Melbourne Law School’s Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness was established in 2018 with the objective of undertaking research, teaching and engagement activities aimed at reducing statelessness and protecting the rights of stateless people in Australia, the Asia Pacific region, and as appropriate more broadly.
The focus of the Centre is to develop teaching, research and engagement projects with three major aims:
- To properly understand the scope, scale and reasons for statelessness in order to develop targeted and effective responses to it;
- To work towards reducing and, over time, eliminating statelessness; and
- Until statelessness is eliminated, working to protect the human rights of stateless people within the countries in which they reside.
The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness offers opportunities for collaboration, debate and information sharing through conferences, round tables and visiting fellowships. The Centre also supports the work of the University of Melbourne’s Hallmark Statelessness Research Initiative.
The Centre has been established by a very generous philanthropic gift over 10 years from Peter and Ruth McMullin, and has strong support from the University of Melbourne, including in particular the Melbourne School of Government, in recognition of the inter-disciplinary nature of the issues.
CONTACT THE PETER MCMULLIN CENTRE ON STATELESSNESS
Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
Melbourne Law School
University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010
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Professor Michelle Foster
Michelle Foster is a Professor and the inaugural Director of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School. Michelle has published widely in the field of international refugee law, including International Refugee Law and Socio-Economic Rights: Refuge from Deprivation (CUP, 2007) and, with James Hathaway, The Law of Refugee Status, Second Edition, (CUP, 2014). Michelle’s most recent publications explore various legal issues concerning the recognition and protection of stateless persons, including a monograph with Professor Helene Lambert, entitled The Protection of Stateless Persons in International Refugee Law (forthcoming OUP, 2018). Michelle teaches Refugee Law and International Refugee Law at Melbourne Law School, and in 2017 taught in the International Summer School in Forced Migration at Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre.
Professor Carolyn Evans - Chair
Professor Carolyn Evans is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Graduate) and Harrison Moore Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne. Carolyn has degrees in Arts and Law from Melbourne University and a doctorate from Oxford University where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar and where she held a stipendiary lectureship for two years before returning to Melbourne in 2000. She worked for a period as a lawyer at Blake Dawson Waldron after graduating from Melbourne. In 2010, Carolyn was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to allow her to travel as a Visiting Fellow at American and Emory Universities to examine questions of comparative religious freedom.
Carolyn is the author of Legal Protection of Religious Freedom in Australia (Federation Press 2011), Religious Freedom under the European Court of Human Rights (OUP 2001) and co-author of Australian Bills of Rights: The Law of the Victorian Charter and the ACT Human Rights Act (LexisNexis 2008). She is co-editor of Religion and International Law (1999, Kluwer); Mixed Blessings: Laws, Religions and Women's Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region (2006 Martinus Nijhoff) and Law and Religion in Historical and Theoretical Perspective (CUP 2008). She is an internationally recognised expert on religious freedom and the relationship between law and religion and has spoken on these topics in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, Greece, Vietnam, India, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Malaysia, Nepal and Australia.
Professor Hilary Charlesworth
Hilary Charlesworth is a Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School. She is also a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University. Her research includes the structure of the international legal system, peacebuilding, human rights law and international humanitarian law and international legal theory, particularly feminist approaches to international law. Hilary has held both an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship (2005-2010) and an ARC Laureate Fellowship (2010-2015). Hilary is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an associate member of the Institut de Droit International and served as judge ad hoc in the International Court of Justice in the Whaling in the Antarctic Case (2011-2014).
Ms Erika Feller
From 2014 to 2017 Erika Feller held the appointment of Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne, located in the Melbourne School of Government. She is currently a Professorial Fellow in the School of Government, serving at the same time in various advisory capacities outside the University, including as a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Humanitarian Advisory Group, a social enterprise working to elevate the profile of humanitarian action in Asia and the Pacific.
Erika’s experience with the statelessness portfolio spans many years at very high levels of seniority. UNHCR is the agency in the UN system with the mandate to protect and assist stateless persons. This is predominantly a protection function. Erika oversaw the protection policy and delivery in UNHCR for over 13 years, first in her capacity as Director of the Division of International Protection and then during her 7 years as UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.
