Our research

Heli Askola

My feminist research interests are in the issues of gender equality in areas of immigration and citizenship, trafficking in human beings, European Union law, human rights and multiculturalism. My central research theme is the study of migrant-receiving states’ management of international migration, from an inter-disciplinary and comparative perspective. I am the author of a number of publications, including two monographs,
The Demographic Transformations of Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
Legal Responses to Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation in the European Union (Hart, 2007).

Becky Batagol

I am a feminist researcher who works on law and policy reform in a range of areas that directly affect the lives of women and girls. As a researcher and teacher, I focus on family law, family violence, non-adversarial justice, dispute resolution, gender, child protection and constitutional law. Recent and current feminist projects include

  • A consultancy for the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence in 2015 on family law and child protection; 
  • A research project for Monash Education Academy, called GIVE RESPECT: which will create an open access website hosting resources designed to help 17-24 year olds at Monash University establish and sustain respectful relationships as they enter adulthood. This is a respectful relationships program aimed at family violence and sexual assault prevention on campus;
  • A project investigating how How heterosexual couples are protesting marriage inequality’ in Australia; and
  • An investigation, with Professor Rachael Field from Bond University, into what a mediation process for victims of family violence would look like in a range of contexts outside family law.

Rowena Cantley-Smith

My key research interests in energy, environment, and legal rights are inter-disciplinary, international and national, and encompass legal practice, policy, and legal theory. Much of my work focuses on the legal and regulatory framework governing energy markets, including the Australian Energy Market, and environmental (esp. climate change) and social (vulnerable and low income energy consumers) externalities. Key gender issues arise in the context of climate change and access to energy/energy poverty, where women experience unequal and/or inadequate opportunities to participate in climate change and energy policy, planning, decision-making, and implementation.

Azadeh Dastyari

My main areas of research interest are international and domestic laws relating to the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. This has included the examination of offshore and extraterritorial processing; immigration detention; and boat turn backs. I have been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Gender & Refugee Studies at Hastings University and have a particular research  interest at the moment in the regulation of women’s bodies in Australia’s immigration detention facility in Nauru.

Patrick Emerton

I research in legal and political philosophy, with a particular focus on the significance of institutions for understanding the nature and content of interests, and the operation and significance of law. I have published work in just war theory, human rights theory and on the topic of anti-terrorism law, which argue that realities of political and social pluralism speak against generalising liberal cosmopolitan convictions about the permissibility and impermissibility of political action (including political violence). I am currently working mostly in constitutional theory, and the significance of domestic legal and political institutions for an account of legal interpretation. This includes understanding the way that a constitutional order, framed by reference to public institutions and values, might both constrain and establish private rights, and spaces for private action and private concerns - and, therefore, whether these things ought to be conceived of as private at all.

I teach and supervise a range of public and private law topics, as well as in legal theory and related areas of philosophy and theoretical sociology.

Rebecca Giblin

My research centres on copyright law, access to knowledge (A2K) and the regulation of emerging technologies. I am currently the lead Chief Investigator of a $680,204 ARC Linkage Project studying the legal and social impacts of library elending, with a team of legal, social and data science researchers and eight library partners. I sit on the Board of the Australian Digital Alliance, a non-profit organisation seeking public interest-furthering copyright reform on behalf of a membership of libraries, schools, universities, cultural organisations, technology companies, consumer organisations and individuals. Most of my research is available open access, including my new book What if we could reimagine copyright?

Kathryn James

My research focuses on taxation law and policy, with specific expertise in the value added tax. I combine legal, political and economic analysis to demonstrate how tax law and policy has a profound impact on questions of distributive justice. This commitment to social justice  drives my endeavours in research, education and service and includes issues affecting gender and sexuality.

Richard Joyce

My research focuses on international law and critical legal theory with an emphasis on sovereignty. It is informed by a range of philosophical traditions, including feminist theories of subjectivity and authority. 

