Melissa Crouch is Associate Professor and Associate Dean Research at the Law School, UNSW. She established and runs the Southeast Asia Law & Policy Forum at UNSW Law. She holds a BA/LLB from the University of Melbourne and completed her PhD thesis on the judicialization of religion in Indonesia. She teaches and researches on law and religion, law and governance, and comparative constitutional law, with a specialisation on Southeast Asia. She has been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the Endeavour Australia Research Fellowship; University of Indonesia Visiting Fellowship; and the University of Melbourne Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship. Melissa is Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Grant on "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes" (2018-2021). This study builds on two of her previous major research projects: her doctoral research on courts and religion in Indonesia, and her postdoctoral research on religion and the courts in Myanmar, and on constitutions and the courts in Southeast Asia.
She has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal of Constitutional Law, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Sydney Law Review and Asian Studies Review. Her publications include Law and Religion in Indonesia: Conflict and the Courts in West Java (2014) and The Constitution of Myanmar (2019). She is also the editor of several volumes including: The Politics of Courts: Judicial Reform and Legal Culture in Indonesia (CUP 2019); Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging (OUP 2016), and The Business of Transition: Law, Development and Economics in Myanmar (CUP 2017).
Melissa has worked with local and international organisations with a focus on constitutional and administrative law reforms and legal education in Southeast Asia. She is the Myanmar Academic Lead for the UNSW Institute for Global Development. She is the Deputy Director of the Comparative Constitutional Law Project; member of the Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project, the Gilbert+Tobin Centre for Public Law; and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.
Melissa is the Secretary of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), the peak academic body for Asian studies in Australia. She is also the Secretary of the Association for Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars (AMSEAS). She is an advisor on the Indonesian Law Practicum of the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS); an Associate of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, University of Melbourne; and a member of the Editorial Board of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law. Melissa is a career champion for the Australia Indonesia Youth Association.