Biography

Sebastian joined the DPhil in Law Program in October 2017. His doctoral research focuses on legal reasoning and jurisprudence. Sebastian is also interested in the philosophy of authority, practical reasoning, and the sources of law. His work is supervised by Timothy Endicott.

Sebastian is one of the Convenors of the Oxford Jurisprudence Discussion Group (2020-2021), and has taught jurisprudence for Merton College, St Hida's College, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

Before coming to Oxford, Sebastian completed his Master of Laws at Harvard Law School, where he worked in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy and the Harvard International Law Journal. He is a qualified lawyer in Chile, where he has published various articles on administrative law litigation. 

Publications

Recent additions

  • Sebastian Lewis , 'Precedent and the Rule of Law' (2021) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
    DOI: https://academic.oup.com/ojls/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ojls/gqab007/6161245
    Courts may reason using precedents in various ways, but not all of them satisfy the rule of law. This article provides two ways that are compatible with this ideal and one which is not. In doing so, the article aims to explain the practice of following precedent in law and to offer criteria for evaluating its value. Two claims are defended. First, courts always have a reason to decide precedent-governed disputes by following precedent. This reason is a minimum requirement of the rule of law, and in some cases this reason may be reinforced in the form of an obligation. Secondly, depending on whether courts have a reason or an obligation to follow precedent, two modes of precedential reasoning may be identified. The article explains them in detail. The modes, together with the considerations that are reasons in favour of them or against them, provide a valuable philosophical foundation of precedent-following in law.

Journal Article (5)

Sebastian Lewis , 'Precedent and the Rule of Law' (2021) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
DOI: https://academic.oup.com/ojls/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ojls/gqab007/6161245
Courts may reason using precedents in various ways, but not all of them satisfy the rule of law. This article provides two ways that are compatible with this ideal and one which is not. In doing so, the article aims to explain the practice of following precedent in law and to offer criteria for evaluating its value. Two claims are defended. First, courts always have a reason to decide precedent-governed disputes by following precedent. This reason is a minimum requirement of the rule of law, and in some cases this reason may be reinforced in the form of an obligation. Secondly, depending on whether courts have a reason or an obligation to follow precedent, two modes of precedential reasoning may be identified. The article explains them in detail. The modes, together with the considerations that are reasons in favour of them or against them, provide a valuable philosophical foundation of precedent-following in law.

Chapter (1)

Research programmes

Research Interests

Jurisprudence, practical reasoning, philosophy of adjudication, theory of precedents. 

 
 
 
 

Options taught

Jurisprudence

Research projects