise.

Our collaboration has been fruitful at several different levels.

On the lowest level, it called attention to our work that it would not otherwise have received. Beginning in the mid-1960s, I had published articles and books proposing and putting to work, not a new natural law theory, but a fresh interpretation of Aquinas’s natural law theory. Yet although it differed from the Thomism Americans had learned in Canadian graduate schools, nobody regarded it as a serious enough threat to respond to it. But when an Oxford don used the work in ethical theory I had been doing in a book published by Oxford University Press, the Thomists took notice, and their notice both forced them to pay attention to my work and made Natural Law and Natural Rights better known by Catholic philosophers and theologians than even so fine a book on philosophy of law otherwise would have been.

At a higher and obvious level, our collaboration made much of our work better than it otherwise would have been, and we did some good things together that we otherwise could not have done. Perhaps the greatest of the good things John and I and Joseph Boyle did together was the book on nuclear deterrence—a better work than the book on euthanasia related issues that Joe and I did during the late 1970s without John’s help and a far better work than the book on abortion that I did by myself in the late 1960s.

At a still higher level, it seems to me clear that during our time the world and the Church have needed thinking sounder than was available about the good and the bad, and the good and the better, in human action and in human life in society, and that John and I and Joseph Boyle and others who worked with us were called by God to work together in helping to meet that need. In other words, I believe that we were given a divine mission and that, by the grace of God, we have worked together surprisingly well in carrying out that mission,

Finally, at a different, personal dimension, working with John has been both the occasion and the the fruit of one of my few friendships. In our relationship, John has been patient, considerate, generous, and loyal, and I am grateful to him—as I am to Joseph Boyle and to other collaborators who have been such good friends with me over the years.

Publications of John Finnis


Natural Law and Natural Rights (Oxford: Oxford University, 1980); 2nd ed. rev. (2011), with “Postscript” (414–79) and improved index (485–94).
Translations of the first edition:
 •  Legge Naturali e Diritti Naturali, by F. DiBlasi (Milan: Giappichelli, 1996);
 •  Ley Natural y Derechos Naturales, by C. Orrego (Buenos Aires: Abeledo-Perrot, 2000);
 •  Prawo naturalne i uprawnienia naturalne, by Karolina Lossman, Klasycy Filozofii Prawa (Warsaw: Dom Wydawniczy ABC, 2001);
 •  Zi ran fa u zi ran quan li (Mandarin), by Jiaojiao Dong, Yi Yang, and Xiaohui Liang (Beijing: Zhongguo zheng fa da xue chu ban she, 2004);
 •  Lei Natural e Direitos Naturais, by Leila Mendes (Sao Leopoldo, Brazil: Editora Unisinos, 2007);
 •  Естественное право и естественные права (Moscow, ИРИСЕН, 2012).

Fundamentals of Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University; Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1983).

“Commonwealth and Dependencies,” in Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th ed, vol. 6 (London: Butterworth, 1974), 315–601; annual supplements thereto, to date; reissued, vol. 6 (1991), 345–559; reissue, 4th ed., vol. 6 (2004), 409–518; reissue, 5th ed., vol. 13 (London: Lexis Nexis, 2009), 471–589.

Nuclear Deterrence, Morality and Realism, with Joseph Boyle and Germain Grisez (Oxford: Oxford University, 1987).

Moral Absolutes: Tradition, Revision and Truth (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America, 1991); Absolutos Morales: Tradición, Revisión y Verdad, trans. Juan José García Norro (Barcelona: Ediciones Internacionales Universitarias, 1992); Gli assoluti morali: Tradizione, revisione e verità, trans. Andrea Maria Maccarini (Milan: Edizioni Ares, 1993).

Natural Law (edited and introduced), 2 vols., The International Library of Essays in Law and Legal Theory: Schools (Aldershot, England: Dartmouth Publishing; New York, N.Y.: New York University: 1991); “Introduction” (vol. 1), xi–xxiii; “Introduction” (vol. 2), xi–xvi.

Aquinas: Moral, Political, and Legal Theory (Oxford: Oxford University, 1998).

Reason in Action: Collected Essays of John Finnis, vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University, 2011).

Intention and Identity: Collected Essays of John Finnis, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University, 2011).

Human Rights and Common Good: Collected Essays of John Finnis, vol. 3 (Oxford: Oxford University, 2011).

Philosophy of Law: Collected Essays of John Finnis, vol. 4 (Oxford: Oxford University, 2011).

Religion and Public Reasons: Collected Essays of John Finnis, vol. 5 (Oxford: Oxford University, 2011).


Theological Papers

“Natural Law and Unnatural Acts,” Heythrop Journal, 11 (1970): 365–87.

“The Value of the Human Person,” Twentieth Century [Australia], 27 (1972): 126–37.

Chapters 18–21 (with Germain Grisez) in The Teaching of Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults, ed. Ronald Lawler, O.F.M. Cap., Donald W. Wuerl, and Thomas Comerford Lawler (Huntington, Ind.: Our Sunday Visitor, 1976); the editors saw the work through a 2nd ed., 1983; 3rd ed., 1991; 4th ed., 1995; 5th ed., 2005; thirteen translations; an abridged ed. (1979); and several derivative publications.

