Associate Professor Anna Arstein-Kerslake


Associate Professor Anna Arstein-Kerslake is an academic at Melbourne Law School where she developed, and leads, the Disability Human Rights Clinic (DHRC). From 2014-2017, she was the Academic Convenor of the Disability Research Initiative (DRI) at the University of Melbourne and she is now an Establishment Committee Member of the Melbourne Disability Institute.  She holds a PhD in Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), a JD from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law and a BA in Sociology from San Diego State University (SDSU). Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, she held a Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) at (NUIG). Her work on the right to equal recognition before the law has been published widely, including her 2017 book, Restoring Voice to People, published by Cambridge University Press. She was a Chief Investigator on the Unfitness to Plead project, funded by the Australian Government, which is applied a human rights framework to investigate the problem of indefinite detention of people with cognitive disability as a result of unfitness to plead findings. She has also received several grants for the development of the international Disability Human Rights Research Network (DHRRN), which she founded in 2015 and spans Europe, India, the USA, and Australia. She has led several other small and larger scale research projects as well as law and policy reform projects. Notably, she provided support to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on a general comment on the right to equal recognition before the law. She has also participated widely in consultation with governments and other bodies, including: the United Kingdom Ministry of Justice, the Irish Ministry of Justice, Amnesty Ireland, Interights, and the Mental Disability Advocacy Center, among others.


The Melbourne JD

Other School and University Responsibilities

  • Establishment Committee Member, Melbourne Disability Institute (MDI)
  • Executive Committee Member, Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Co-Founder, Disability Human Rights Research Network (DHRRN)
  • Co-Founder, Australian Disability Access to Justice Consortium
  • Member, Scope Australia Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)