Prior to these respective appointments she had, among others, progressively senior positions within DIP, each of which regularly involved her in activities on behalf of stateless people. These activities have variously included running a series of training courses on the statelessness protection framework for Government officials throughout the Baltic countries; undertaking advocacy missions to countries hosting large groups of stateless persons [for example Vietnam and Thailand, Albania and Montenegro]; visiting stateless populations and discussing possible solutions with host states [notably the Rohingyas in Myanmar]; participating in consultations on the drafting of citizenship laws in an effort to avoid statelessness [for example in Sudan, prior to the breakup of the country into two]; overseeing promotional activities like the drafting of the joint UNHCR/IPU Handbook for Parliamentarians on Statelessness; addressing UN meetings in New York on statelessness; and engagement on numerous stateless cases under UNHCR’s mandate. Most recently she was instrumental in organising the UNHCR/Melbourne University Workshop on Researching Statelessness and Citizenship in Asia and the Pacific held at Melbourne Law School from 27-29 January 2016.
Ms Santi Kusumaningrum
Santi Kusumaningrum leads PUSKAPA or the Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing PUSKAPA at Universitas Indonesia after she co-founded it in 2010. PUSKAPA positions itself as a research and policy advocacy organization that is data-driven, interdisciplinary, and effective in communicating the science behind solutions to improve children’s access to health, education, justice, and social care. Her previous work experiences include managing child protection program in UNICEF Indonesia for over six years, both in the development and humanitarian contexts, teach and research-assisting in the Criminology Department Universitas Indonesia, and for a short period helping to set up a legal aid service unit in the Indonesian Bar Association. Through PUSKAPA, she commits to applying rigor in situating child wellbeing in the center of development and humanitarian actions.
Santi focuses her work to understand what makes or breaks child wellbeing and resilience; to address challenges concerning legal identity and personhood so that they facilitate -not discriminate, people’s access to public services, justice, and economic opportunities; and to master the politics of evidence-based policy transformations to realize social inclusions in Indonesia. She had published her research on social exclusion in legal identity system in Indonesia on, among others The Lancet, PLOS One, and Bio Med Journal. She also sits on the Advisory Board of Care and Protection of Children Learning Network (CPC). She is in the process of getting her Doctorate in Public Health from Columbia University and has been awarded with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health Award of Excellence in Global Health, in 2017. She hopes to graduate in 2018.
Dr Maryanne Loughry
Dr Maryanne Loughry is a Sister of Mercy and psychologist and has worked internationally in refugee settings. She commenced her refugee work with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in South East Asia in 1988. Her doctoral study investigated the effects of detention on unaccompanied children.
From 1996-2004 Dr Loughry was the Pedro Arrupe tutor at the University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre from where she conducted research, programme evaluations and humanitarian training in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, South East Asia and the UK. Presently Dr Loughry is a Research Professor at the School of Social Work, Boston College, Massachusetts and a Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), University of Oxford.
Dr Loughry is a member of the Australian Government's Minister of Immigration' Advisory Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention (MCASD) and serves on the Governing Committee of the International Catholic Migration Committee (ICMC). She is researching the psychosocial effects of climate-induced displacement in the Pacific. In 2010 Dr Loughry was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to refugees.
Mr David Manne
David Manne is a human rights lawyer and Executive Director of Refugee Legal (previously the Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre (RILC)). He has worked in various capacities assisting refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years. In January 2001, he joined Refugee Legal, at the forefront of defending the rights, the dignity and the lives of asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged migrants.
David sat on the Board of the Refugee Council of Australia for seven years, and is currently on the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Ethics Committee, and a number of peak Government consultative bodies. He has also been appointed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Advisory Board of Eminent Persons. He has been invited to attend and present at the UN High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges on numerous occasions.
David has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Prize for Administrative and Human Rights Law, the Law Institute President’s Awards (2006 and 2011), was shortlisted for the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Medal in 2011 and been frequently named as one of Australia’s Leading Immigration Lawyers in the Australian edition of Best Lawyers.
David headed Refugee Legal’s legal teams in successfully arguing 10 out of 10 High Court challenges, including the cases of Plaintiff M61 (regarding the Government’s ‘offshore processing’ regime in Australia); Plaintiffs M70/M106 (the ‘Malaysia Solution’ case); Plaintiff M47 (challenging security assessment and indefinite detention of a refugee); Plaintiff M76 (regarding indefinite detention of a refugee on security grounds); Plaintiff M150 (challenge by a 15 year old unaccompanied refugee in relation to the Government’s attempt to bar permanent protection through a visa cap); and Plaintiff S89 (challenging a Government regulation designed to bar boat arrivals from permanent protection).
