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Academic Fellow, University of Sydney

Allan McCay is Deputy Director of the Institute of Criminology, and an Academic Fellow at the University of Sydney Law School.

He is a Member of the Management Committee of the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney Law School and is also an Affiliate Member of the Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics, at Macquarie University.

In the past he has taught at the Law School at the University of New South Wales, and the Business School at the University of Sydney. Allan trained as a solicitor in Scotland and has also practised as a commercial litigator, in Hong Kong, with the global law firm Baker McKenzie.

He holds a PhD from the University of Sydney Law School and is interested in behavioural genetics, neuroscience, neurotechnology, and the criminal law. His philosophical interests include the free will problem and philosophy of punishment. Aside from his work on neurotechnology and the criminal law, he has a general interest in emerging technologies and has published on the future of work in the context of developments in artificial intelligence.

Allan has been a visiting researcher at the philosophy departments of the University of California, Riverside, the University of Stirling, and also at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University.

His first book (with Michael Sevel), Free Will and the Law: New Perspectives is published by Routledge (2019) and contains a collection of responses to the free will problem. Many of the chapters address its significance in the context of law .

His second book (with Nicole Vincent and Thomas Nadelhoffer), Neurointerventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity (2020) is published by Oxford University Press. This book considers the way in which new approaches to intervening on the brain such as deep-brain stimulation, brain-computer interfaces and new medications, create novel and sometimes concerning issues for the law. It contains chapters from leading philosophers working in these areas.

He has also published in the journals Neuroethics, The Journal of Evolution and Technology, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, The International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, and The Indigenous Law Bulletin.


  • –present
    Lecturer, University of Sydney