“Catholic Social Teaching: Populorum Progressio and After” Church Alert (SODEPAX Newsletter) 19 (1978): 2–9; also in Liberation Theology in Latin America, ed. James V. Schall (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1982), 304–21.

“Conscience, Infallibility and Contraception,” The Month, 239 (1978): 410–17; also in International Review of Natural Family Planning, 4 (1980): 128–40; and in Human Love and Human Life, ed. Joseph N. Santamaria and John J. Billings (Melbourne: Polding, 1979).

“Catholic Faith and the World Order: Reflections on E. R. Norman,” Clergy Review, 64 (1979): 309–18.

“Reflections on an Essay in Christian Ethics: Part I: Authority in Morals,” Clergy Review, 65 (1980): 51–7: “Part II: Morals and Method,” 87–93.

“The Natural Law, Objective Morality, and Vatican II,” in Principles of Catholic Moral Life, ed. William E. May (Chicago: Franciscan Herald, 1981), 113–49.

“The Fundamental Themes of Laborem Exercens,” in Proceedings of the Fifth Convention of Fellowship of Catholic Scholars: Catholic Social Thought and the Social Teaching of John Paul II, ed. Paul L. Williams (Scranton, Pa.: Northeast Books, 1983), 19–31.

“In Vitro Fertilisation: Morality and Public Policy,” in Evidence submitted by the Catholic Bishops’ Joint Committee on Bio-ethical Issues to the [Warnock] Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, May 1983, 5–18 (unsigned: committee document).

“Response to the Warnock Report,” in Submission to Secretary of State for Social Services by the Catholic Bishops’ Joint Bioethics Committee on Bio-ethical Issues, December 1984, 3–17 (unsigned: committee document).

“IVF and the Catholic Tradition,” The Month, 246 (1984): 55–58.

“Practical Reasoning, Human Goods and the End of Man,” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, 58 (1984): 23–36; also in New Blackfriars, 66 (1985): 438–51.

“Morality and the Ministry of Defence” (review), The Tablet, 3 August 1985, 804–805.

“Personal Integrity, Sexual Morality and Responsible Parenthood,” Anthropos (now Anthropotes), 1:1 (1985): 43–55; also in Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader, ed. Janet E. Smith (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1993), 173–91.

“The Laws of God, the Laws of Man and Reverence for Human Life,” in Linking the Human Life Issues, ed. Russell Hittinger (Chicago: Regnery, 1986), 59–98.

“On Human Infertility Services and Embryo Research,” response by the Catholic Bishops’ Joint Committee on Bioethical Issues to the Department of Health and Social Security, June 1987, 3–12.

“The Claim of Absolutes,” The Tablet, 241 (1987): 364–66.

“The Act of the Person,” in Persona Veritá e Morale (Atti del Congresso Internazionale di Teologia Morale, Rome 1986) (Rome: Cittá Nuova Editrice, 1987), 159–75.

“‘Faith and Morals’ A Note,” The Month, 21:2 (1988): 563–67.

“Nuclear Deterrence, Christian Conscience, and the End of Christendom,” New Oxford Review (Berkeley, Cal.), July-August 1988, 6–16.

“Goods are Meant for Everyone: Reflection on Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis”, L’Osservatore Romano (Eng. ed.), 21 March 1988, 21.

“‘Every Marital Act Ought to Be Open to New Life’: Toward a Clearer Understanding,” with Germain Grisez, Joseph Boyle, and William E. May, Thomist, 52 (1988): 365–426; trans. Margherita Sani,“‘Ogni Atto Coniugale Deve Essere Aperto a una Nuova Vita’: Verso una Comprehensione Piú Precisa,” Anthropotes, 4:? (1988): 73–122; original reprinted in John C. Ford, S.J., Germain Grisez, Joseph Boyle, John Finnis, and William E. May, The Teaching of Humanae vitae: A Defense (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988), 33–116.

“The Consistent Ethic: A Philosophical Critique,” in Consistent Ethic of Life: Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, ed. Thomas G. Fuechtmann (Kansas City, Mo.: Sheed and Ward, 1988), 140–81.

“Absolute Moral Norms: Their Ground, Force and Permanence,” Anthropotes, 4:2 (1988): 287–303.

“Nuclear Deterrence and Christian Vocation,” New Blackfriars, 70 (1989): 380–87.

“On Creation and Ethics,” Anthropotes, 5:2 (1989): 197–206.

“La morale chrétienne et la guerre entretien avec John Finnis,” Catholica, 13 (1989): 15–23.

“Aristotle, Aquinas and Moral Absolutes,” Catholica: International Quarterly, 12 (1990): 7–15; trans. by Carlos I. Massini-Correas: “Aristóteles, Santo Tomás y los Absolutos Morales,” Persona y Derecho, 28 (1993): 9–26; and also in Razon y Praxis, ed. A. G. Marques and J. Garcia-Huidobro (Valparaiso, Chile: Edeval, 1994), 319–36.

“Conscience in the Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,” in Newman after a Hundred Years, ed. Ian Ker and Alan G. Hill (Oxford: Oxford University, 1990), 401–18.

“The Natural Moral Law and Faith,” in The Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Vatican II: A Look Back and a Look Ahead, ed. Russell E. Smith (Braintree, Mass.: Pope John Center, 1990), 223–38; discussion (with Alasdair MacIntyre), 250–62..

