Macquarie Law School's research is of an international calibre. Our legal research is rated above world standard (4 out of 5) in the Australian government's 2012 Excellence in Research (ERA) evaluation. 

We engage in collaborative work that spans the globe, bringing together researchers from other leading academic institutions as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. Collaborations have focused on a range of cutting-edge legal issues, in fields including international law, constitutionalism, health law and ethics, special position of developing countries, international trade, and environmental law and policy.

Our researchers are also recipients of highly competitive research grants and collaborate with, and consult for, a range of government, community and industry bodies such as AusAid, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, and the United Nations Development Programme, as well as several highly regarded international universities.

Research strengths

Human rights and social justice

Research leader: Professor Denise Meyerson

It encompasses philosophical and theoretical approaches to human rights and ethical challenges, as well as the mechanisms for enhancing access to justice and equality.

Environmental law 

Research leader: Associate Professor Shawkat Alam

This research are focuses both on international and domestic application, our strengths include sustainable development and trade, climate change, heritage law and Indigenous rights, and environmental planning law.

International law

Research leaders: Professors Rafiqul Islam and Natalie Klein

We are recognised for our strengths in international economic and trade law, international human rights law, international dispute settlement, international law protections of refugees, and law of the sea. Competitive external funding has been secured in a number of these areas.

Legal governance, regulation and public policy

Research leaders: Professor Brian Opeskin and Associate Professor Carlos Bernal-Pulido

Our specific focus is on issues of legal governance and regulatory frameworks in a globalised context. It encompasses constitutional law and theory and administrative law, with a particular interest in issues of migration law. This research strength also extends to industry and regulatory governance, with a number of researchers actively engaged in the areas of corporate governance, health regulation, and media and technology regulation.

Private law

Research leader: Professor Peter Radan

This area focuses on the law of obligations governing the interactions of individuals and entities in a range of social and economic contexts. It includes both the contextual and theoretical application of areas of law such as contract, torts, trusts, equity, property, corporations, and remedies. These obligations underpin the vast majority ofall individual interactions and commercial transactions.

Research centres

Centre for Environmental Law

The Centre for Environmental Law (CEL) builds on the research strengths and expertise of our academic staff in specific areas including international and comparative law, marine environmental law, water law and governance, sustainable corporate governance and financing, pollution and environmental regulation, climate change, planning and local government law, natural and cultural heritage. All CEL members also teach in the Macquarie Law School strengthening the research-teaching connection.

Visit the Centre for Environmental Law website.

Recent research activity


  • Bernal, Carlos "Transitional Justice within a framework of a permanent constitution: The case study of the legal framework for peace in Columbia" (2015). (3)4 Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law 1-27
  • MacDermott, Therese "The role of mandatory ADR and agency engagement in resolving employment discrimination complaints: An Australian perspective" (2015) 31 (1) International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 27-46. 
  • Meyerson, Denise, 'Why Should Justice be Seen to be Done?', (2015) 34 Criminal Justice and Ethics forthcoming
  • Zahar, Alexander 'Mediated versus Cumulative Environmental Damage and the International Law Association's Legal Principles on Climate Change'(2014), 4 Climate Law 217-233.
  • Zahar, Alexander International Climate Change Law and State Compliance, Abingdon, UK: Routledge (Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research), 2015
  • Sonia Allan and Pater Radan are contributors to Concise Australian Legal Dictionary, 5th ed, LexisNexis, 2015.
    Therese MacDermott "The role of mandatory ADR and agency engagement in resolving employment discrimination complaints: An Australian perspective" (2015) International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations (forthcoming).
  • John Gooley, Peter Radan & Ilija Vickovich, Principles of Australian Contract Law, Cases & Materials, 3rd ed, LexisNexis, 2015
  • Clare Cunliffe, Campbell Thompson, Niloufer Selvadurai and Nico Burmeister, National Group: Australia, "Exhaustion issues in Australian copyright law" AIPPI Working Papers, AIPPI World Intellectual Property Congress, Toronto, Canada, 2014.
  • Niloufer  Selvadurai, "Telecommunications-specific competition regulation in a converged digital environment" Australian Journal of Competition and Consumer Law (forthcoming 2015).
  • Bernal - Pulido Carlos "Informal Constitutional Change", in: American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming)
  • Bernal - Pulido Carlos "Collective Intentionality and the Ontological Structure of Law", In Rechtstheorie (forthcoming).
  • Bernal - Pulido Carlos "A Methodology for a Neo-Constitutional Legal Theory. A Critical Analysis of Robert Alexy's Juridico-Philosophical Methodology", in María Elósegui and Alejandra Flores, Robert Alexy y el Neo-Constitucionalismo (Mexico: Porrúa), in Spanish.
  • Bernal - Pulido Carlos has signed a contract with Oxford University Press for the following publication: The Philosophy of Law of Eugenio Bulygin (Carlos Bernal, Jose J. Moreso, and Stanley L. Paulson), (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Erika J Techera and Natalie Klein (eds), Sharks - Conservation, Governance and Management (Routledge, 2014)including a chapter by Natalie Klein, 'The existing global legal regimes' and another co-authored chapter: Natalie Klein and Erika J Techera, 'Synergies, solutions and the way forward'.
  • Denise Meyerson, 'Is There a Right to Access Innovative Surgery?' Bioethics (forthcoming).
  • Watson, P 'Using Peer Assisted Learning to Develop Resilient and Resourceful Learners' in R Field, C James, W Larcombe J Duffy (eds) Promoting Law Student and Lawyer Well-Being in Australia and Beyond (Ashgate Publishing Ltd)