Mr Peter McMullin
Peter McMullin has an extensive legal and business career encompassing prominent roles in both the public and private sectors.
Peter is the current Chairman and Director of privately owned, diversified investment company McMullin Group and Special Counsel for Cornwall Stodart Lawyers, specialising in improving outcomes for the firm and its clients by facilitating meaningful connections between like-minded people.
Throughout Peter’s career, he has had a deep-seated interest in community affairs. He has consistently used his professional experience and network to further causes that he feels deeply and passionately about.
Peter’s belief is that the private sector has an important role to play in the resolution of many of our pressing social issues. He has made a significant contribution throughout his career forging positive, constructive partnerships between the private sector and governments, the not-for-profit sector and educational institutions.
Director of the Division of International Protection, UNHCR ex-officio*
Ms. O’Hara is an Irish national. She holds a law degree from Trinity College Dublin and was called to the Bar in Ireland in 1992. After two years of service with the Free Legal Advice Centres in Dublin she opted for an international career and joined UNHCR in 1994 as a United Nations Volunteer.
In 24 years with UNHCR she has served in a variety of functions and operational settings spanning a wide range of protection related responsibilities. Her postings have included: Mexico; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Kosovo; Burundi; Sudan; the Caribbean; the United States of America; Afghanistan; Syria; Iraq and Jordan.
She took up her current assignment as Director of the Division of International Protection on 1 June 2018 following a preceding stint as Deputy Director at UNHCR’s Office in New York.
Ms Timnah Baker
Timnah Rachel Baker (BA/LLB Monash University and LLM Boston College) commenced as a Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness on the 1st March 2018. She is currently a PhD candidate at Sydney Law School. From 2009 - 2017 she was based at Harvard University as a Research Associate for the International Migration Policy and Law Analysis (IMPALA) project, and was a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
Dr Christoph Sperfeldt
Christoph Sperfeldt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. He completed his PhD at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. Christoph came to the issue of statelessness from a bottom-up perspective, examining the development and peace implications resulting from the marginalisation of vulnerable populations. Christoph brings to the role more than ten years of experience in researching and working on human rights, statelessness and transitional justice, predominantly in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining the Centre, he was Deputy Director at the Asian International Justice Initiative, a joint program of the East-West Center and the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University, where he supported human rights and rule of law capacity development in Southeast Asia; and Senior Advisor with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Cambodia. Christoph has published widely in the field of human rights and transitional justice.
Communications, Events and Administrative Co-ordinator
Dr Philippa Garrard
Philippa Garrard has a doctorate in Creative Writing from RMIT University. She has been at the University of Melbourne since 2012 working in a number of roles supporting and fostering interdisciplinary research. She coordinated the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Research Domains before moving to the Research, Innovation and Commercialisation team supporting the Hallmark Research Initiatives. She commenced at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness in May 2018.
Professor John Tobin
Professor John Tobin is the Francine McNiff Chair in International Human Rights Law at Melbourne Law School. He is an internationally recognised expert in human rights with special expertise in children’s rights. 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.
Professor Tobin’s expertise with respect to children’s rights has particular salience for the Centre in light of the fact that UNHCR estimates that there is a stateless child being born at least every 10 minutes, and observes that the effects of being born stateless are profound especially in terms of access to the most basic of human rights such as medical care. Therefore, research and advocacy with regard to the link between children’s rights and statelessness is essential to finding solutions to statelessness.
Professor Susan Kneebone
Over the last decade Susan’s research, teaching and publications have focussed on forced migration, including refugees, statelessness and citizenship, in South East Asia (SEA). In 2006, she was awarded an ARC Linkage Grant: LP0667748; ‘Australia’s Response to Trafficking in Women: Towards a Model for the Regulation of Forced Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region’ (with Julie Debeljak and Bernadette McSherry). A second ARC Linkage Grant followed in 2009: LP0990168; ‘Delivering Effective Protection to Victims and Prevention of Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region’. Additionally, in 2009 she received an ARC Discovery Grant as sole Chief Investigator: DP09844404; ‘Law, Governance and Regulation of Intra-Regional Labour Migration in South East Asia: An Agenda for Protection and Development’.
