Meet Christopher MacCarthy, 2018 Legal Fellow

ARI invites law students to apply to our Legal Fellowship program, which involves in-depth policy research on topics at the intersection of law and philosophy. Our legal fellows work with ARI’s director of Legal Studies, Steve Simpson, an experienced constitutional lawyer who for many years worked at the Institute for Justice. Today we’d like to introduce you to 2018 legal fellow Christopher MacCarthy.

What’s your background? I was an air traffic controller in Australia and the Middle East for seventeen years and an assistant for four years before that. During my two-year career break before returning to university, I worked as a professional divemaster in Thailand, a coral reef research diver in the Seychelles, and a dive instructor on the island of Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean.

What do you study? I graduated with a Bachelor of Laws last month and I’m currently enrolled in the Master of Legal Practice program.

How did you become a legal fellow? I participated in the Mannkal Scholarship Programme over the course of 2017 and I was successful in winning a Mannkal Overseas Scholarship. As a Mannkal Scholar, I was interviewed by the director of Legal Studies at the Ayn Rand Institute and selected for a legal fellowship at ARI.

What are you working on as a legal fellow? Whilst examining contemporary attacks on free speech, I’ve been researching the protagonists, antecedents and origins of the Free Speech Movement that arose from on-campus protests at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1964.

What are you learning from your legal fellowship? I’ve gained a deep understanding of the importance of free speech from studying the American experience of fighting for constitutionally protected speech. This has enhanced my ability to advocate for free speech in Australia, a country which is experiencing similar threats to free speech on university campuses.

Would you recommend that others apply to become ARI legal fellows? Most definitely “yes”! The opportunity to engage in discussion and debate with some of the most brilliant academic minds in the United States is invaluable, as is the opportunity to delve deeper into the study of Objectivism, hear fascinating anecdotes of Ayn Rand’s life, and appreciate her love of life and living life to the full.

Where do you think that Ayn Rand’s ideas are most needed today? The rise of collectivism and the consequential threat to individual freedom are the primary issues. The death and destruction that followed the socioeconomic failures of collectivist societies in other countries must not be repeated in this country or any other country.

How do you plan to put Objectivism into practice? I advocated for free speech and individual liberty on campus during my undergraduate years, and I will continue to do so whenever and wherever the opportunity arises in the course of my life. Every time someone asks me about my legal fellowship, I invite them to read Ayn Rand’s novels and think about how they look at the world and people around them from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.

Currently reading? Atlas Shrugged

Any hobbies? Scuba diving. Although I don’t teach diving anymore, I enjoy exploring the reefs and wrecks along the coast of Western Australia, including: Rowley Shoals, Ningaloo Reef, Abrolhos Islands and the Sanko Harvest wreck, which is the second largest wreck in the world, sitting in shallow water off pristine beaches along the Australia’s south coast. These rank amongst the top dive sites in the world!

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If you think that ARI’s Legal Fellowship sounds interesting and you would like to apply, then please send your resume/CV and cover letter to

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