Conferences presentations

  • Joel Harrison is hosting a Workshop, Religious Communities: Adopting, Modifying, or Rejecting Rights Discourse,on Thursday 12 February 2015 in the Blackshield Room. The Workshop will discuss papers analysing how religious traditions debate and contribute to rights discourse, exploring possible tensions or areas of consensus. Fifteen academics are attending from Otago (NZ); UQ; Sydney; ANU; Notre Dame (Syd); Newcastle; Adelaide; and Macquarie University (including Malcolm Voyce and one of our PhD students).
  • Rafiqul Islam was one of the invited speakers at the Winter Conference on "From Genocide to Justice in Bangladesh: 1971-2014" on 18-25 December 2014 in Dhaka organised and hosted by Centre for the Study of Genocide and Justice of the Bangladesh Liberation War Museum. He presented the following two papers at the plenary sessions on 19 and 20 December 2014 respectively and both papers have already been published in the peer reviewed conference proceedings: 1. "Adoption of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 (in Bangladesh): Its History and Application, Non-retroactivity and Amendments"; and 2. "National Trials of International Crimes in Bangladesh: Its Significance for International Criminal Law".
  • Brian Opeskin "Migration, Social Disadvantage and Health Conference", (School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University), Melbourne 11-13 February 2015.
  • Sonia Allan ''The Regulation and Governance of Synthetic Biology Research and Applications', Synthetic Biology Workshop, CAVE, Macquarie University, 10 December 2014 
  • Sonia Allan, 'Sex Selection, the Law, and Reproductive Tourism', The Problem with Choosing Children's Gender Worshop, CAVE, Macquarie University, 18 December 2014.
  • Natalie Klein spent a week in South Korea at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and gave a presentation at the Ministry, as well as to the Korean Society of International Law and to students at the University of Seoul.  Fred Smith from PICT also attended. We additionally had meetings with the Korean Institute on the Law of the Sea and with the Northeast Asian History Foundation. Varied collaborations were discussed as a result of the meetings and presentation. 
  • Natalie Klein presented on Maritime Interceptions of Irregular Migrants at the Royal Australian Navy Celebration of 20 Years since the Entry into Force of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which was organised by the Seapower Centre and the ANU.
  • Kate Glesson presented on "Tony Abbott and the enduring significance of abortion to the Christian Right" to Jesse Street Women's Library 20 November 2014.
  • Rafiqul Islam will be presenting by invitation 2 key note papers on the complementarity between international and national criminal jurisdictions in 2 separate plenary sessions of an international conference titled: "Genocide and justice in Bangladesh: 1971-2014"hosted by Centre for the Study of Genocide and Justice, Bangladesh on 18-25 December 2014.
  • Cunliffe, C, and Selvadurai, N,  Exhaustion issues in copyright law, Australian AIPPI Forum, Ashurst solicitors and Davies Collison Cave, May 2014.
  • Selvadurai, N, "Not just a face in the crowd: The proper regulation of face recognition technologies," International Conference on Information Law, University of Macedonia, Greece, via videoconference, May 2014.
  • Bernal - Pulido, Carlos "A Doctrine of Precedent for Continental Law Jurisdictions", Guest Lecture, Judicial Academy, Medellin, July 2014. [in Spanish] (forthcoming)
  • Bernal - Pulido, Carlos  "Theories of Legal Argumentation", Guest Lecture, UEES, Guayaquil, Ecuador, June 2014. [in Spanish] (forthcoming)
  • Bernal - Pulido ,Carlos  "Conscience Clauses and Conscience Refusal in Comparative Perspective", Keynote Lecture at the Conference Freedom of Speech, Conscience and Association in a Religiously Tolerant Society, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, October, 2014. [in English](forthcoming)
  • Simm, Gabrielle with Dr Daniel Joyce, UNSW) 'Zero Dark Thirty: Torture, representation and international law' International Law and Film panel, European Society of International Law annual conference, University of Vienna, 4-6 September 2014. (forthcoming)
  • Simm, Gabrielleinvited, 'New Spirits of Humanitarianism: Genealogies, Practices, Responses' Workshop, University of Western Sydney, 11-12 December 2014(forthcoming)
    Watson, P giving 2 papers at Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, "Thriving in Turbulent Times: Re-imagining the Roles of Law, Law Schools and Lawyers".  10-12 July 2014, at Bond University, Queensland:. 'What Does Effective Teaching Mean?" for Legal Education interest group; and 'Developing Tort Privacy: Towards a Right to Human Dignity in Australia' for Torts group (forthcoming)