“A Propos de la ‘Valeur Intrinsèque de la Vie Humaine’,” Catholica, 28 (1991): 15–21.

“The Language of Doctrine,” Tablet, 14 Dec. 1991, 1545.

“What Pope John Said,” Tablet, 4 Jan. 1992, p. 14; 18 Jan. 1992, pp. 70–71; 1 Feb. 1992, p. 139; 8 Feb. 1992, p. 170.

“On the Grace of Humility: A New Theological Reflection,” The Allen Review, 7 (1992): 4–7.

“Historical Consciousness” and Theological Foundations, Étienne Gilson Lecture No. 15 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1992).

“Reason, Relativism and Christian Ethics,” Anthropotes, 9:? (1993): 211–30.

“Theology and the Four Principles: A Roman Catholic View I,” with Anthony Fisher, O.P., in Principles of Health Care Ethics, ed. Raanan Gillon (Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley, 1994), 31–44.

“Reflections on the Encyclical Letter Veritatis splendor: Negative Moral Precepts Protect the Dignity of the Human Person,” with Germain Grisez, L’Osservatore Romano (Eng. ed.), 23 February 1994, 6–7; ” published earlier: “Gli atti intrinsecamente cattivi,” L’Osservatore Romano (Italian ed.), 4 December 1993, 1 and 4

“Beyond the Encyclical,” The Tablet, 8 January 1994, reprinted in Understanding Veritatis Splendor, ed. John Wilkins (London: SPCK, 1994), 69–76.

“Indissolubility, Divorce and Holy Communion,” with Germain Grisez and William E. May, New Blackfriars, 75 (1994): 321–30; “Lettre ouverte ... au sujet de l’admission à la communion eucharistique des divorcés ‘remariés’,” Catholica, 44 (1994): 59–70.

“Unjust Laws in a Democratic Society: Some Philosophical and Theological Reflections,” in I cattolici e la società pluralista: il caso delle leggi imperfette: atti del I Colloquio sui cattolici nella società pluralista: Roma, 9–12 Novembre 1994, ed. Joseph Joblin and Réal Tremblay (Bologna: Edizioni Studio Domenicano, 1994), 99–114; rev. version in Notre Dame Law Review, 71 (1996): 595–604.

“Natural Law—Positive Law,” in ‘Evangelium Vitae’ and Law: Acta Symposii Internationalis in Civitate Vaticana celebrati 23–25 maii 1996, ed. Alfonso López Trujillo, Julián Herranz, and Elio Sgreccia (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997), 199–209.

“The Catholic Church and Public Policy Debates in Western Liberal Societies: The Basis and Limits of Intellectual Engagement,” in Issues for a Catholic Bioethic, ed. Luke Gormally (London: Linacre Centre, 1999), 261–73.

“God the Father,” in Occasional Papers from the Millennium Conferences at the Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy, ed. Edward Craig, No. 1 (Oxford: 2000), 24–26.

“‘Direct’ and ‘Indirect’: A Reply to Critics of Our Action Theory,” with Germain Grisez and Joseph Boyle, Thomist, 65 (2001): 1–44.

“Reason, Faith and Homosexual Acts,” Catholic Social Science Review, 6 (2001): 61–69.

“‘An Intrinsically Disordered Attraction’,” in Same-Sex Attraction: A Parents’ Guide, ed. John F. Harvey and Gerard V. Bradley (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s, 2003), 89–99.

“Secularism, Morality and Politics,” L’Osservatore Romano (Eng. ed.), 29 January 2003, 9.

“Saint Thomas More and the Crisis in Faith and Morals,” The Priest, 7:1 (2003): 10–15, 29–30.

“Nature and Natural Law in Contemporary Philosophical and Theological Debates: Some Observations,” in The Nature and Dignity of the Human Person as the Foundation of the Right to Life: Proceedings of the Eighth Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, ed. Juan Correa and Elio Sgreccia (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2003), 81–109.

Humanae Vitae: A New Translation with Notes (London: Catholic Truth Society, 2008).

“Debate over the Interpretation of Dignitas personae’s Teaching on Embryo Adoption,” National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, 9 (2009): 475–78.

“Foreword” to Anthony Fisher, O.P., Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2011), viii–x.

“Reason Will Get us Out of this Bunker”: commentary on the Pope’s address to the Bundestag, Il Sussidiario.net, 27 September 2012

“The Implications of Extending Marriage Benefits to Same-Sex Couples” (with Gerard G. Bradley and Daniel Philpott), Public Discourse, February 22, 2015, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14522/


Philosophical and Jurisprudential Papers

“Developments in Judicial Jurisprudence,” Adelaide Law Review, 1 (1962): 317–37.

“The Immorality of the Deterrent,” Adelaide University Magazine, 1962, 47–61.

“Doves and Serpents,” The Old Palace, 38 (1963): 438–41.

“Punishment and Pedagogy,” The Oxford Review, 5 (1967): 83–93.

“Natural Law in Humanae vitae,” Law Quarterly Review, 84 (1968): 467–71.

“Old and New in Hart’s Philosophy of Punishment,” The Oxford Review, 8 (1968): 73–80.

“Law, Morality and Mind Control,” Zenith, (Oxford: University Museum: 1968): 6: 7–8.

