PhD Supervisions

Completed Supervisions

Dr Olivia Ball

OLIVIA BALL-2014-3199_v1Olivia graduated with her PhD in 2014. Her thesis was entitled All the Way to the UN: Is Petitioning a UN Human Rights Treaty Committee Worthwhile? As part of her doctoral research, Olivia located and interviewed most of the authors of the first 33 successful cases brought against Australia alleging breaches of international human rights law (1994—2013). Olivia identified the value of procedural remedies to victims, as well as the challenges in securing effective substantive remedies.

In 2014, Olivia and Nick Toonen founded the national human rights organisation, Remedy Australia which monitors implementation of UN human rights committee decisions concerning Australia and advocates for authors of successful complaints to obtain their right to an effective remedy.


Mhamed Biygautane

MhamedbiMhamed commenced his doctoral studies in early February 2015. His thesis examines the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to deliver infrastructure services in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. He  will be undertaking empirical research to examine the processes that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE have used to introduce and implement PPPs on infrastructure projects. His research will consider how the various actors (decision-makers, consultants and other agents) have applied their knowledge and experience of PPPs in other countries to the domestic contexts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.


Geeta Shyam

Geeta ShyamGeeta’s research examined the legal classification of animals as property in Australia, and investigated whether this status is consistent with modern community attitudes. She surveyed almost 300 respondents in Melbourne and regional Victoria and found a lack of awareness about the property status of animals and its implications. Her empirical research further found that attitudes towards animals were variegated, and that there was wide disagreement with the property status of at least some animals.

In addition to highlighting educational opportunities in relation to the legal status of animals, Geeta’s thesis concluded that the law needs some reform to reflect variegated attitudes towards animals.


Aaron TimoshankoAaron T

Aaron’s PhD thesis is in the field of animal law. In particular, it examines the regulations affecting the treatment and protection of jumps horses and whether they lack democratic or judicial accountability. It explores how the existing regulatory regime can be made more accountable, enabling the public to have a greater influence on the use of horses in society.


Dr Noel Villaroman

Dr Noel Villaroman- graduation photoNoel’s thesis analyses the limits of local planning processes in Australia when they already burden the ability of religious groups to fully exercise their right to manifest their religion or belief as a result of spatial constraints – that is, their inability to appropriate sufficient physical space for their worship and other needs. In his thesis, the analysis is centred on the structural constraints to religious freedom occasioned by the exercise of a regulatory power by a secular authority. The inquiry is focussed on how local planning processes impede the enabling role played by tangible space – epitomised by places of worship – in the enjoyment of intangible faith or belief. Noel is the author of a forthcoming book, based on his PhD thesis to be published by the prestigious international publisher, Brill│Nijhoff. For more information, click here.


Current Supervisions

Naomi Burstyner

NB photo

Naomi’s research explores dispute and complaint management mechanisms within the context of coronial investigations, relating to decision making processes taking place between the Coroner, pathologists and families of the deceased. There are a number of stages in coronial processes where effective and efficient dispute management and complaint handling processes, including appeals and therapeutic interventions, should be available to families.  The use of various models of appropriate dispute resolution (ADR) and the principles which underpin these, would assist families affected by the coronial process. To date, these principles have not been applied to the coronial context in a comprehensive way. This research aims to recognise the innovations which have already taken place within the Victorian context, and engage in the furthering of those innovations in order to identify best practice and explore how this model could be applied nationally.


Alan Davis

Alan DavisAlan’s research considers whether youth justice/group conferencing as the primary expression of restorative justice practiced in Australian jurisdictions is compatible with, and/or reflective of, children’s rights.  It seeks to balance questions about the efficacy and efficiency of youth conferencing with an evaluation of its compliance with international children’s rights standards.  More broadly, Alan’s research considers the utility of using children’s rights as a standard against which to evaluate youth justice systems and individual youth justice programs. His research questions include whether the evolution of ‘more rights’ for children over the past 25 years can be equated to mean ‘better rights’ for children when considered in the context of restorative justice conferencing initiatives? And whether the effectiveness of these restorative processes comes at the expense of children’s rights?


Warisa Ongsupankul


Warisa’s thesis examines how to best protect the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status (SOGII). She will explore various themes such as the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals to SOGII, the potential conflict between a child’s access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and parental authority and the interrelationship between law and new gender politics. Warisa will be examining these issues through the lens of International human rights law as well as  regional and national laws. Her research is underpinned by a variety of theoretical stances, including, postmodern feminist, queer legal theories and critical legal theory.


Faz Zamani

Faz ZamaniFaz’s research examines the history of courtship traditions in Iran, with particular attention to the customs of Khastegari within Persian migrant families, in order to determine whether the position of women as right holders is affected by the rules pertaining to such customs. Building on the long-standing troubled relationship between law and culture, Faz is investigating whether contemporary notions of human rights can protect a woman’s consent to wed based within conventional cultural practices. Faz has co-authored an article with Paula Gerber entitled Burqa: Human Right or Human Wrong? (2014) 39(4) Alternative Law Journal.

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