External grants

  • Dr Kate Gleeson has been awarded Macquarie University Research Development Grant of $44,497 for the project entitled "A Comparative Analysis of Processes and Outcomes for Justice in the Context of Catholic Clerical Child Sexual Abuse in Ireland and Australia, 1986-2016".
  • Sonia Allan, AMP Tomorrow Fund Grant $30,000 - Research and Development of Community Resource on Health Law
  • Congratulation's to Niloufer Selvadurai on the following successful grant.
    • Khalaileh, Y, Kisswani, and N Selvadurai, N, "Introducing a Unified Regulatory Framework for Telecommunication Interception and Access in the Gulf Region," Qatar National Research Foundation Grant, $361,251, (2014-2016).

Research engagements

  • Bangladesh Collaboration: A high level Bangladesh delegation has visited Macquarie University on 30-05-2014 led by Begum Ismat Ara Sadique, Honourable Minister of State, Ministry of Public Administration, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, to follow up on the progress of collaboration between Macquarie University and her Government.  The previous delegation highlighted the need for higher degree research training for their staff in particular areas of policy development, such as good governance, to deal with the challenges associated with globalisation, law reform and sustainable development. They are committed to facilitating opportunities for their officials to obtain PhD qualifications, with a view to sending at least 4-5 government officials to Macquarie for PhD in relevant disciplines in future.  This would involve official secondment for these officials, funded by the Government of Bangladesh.

Research and training

  • CEL has been awarded funding (Category B) two substantial research and training programs through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (AusAID):
    "Capacity Building for Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development" in February 2013 ($277K) in partnership with Access MQ and the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Bangladesh.
  • "Building Capacity for Effective Negotiation and Participation in International Treaties in Bangladesh" in 2014 ($344K) in partnership with Access MQ and the Economic Relations Division of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh.
  • CEL has submitted in May 2014 an EOI for Round 2 of the Global Partnership for Development Fund of DFAT ($2.1M requested over 3 years, Category B)

Staff research interests

The research interests of Macquarie Law School staff reflect the commitment to viewing the operation of the law and legal system in its total social, economic and political context. All staff have published widely and in a broad range of subject areas.