“Reason, Authority and Friendship in Law and Morals,” in Jowett Papers 1968–1969, ed. B. Y. Khanbhai, Ronald Stanley Katz, and Roland Alain Pineau (Oxford: Blackwell, 1970), 101–24.

“Abortion and Legal Rationality,” Adelaide Law Review, 3 (1970): 431–67.

“Meaning and Ambiguity in Punishment (and Penology),” Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 10 (1972): 264–8.

“Bentham et le droit naturel classique,” Archives de Philosophie du Droit , 17 (1972): 423–27.

“The Restoration of Retribution,” Analysis, 32 (1972): 131–5.

“The Rights and Wrongs of Abortion: a reply to Judith Jarvis Thomson,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2 (1973): 117–45; reprinted in Philosophy of Law, ed. Ronald M. Dworkin (Oxford: Oxford University, 1977), 129–52, and in The Rights and Wrongs of Abortion, ed. Marshall Cohen, Thomas Nagel, and Thomas Scanlon (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1974), 85–113; and in part in Ethics: Theory and Practice, ed. Manuel Velasquez and Cynthia Rostankowski (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1984).

“Rights and Wrongs in Responses to Population Growth” in Man—How Will He Survive? ed. J. N. Santamaria (Adelaide: 1974), 91–100.

“Some Formal Remarks about ‘Custom’,” in International Law Association, Report of the First Meeting on the Theory and Methodology of International Law (1977), 14–21.

“Scepticism, Self-refutation and the Good of Truth,” in Law, Morality and Society: Essays in Honour of H. L. A. Hart, ed. P. M. S. Hacker and Joseph Raz (Oxford: Oxford University, 1977), 247–67.

“Abortion Legal Aspects of ,” in Encyclopedia of Bioethics, ed. Warren T. Reich (New York: Free Press, 1978), 26–32.

“Observations” (on Georges Kalinowski’s review of Natural Law and Natural Rights), Archives de Philosophie du Droit, 26 (1981): 425–27.

“The Basic Principles of Natural Law: A Reply to Ralph McInerny,” with Germain Grisez, American Journal of Jurisprudence, 26 (1982): 21–31.

“Natural Law and the ‘Is’–‘Ought’ Question: An Invitation to Professor Veatch,” Catholic Lawyer, 26 (1982): 266–77.

“The Authority of Law in the Predicament of Contemporary Social Theory,” Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, 1 (1984): 115–37.

“On ‘Positivism’ and ‘Legal-Rational Authority’,” Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 3 (1985): 74–90.

“On ‘The Critical Legal Studies Movement’,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 30 (1985): 21–42; also in Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence: Third Series, ed. John Eekelaar and John Bell (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987), 145–65.

“A Bill of Rights for Britain? The Moral of Contemporary Jurisprudence,” Maccabaean Lecture in Jurisprudence, Proceedings of the British Academy, 71 (1985): 303–31.

“On Positivism and the Foundations of Legal Authority: Comment,” in Issues in Legal Philosophy: the Influence of H. L. A. Hart, ed. Ruth Gavison (Oxford: Oxford University, 1986), 62–75.

“The ‘Natural Law Tradition’,” Journal of Legal Education, 36 (1986): 492–95.

“Legal Enforcement of Duties to Oneself: Kant v. Neo-Kantians,” Columbia Law Review, 87 (1987): 433–56.

“Natural Inclinations and Natural Rights: Deriving ‘Ought’ from ‘Is’ according to Aquinas,” in Lex et Libertas: Freedom and Law according to St. Thomas Aquinas (Studi Tomistici, 30), ed. L. J. Elders and J. Hedwig (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1987), 43–55.

“Practical Principles, Moral Truth, and Ultimate Ends,” with Germain Grisez and Joseph Boyle, American Journal of Jurisprudence, 32 (1987): 99–151; also (with table of contents) in Natural Law, ed. John Finnis, vol. 1 (Aldershot, England: Dartmouth Publishing; New York, N.Y.: New York University: 1991), 236–89.

“On Reason and Authority in Law’s Empire,” Law and Philosophy, 6 (1987): 357–380.

“Answers” (to Questions about Nuclear and Non-nuclear Defence Options), in Choices: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Defence Options, ed. Oliver Ramsbottom (London: Brasseys’ Defence Publishers, 1987), 219–34.

“Absolute Moral Norms: Their Ground, Force and Permanence,” Anthropotes, 4:2 (1988): 287–303.

“Persons and Their Associations,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, supp. vol. 63 (1989): 267–74.

“Law as Coordination,” Ratio Iuris, 2 (1989): 97–104.

“Russell Hittinger’s Straw Man,” Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Newsletter, 12:2 (1989): 6–8 (corrigenda in following issue).

“Incoherence and Consequentialism (or Proportionalism—A Rejoinder,” with Joseph Boyle and Germain Grisez, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 64 (1990): 271–77.

“Natural Law and Legal Reasoning,” Cleveland State Law Review, 38 (1990): 1–13.

“Allocating Risks and Suffering: Some Hidden Traps,” Cleveland State Law Review, 38 (1990): 193–207.

“Concluding Reflections,” Cleveland State Law Review, 38 (1990): 231–50.

