Professor Ian Freckelton AO KC

Co-Director of Studies, Health and Medical Law

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Ian Freckelton is an experienced King’s Counsel with a national practice. He works as a barrister from Castan Chambers in Melbourne, undertaking trial and appellate litigation, as well as advisory work, including internationally. Between 2017 and early 2023 he was also a judge of the Supreme Court of Nauru and has been a part-time member of nine statutory tribunals. He has been listed for some years by Doyle’s Guide and Best Lawyers as one of Australia’s Leading Public Law and Administrative Lawyers.

Ian is a Professor in the Law Faculty and a Professorial Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne where he is a Co-Director of the Health and Medical Law program.

Professor Freckelton is also an Adjunct Professor of Forensic Medicine at Monash University, an Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, Queensland University of Technology and Auckland University of Technology, and at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Since 2011 he has been a member of the Coronial Council of Victoria and for 25 years he was a member of the Mental Health Tribunal of Victoria.

Ian is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Medical and Health Sciences, the Australian Academy of Law, the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and the Australasian College of Legal Medicine and is an elected Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.

In 2015/2016 Professor Freckelton was a Commissioner at the Victorian Law Reform Commission running its reference on medicinal cannabis and between 2017 and 2021 he was a Ministerially-appointed member of the Australian Advisory Council on Medicinal Cannabis. In 2017 he was awarded a ‘higher doctorate’, a Doctor of Laws (an LLD), by the University of Melbourne for his work in Health Law. In 2019 he was awarded Outstanding Alumnus status by Griffith University where 20 years before he had been awarded a PhD in relation to Expert Evidence.

Since 1993 he has been the Editor of the Journal of Law and Medicine and is the Founding Editor and Editor-at-Large of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law which commenced in 1994.

Professor Freckelton is the author and editor of over 50 books on health law, ethics, evidence, criminal law, administrative law and regulation, and more than 700 articles and chapters of books. His most recent books are Scholarly Misconduct: Law Regulation and Practice (OUP, 2016); Expert Evidence and Criminal Jury Trials (with Goodman-Delahunty, Horan and McKimmie) (OUP, 2016); Tensions and Traumas in Health Law (Federation Press, 2017, with Petersen); Expert Evidence: Law, Practice, Advocacy and Procedure (6th edn, Thomson Reuters, 2019; 7th edn, 2023, in press); Pandemics, Public Emergencies and Government Powers: Perspectives on Australian Law (Federation Press, 2021, with Bennett), COVID-19: Law and Regulation (OUP, 2023, with Bennett and Wolf) and Australian Public Health Law (Federation Press, 2023, with Bennett). He is currently working on the 2nd edition of Death Investigation and Coronial Practice (with Ranson, Thomson Reuters), and a book on neuropsychiatric disorders and the law.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 Professor Freckelton was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to the law, and to the legal profession, across fields including health, medicine and technology."