PhD Affiliates

PhD Completions

Linda Kirk

Thesis title:  Soft Law for Hard Decisions (Maria O'Sullivan/Susan Kneebone)

Linda Kirk's thesis examines the role of soft law guidance developed by tribunals for the making of refugee status determinations. It focuses particularly on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and draws on the development of policy guidance for refugee status decisions by asylum tribunals in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Bill Swannie

Thesis title: An Interests-Based Analysis of Australia's Racial Vilification Laws (Colin Campbell/Richard Joyce)

Bill Swannie's thesis examines Australia's racial vilification laws from an interests-based, human rights, perspective. Typically, vilification laws are considered inconsistent with free speech, which is considered central to liberal democracy. Bill's thesis is that the provisions of pt IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) define a civil wrong in the sense that they seek to protect fundamental human values such as individual autonomy, liberty and dignity. These are similar to the values underlying free speech. Therefore, pt IIA is a legitimate restriction on speech which harms these interests. Further, understanding pt IIA as a civil wrong means that courts should interpret its provisions in a rights-protecting manner, rather than in a restrictive manner. Finally, the process by which targets of vilification may seek legal redress should be understood in a corrective justice framework. Currently, this process fails to ensure that targets of vilification are made whole again.

Current PhD Affiliates

Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew

Thesis title:  Balancing the rights to freedom of expression and to privacy on the Internet under the African Human Rights System

Yohannes is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Law, Monash University. Prior to joining Monash Law, he was a Lecturer in Law at School of Law, Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia where he was teaching and researching on Media Law and Human Rights. He holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) in International Human Rights Law from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), and LL.M in Public International Law from Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia).  He is also a 2020/21 Non-resident Fellow at Open Internet for Democracy Initiative, and is working on social media platform’s content moderation.

Naomi Burstyner

Thesis title: Problem solving after death: Identifying processes to best assist families involved in coronial investigations and inquests.

Naomi Burstyner is legally qualified and nationally accredited as a mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. She lectures in mediation in the Monash Law postgraduate program and has significant lecturing experience in the fields of negotiation and dispute resolution advocacy. She coaches students in NMAS mediation courses and has coached students participating in the ICC Mediation Competition in Paris for the past six years, where these teams have come second (2014), won 'best mediation plan' (2015), and come third (2016). Naomi has published various articles about mediation, negotiation, dispute resolution and aspects of health regulation.

Naomi has researched in the area of access to justice and alternative dispute resolution at the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation and in health law at the Centre for Health Law and Society at La Trobe University.

Naomi holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University, a Masters of Laws from Melbourne University and a Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution. Naomi is currently undertaking her PhD in law at Monash University, exploring the use of problem solving and dispute resolution mechanisms in the context of coronial investigations.

Leavides Cabarrubias

Thesis title:  Locating Women’s Right to Food in Development Work: A Critical Examination of the Asian Development Bank’s Policies and Practices

Leavides is a PhD candidate at Monash Law School. Her research is concerned with the integration of gender equality and human rights framework in the policies and practices of international finance institutions (IFIs), with focus on the ADB. Her research interests are on women’s human rights, gender equality, the right to food, and international human rights obligations of IFIs. Prior to commencing her PhD, she worked as a gender consultant at the ADB. She has also worked with the Philippine Commission on Women and the Commission on Human Rights, including on their national inquiry on extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.
Paige Darby

Thesis title:  An evaluation of mechanisms for building community confidence in sentencing in Victoria
Nicole Foo

Thesis title:  Nature of metadata and implications of the Australian metadata retention scheme on the human right to privacy
Sharlene Farrugia

Thesis title:  Valuing the cost of social reproduction, revaluing women's citizenship. Universal Basic income and the gender order

Karin Frodé

Thesis title: Are we all in this together? The role of solidarity in the realisation of human rights

Karin is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. Her thesis examines the role of the concept of solidarity in international law, specifically in the context of the realisation of human rights. Alongside her studies, Karin works at the Castan Centre where she conducts research and supports the running of student programs. Prior to joining Monash, Karin worked at international human rights organisations in the UK and Thailand and interned at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and ARTICLE19. She is admitted as an Australian lawyer and holds a Bachelor of Laws in Law and Human Rights from the University of Essex (LL.B) and a postgraduate law degree from the University of Oxford (BCL).

Michaela Guthridge

Thesis title: Understanding the Neuroscience of Affective Empathy to Advance the CEDAW Principles of Equality and Non-Discrimination

Michaela is a PhD Candidate in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of International Development (with Distinction). Prior to her current study, she was working at International Women’s Rights Action Watch - Asia Pacific, which included work in Geneva (CEDAW), New York (CSW), Africa and Asia. She is founder of the Global South Women’s Forum on Sustainable Development, and is a gender and women’s human rights specialist with 13 years’ experience in social justice research and advocacy projects, with a particular focus on gender-based violence, human trafficking, forced marriage and indigenous people’s projects.


