Michael Adams is a J.S.D. candidate at Columbia Law School. He also holds an LL.M. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and Charles B. Bretzfelder Constitutional Law Scholar, an LL.B. (Hons) from Monash University Law School, and a B.Media (Hons) from the University of Adelaide.
Michael’s interests include constitutional law and theory, in particular the separation of powers, executive power, and equal protection; national security law and theory, in particular the nature of emergency powers and the so-called “national security constitution;” public international law, in particular human rights law, as well as the laws of war and international criminal law; and legal philosophy, in particular the nature of legal authority and sovereignty, as well as legal interpretation.
The working title of Michael’s doctoral thesis is “The ‘Constitutional Outsider’ in National Security Law: Identity, Strategy, and the Separation of Powers.” The thesis will explore the origins of and tensions in treating groups as constitutionally exceptional for the purposes of national security, as well as the impact of the administrative state and international law on that dynamic and its broader implications for constitutional legitimacy.
Before beginning his J.S.D., Michael worked as a researcher at Human Rights Watch in its International Justice Program. His work included the research and writing of a report, entitled Who Will Stand for Us? Victims’ Legal Representation in the Ongwen Case and Beyond, proposing a new approach to the legal representation of victims before the International Criminal Court, based on fieldwork documenting the experience of victims in the case against former Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen. This work was supported in part by a Columbia Law School Postgraduate Public Interest and Government Fellowship.
Previously, Michael worked on policy at the Victorian Law Reform Commission, most prominently on a report recommending the introduction of an intergovernmental medicinal cannabis scheme. Michael was also the Senior Associate for the Honorable Justice Pamela Tate of the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal, and taught constitutional law at Monash University Law School.
Michael’s academic publications include the forthcoming co-authored work Emergency Powers, with Cambridge University Press, and the following articles:
Michael W.R. Adams and H.P. Lee, ‘Judicial Recusal and Removal — A Comparative Study of the New Zealand Wilson Saga’ (2015) 2(2) Journal of International and Comparative Law 187.
Michael W.R. Adams and C.K. Wareham, “Is Judicial Consideration of Credibility and Reliability Under Section 137 of the Uniform Evidence Law a Guarantee of Fairness or ‘Moral Treason’?” (2014) 40(2) Monash University Law Review 243.
H.P. Lee and Michael W.R. Adams, “Defining Characteristics of ‘Judicial Power’ and ‘Court’ – Global Lessons from Australia” (2013) 21(2) Asia Pacific Law Review 167. (Presented at the International Conference on Judicial Independence and Globalization, Hong Kong (2012)).