“Object and Intention in Moral Judgments according to St. Thomas Aquinas,” Thomist, 55 (1991): 1–27; rev. version in Finalité et Intentionnalité: Doctrine Thomiste et Perspectives Modernes, Bibliothèque Philosophique de Louvain No. 35, ed. Jacques Follon and James McEvoy (Paris: J. Vrin, 1992), 127–48; shortened version in “Autour de la question de la fin et des moyens,” Catholica, 21 (1990): 53–61; “Object and Intention in Moral Judgments According to St Thomas Aquinas,” Catholica: International Quarterly Selection, Spring 1991, 3–8.

“Intention and Side-effects,” in Liability and Responsibility: Essays in Law and Morals, ed. R. G. Frey and Christopher W. Morris (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1991), 32–64.

“The Legal Status of the Unborn Baby,” Catholic Medical Quarterly, 43 (1992): 5–11.

“Natural Law and Legal Reasoning,” in Natural Law Theory: Contemporary Essays, ed. Robert P. George (Oxford: Oxford University, 1992), 134–57.

“Economics, Justice and the Value of Life: Concluding Remarks,” in Economics and the Dependent Elderly: Autonomy, Justice and Quality of Care, ed. Luke Gormally (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1992), 189–98; section II in translation in “A propos de la ‘valeur intrinsèque de la vie humaine’,” Catholica, 28 (1991): 15–21.

“Commentary on Dummett and Weithman,” in Free Movement: Ethical Issues in the Transnational Migration of People and of Money, ed. Brian Barry and Robert E. Goodin (University Park, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania, 1992), 203–10.

“The ‘Value of Human Life’ and ‘The Right to Death’: Some Reflections on Cruzan and Ronald Dworkin,” Southern Illinois University Law Journal, 17 (1993): 559–71.

“Abortion and Health Care Ethics,” in Principles of Health Care Ethics, ed. Raanan Gillon (Chichester, England: John Wiley, 1993), 547–57.

“‘Shameless Acts’ in Colorado Abuse of Scholarship in Constitutional Cases,” Academic Questions, 7:4 (1994): 10–41.

“Liberalism and Natural Law Theory,” Mercer Law Review, 45 (1994): 687–704.

“On Conditional Intentions and Preparatory Intentions,” in Moral Truth and Moral Tradition: Essays in Honour of Peter Geach and Elizabeth Anscombe, ed. Luke Gormally (Dublin: Four Courts, 1994), 163–76.

“Law, Morality, and ‘Sexual Orientation’,” Notre Dame Law Review, 69 (1994): 1049–76; also, with additions, Notre Dame Journal Law, Ethics, and Public Policy, 9 (1995): 11–39.

“A Philosophical Case against Euthanasia,” “The Fragile Case for Euthanasia: A Reply to John Harris,” and “Misunderstanding the Case against Euthanasia: Response to Harris’s First Reply,” in Euthanasia: Ethical, Legal and Clinical Perspectives, ed. John Keown (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1995), 23–35, 46–55, 62–71.

Articles in Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed. Ted Honderich (Oxford: Oxford University, 1995): “History of Philosophy of Law” (465–68), “Problems in the Philosophy of Law” (468–72), “Austin” (67), “Defeasible” (181), “Dworkin” (209–10), “Grotius” (328), “Hart” (334), “Legal Positivism” (476–7), “Legal Realism” (477), “Natural Law” (606–7), “Natural Rights” (607).

“The Truth in Legal Positivism,” in The Autonomy of Law: Essays on Legal Positivism, ed. Robert P. George (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996), 195–214.

“The Ethics of War and Peace in the Catholic Natural Law Tradition,” in The Ethics of War and Peace, ed. Terry Nardin (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1996), 15–39.

“Is Natural Law Theory Compatible with Limited Government?,” in Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality, ed. Robert P. George (Oxford: Oxford University, 1996), 1–26.

“Loi naturelle,” in Dictionnaire de Philosophie Morale, ed. Monique Canto-Sperber (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1996). 862–68.

“Law, Morality and ‘Sexual Orientation’,” in Same Sex: Debating the Ethics, Science, and Culture of Homosexuality, ed. John Corvino (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997), 31–43.

“The Good of Marriage and the Morality of Sexual Relations: Some Philosophical and Historical Observations,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 42 (1997): 97–134.

“Commensuration and Public Reason,” in Incommensurability, Comparability and Practical Reasoning, ed. Ruth Chang (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1997), 215–33, 285–89.

“Public Good: The Specifically Political Common Good in Aquinas,” in Natural Law and Moral Inquiry, ed. Robert P. George (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University, 1998), 174–209.

“On the Practical Meaning of Secularism,” Notre Dame Law Review, 73 (1998): 491–515.

“Natural Law,” in Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Craig (London: Routledge, 1998), 6:685–90.

“Public Reason, Abortion and Cloning,” Valparaiso University Law Review, 32 (1998): 361–82.

“Euthanasia, Morality and Law,” Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, 31 (1998): 1123–45.

“What is the Common Good, and Why does it Concern the Client’s Lawyer?” South Texas Law Review, 40 (1999): 41–53.

“Natural Law and the Ethics of Discourse,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 43 (1999): 53–73; also in Ratio Juris, 12 (1999): 354–73.

“The Priority of Persons,” in Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence, Fourth Series, ed. Edward Craig (Oxford: Oxford University, 2000), 1–15.