As a result of research conducted under these projects Susan has extensive experience researching in SEA. The issue of statelessness is a relevant vulnerability factor in human trafficking, especially regarding children of migrant workers and victims of forced marriage (as detailed in two reports arising under LP0990168). The issue of citizenship is important to understanding the rights of migrant workers. Susan’s current ARC Discovery Grant is directly relevant to these issues as it has a focus on the nationality and rights of children of marriage migrants, many of whom are stateless as a result of operation of laws. Through this project, her geographic focus extends to East Asia (Taiwan and South Korea) and her substantive focus statelessness and the rights of children.
Deirdre Brennan (BSc University College Cork and MA Utrecht University) is a PhD candidate at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. Deirdre’s first encounter with statelessness was in 2011, through her interactions with friends affected by the issue in Mae Sai, Thailand. She was struck by the sense of claustrophobia imposed on young people when their right to travel, work or receive an education was restricted by their stateless status. Since then, Deirdre has sought to communicate the impacts of statelessness and the lived experiences of those affected by statelessness. Prior to joining the Centre Deirdre has worked in a variety of research roles in this field, including the Statelessness Programme’s 2014 Thailand Project on the nexus between statelessness and human trafficking, the 2015 Equal Rights Trust publication on gender discrimination in nationality laws, and most recently as a research fellow with the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion where she co-authored a children’s book on childhood statelessness.
Deirdre’s doctoral thesis focuses on activism among stateless communities in Nepal and the potential impact of the social movement there to eradicate gender discriminatory nationality laws. Her research interests concern the intersections between feminism, statelessness and activism, stemming from her personal connection to the transformative work of pro-choice activists in Ireland.
Affiliated Graduate Researchers
Adrienne Anderson (BA/LLB University of Auckland and LLM University of Michigan) is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, and Research Associate on the joint project ‘The Concept of “Imminence” in the International Protection of Refugees and Other Forced Migrants’, with Professors Michelle Foster, Hélène Lambert and Jane McAdam. She was previously Resettlement Officer for UNHCR in Uganda, Policy Officer and Solicitor at the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (now Refugee Legal), Research Associate to Professors James Hathaway and Michelle Foster on the Law of Refugee Status, second edition (CUP, 2014), and Legal Associate at the New Zealand Refugee Status Appeals Authority.
Vernon Rive (BA/LLB, LLM(Envir)(Hons) (University of Auckland) is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne and Senior Lecturer of Law/Associate Head of School - External Relations at the Auckland University of Technology School of Law. A former partner of New Zealand national law firm Chapman Trippl, Vernon teaches and researches public law, international environmental law, climate change law and natural resource management law.
He is the author of chapters on the 'International Framework', 'New Zealand Climate Change Regulation', 'Emissions Trading' and 'Adaptation to Climate Change in New Zealand' in Climate Change Law and Policy in New Zealand (A. Cameron ed, LexisNexis, 2011); ‘Safe Harbours, Closed Borders? New Zealand Legal and Policy Responses to Climate Displacement in the South Pacific’ in P Martin (ed), A Search for Environmental Justice (Edward Elgar 2015); was lead author of the Laws of New Zealand title on Climate Change (LexisNexis, 2017); and sole author of the Fossil Fuel Subsidies: an International Law Response (Edward Elgar, 2019) (forthcoming).
Vernon is co-convenor of the New Zealand Resource Management Law Association Academic Advisory Group, a member of the managing committee of the New Zealand for Environmental Law, Consultant Editor of the LexisNexis Resource Management Bulletin and Associated Scholar with the EU-based Refract Research Network on Fragmentation and Complexity in Global Governance. His doctoral thesis critically examines existing and future legal and institutional responses to climate change-related displacement, migration and relocation through an international law fragmentation and regime interaction lens.
Brandais York is a PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School, in affiliation with the Melbourne Social Equity Institute’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Coming from a background of practical experience in development, Brandais’ research explores the intersections between law and development, gender and migration, and foreign influence and shifting legal norms. Her research interests are particularly focused on female migration in Southeast Asia and her doctoral thesis looks at Cambodian female marriage migrants in China.
Her thesis has been in part funded by Professor Susan Kneebone’s ARC grant entitled, “Towards Development of a Legal Framework for Regulation of International Marriage Migration,” under which she has also worked as a Research Assistant since 2015. Together with Professor Kneebone, she has conducted field research and review on this topic in Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and China.
Brandais holds an MSc in Global Migration from University College London as well as an MA in Public Policy and International Affairs from The American University of Paris. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, she worked as a migration and research consultant for a local human rights NGO in Phnom Cambodia from 2012 – 2015.