Emeritus Professor Tony Blackshield
LLM (Syd) Constitutional Law, Tort Law

Professor Rosalind Croucher (currently on leave as President to the Australian Law Reform Commission)
BA (Hons) LLB (Sydney), PhD (UNSW), AMusA (AMEB), FRSA, FACLM (Hon)
Wills, trusts, equity, legal history, property, management of use of corpses.

Professor M. Rafiqul Islam
BA (Hons) LLB, MA (Rajsh), LLM, PhD (Monash)
Public international law; International trade and WTO law; Foreign direct investment law; International human rights law; Law of international organisations; and International security law.

Emeritus Professor Bruce Kercher
BA LLB (Syd), LLM (UNSW), PhD (Macq)
Legal history, especially Australian colonial and nineteenth century British legal empire.

Professor Natalie Klein
BA (Juris) LLB (Hons) (Adel), LLM JSD (Yale)
Public international law, particularly international dispute resolution; Law of the sea; International humanitarian law; International commercial arbitration, Investment disputes

Emeritus Professor Zada Lipman
BA (Hons) (Wits); LLB (SA); LLM (Qld)
Environmental Law, especially pollution law, planning law, climate change law, biodiversity and environmental impact assessment.

Professor Denise Meyerson
BA (Wits) LLB (Cape Town) (magna cum laude) B Phil (Oxon) D Phil (Oxon)
Human rights; constitutional law and comparative constitutionalism; jurisprudence; theoretical foundations of public law.

Professor Brian Opeskin
B Com (Hons Econ) (UNSW), LLB (UNSW), BCL (Oxon)
Public law, international migration law, courts and judges, public health law, Pacific legal systems, legal governance.

Professor Peter Radan 
BA LLB PhD (Syd) DipEd (SCAE
Contracts, Equity & Trusts, Real Property, Self-determination/Secession.

Associate Professors

Associate Professor  Shawkat Alam 
LLB (Hons) (Raj), LLM (Dhaka), PhD (Macq)
International environmental law, public international law, international trade law, WTO and sustainable development, globalisation and sustainable development, developing countries in global environmental politics, trade - poverty and environment nexus, international human rights law, law of international institutions, regional trading blocks and the environment, intellectual property rights and legal education.

Associate Professor Carlos Bernal-Pulido
LLB (Hons) (University Externado of Colombia), MA (Philosophy) (Florida), SJD (Salamanca), Ph.D. (Philosophy) (University of Florida)
Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Torts, Comparative Law, Social Ontology, Philosophy of Action.

Associate Professor Vijaya Nagarajan
BEc LLB (Macq) LLM (Monash) Grad Dip in Higher Education (UTS)
Regulation; Competition law; Commercial law; Legal education.

Associate Professor Archana Parashar
BSc LLM (Delhi) PhD (ANU)
Feminist legal theory; Discrimination law; Family law.

Associate Professor Niloufer Selvadurai
BA LLB (Hons) (Syd), Grad Dip Leg Prac (UTS), PhD (Macq)
Telecommunications law; Technology law; Intellectual property law.

Associate Professor Iain Stewart 
LLB (Hons) (Exeter), PhD (London)
Comparative law; constitutional law; theory of law.

Associate Professor Malcolm Voyce 
LLB (Auck), MA, PhD (Lond), PhD (Macq)
Property law and Succession concerning the privatisation of public property, geographical indications, intellectual property rights, social welfare, family farm inheritance; Law and religion.

Senior Lecturers 

Carolyn Adams
BA(Asian Studies)/LLB (ANU)
Public international law; international human rights law; constitutional law; administrative law; transparency and accountability in government including government compliance with international obligations; regulation of government-held information under privacy, freedom of information, archives and secrecy laws; government decision-making processes; and government law reform processes.