“Abortion, Natural Law and Public Reason,” in Natural Law and Public Reason, ed. Robert P. George and Christopher Wolfe (Washington, D.C,: Georgetown University, 2000), 71–105.

“Some Fundamental Evils of Generating Human Embryos by Cloning,” in Etica della Ricerca Biologica, ed. Cosimo Marco Mazzoni (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2000), 115–23; also in Ethics and Law in Biological Research, ed. Cosimo Marco Mazzoni (Boston: Kluwer Academic, 2002), 99–106.

“Retribution: Punishment’s Formative Aim,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 44 (2000): 91–103.

“On the Incoherence of Legal Positivism,” Notre Dame Law Review, 75 (2000): 1597–1611.

“Virtue and the Constitution of the United States,” Fordham Law Review, 69 (2001): 1595–1602.

“Secularism, the Root of the Culture of Death,” in Culture of Life—Culture of Death, ed. Luke Gormally (London: Linacre Centre, 2002).

“Natural Law: The Classical Tradition,” in The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law, ed. Jules Coleman and Scott Shapiro (Oxford: Oxford University, 2002), 1–60.

“Aquinas on jus and Hart on Rights: A Response,” Review of Politics, 64 (2002): 407–10.

“Law and What I Truly Should Decide,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 48 (2003): 107–130.

“Natural Law and the Re-making of Boundaries,” in States, Nations, and Boundaries: The Ethics of Making Boundaries, ed. Allen Buchanan and Margaret Moore (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2003), 171–78.

“Per un’etica dell’eguaglianza nel diritto alla vita: Un commento a Peter Singer,” in Questioni Mortali: L’Attuale Dibattito sulla Morte Cerebrale e il Problema dei Trapianti, ed. Rosangela Barcaro and Paolo Becchi (Naples: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2004), 127–39.

“Helping Enact Unjust Laws without Complicity in Injustice,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 49 (2004): 11–42.

“‘The Thing I Am’: Personal Identity in Aquinas and Shakespeare,” Social Philosophy and Policy, 22 (2005): 250–82; also in Personal Identity, ed. Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred. D. Miller, and Jeffrey Paul (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2005), 250–82.

“On ‘Public Reason’,” Ius et Lex (Warsaw), (2005), 33–56; trans.: “O Racji Pulicznej,” 7–30; Eng. original: http://ssrn.com/abstract=955815.

“Philosophy of Law” (Chinese trans.) in The Map of Contemporary British and American Philosophy, ed. Ouyang Kang (Beijing: Dangdai Yingmei Zhexue Ditu, 2005), 388–413.

“Restricting Legalised Abortion Is Not Intrinsically Unjust,” in Cooperation, Complicity and Conscience: Proceedings of an International Conference on Problems in Healthcare, Science, Law and Public Policy, ed. Helen Watt (London: Linacre Centre, 2005), 209–45.

“A Vote Decisive for . . . a More Restrictive Law,” in Cooperation, Complicity and Conscience: Proceedings of an International Conference on Problems in Healthcare, Science, Law and Public Policy, ed. Helen Watt (London: Linacre Centre, 2005), 269–95.

“Self-referential (or Performative) Inconsistency: Its Significance for Truth,” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, 78 (2005): 13–21.

“Foundations of Practical Reason Revisited,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 50 (2005): 109–132.

“Aquinas’ Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2005): http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aquinas-moral-political/

“Religion and State: Some Main Issues and Sources,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 51 (2006): 107–30; also: http://ssrn.com/abstract=943420.

“Observations for the Austral Conference to Mark the 25th Anniversary of Natural Law and Natural Rights,” Cuadernos de Extensión Jurídica (Universidad de los Andes) 13 (2006): 27–30.

“Natural Law Theories of Law,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2007): http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-theories

“Grounds of Law and Legal Theory: A Response,” Legal Theory, 13 (2008): 315–44.

“The Mental Capacity Act 2005; Some Ethical and Legal Issues,” in Incapacity and Care: Controversies in Healthcare and Research, ed.Helen Watt (London: Linacre Centre, 2009), 95–105.

“On Hart’s Ways: Law as Reason and as Fact,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 52 (2007): 25–53; also in The Legacy of H. L. A. Hart: Legal, Political and Moral Philosophy, ed. Matthew Kramer and Claire Grant (Oxford: Oxford University, 2009), 1–27.

“Universality, Personal and Social Identity, and Law,” Proceedings of (Third) Congresso Sul-Americano de Filosofia do Direito and (Sixth) Colóquio Sul-Americano de Realismo Jurídico; Porto Alegre, Brazil; 4 October 2007; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper, 5/2008: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1094277.

“Marriage: A Basic and Exigent Good,” The Monist, 91 (2008): 396–414.

“Reason, Revelation, Universality and Particularity in Ethics,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 53 (2008): 23–48.

“Endorsing Discrimination between Faiths: A Case of Extreme Speech?” in Extreme Speech and Democracy, ed, Ivan Hare and James Weinstein (Oxford: Oxford University, 2009), 430–41.

“Why Religious Liberty Is a Special, Important and Limited Right,” Address at Witherspoon Institute and Templeton Foundation Conference on Religious Liberty; Princeton University; 30 October 2008; Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper, 09-11; http://ssrn.com/abstract=1392278.

