Photo of Tom Frost

Tom Frost
Lecturer In Legal Theory (Law)
T: +44 (0)1273 678412


My research interests centre upon the following main areas:

  • Continental Philosophy, particularly the works of Giorgio Agamben
  • The intertwined history of the law and theology, specifically Christianity's influence in Western Europe and over European Empires
  • The relationship between European Empires, 'postcolonialism', the law's operation in both and the idea of justice

Current research projects include:

  • An analysis of the present, past and future roles of the University within a modern, democratic, capitalist state, and the place of 'academic freedom' and the 'academic' within this framework
  • Investigating the dispossession of the Chagossians from Diego Garcia and the legality of the creation of the British Indian Ocean Territory
  • A hermeneutic study of the interconnectedness of the works of Giorgio Agamben and Emmanuel Levinas, focusing specifically on Agamben's concept of the 'form-of-life'

I am currently working on my first monograph, Law, Relationality and the Ethical Life: Agamben and Levinas, to be published with Routledge.

My work has been cited by the Supreme Court:

  • Tom Frost and C R G Murray, 'The Chagos Island cases: the empire strikes back' (2015) 66 NILQ 263, cited in R (on the application of Bancoult (No 2)) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2016] UKSC 35, [188] (Lady Hale)

Postgraduate Supervision:

I am interested in supervising prospective PhD students who wish to undertake research which intersects with continental philosophy, and legal and political theory more broadly.

I am also interested in supervising students who are interested in researching aspects of US Constitutional Law. 

If you would like to informally discuss a prospective PhD proposal with me, please do get in touch.

PhD students:

January 2017 - Present: Michael Baines (supervised with Dr Darrow Schecter)

Title: 'To what extent does the Gramscian concept of cultural hegemony play a role in international criminal law, and more specifically in the International Criminal Court and the special Courts and Tribunals'

September 2016 - Present: Jack Hatton (supervised with Dr Amir Paz-Fuchs)

Title: 'A Constructo-positivist Reconceptualisation of the Relationship between Human Rights and Law'

September 2016 - Present: Benjamin Thorne (supervised with Dr Tarik Kochi)

Title: 'How should witnesses of human rights violations contribute to collective memory in transitional post-conflict societies?'

September 2014 – Present: Zeynep Ardic (supervised with Dr Michael Kearney)

Title: ‘Searching for Transitional Justice Mechanisms in the Kurdish Issue in Turkey: Enforced Disappearances, Truth Commissions and the Right to the Truth’

September 2014 – Present: Emrah Denizhan (supervised with Dr Tarik Kochi)

Title: ‘Suspending the ‘Politics’: State Violence Securitization Under Neo-Liberal Conservative Governmental Reason in Turkey’

Invited Presentations:

Invited respondent, Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law, A Symposium with Professor David Dyzenhaus, Newcastle Law School, 24 September 2014

‘Tahrir Square: The Paradigm of Democratic Potentiality?’, Paper presented at Rancière and the Possibility of Law, Helsinki University, 7 June 2013

‘Play, Repetition and Testimony: Meditations on Death and Truth’, Paper presented at Playgrounds and Battlefields, International Intensive Seminar, Estonian Institute of the Humanities, Tallinn University, 20 February 2013

Conference Papers:

'Rage Against the Dying of the Light: The Public and Private in the Chagos Cases', Paper presented at Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference 2017, Newcastle University, 6 April 2017 (with Colin Murray)

'On the Coming Uses of Community and Immunity: Agamben and Esposito in an Age of Nihilism', Paper presented at 'Immunity, Health and the Body Politic', Hosted by the  Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics (CAPPE), University of Brighton, University of Sussex, 30 April 2016

'The New Jurisprudence of Empire', Paper presented at The Chagos Litigation: A Socio-Legal Dialogue, School of Law, University of Greenwich, 29 June 2015 (with Colin Murray)

'Academic Freedom and Immaterial Labour', Paper presented as Staff Seminar, Sussex Law School, 28 January 2015


'The Dispositif Between Agamben and Foucault', Paper presented at Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Annual Conference 2014, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 6 December 2014


‘Law and the Promise of a New World’, Stream Convenor, Critical Legal Conference 2014, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex, 4-6 September 2014


Invited discussant, Rancière and the Possibility of Law, Hosted by The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) and The School of Law, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), 5-6 June 2014


'The potentiality of messianic politics', Paper presented at SUPSOC Seminar, University of Sussex, 19 March 2014


‘Rancière, Coetzee and the Aesthetics of Dissensus’, Paper presented at Literature and Human Rights: A Critical Examination, Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA), Newcastle University, 25 May 2013


‘The Modern University, Ltd.’, Paper presented at the Critical Legal Conference 2012, School of Computer Science and Communication, Stockholm University, 14 September 2012

‘Colonialism, Justice and the Rule of Law’, Paper presented at the Society of Legal Scholars Conference 2012, Bristol University, 14 September 2012 (with Sascha-Dominik Bachmann)

'The Chagos Islands Cases - The Empire Strikes Back', Paper presented as Staff Seminar, Newcastle Law School, 30 May 2012 (with Colin Murray)

‘The Idea of Academic Freedom’, Paper presented as Staff Seminar, Newcastle Law School, 23 May 2012

‘Tahrir Square and Truth Commissions’, Paper presented at Transitional Justice and Restorative Justice: Potential, Pitfalls and Future, Durham Law School, Durham University, 16 September 2011

‘The Hyper-Hermeneutic Gesture of a Subtle Revolution’, Paper presented at the Critical Legal Conference 2011, Department of Law and Criminology, Aberystwyth University, 10 September 2011

‘Agamben and the Political Tradition’, Paper presented at ‘Agamben and the Futures of Law, Politics and Philosophy’, Newcastle Law School Symposium, 9 March 2011

‘The Rule of Law as a legal tool of oppression and domination in a postcolonial context’, Paper presented as Staff Seminar, School of Law, University of Portsmouth, 20 May 2010

‘Agamben and the House of Saud’, Paper presented as Staff Seminar, School of Law, University of Southampton, 29 October 2009

‘Agamben’s Sovereign Legalisation of Foucault’, Paper presented at the Critical Legal Conference 2009, School of Law, University of Leicester, 11 September 2009

‘Agamben, the Exception and Law’, Paper presented at 6th Annual International Conference on Law, The Law Research Unit of the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), Athens, Greece, 21 July 2009

‘Giorgio Agamben, the Exception and Law’, Paper presented as Staff Seminar, School of Law, University of Southampton, 13 May 2009

‘The Theory of the State of Exception’, Paper presented at 2nd Regional Doctoral Conference, School of Law, University of Reading, 11 March 2009

‘The State of Exception’, Paper presented at 1st Regional Doctoral Conference, School of Social Sciences and Law, Oxford Brookes University, 12 December 2007