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Durham University

Durham Law School

Staff profile

Dr Kyle Murray, LLB, MJur, AFHEA (Dunelm)

Teaching Fellow in the Durham Law School
Room number: PCL135

Contact Dr Kyle Murray (email at k.l.murray@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Born and raised in the North East, Kyle joined Durham Law School as Teaching Fellow in Public Law and Human Rights in 2017, having been a part-time tutor of UK Constitutional Law for three years, and completing his undergraduate (LLB - 2010-2013) and postgraduate (MJur - 2013-2015) degrees at Durham. In 2017, he was awarded Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. 

His main work and PhD thesis (passed, January 2020) develops an approach to constitutional theory grounded firmly in sceptical, anti-foundationalist philosophy. 

Tweets at @KyleLMurray92.

Current Research

Main Research Interest: A Sceptical Approach to Constitutional Theory

His PhD research (supervised by Professor Gavin Phillipson) and supported by a Durham Law School scholarship, developed the line of inquiry raised by his MJur thesis' negative arguments: What would an approach to constitutional theory grounded in morally sceptical philosophy look like? A critical examination of core issues of constitutional design - driven by the sceptical perspective - was undertaken with the aim of informing an answer to this question.

The core conclusion is that morally sceptical, anti-foundationalist philosophy has significant and constructive contributions to make in this area. To demonstrate this, the thesis contributes to some of the most fundamental issues of constitutional theory: namely, the basis of legitimate collective decision-making authority; the potential limits to such authority; and the issue of entrenchment. It thus lays down the groundwork for a core constitutional theory. 

In doing so, the widely-held assumption that a rejection of objective moral truth is an entirely destructive, even dangerous, theoretical position is taken head-on. Title: The Road from Nowhere: Towards an Anti-Foundationalist Constitutional Theory. It was examined by Professor Conor Gearty (LSE, Law) and Dr Robert Simpson (UCL, Philosophy)

Armed with the groundwork of this thesis, his research seeks to develop further his sceptical theory of constitutionalism, as well as the strong democratic line taken. 

Sexual Consent (Mistake, Deception and "Conditional Consent")

Kyle is also currently researching (with Tara Beattie, Durham Law School) in the area of sexual consent, particularly involving issues of mistake/deception. Their research explores recent legal developments in this area, along the way to making a proposal for reform which, they argue, takes the foundational principle of sexual autonomy fully seriously - a further step towards fostering a positive culture of respect and consent.

For recent media comment on this research, see here.

Office Hours

Wednesdays 11am - 1pm in PCL 178.

Research Groups

Human Rights Centre

Teaching

Current Teaching:

Previous Teaching:

Research Interests

  • Constitutional Theory
  • Philosophy, Moral Theory & Political Theory
  • Jurisprudence
  • Human Rights
  • Gender and equality
  • Mistake, Deception and Sexual Consent (esp. gender fraud, stealthing, and mistaken sex)

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Presentation

  • Murray, K.L. & Beattie, T. (2019), "Terms and Conditions Apply?" Reforming Consent in Sexual Offences, Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference 2019. University of Central Lancashire, Preston.
  • Murray, K.L. & Beattie, T. (2019), Towards a Law of “Conditional Consent”? The Relevance of Mistake and Deception in Sex, Consent: Histories, Representations, and Frameworks for the Future. Josephine Butler College, Durham University
  • Murray, K.L. & Beattie, T. (2018), Stealthing, gender fraud…and beyond? Exploring ‘New Lands’ for Sexual Deception and Non-disclosure, BSA Regional Day Event Sex in Society: Bringing Together Sociological Research on Sexual Culture, Sexual Practice and Sexual Consumption. University of Sheffield, England.
  • Murray, K.L. (2017), Authoritatively (Anti) Authoritarian? A Sceptical Take on Entrenchment, 'Forty Years On From 'The Political Constitution' – Reflections on Law, Politics and Authority in J.A.G. Griffith’s Chorley Lecture', MLR Workshop. School of Law, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
  • Murray, K.L. (2014), Rawls on Justice and Rights - There's Madness in the Method, 'Rights and Freedoms: the United Kingdom, Europe and Beyond' - Durham Law School Annual Postgraduate Conference. St. Mary's College, Durham University, United Kingdom., St. Mary's College, Durham University.

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