Dr Sonia Allan
LLB(Hons), B.A.(Psych)(Hons) (Syd),  LLM (Global Health Law)(w Distinction) (Georgetown), MPH (Syd), PhD(Law) (Melb)
Health law and ethics; assisted reproduction: health and human rights; beginning/during/end of life; human research ethics and regulation; public health law; international/global health law; medical related torts; regulation of science, health and biotechnology (eg. method, compliance, governance); regulation of new technologies; regulation of health care practitioners; mental health law; genetics; synthetic biology; bioethics and the law.

Dr Kate Gleeson
Sex, gender, sexuality  and reproduction in law. Law and Politics. Law and public policy. 

Dr Margaret Kelly
BA (Hons) (QU), LLB (ANU), PhD (Macq)
Constitutional law, administrative law; the nature of governance; Australian governance; the people; Common law history and constitutionalism; History and law of the monarchy; Constitutional history; legal history; Jurisprudence: natural law, common law, philosophy of law; Australian politics; The State.

Therese MacDermott
BA (UQ); LLB (1st Class Hons. UQ) BCL (Oxon)
Labour law, labour mobility, anti- discrimination law, dispute resolution, gender equality and human rights.

George Tomossy
ARCT (Toronto), BSc (Toronto), LLB (McGill)
Health law and bioethics, research ethics and regulation, law and mental health, elder law, children and the law.

Penelope Watson
BA (Hons) (Tas) LLB (UNSW) LLM (Syd
Torts generally, with specific interests in negligence, causation, educational malpractice and school law, medical/health law including wrongful life and birth, tobacco litigation, mass torts, privacy; Remedies generally especially damages and personal injury; legal education and generic skills.

Dr Alexander Zahar
B.A. (Hons), LL.B. (UNSW), Ph.D. (UCL), Prof. Cert. Arbitration (U. Adel.)
Climate change law, especially international aspects including verification of state actions and compliance by states; International criminal evidence and procedure; International criminal defence and rights of the accused; International humanitarian law as applied especially to civil war (non-international armed conflict); Genocide law and history.


Dr Roy Baker
LLB (Hons) (Brunel), LLM (British Columbia), LLM (UNSW), PhD (UNSW)
Defamation, media law, journalism and the law, censorship, free speech, European law, international law.

Lise Barry
BA (Soc Sc) LLB (Hons I) (Macq)
Legal Ethics, Capacity, Substitute Decision Making, Elder Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Juvenile Justice, Restorative Justice, Human Rights

Francesca Dominello
Indigenous legal issues, family law, constitutional law, remedies, law and cultural studies.

Dr Joel Harrison
BA/LLB (Hons) (University of Auckland); MSt, DPhil (Oxon)
Law and religion, human rights, comparative human rights, constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, post-secular theory.

Ilija Vickovich
BA (Hons) LLB (Syd) LLM (Macq)
Evidence, Civil and Criminal Procedure, Contract Law and Theory, Law of Work, Labour Law, Commercial Law, Consumer Law, Competition Law, Corporations Law, Equity and Trusts, Dispute Resolution, Legal History, Law of Church and State, Law and Society, Legal Education, Legal Publishing

Associate Lecturers 

Daniel Ghezelbash
BA (Hons) (Sydney), LLB (Hons) (Sydney); Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (ANU), PhD (Sydney) (expecting completion in 2014)
Domestic, International, Regional and Comparative Refugee Law, Domestic and Comparative Immigration Law, Administrative Law, Comparative Law, Legal Transfers/Transplants, Human Rights, Global Governance

Debra Ronan
BEd (Syd), DipTeach (STC), DipLaw (SAB), LLM (Syd)

Research grants/consultancies

Associate Professor Shawkat Alam

  • Successful application under the Australia Awards Fellowships scheme for Round 14 funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the project: "Building capacity for effective negotiation and participation in international treaties for Bangladesh" in collaboration with Access Macquarie.  We have been awarded funding in the amount of AUD334,038 (plus GST) to deliver a three-week research and training program in June 2014 for twenty-five senior government officials, primarily from the Economic Relations Division of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh.  This represents our second successful grant (category B)  through the Centre for Environmental Law