Philippa Duell-Piening (BOccTher/BErg La Trobe University, MIntl&ComnDev Deakin University, GDipIntLaw University of Melbourne) is a PhD candidate at the Melbourne Law School researching State obligations to and individual rights of people who are refugees with disabilities. Prior to commencing her PhD candidature in 2019, Philippa worked at the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc. coordinating the Victorian Refugee Health Network. The focus of Philippa’s work was on health sector development and influencing government policies to improve access to Australian health services for people from refugee backgrounds (resettled refugees) and for people in ‘refugee-like’ situations (including people who were seeking asylum, people who were stateless, and people who held various visas used for family reunification). Philippa has worked in the forced-migration contexts of Timor-Leste in 2002 and on the Thai-Myanmar border in 2012.
Current and Past Interns
University of Melbourne Law School, Juris Doctor Candidate
March 2019 - present
University of Melbourne Law School, Juris Doctor Candidate
February 2019 - present
University of Melbourne Law School, Juris Doctor candidate
January – March 2019
University of Melbourne Law School, Juris Doctor candidate
January - February 2019
University of Melbourne, Master of Art Curatorship
July – October 2018
University of Melbourne, Master of International Relations
July - October 2018
Learn about PhD Scholarships and Doctoral Workshops hosted by the Centre.View
List of research projects currently undertaken by members of the Centre on Statelessness.View
Centre on Statelessness members publish research in books, book chapters, journal articles and reports.View
The Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative runs a Seed Funding Scheme annually, fostering interdisciplinary research collaboration.View
ABR Behrouz Bouchani Fellowship
The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness is pleased to partner with the Australian Book Review in offering the ABR Behrouz Bouchani Fellowship. Worth a total of $10,000, this will be a highlight of ABR’s publishing year. This Fellowship is generously funded by Peter McMullin, Melbourne lawyer, philanthropist, businessman, and Chairman of McMullin Group.
This Fellowship honours the artistry, courage and moral leadership of Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian-Kurdish poet, journalist, memoirist, film producer, and human rights activist. The chosen Fellow will make a broad contribution to the magazine over the course of twelve months, with a series of three substantial articles on any aspect of refugees, statelessness or human rights.
ABR welcomes creative proposals from English-speaking journalists, commentators, scholars, activists, and creative writers around the world. The Fellow’s articles will appear in the print magazine and online.
Applications for this Fellowship close at midnight on
September 1, 2019. There is no application fee.
International Internship - UNHCR, Statelessness Section, Geneva, and The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
**Applications now closed**
Location: UNHCR Headquarters, Geneva and Peter McMullin Centre, Level 10, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Host Website: https://law.unimelb.edu.au/centres/statelessness and https://www.unhcr.org/statelessness.html
Internship Duration: 4 months (at least 3 months full time in Geneva)
Internship Period: The full time component in Geneva can begin any time from June 2019 and the 1 month full time equivalent to be spent at the Peter McMullin Centre can be negotiated.
Number of internships available: 1
Stipend: A stipend of AUD $4500 is included with this internship to support expenses for the 3-month Geneva component of the internship.
We are seeking a highly motivated intern who has an interest in working in the area of human rights. Previous relevant experience or study (for example in international, human rights and/or refugee law) is highly desirable. In addition, knowledge of another UN language is an asset but not compulsory.
This internship involves a three month full-time placement with the UNHCR Statelessness Section in Geneva. Under the supervision of the full-time staff of the Statelessness Section, the intern will likely undertake the following responsibilities:
- undertake an extended research task to be agreed in consultation with the Statelessness Section upon commencement of the internship;
- assist with preparations in the lead-up to the High-Level Segment on Statelessness in October 2019; and
- assist with the day-to-day work of the Section (research on domestic and international legal issues relevant to statelessness situations, formulation of law and policy positions, media checks and distribution of relevant press worldwide, arranging and distribution of statelessness related materials, etc.)
At the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, the intern will work closely with the Centre Research Fellows on a range of projects and programs run by the Centre and the tasks will include:
- Undertaking research on law and policy issues related to statelessness as relevant to current Centre research projects
- Undertaking editorial work with the Centre’s new journal, the Statelesness and Citizenship Review
- Drafting short articles/items on statelessness to be disseminated through the Centre’s communication channels
- Assisting in organising Centre events
How to apply
Applications should be made by email to email@example.com by 5pm, Monday 27th May 2019.