Madeleine Hale

Thesis title:  The Protection of Freedom of Speech Rights Against Infringement by Private Entities

Madeleine Hale is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. Madeleine’s thesis is titled ‘The Protection of Freedom of Speech Rights Against Infringement by Private Entities’ and will include a special focus on social media companies. Madeleine’s particular areas of interest include freedom of speech, human rights and corporations, technology and information, privacy, security and media law.

Madeleine is currently a Teaching Associate in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. Prior to this, Madeleine worked as a Corporate Lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills in addition to volunteering at Refugee Legal. More recently, Madeleine has worked as part of the social media team at Network Ten’s The Project and has produced work in Victoria’s film and theatre scene alongside her legal research. Madeleine graduated from a combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from Monash University.

Souha Korbatieh

Thesis title: The Role of Privacy on Hudud Laws in Sharia

Souha Korbatieh's thesis looks at privacy laws and Islamic criminal laws, in particular the fixed Islamic punishments. Her interest in this area was sparked by a desire to limit the imposition of capital punishment particularly in traditional and emerging Muslim states. Prior to Souha's PhD she completed a Master of Islamic Studies and Master of Research (Law)  degree. Besides studying for her PhD, she is currently working on a mosque attacks project with various academics from Australian universities and is continuing her studies in Islamic law.

Anna Moskal

Thesis title: Integrating Digital Economy and Green Economy – opportunities for sustainable development of collaborative platforms and digital technologies (Andrew Mitchell)

I’m a PhD Candidate at Monash University (Australia) who is working to better understand the nexus of new technologies, economy and law. I'm particularly passionate about digital law, the collaborative platforms and sustainability. I am a First Class Honours Master’s Graduate in law at the Jagiellonian University (Poland), but I also have academic experience studying courses at the Harvard University (US), University of Washington (US), Cambridge University (UK), University of Melbourne (Australia), European University Institute (Italy) and Antwerp University (Belgium). I have received the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) for my visiting research stay at the King's College London.

I'm an author of two books and nine scientific articles published in renowned bulleted journals, and an active participant of 40 international and national academic conferences. I have professional experience through working for 1 year in the Students Legal Clinic of the Jagiellonian University focusing on Human Rights and as an intern for 3 months in Kubas Kos Gałkowski law firm in Cracow. I'm also a qualified mediator in Poland. In 2020-2021, I conducted three grants on European Union integration, collaborative platforms in the EU, and social movements in a time of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Rachel Morrison-Dayan

Thesis title: An Analysis of the Human Rights of Older Persons: The Need for Social Inclusion in Australian Aged-care

Rachel Morrison-Dayan's thesis focuses on the need for legal protection of a right to social inclusion, specifically for older persons receiving aged care. It frames this issue as a human rights question and focuses on international and domestic law, using Australia as a case study. The thesis will make concrete policy, legislative, and practical recommendations to protect the right to social inclusion in Australian aged-care.


Nicolas Muniz Saavedra

Thesis title: Asking the Right Questions: Does the Commonwealth owe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a Duty to Consult?

Since federation, there has been no legal avenue to ensure Indigenous participation in law-making. Consequently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have rarely been consulted in matters that directly concern them. Nicolas’ thesis explores whether in Australia, the duty to consult doctrine applies and if the federal government owes a duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on contemplated government actions or decisions that may adversely affect Aboriginal rights. His research considers where the duty to consult lies, when the duty is triggered, its scope and potential remedies.

Jay Nemec

Thesis title:  Biological diversity in international law: Balancing conservation, ownership of genetic resources and benefit sharing
Christopher Nyinevi

Thesis title:  From "Investor" through "Host State" to "Host People's" Legitimate Expectations?

Prior to commencing his PhD research at Monash, Chris was a lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana where he taught Public International Law. He was also the coach of the Moot Court Team. His PhD thesis examines the liability of a foreign investor under international law for the harms that an investment project or the investor’s conduct may cause to local communities in the host country of the investor. It aims to develop a legal theory by which foreign investors (mostly corporations) may be held accountable, within international law, for investment-related injuries to host state communities.

Samantha Perussich

Thesis title:  Corruption within Public Sector Victoria and the intersection of Private Cooperation

Ms Perussich’s thesis investigates the socio- legal construction and perceptions of corruption within public sector Victoria and the involvement of private cooperation within this paradigm. It further explores the effectiveness of the current regulatory frameworks to deter and disrupt corruption within the Victorian public sector.