“Does Free Exercise of Religion Deserve Constitutional Mention?” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 54 (2009): 41–66>

“Telling the Truth about God and Man in a Pluralist Society: Economy or Explication?” in The Naked Public Square Reconsidered: Religion and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Christopher Wolfe (Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books, 2009), 111–25, 204–209.

“Discriminating between Religions: Some Thoughts on Reading Greenawalt’s Religion and the Constitution: Establishment and Fairness,Constitutional Commentary, 25 (2009): 265–71.

“H. L. A. Hart A Twentieth-Century Oxford Political Philosopher,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 54 (2009): 161–85.

“Law as Idea, Ideal and Duty: A Comment on Simmonds, Law as a Moral Idea,” Jurisprudence, 1 (2010): 247–53.

“The Other Forword” The Public Discourse, 20 October 2010 (address at Princeton University, October 2011).

“Exceptionalism and Exceptionless Moral Norms in Measure for MeasureJournal of Law, Philosophy and Culture, 5 (2010 [2011]): 103–10.

Abstracts of Introductions and all 106 essays for Oxford Scholarship Online edition of the five volumes of Collected Essays of John Finnis (2011).

“Preface” to Fundamentos de ética, trans. Arthur M. Ferreira Neto, Coleção Teoria e Filosofia do Direito (Rio de Janeiro: Elseveira Editora, 2012), vii–xi.

“Natural Law Theory: Its Past and Its Present” in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Law, ed. Andrei Marmor (London: Routledge, 2012): 16–30; American Journal of Jurisprudence, 57 (2012): 81–101.

“What is Philosophy of Law?” Rivista di Filosofia de Diritto, 1 (2012): 67–78; rev. version: American Journal of Jurisprudence, 59:2 (2014): 133—42.

“Social Virtues and the Common Good,” in The Truth about God, and Its Relevance for a Good Life in Society: Proceedings of the XI Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas Aquinas, 17–19 June 2011 (Vatican City: 2012), 96–106.

“Response” (to Eight Papers), Villanova Law Review, 57:5 (2012): 925–55.

“Coexisting Normative Orders? Yes, But No,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 57 (2012): 111–117.

“Equality and Differences,” the H. L. A. Hart Memorial Lecture 2011, American Journal of Jurisprudence, 56 (2011): 17—44.

“Capacity, Harm and Experience in the Life of Persons as Equals,” Journal of Medical Ethics, 39:5 (2013): 281–83.

“The Priority of Persons Revisited,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 58:1 (2013): 45–62.

“How Persistent are Hart’s ‘Persistent Questions’?” in Reading HLA Hart’s The Concept of Law, ed. Duarte d’Almeida, Luis and James Edwards, and Andrea Dolcetti (Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2013) 227–36.

“A Response to Harel, Hope, and Schwartz,” Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies, 8 (2013): 147–66.

“Reflections and Responses” (to 27 essays), in Reason, Morality, and Law: the Philosophy of John Finnis, ed. John Keown and Robert P. George (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) 459–584.

“Ley natural y derechos naturales 30 años después,” (trans. Pilar Zambrano), in Juan B. Etchevery (ed.), Ley, Moral y Razón, (Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, 2013) 3–10.

“Law as Fact and as Reason for Action: A Response to Robert Alexy on Law’s ‘Ideal Dimension’,” American Journal of Jurisprudence, 59:1 (2014): 85–109.

“Authority, Legitimacy and Obligation in Law’s Empire (and Justice for Hedgehogs),” http://ssrn.com/abstract=2431419

“Freedom, Benefit and Understanding: Reflections on Laurence Claus’s Critique of Authority,” San Diego Law Review, 52 (2014): 893–920; http://ssrn.com/abstract=2526490

Dio, l’uomo, il mondo e la società in Tommaso d’Aquino (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2015), 27–57 (with a preface by John Haldane, 13–24.

“Natural Law and the Unity and Truth of Sex Ethics,” with Robert P. George, Public Discourse, March 17, 2015, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/03/14635/


Legal Papers

“Constitutional Law,” a yearly contribution from 1967 to 1975 to Annual Survey of Commonwealth Law (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968–1976).

“Reason and Passion: The Constitutional Dialectic of Free Speech and Obscenity,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 116 (1967): 222–43.

“Blackstone’s Theoretical Intentions,” Natural Law Forum, 12 (1967): 163–83.

“Separation of Powers in the Australian Constitution,” Adelaide Law Review, 3 (1968): 159–77.

“Three Schemes of Regulation,” in The Morality of Abortion: Legal and Historical Perspectives, ed. John T. Noonan (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1970), 172–219; also published as “Abortion and Legal Rationality,” Adelaide Law Review, 3 (1970): 431–67.

“The Abortion Act: What has changed?” Criminal Law Review, 18 (1971): 3–12.

“Some Professorial Fallacies about Rights,” Adelaide Law Review, 4 (1972): 377–88.

“Revolutions and Continuity of Law,” in Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence: Second Series, ed. A. W. Brian Simpson (Oxford: Clarendon, 1973), 44–76.

British North America Acts: The Role of Parliament: Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee, House of Commons Paper 1980–81 HC 42 (21 January 1981), 87 pages.

