Bernadette McSherry is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne, having served as the Foundation Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute from 2013 to mid-2021. She has a Honours degrees in Arts and Law and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne, a Doctorate in Law from York University, Canada and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Monash University.
Professor McSherry has published widely in the fields of criminal law and mental health law and was awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship in December 2007.
After working as a solicitor at Coltmans and as an Associate for the then Justice James Gobbo at the Supreme Court of Victoria, Professor McSherry commenced her academic career in the Monash Law School in 1991. She was appointed in 2005 to the position of Louis Waller Chair of Law and Associate Dean (Research). She became the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Law and Mental Health in June 2011 and in that year she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.
During her time at Monash University, Professor McSherry was awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and a Vice Chancellor’s Special Commendation for Postgraduate Supervision. She has been the recipient of six Australian Research Council grants, two Criminology Research Council grants and numerous consultancies. She has supervised fifteen doctoral students and fifteen Masters and Honours students to completion.
Professor McSherry has been a member of the Victorian government’s Criminal Law Justice Statement Advisory Group, the Expert Advisory Panel, Victorian Government Courts and Programs Development Unit and the Consultative Committee for the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s Review of Guardianship Legislation. She has also co-authored Issues Papers for the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council and the Law Reform Commission of Victoria. From 2001 to 2018, she served as a Legal Member of the Mental Health Review Board of Victoria and was a Legal Member of the Psychosurgery Review Board of Victoria from 2005 to 2010.
In 2018, she was appointed a Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission. Professor McSherry is the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, a member of the editorial committee of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law and is the co-editor of the Mental Health Law Issues Column for the Journal of Law and Medicine.
She is the Immediate Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, having served as President from November 2015 to November 2018.
From March 2019 to February 2021 she served as a Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.