Joanna Kyriakakis

My primary research focuses upon issues at the intersection of international criminal law, corporate accountability and the philosophies of criminal law. It addresses the potential and limits of international criminal law to achieve accountability for corporate involvement in international crimes. A new stream of research looks at animal law, in particular the concept of animal legal personality and is informed by feminist theories of the person in law.

Tania Penovic

My research covers  a range of areas of international human rights as well as common law rights and access to justice. I have undertaken research which focusses on the scope and impact of Australia’s asylum seeker policy, the impact of moral panics on children’s rights and research on reproductive rights. My work on abortion law reform includes submissions which are located on the Castan Centre website’s policy link  under the heading ‘Women and Human Rights’:
I am currently undertaking research with Dr Ronli Sifris on the impact of safe access zones around clinics which provide reproductive health services.

Janice Richardson

I work on the intersection between feminism, political philosophy and law and have produced three books: J. Richardson, Selves, Persons, Individuals: Philosophical Perspectives on Women and Legal Obligations (Aldershot: Ashgate Press. 2004) 176pp., J. Richardson, The Classic Social Contractarians: Critical Perspectives from Feminist Philosophy and Law (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009) 159pp. and Law and the Philosophy of Privacy (London: Routledge, 2016) 213pp; two co-edited collections:  J. Richardson and R. Sandland (eds.) Feminist Perspectives on Law and Theory (London: Cavendish, 2000) 250pp. and J. Richardson and E. Rackley (eds.) Feminist Perspectives on Tort Law (London: Routledge, 2012), along with a number of feminist articles including those in Feminist Legal Studies, The Australian Feminist Law Journal and Law and Critique.

Kate Seear

I hold a number of grants including Category 1 ARC funding. In the main this research examines conceptualisations of drug and alcohol use and/or ‘addiction’ in law, its relationship with stigma and/or harm and harm reduction. All of this work utilises feminist theory to understand materiality, the body and law (e.g. feminist science and technology studies, performativity theory, new materialisms or affect theories). In many instances the work has an explicit gender focus, as with my main project (ARC DECRA), which examines conceptualisations of ‘addiction’ in law, with an explicit focus on how the relationship between alcohol, other drugs and family violence is understood.

Ronli Sifris

My research focus is on the intersection of reproductive health / rights and the law at both the international and domestic level; for example, I have published numerous journal articles and book chapters on abortion, involuntary sterilisation and surrogacy. In addition to presenting my work at a number of conferences and invitation-only round tables, I have also drafted a submission to the 2016 Commonwealth Parliament inquiry into surrogacy law reform (with K Ludlow and A Sifris) and the 2013 Tasmanian Parliamentary inquiry into abortion law reform (with T Penovic). Along with K Seear and G Grant, I am the editor of a Special Issue of the Griffith Law Review focusing on Gender, Health and the Law and my 2014 book, Reproductive Freedom, Torture and International Human Rights: Challenging the Masculinisation of Torture, conceptualises restrictions on reproductive freedom within the framework of torture discourse.

Tamara Wilkinson

My area of research is venture capital and innovation law and policy, with a particular focus on taxation regimes and government co-investment programs and how they can be used to stimulate early stage investment in startup companies.

Feminist Legal Studies in Teaching

Becky Batagol

I teach feminist issues within: Law 4225 Non-Adversarial Justice

Janice Richardson

On the LLB I teach Theoretical Issues on Law, Gender, Feminism (LAW4151).

Kate Seear

I raise a number of feminist issues in a practical context in my LLB teaching on 4328 Professional Practice (LAW4328) and Clinical Externship (4803).

Ronli Sifris

I teach Health Law (LAW5428) which includes a number of feminist issues, such as those surrounding reproductive health care.

Tania Penovic

I teach International human rights law and women (LAW5359) in the LLM which the international human rights framework is examined with reference to the experiences of women. The unit looks at the harms suffered exclusively by women and those which have a disproportionate impact on women. Topics covered include violence against women and reproductive rights.