Dr Daniel Ghezelbash: Senior Lecturer; Social Justice Clinic Director
Dr Daniel Ghezelbash: Senior Lecturer; Social Justice Clinic Director


Dr Daniel Ghezelbash: Senior Lecturer; Social Justice Clinic Director

Dr Daniel Ghezelbash’s affiliation with refugees is in his blood; his own family came to Australia as refugees in the early 1980s.

“Growing up, I was acutely aware of how lucky I was that my family managed to get to safety, and of the fact that there were millions of people around the world facing persecution with nowhere to run to,” he says.

This awareness has driven his own career as a researcher and the direction of his research.

“In both my research and practice as a pro bono refugee lawyer, my goal is to enhance protections for refugees and asylum seekers,” he says.

Ghezelbash joined Macquarie University as a Senior Lecturer in Law in 2014 and now heads Macquarie University’s new Social Justice Clinic, inspired by his time at Harvard Law School, where Harvard’s immigration law clinic is a legal practice set up by the university with a lawyer on staff running cases with students.

“Our Social Justice Clinic has many of the benefits of the Harvard model but instead we partner with institutions and, for just one day each week, we employ solicitor–teachers as academics who teach our students, in the context of the cases that they are running.”

Ghezelbash says that his proudest moment was being on stage with the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG at the announcement naming the new Michael Kirby law school building.

“I was humbled by having the Social Justice Clinic which I founded showcased as part of the event,” he says.

Much of the work of the clinic focuses on refugees and has a clear nexus with Ghezelbash’s own research agenda.

“My research examines the interdependence that exists in government’s asylum seeker policies,” he says, adding that the introduction of tough policies places pressure on others who follow to do the same.

“This is because of a perception that if they do not keep up, they will be seen as a soft target and experience an increase in asylum flows.”

Ghezelbash adds that Australia’s current hard-line asylum policies could trigger a race to the bottom, with the potential to completely unravel the international refugee protection system.

“Much of my recent work, including my book Refuge Lost: Asylum Law in an Interdependent World (CUP, forthcoming, Feb 2018), has focused on warning other states not to follow our example,” he says.

“My goal is to counteract the global trend towards restrictive asylum seeker policies and equip concerned citizens to effectively engage with public debate on the issue.”

Comment (1)

  1. Monir shojae

    I am proud of you my dear grand son and I wish all the best and achieveing and be successful in your precious job I love you my darlingxx


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