Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock

Associate Professor of Law

Contact Info



Lucy’s research is broadly concerned with critical legal and contemporary philosophical understandings of law in relation to its material and conceptual formulations found within understandings of aesthetics, property, entropy and resistance. Always with a desire to apply theory to practice, Lucy's work has focused in recent years on methodological and practice-based questions around the intersection of art, law, resistance and property (see 'Forming the Legal Avant Garde: A Theory of Art/Law', Law Culture and the Humanities, 2019).

Since 2015 Lucy has been involved in developing an 'Art/Law Network', a meeting space between artists, activists, lawyers, practitioners and other such agitators. Out of this has been borne an interest in the role of law in outsider art, the scope of the impact of institutionalisation on the creative process and law's role in the formulation of the genre in itself. Similarly, Lucy is interested in the materiality of law, the role of materials as 'legal storytellers' and the manner in which law is told as story, highlighting law of oral traditions, as well as those that are text-based. A recent project has been the 'Laws of Ice' considering the extent to which the materiality of ice creates the regulatory frameworks.

Part of Lucy's work is practice-based, including working with sound, video, sculpture and data sets. For the project 'Laws of Ice' she is developing a sound-based response to the work in collaboration with Anders Hulkjvist (University of Gothenburg) and Dann Hignell-Tully (Distant Animals). The practice-based element of her work is inspired by her work as a speculative artist whose work seeks to capture ontological questions around artificial and formal divides – the human/machine, subject/object, divisions between art and law.

Underlying her work is a philosophical probing of the nature of property, materiality and entropic forces of change. This culminated in monograph 'Protest, Property and the Commons: Performances of Law and Resistance' (Routledge, 2016) which theorises the intersection of property within law and resistance, interrogating the spatio-temporality and aesthetics of formal and informal laws, property (squatting and housing), commons and protest. Lucy uses the thermodynamic property 'entropy' to explain linear and nonlinear relations of matter, law, resistance, aesthetics informed by speculative and new materialist philosophy and complexity theory (see 'Seeing Red: Entropy, Property and Resistance in the Summer Riots', Law and Critique, 2012).

Lucy is currently working on the relationship between addiction and law, legal voids, law and vibration, the role of law in the development of outsider art and legal storytelling.

www.yeoldefinch.com (@yeoldefinch) www.cyrenaur.com (@cyrenaur) www.theloreschool.org (@theloreschool) www.artlawnetwork.org (@ArtLawNetwork)


Books and Edited Collections

Art, New Trajectories in Law Series (series editors Adam Gearey and Colin Perrin) (2023) (London, Routledge)

Practices and Processes as/in Law and Art Special Edition Law and Humanities (2022), with Jack Ky Tan

Art, Law, Power: Perspectives on Legality and Resistance in Contemporary Aesthetics (2020), with Eleftheria Lekakis (London, Counterpress)

Protest, Property and the Commons – Performances of Law and Resistance (2016), Social Justice Books Series (London, Routledge)

Articles and Books Chapters

Bass, Slate and Spray Paint:  On the Edge of, and within, Trespass (Nuart Journal, 2023)

Practice and/or Process? (In)Disciplining Law and Art (2022) in Lucy Finchett-Maddock and Jack Ky Tan (eds.), ‘Practices and Processes as/in Law and Art’ Special Edition Law and Humanities

A Poverty of the Spirit? Law, Property and Addiction (2021) in Maria Grahn Farley (ed.), Adam Gearey’s ‘Lives that Slide out of View: Poverty Law and Legal Activism’ Book Collection (Uppsala)

Forming the Legal Avant-Garde: A Theory of Art/Law (2019), Law Culture and the Humanities, https://doi.org/10.1177/1743872119871832

In Vacuums of Law We Find- Outsider Poiesis in Street Art and Graffiti (2019) in D. Chappell and S. Hufnagel (eds.) Art Crime Handbook (London, Palgrave MacMillan) 855-880

Continua of (In)Justice (2018) in A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (ed.) Handbook of Law and Theory (London, Routledge) 104-123

Nonlinearity, autonomy and resistant law (2018) in T. Webb and S. Wheatley (eds.) Complexity Theory & Law: Mapping an Emergent Jurisprudence, Law, Science and Society Series (London, Routledge) 213-233

Speculative Entropy – Dynamism, Hyperchaos and the Fourth Dimension in Environmental Law Practice (2018) in A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos and V. Brooks (eds.) ‘Research Methods in Law Series (Handbook of Research Methods in Environmental Law)’ (London, Edward Elgar Publishing) 104-130

Squatters’ right – a case study on ‘legal movements’ theory (2017), Socialist Lawyer 40-45

Beauty, Totality, Violent Law (2017), The Conscious Lawyer 8-10

ArtLaw Network (2017), The Conscious Lawyer 11-12

Time’s Up – Resisting Private Limitations on Rights to Housing and Protest (2016) in M. Vols and J. Sidoli del Ceno (eds.) Regulating the City: Contemporary Urban Housing Law (The Hague, Eleven Publishing) 81-107

