Professor Heather Douglas

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Heather Douglas joined Melbourne Law School in 2021 and teaches and researches in the area of criminal law and procedure. Her expertise on legal responses to domestic and family violence is internationally recognised and she co-ordinates the National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book. Heather is currently working on an Australian Research Council funded research project exploring the application of non-fatal strangulation offences.  She was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2015-2019 and her project explored women’s engagements with the legal system as part of their response to domestic and family violence. Her book, Women, Intimate Partner Violence and the Law, published by Oxford University Press in 2021, was awarded the 2021 Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ) book prize. She is a member of the  Melbourne Alliance to End Violence Against Women and Their Children (MAEVe).

She is also interested in the operation and application of law in the context of Australian indigenous–settler relations. Her book, Indigenous Crime and Settler Law: White Sovereignty After Empire, co-authored with Professor Mark Finnane was published by Palgrave in 2012. With Dr Nicole Watson, she assisted in the coordination of the Indigenous Judgments Project and a co-edited collection, Indigenous Legal Judgments: Bringing Indigenous Voices into Judicial Decision Making, that was published by Routledge in 2021.

In 2022 Heather was awarded an Order of Australia in the General Division (AM) for her service to tertiary law education, and the community. Heather is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Academy of Law. Previously she was a Professor at the University of Queensland, School of Law. Heather has held visiting fellowships at Humboldt University, Faculty of Law (2018); Durham University, Institute of Advanced Studies (2016) and Oxford University, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (2004).

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences in Australia
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law
  • Honorary Professor, School of Law, The University of Queensland
  • Ambassador, NOFASARD Australia, (National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders)
  • Member, Australian Selection Committee for The Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies, Harvard University (2018-current)
  • Editorial Board Member, Legalities: The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Law and Society
  • Editorial Board Member, Australian Feminist Studies

Teaching (2024)

Research Centres