Foreign Affairs Committee, Supplementary Report on the British North America Acts: The Role of Parliament, House of Commons Paper 1980–81 HC 295 (15 April 1981), 23 pages.

Foreign Affairs Committee, Third Report on the British North America Acts: The Role of Parliament, House of Commons Paper 1981–82 HC 128 (22 December 1981), 17 pages.

“The Responsibilities of the United Kingdom Parliament and Government under the Australian Constitution,” Adelaide Law Review, 9 (1983): 91–107.

“Power to Enforce Treaties in Australia—The High Court Goes Centralist?” Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 3 (1983): 126–30.

“Reforming the Expanded External Affairs Power,” in Report of the External Affairs Subcommittee to the Standing Committee of the Australian Constitutional Convention (September 1984), 43–51.

Bland: Crossing the Rubicon?” Law Quarterly Review, 109 (1993): 329–37.

“‘Living Will’ Legislation,” in Euthanasia, Clinical Practice and the Law, ed. Luke Gormally (London: Linacre Centre, 1994), 167–76.

“Intention in Tort Law,” in Philosophical Foundations of Tort Law, ed. David G. Owen (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995), 229–48.

“The Fairy Tale’s Moral,” Law Quarterly Review, 115 (1999): 170–75.

“Abortion for Cleft Palate: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990,“ Sunday Telegraph 7 December 2003.

“Nationality, Alienage and Constitutional Principle,” Law Quarterly Review, 123 (2007): 417–45; SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/ papers.cfm?abstract_id=1101495

“Common Law Constraints: Whose Common Good Counts?” Cambridge Centre for Public Law Conference, January 2008; SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1100628

“The Lords’ Eerie Swansong: A Note on R (Purdy) v Director of Public Prosecutions, Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper, 31/2009: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1477281.

“Directly Discriminatory Decisions: a Missed Opportunity,” Law Quarterly Review, 126 (2010): 491–96.

“Invoking the Principle of Legality against the Rule of Law” in Modern Challenges to the Rule of Law, ed. Richard Wilkins (Wellington, Lexis Nexis, 2011), 129–42; also in New Zealand Law Review (2010): 601–16.

“The Profound Injustice of Judge Posner on Marriage,” Public Discourse, October 9, 2014, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/10/13896/

“A British ‘Convention Right’ to Assistance in Suicide?” Law Quarterly Review, 131 (2015): 1–8.

“Patriation and Patrimony: The Path to the Charter” (Coxford Lecture), Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 28/1 (2015): 1–25.


Historical Papers
   with Patrick H. Martin

“The Identity of ‘Anthony Rivers’,” Recusant History, 26 (2002): 39–74.

“Tyrwhitt of Kettleby, Part I: Goddard Tyrwhitt, Martyr, 1580,” Recusant History, 26 (2002): 301–313.

“Tyrwhitt of Kettleby, Part II: Robert Tyrwhitt, a Main Benefactor of John Gerard SJ, 1599–1605,” Recusant History, 27 (2003): 556–69.

“Thomas Thorpe, ‘W.S’, and the Catholic Intelligencers,” Elizabethan Literary Renaissance, (2003): 1–43

“Shakespeare’s Intercession for Love’s Martyr,” Times Literary Supplement, 18 April 2003, 12–14.

“Caesar, Succession, and the Chastisement of Rulers,” Notre Dame Law Review, 78 (2003): 1045–74.

“An Oxford Play Festival in 1582” Notes and Queries, 50 (2003): 391–94.

“Benedicam Dominum: Ben Jonson’s Strange 1605 Inscription,” Times Literary Supplement, 4 November 2005, 12–13.

“The Secret Sharers: ‘Anthony Rivers’ and the Appellant Controversy, 1601–21,” Huntingdon Library Quarterly, 69 (2006): 195–238. http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/abs/10.1525/ hlq.2006.69.2.195

“Rethinking Shakespeare” (without Patrick H. Martin), in Jurisprudence as Practical Reason: A Celebration of The Collected Essays of John Finnis, ed. Mark Sayers and Aladin Rahemtula (Brisbane: Supreme Court Library, 2013), 115–22.


Review of . . .

Sir John Latham and Other Papers by Zelman Cowen, Law Quarterly Review, 83 (1967): 289–90.

Film Censors and the Law by Neville March Hunnings, Law Quarterly Review, 84 (1968): 430–32.

The Press Council by H. Phillip Levy, Law Quarterly Review, 84 (1968): 582.

The Limits of the Criminal Sanction by Herbert L. Packer, Oxford Magazine, 86:1, new series (1969): 10–11.

The Philosophy of Punishment by H. B. Acton, Oxford Magazine, 87, new series (13 April 1970).

Australian Constitutional Law by Colin Howard, Law Quarterly Review, 86 (1970): 416–18.

A Theory of Justice (1972) by John Rawls, Oxford Magazine, 90 no. 1, new series (26 January 1973).

The Bank Nationalisation Case and the Constitution by R. S. Gae, Modern Law Review, 37 (1974), 120.

Towards a Reformulation of Natural Law by Anthony Battaglia, Scottish Journal of Theology, 35 (1982): 555–6.

Human Life, Action and Ethics: Essays by G.E.M. Anscombe, ed. by Mary Geach and Luke Gormally, National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, 9:1 (2009): 199–207.