Letters on Legal Architecture (2016), with Leopold Lambert, ARCH+ Legislating Architecture, Berlin, May, 14-20 14-21

Law in Numbers – The Poiesis of the Crowd (2014), Lo Squaderno (Crowded Spaces) 13-18

Fracking and the Legal and Extra-Legal in Planning Procedures (2014), Journal of Environmental Law and Planning 1210-214

The Changing Architectures of Adverse Possession and a Poltiical Aesthetics of Squatting (2014) in L. Fox-O’Mahony et al. (eds.) ‘’Vulnerable Demons’? Moral Rhetoric and the Criminalisation of squatting’ (London, Routledge) 204-223

Squatting in London – Squatters Rights and Legal Movement(s) (2014) in B. van der Steen and A. Katzeff (eds.) ‘The City is Ours’ (2014) (Oakland, PM Press) 207-231

Responding to the Private Regulation of Dissent – Climate Change Action, Popular Justice and the Right to Protest (2013), 25, Journal of Environmental Law, 2 293-304

The Case of the Naughty in Relation to Law (2013) in E. Loizidou (ed.) ‘Disobedience: Concept and Practice’ (London, Routledge) 83-97

An Epistolary Conversation with Léopold Lambert (2013) in ‘The Funambulist Papers: Volume 4’ (Brooklyn, Punctum Books) 9-22

Seeing Red – Entropy, Property and Resistance in the Summer Riots 2011(2012), 23, Law and Critique, 3 199-217

The Criminalisation of Squatting (2011), 50-51, Corporate Watch Magazine 23-25

Finding Space for Resistance through Legal Pluralism – The Hidden Legality of the UK Social Centre Movement (2010), 60, Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 31-52

An Anarchists Wetherspoons or Virtuous Resistance? Social Centres as MacIntyres Vision of Practice-based Communities (2008), 7, Philosophy of Management, 1 21-32

Squats and Spaces Solidarity Day: The Globe as a Temporary Autonomous Zone (2008) in “What’s this Place? Stories from Radical Social Centres in the UK and Ireland”, ESRC funded project ‘Autonomous Geographies’ (Leeds, Footprints Woklers Co-Operative) 76-79


Psychiatric Architectures and Institutional Aesthetics – The Materio-Legislative Entanglement of Outsider Art (2022) www.legalsightseeing.org

Nowhere Left to Dance:  ScumTek, the Electronic Underground and Neoliberal Mainstreamism, (2016), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

Their Law:  The New Energies of UK Squats, Social Centres and Eviction Resistances in the Fight Against Expropriation (Part 2 of 2) (2015), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

Their Law:  The New Energies of UK Squats, Social Centres and Eviction Resistances in the Fight Against Expropriation (Part 1 of 2) (2015), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

Locating a Right to Protest (2014), published at www.democraticaudit.com

Letters on Legal Architecture (2013), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

The Law of the Commons:  Climate Change Protest in Buckfastleigh (2013), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

Architecture and the Law: An Epistolary Conversation with Dr. Lucy Finchett-Maddock in four letters (2013), published at http://www.funambulist.net

No Home for Squatters’ Rights:  Limitations and Legitimated Violence (2012), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

Burroughs Called the Law (2012), with Nathan Moore, published at http://www.ebsn.eu

Entropy, Law and Funambulism (2011), published at www.funambulist.net

To Dis or Not to Dis?  Disobedience in Relation to Naughty and Law’s Response (2011), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com and http://www.thefunambulist.net

Some Indonesian Recollections on Critical Legal Pluralism(2011), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

Critical Legal Pluralism and the Law of the Ulayat (2011), RUPES Working Paper

Trespassers Will and the Removal of the Other (2011), published at http://www.criticallegalthinking.com

The Memory and the Hope of Social Centres (2011), published at http://mujinga.net/protospace4

Book Reviews

Cristy Clarke and John Page The Lawful Forest:  A Critical History of Property, Protest and Spatial Justice (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Law, Literature and the Humanities, 2022) in Modern Law Review 225 pages.

Book Review Securitisation of Property Squatting (2014)Book Review Securitisation of Property Squatting (2014), Mary Manjikian, London, Routledge in ‘Journal of Urban Studies’, 51 (6) 1341-1344


Who’s Guarding Property Guardians?, The Guardian, Friday 9 June 2010


Eminent Domain v Imminent Domain:  The Law and its Spatial Practices, published at http://www.archipelago.net

Research Group/s

Artist Pedagogy Research Group

Utopias Bach

Art/Law Network

Creative Practice Research Group

Cultural Legal Studies Association


Teaching and Supervision

Lucy is the convenor of LLM module Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law, and undergraduate module Environmental Law.  She also co-teaches on Law, Justice and Rights.


Lucy is Law Postgraduate Taught (LLM) Programmes Lead.

Research areas and keywords


  • K Law (General)
  • NX Arts in general
  • B Philosophy (General)

Research outputs (28)

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