Please attach the following documents to your email (as one combined PDF):
- Cover letter addressed to: Professor Michelle Foster, Director, Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, C/o Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne VIC 3010. The cover letter should address the selection criteria and motivation for applying for this internship.
- Curriculum Vitae with Transcript and details of two referees (including an MLS academic if possible).
The successful student may choose whether to enrol in a Legal Internship subject in either the JD or MLM. This internship may be undertaken without enrolment in a subject.
The Peter McMullin Centre is pleased to offer internships each year and our interns make up an important part of the team. Current opportunities are advertised below. List of past and present interns.
2020 Visiting Fellowship Scheme
The Visiting Fellowship Scheme provides an opportunity for University of Melbourne faculties to engage with a range of different statelessness scholars and to expand international research collaborations. Applications are invited from researchers with an interest in statelessness – from PhD students to tenured academics – to visit the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School between February and December 2020. Applications from non-academic visiting professionals will also be considered, if they propose an applied research project of relevance to the work of the Centre.
The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School was established in 2018 with the objective of undertaking research, teaching and engagement activities aimed at reducing statelessness and protecting the rights of stateless people in Australia, the Asia Pacific region, and as appropriate more broadly. The Centre offers Visiting Fellowships for up to two months. Visiting scholars are provided with a work-space, computer and library access. They are expected to give a public seminar as part of the Centre’s seminar series and to participate in the academic life and work of the Centre including offering a work in progress for our reading group, and participate in events and workshops where applicable.
The Centre accommodates both self-funded Visiting Fellows and those seeking a scholarship to cover parts of their expenses. Applications from self-funded Visiting Fellows will also be considered outside the application period, subject to the availability of space. Funding of up to AU$4000 is available for Visiting Fellows towards the costs of travel to, and accommodation in, Melbourne. As such, applicants should consider the cost implications before applying, as there may be additional expenses not covered by the fellowship. Visiting Fellows from outside Australia are responsible for obtaining and funding any necessary visas or insurance. Fellowships are funded jointly by the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and the Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative.
The Centre acknowledges the diversity of individuals doing research or working on statelessness around the globe. Applications are invited from researchers ranging from PhD students, postdoctoral researchers to tenured academics to visit the Centre. Applications from non-academic visiting professionals will also be considered, if they propose an applied research project of relevance to the work of the centre.
The Visiting Fellowships are to be taken up within the time frame from February to December 2020. Once accepted, Visiting Fellows are encouraged to consider timing their visits to coincide with any major Centre activities.
Applications must include the following in one PDF document:
- Curriculum vitae and list of publications
- Research plan (maximum 1000 words), outlining the research, proposed activities/collaboration during visiting period and contribution to the work of the Centre
- Proposed dates of the visit in 2020
- Indication of whether a Visiting Fellowship grant is sought. For those seeking funding, please provide a brief justification, including any other funding sought or secured to cover expenses (maximum 250 words)
- One letter of reference (for PhD students letter of reference from the PhD supervisor; for non-academic visitors letter of support from employer or other entity the visitor is professionally associated with).
Applications close on 31 August 2019.
Visiting Fellows 2019
Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul, PhD Candidate (anthropology), Victoria University of Wellington
Proposed research: Stateless Shan in Thailand; and collaborator on the Centre’s nomadic peoples & statelessness project.
Heather Alexander, PhD Candidate (law), Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Proposed Research: Nomadic peoples and statelessness.
Julija Sardelic, Marie Curie Postdoc Fellow, Leuven International and European, University of Leuven, Belgium
Proposed Research: Statelessness and citizenship of Roma in Europe.
Nyi Nyi Kyaw, Visiting Fellow, Myanmar Studies Program, ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore
Proposed Research: How arbitrary state policies and practices in Myanmar have made citizenship regressively inaccessible for Rohingya.
Lindsey Kingston, Associate Professor, Director, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, Webster University, USA
Proposed Research: Conceptualising “statelessness-as-punishment” (denationalisation).
Past Visiting Fellows
Dr Laura van Waas
Dr. Laura van Waas is a founder and Co-Director of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion as well as Assistant Professor at the Department of European and International Law at Tilburg Law School in the Netherlands. Laura’s PhD manuscript, ‘Nationality Matters’ (Intersentia, 2008), is widely used as a reference for understanding international statelessness law by researchers and practitioners all over the world.