Prior to commencing her PhD, Ms Perussich is also a senior prosecutor and has over ten years experience within public sector compliance, enforcement and litigation and sits on boards of governance with community sector/ not-for-profit organisations.

Ms Perussich's research interests include: fraud and corruption, regulatory frameworks and regimes, criminal law, international criminal law, litigation and alternative dispute resolutions, restorative justice, gender and sexualities, consumer protection provisions.

Stephanie Sindoro

Thesis title: Temporary Local Integration of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Transit Countries: The Case of Indonesia (Tania Penovic)

Stephanie is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. Her thesis looks at how transit countries that have not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, such as Indonesia, can reform their refugee and immigration laws to formally acknowledge the domestic legal status of asylum seekers and refugees and codify their basic rights to protection.

Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, Stephanie was the Social Impact Director at a church in Indonesia and had the opportunity to empower and engage with refugees living in the area and worked with many non-profit organisations supporting their plight, including UNHCR Indonesia. Stephanie holds a Juris Doctor, Master of Laws in Human Rights Law, and a Bachelor of Business Law. She is passionate about research in the areas of international law, international human rights law, and refugee law.

Neerav Srivastava

Thesis title:  The Law of Digital Matchmaking

Neerav Srivastava's thesis is on the law of digital matchmaking. ‘Digital matchmaking’ is a transaction that a platform facilitates that brings strangers into close physical proximity. Even though physically removed, the platform exercises significant control over the transaction. Uber, AirBnb, Airtasker, and Tinder are digital matchmakers. Amazon is not. The thesis questions the impact of digital matchmaking on individuals and society and what legal responsibilities do, or should, platforms owe. Digital matchmaking has destabilised existing consumer, worker, safety, and societal protections. There is a growing technological inequality. Multinational platforms are accumulating extreme power and exerting significant control. This is leading to a more precarious existence for users, greater wealth and power inequality, social unrest, and poverty. Digital matchmaking is part of a polarisation of society in 21st century economies. Neerav has also started writing articles on law and technology and social issues. He has also published, inter alia, articles on the evils of hazing, whether Uber owes passengers a safe driver obligation, the need to regulate the use of defamation immunity clauses by platforms; and whether a joint author can be a fiduciary of the other author.
Chia-Lung (Billy) Tai

Thesis title: Removing politics from human rights: The implementation and development of civil and political rights in de facto states

Chia-Lung Tai's thesis project looks at the implementation of core civil and political rights in 'states' not recognised at the UN and do not have UN membership. Prior to commencing his PhD, he worked as an independent consultant on various human rights project in Southeast Asia taking on projects from long term election monitoring in Rakhine State in Myanmar to drafting a human rights curriculum for the Cambodian Bar Association. Chia-Lung has an MA in Human Rights as a Chevening Scholar from SOAS, University of London.
Anubhav Dutt Tiwari

Thesis title: The idea(l) of ‘citizenship’ for the protection and well-being of refugees in India
Duncan Wallace

Thesis title: The Organic Theory: Implications for Corporate Ownership

Duncan is a PhD student and Teaching Associate at Monash Law School. His background is law, philosophy and economics, and his primary research interest is the corporation, towards which he takes an interdisciplinary approach. His research focus is on the ontological status of the corporation, the history of thought regarding the corporation's ontological status, and the history of the development of the publicly-traded business corporation. Before beginning his PhD, Duncan worked in the co-operatives and mutual sector, both as a consultant and in a full-time role.
Estelle Wallingford

Thesis title:  Assigning Legal Liability in the Context of Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence

Ms Wallingford’s thesis explores how artificially intelligent machine learning systems should be characterised under the law. Her research further considers who should be held legally liable for the actions of, or consequences arising from the use of these systems.

Bree Williams

Thesis title: A therapeutic jurisprudence analysis of legal writing education in Australia

Bree is a Monash University doctoral candidate, researching legal writing education using Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Her research is about connecting the design and application of laws with concepts of voice, validation and voluntary participation. Bree’s teaching areas at Monash and before that, at other Victorian law schools, are legal reasoning and methods, litigation and dispute resolution and legal skills. Past academic work included developing an Indigenous student community program at another law school.

Before academic life, Bree’s professional experience began with private legal practice in Queensland and Victoria. Her work ranged from family law and family violence practise, Professional Support Lawyering at Victoria Legal Aid, to Senior Editor and Developer of the Australian Encyclopedia of Forms and Precedents. Her last private practice role was as the Knowledge Support Lawyer for Maurice Blackburn where she developed training and resources for their national practice teams. Civil procedure and plain language were central to that work.

Bree holds a Masters of Global Communication, Bachelor of Laws, Grad Dip Legal Practice and training qualifications and is in the later stages of her Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD).