Francine V McNiff Professor in Human Rights Law
Co-Director of Studies, Human Rights Law
Professor John Tobin holds the Francine V McNiff Chair in International Human Rights Law in the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne where he is Co-Director of Studies for the Human Rights Program in the Master of Laws and Co-Director of Research in Human Rights within the Institute for International Law and the Humanities.
In 2010 he was awarded the Barbara Falk Award for Teaching Excellence by the University of Melbourne and in 2011 he was awarded a national citation for outstanding contribution to student learning in the area of human rights. He has been nominated by the University of Melbourne for an Australian Award for Teaching Excellence on two occasions. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the American Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University, Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland and in the Law School at New York University where he has also been a Senior Scholar in Residence at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
His research interests cover the broad field of international human rights law but he has a particular interest in children's rights and the right to health. He is the editor of The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Commentary (OUP 2019) which was awarded the prestigious Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law and the author The Right to Health in International Law (OUP 2012). He has provided human rights training and advice as a consultant and on a pro bono basis on numerous occasions to organisations such as UNICEF, Law Reform Commissions, the Law Institute of Victoria, Judicial College of Victoria, the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission, NGOs, statutory bodies, Government Departments and community groups. In recognition of his contribution to the protection of human rights he was awarded the Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Award. He is also the Chief Examiner of the Law Institute of Victoria Child Law Specialisation Program, an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Children's Rights and an Advisory Board Member and Faculty Advisor to the Melbourne Journal of International Law. He is a member of several Advisory Committees and working groups for government bodies and NGOs. Prior to becoming an academic John worked as a commercial lawyer, legal aid lawyer with Victoria Legal Aid and was a legal officer with the Department of Justice.
He has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research and he was an inaugural member of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute where he was the theme leader for human rights and refugee rights and a member of the original reference group. He was also a member of the steering committees for the Hallmark Initiatives supporting Statelessness and Improving Children's Lives. He initiated and is the Joint Coordinator for the Human Rights Tertiary Teachers' Network and the Children's Rights Academic Network.