Dr Kate Gleeson

  • 2013-2014: Asian Development Bank consultancy  Promoting Evidence Based Policy Making for Gender Equity in the Pacific ($17700)
  • 2009-2013: Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship DP0986934 The Parliamentary Politics of Abortion Law Reform -  The Diverse Experience of Nine Jurisdictions (1965-2010) ($304.000)
  • 2011: Research Infrastructure Block Grant, Macquarie University, Media Archives Project ($78.037) with Prof Bridget Griffen-Foley, Associate Professor Michelle Arrow and Prof Murray Goot
  • 2006-2009: Macquarie University Research Fellowship: Towards New Cross-disciplinary Understandings of Abortion Policy and Healthcare Practice

Professor Natalie Klein

  • 2013:Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Improving the Global Governance of Sharks: Obstacles, Options and Opportunities (with Erika Techera; $100,000, 2013-2015)
  • 2008:Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Choosing Litigation to Resolve International Law Disputes in Protecting Australia's Offshore Assets, Its Citizens and Foreign Trade ($220,000) (2008-2011)

Professor Denise Meyerson

  • "On the cutting edge: promoting best practice in surgical innovation", ARC Linkage Grant (current) (CIs: W Rogers, A Johnson, A Ballantyne, M Lotz, D Meyerson, A Eyers, G Maddern, C Thomson) Innovative surgery refers to the evolution of existing surgical procedures and the development of new ones. The practice is vital to healthcare, yet it raises a number of ethical, legal and regulatory concerns since it falls into a 'grey area' between research and ordinary practice. The aim of this project is to use theoretical and empirical investigation to develop a framework for evaluating innovative surgery. The associated tools and resources that will be developed will improve informed consent processes, training for surgeons undertaking new procedures, and the hospital regulation of innovative surgery. The outcomes of this research will deliver benefits to patients, practitioners, healthcare managers and regulators.

Associate Professor Vijaya Nagarajan

  • Project Title: 'Economic Empowerment of Women in the Pacific' within the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative
    Awarding Body: Asian Development Bank
    Role in the Grant/Research contract: C1
    Amount: $300,000
    Year: August 2013 - July 2014
  • Project Title: 'Gender Assessment of the constraints in engaging in the private sector in Solomon Islands' within the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative
    Awarding Body: Asian Development Bank
    Role in the Grant/Research contract: C1
    Amount: $26,500
    Year: May 2013 - June 2013
  • Project Title: 'Gender Assessment in five Pacific Countries' within the Gender and Investment Climate Reform Project
    Awarding Body: Australian Aid
    Role in the Grant/Research contract: C1
    Amount: $116,000
    Year: 2009 - 2011

Professor Brian Opeskin

  • "Cross-Jurisdictional Options for a Region Wide Response to Public Health Risks of Regional Significance". Commissioned research for a project funded by an AusAID Australian Development Research Award
  • "The Influence of International Law on the International Movement of People" Commissioned research comprising a background paper for the United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report
  • "The Foundations of International Migration Law", International Organization for Migration, Geneva.
  • "Population Challenges for the Local Court of New South Wales". News South Wales Department of Attorney-General and Justice.

Associate Professor Niloufer Selvadurai

  • Niloufer Selvadurai is the successful recipient of the following grant: Khalaileh, Y, Kisswani, and N Selvadurai, N, "Introducing a Unified Regulatory Framework for Telecommunication Interception and Access in the Gulf Region," Qatar National Research Foundation Grant, $361,251

Mr George Tomossy

  • 2014: AusAID (DFAT), Australian Leadership Awards, Round 14 - "Building Capacity for Effective Negotiation and Participation in International Treaties for Bangladesh" [Alam S, Tomossy G]
  • 2013: AusAID (DFAT), Australian Leadership Awards, Round 12 - "Capacity Building for Trade, Environment and Development in Bangladesh" [Alam S, Tomossy G]
  • 2011-2013: Australian Research Council, "On the Cutting Edge: Promoting Best Practice in Surgical Innovation" (LP11020217) [Rogers W, Johnson J, Townley C, Sheridan S, Ballantyne A, Lotz M, Meyerson D, Tomossy GF, Eyers T, Maddern G, Thomson C]

HDR research projects

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