Professor Jason Varuhas


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Dr Jason N E Varuhas (BA LLB (Hons) VUW, LLM UCL, PhD Cambridge) is Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne. He is currently serving as Senior Crown Counsel at the New Zealand Crown Law Office, providing advice to, and representation in the higher courts for, the New Zealand Government on constitutional and human rights matters. Professor Varuhas is the Director of the Public Law Conference, a biennial series of major international conferences on public law in common law systems, of which he is a founder. He is Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and serves on the Editorial Board of Public Law Review.

Professor Varuhas has published widely in the fields of administrative law, human rights, constitutional law, the law of torts, the law of remedies, and the intersection of public and private law. His scholarship has been cited by the higher courts in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland, including by the High Court of Australia, New Zealand Supreme Court and UK Supreme Court. He has made significant contributions to law reform, including most recently reform of the English judicial review procedure, and to the public understanding of law, most recently leading Melbourne Law School’s series of public engagement events on The Voice referendum, “Conversations About the Voice”. In December 2023 he delivered the Robin Cooke Lecture at Victoria University of Wellington on “The Future of Public Law in Aotearoa New Zealand”. He has appeared as counsel on a range of significant public law matters at first instance and in the appellate courts.

During 2021-2023 Professor Varuhas was Director of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School. Before joining Melbourne Law School, he held the positions of Junior Research Fellow at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, and Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, and was previously Judge’s Clerk to Justice Mark O’Regan, New Zealand Court of Appeal (later of the New Zealand Supreme Court). He has been a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, Fellow of Downing College and Christ’s College, Cambridge, and Fellow of the Centre for Public Law at the University of Cambridge. He has held the following visiting positions: Watts Visiting Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law; Robert S Campbell Visiting Fellow in Law at Magdalen College, Oxford; Allan Myers Visitor at the University of Oxford Law Faculty; Visiting Fellow at the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, Oxford; Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law; Visiting Scholar at McGill University Faculty of Law; and Visiting Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law.

Professor Varuhas has published articles on topics in private and public law in leading international journals including the Cambridge Law Journal, Law Quarterly Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and Modern Law Review. He has also published in leading edited collections, has presented at international conferences across the common law world, and authored policy reports, including a major policy paper for a leading UK think-tank, Judicial Capture of Political Accountability (London 2016).

Professor Varuhas’s monograph Damages and Human Rights (Hart Publishing, 2016), a major work on damages for breaches of basic rights, is the only work to be awarded both the UK Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship (2016) and the Inner Temple New Authors Book Prize (2018). The book stems from Professor Varuhas’s doctoral thesis for which he won the Yorke Prize, for best doctoral thesis, at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Varuhas is the co-author of a leading text on English administrative law, Administrative Law (5th edn, Oxford University Press, 2017), he contributes Book V on Damages under the Human Rights Act of McGregor on Damages (Justice James Edelman, 22nd edn, Sweet and Maxwell, 2024), and he is co-author of Balkin and Davis The Law of Torts (6th edn, LexisNexis, 2020), the leading treatise on the Australian law of torts. He is editor of six edited volumes: Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems (Hart Publishing, 2016); Equitable Compensation and Disgorgement of Profits (Hart Publishing, 2017); The Unity of Public Law? Doctrinal, Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives (Hart Publishing, 2018); Remedies for Breach of Privacy (Hart Publishing, 2018); The Frontiers of Public Law (Hart Publishing, 2019); The Making and Re-Making of Public Law (Hart Publishing, 2024).

Professor Varuhas has convened and lectured JD Torts and JD Remedies, and developed and taught numerous courses on the Melbourne Law Masters in the fields of private law, public law and government liability. He has directed the Government Law and International Law programmes on the Melbourne Law Masters, and served on various committees in the Law School, including as Chair of the Scholarships Committee.

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