In more than a decade of working on the issue of statelessness, Laura has carried out a wide array of research and teaching projects, both within academia and for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other actors. She has worked as a consultant for UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva as well as the regional offices in Beirut and Bangkok. She has supervised or conducted studies on statelessness for, among others, Plan International, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Open Society Foundations, the Women’s Refugee Commission, the United States Department of State, the European Parliament and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
During Laura’s visit to the Centre (from October – December 2017), she worked closely with the Centre’s Director, Michelle Foster, on the first stages in the design of a collaborative teaching project that involves developing a curriculum on statelessness as well as exploring other areas for research-related collaboration.
Statelessness Intensive Course 2020
Following the success of our inaugural Intensive Course in February 2019, we are pleased to offer the course again from 3 - 7 February 2020.
The Statelessness Intensive Course aims to provide participants with the skills and practical tools to understand and address the problem of statelessness. Focusing on case studies from the Asia Pacific region, where the issue of statelessness is particularly salient, the course covered such topics as:
- the meaning of nationality in international law
- the core international treaties relevant to statelessness
- the right to nationality and deprivation of nationality
- the intersection between refugeehood and statelessness
- statelessness determination frameworks
- the nexus between statelessness, minorities, discrimination and development
- childhood statelessness
- the relationship between statelessness and gender discrimination
- identity, birth registration and the prevention of statelessness.
Directed by Professor Michelle Foster, the program also features UNHCR representatives, renowned international legal scholars and statelessness practitioners.
The program is suitable for a wide range of participants, including representatives from government, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, lawyers, advocates, decision-makers, scholars and students.
Though the program and lecturers for the 2020 course are still being finalised, these details from the 2019 course can be viewed here.
15 August 2019 Deadline for Early Bird and Scholarship Applications
15 October 2019 Final Applications Deadline
TBC Payment Deadline
Full fee: $1,300 AU
Early Bird: $1,100 AU (applications received by 15 August 2019)
Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton.
All course materials will be provided, with any prior reading material to be sent electronically in the weeks before the course.
All sessions and course materials will be in English, and therefore applicants should have proficiency in the English language.
Limited scholarships are available, covering course fees and accommodation at Queen's College on the University campus for the duration of the course (checking in Sun 3 Feb and checking out Fri 7 Feb). Note that scholarships do not cover airfares or any additional nights of accommodation.
Priority for scholarships will be given to applicants from developing countries. (Developing countries are defined as those with low or medium levels of human development as classified by the UNDP – see http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries.)
Note that scholarship applicants are required to include a supporting letter from a referee (professional or academic).
We are pleased to offer accommodation at Queen's College on the University of Melbourne campus (single rooms with shared bathrooms) for the total price of AU $460. This package comprises five nights of accommodation including daily breakfast and dinners on two evenings. This is comfortable but basic student-style accommodation. Learn more about Queen's College.
A list of nearby accommodation options will also be provided to participants wishing to stay elsewhere.
Past participants on their experience
Taught by leading experts, the Statelessness Intensive Course offers a unique opportunity to situate current debates on citizenship, identity and inclusion on a solid foundation of international human rights law and social science. The interdisciplinary nature of the course and diversity of participants provides for rich and engaging discussions over the five days.
Helen Brunt, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The course offers a fantastic blend of theory and practice. An array of knowledgeable experts combined passion for the subject with clarity and commitment to effective delivery. Participants are drawn from academia, government, affected communities, international and national agencies and professionals, making it an infinitely enriching learning and networking experience.
Jelvas Musau, Senior Regional Protection Officer (Statelessness), UNHCR Regional Office for South East Asia
The Statelessness Intensive provided not only a robust academic experience with regard to the under-explored topic of statelessness, but also an excellent opportunity to connect with others working in this space from diverse backgrounds and a wide array of disciplines and practice areas, ranging from academic to civil society and from multilateral institutions to independent advocates – all bringing valuable perspectives.
Ashley Kinseth, Executive Director, Statelessness Dignity Project
It was a wonderful experience, not only were all aspects of statelessness addressed but enormous representation from across the globe allowed various different perspectives and solutions to regional and global problems.
Palak Chaudhari, Project Officer, Prison Reforms, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, India
This was an incredibly insightful course. It allowed me to develop and consolidate my foundational knowledge of statelessness from an interdisciplinary perspective. I enjoyed not only learning the legal and technical aspects of addressing statelessness but also discussing the underlying causes and consequences, hearing from those personally affected by statelessness and having the opportunity to meet with experts, colleagues and activists in the field.
