Dr Gay D. Morgan

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Senior Lecturer (Law)

Qualifications: BA (Physics) Colorado LLM Yale JD (summa ) San Diego

About Me

Gay Morgan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from the University of Colorado.  She joined the Peace Corps and subsequently spent 11 years in Francophone Africa, first teaching physics and math, then working on public infrastructure and community self-development projects, including 2 years working with NASA solar energy projects. It was in Africa that her interest in Law and legal systems developed. She returned to the US to study law. She earned her Juris Doctorate, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of San Diego and her LLM from Yale University.  She worked with Appellate Defenders, an organisation providing representation for indigent defendants at the appellate level, and then with the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. These experiences are central to her research interests in public law and in jurisprudence or the philosophy of law. Gay is a member of the California and Eighth Circuit bars and has been awarded FSRA membership.

Gay is a founding member of the New Zealand Human Rights Foundation, a member of the Australia & New Zealand Law and History Society, the New Zealand Animal Law Association, the Australian Society of Legal Philosophy and several international public law forums.  She has also served as editor of the Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence. She has published in the areas of public law, animal law and legal philosophy. She is a member and was a founding director of the Waikato Public Law and Policy Research Unit. Her interests in the moral considerateness of all sentient beings, who those might be, and how the legal system ought to properly organise their interactions is the common theme to her research. She has lately been researching on the possible grounds for the moral considerateness of AI and what that might mean for public law.

She currently is serving as the convenor of the Faculty's graduate and honours programmes.

Papers I Teach

Research Interests

  • Jurisprudence
  • Public Law
  • Legal Systems
  • Self Government
  • Pluralism
  • Animal Rights
Current Research Projects
  1. NZTA legislation model
  2. Democratic process in constitutionalism
  3. Moral considerateness of pest animals
  4. Communal responsibility


Law; Legal Education; Teaching

Recent Publications

  • Morgan, G. (2019). Is Plato's Noble Lie essential for democracy. In ASLP 2019. University of Sydney, Australia.

  • Morgan, G. (2019). Post Truth’ concerns – a bit of Legal Hypocrisy? Is ‘Post Truth’ as an inevitable response to Law’s own ‘Noble (or Ignoble) Lie’?. In Australasian Law Academics Association Annual Conference 2019: 'Real' Laws in the Post-Truth World. Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia.

  • Morgan, G. (2018). Earth v humanity: Biodiversity by whom and for whom?. In Second Annual Animal Welfare & International Law Seminar presented by RALHUS & Lincoln Law School UK. Lincoln University, Lincoln, UK.

  • Morgan, G. D. (2017). Food citizenship and animal welfare: context and conflicting values. In Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems Project Symposium. Victoria University Faculty of Law, Wellington.

Find more research publications by Gay Morgan