Nesha Balasubramanian, Australia Pro Bono Associate, DLA Piper
Before starting your application, please note that scholarship applicants are required to include a supporting letter from a referee (professional or academic), in pdf or word format.
Wednesday 1:00pm - 2:00pmThe Digital Transformation of International TradeSeminar/Forum GELN;MLS;
Technologies of Bordering: Creating, Contesting and Resisting Borders ConferenceConference peter mcmullin centre on statelessness;PMCS;statelessness;MLS;
Wednesday 6:30pm - 7:45pmUnconscionable conduct and the 'bookup' system of credit provided to the indigenous community in the...Seminar/Forum CCL;OG;CCLSR;MLS;
Thursday 6:00pm - 7:30pmFuture Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us About Digital Tec...Seminar/Forum DCRN;iilah;MLS;
Tuesday 1:00pm - 2:00pmWhat Are International Courts Made of? The Law and Politics of 'Recognised Competence in Internation...Seminar/Forum iilah;DCRN;MLS;
Thursday 6:00pm - 7:30pmThe International Labour Organisation and the Future of WorkSeminar/Forum CELRL;MLS;
Digital Citizens ConferenceConference DCRN;MLS;
Thursday 8:30am - 9:30amBig Tech Antitrust: At War With ItselfOther DCRN;CLEN;MLS;
Thursday 6:00pm - 7:00pmA Human-Centred FutureOther DCRN;MLS;
Thursday 6:00pm - 7:00pmEngineers: The Drama of its Day in the Climate of its EraFree Public Lecture CCCS;MLS;Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies;Melbourne School of Government;Melbourne Law School;
Thursday 6:30pm - 7:30pmBad BargainsFree Public Lecture OG;MLS;
Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm2019 CCCS Constitutional Law ConferenceConference MLS;Melbourne Law School;
Tuesday 7:00am - 8:30amMLS Alumni Seminar with Tom DreyfusSeminar/Forum MLS;Alumni;seminar;Law;
Thursday 6:00pm - 7:00pmWriting About Enlightenment and Criminal JusticeFree Public Lecture Governor Macquarie;legal books;MLS;Rare Books;History;books;Law;
Friday 10:00am - 12:00pmIILAH Interdisciplinary Masterclass: Law, Art and Politics with Professor Desmond MandersonOther iilah;MLS;
Friday 1:00pm - 2:00pmDanse Macabre: Temporalities of Law in the Visual ArtsSeminar/Forum iilah;MLS;
Dr Tendayi Bloom - Statelessness Seminar Series
Refugee Alternatives Conference 2018
Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness Launch
Prof Susan Kneebone, Brandais York & Sayomi Ariyawansa
Dr Harriot Beazley - Statelessness Seminar Series
Dr Rayner Thwaites - Statelessness Seminar Series
Statelessness Seminar Series - Dr Heli Askola
Statelessness Seminar Series - Dr Samantha Balaton-Chrimes
Dr Julija Sardelic - Migration, Refugees & Statelessness Seminar Series
Announcing new online journal
The Statelessness and Citizenship Review
The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) are pleased to announce the establishment of a new online journal: The Statelessness and Citizenship Review. This is the first journal to be entirely dedicated to advancing the understanding of statelessness and related citizenship phenomena and challenges, helping to meet the growing demand for the exchange of ideas and knowledge among scholars in the blossoming field of statelessness studies. The Editors-in-Chief are Prof. Michelle Foster (Peter McMullin Centre) and Dr. Laura van Waas (ISI).
The Statelessness and Citizenship Review is a peer-reviewed, open-access and interdisciplinary journal. Papers submitted to the journal will undergo independent and anonymous peer review, with an Editorial Board composed of renowned international scholars (see below). There are no fees for authors or readers, Creative Commons Attribution and authors retain Copyright of published articles. The journal will be published on a bi-annual basis. The submission deadline for the second issue is 31 July 2019. Articles should be 8,000 -10,000 words in length (excl. footnotes), though longer pieces of up to 12,000 words can also be accommodated. Articles should follow the OSCOLA citation system.
In addition to original, scholarly articles that have passed successfully through the peer review process, each issue of the Review will also contain a section of “Case Notes” that offers summaries and comment on significant jurisprudence from around the globe (edited by Dr. Katia Bianchini) and a section entitled “Critique & Comment” that will feature reflections by scholars or practitioners on emerging research, policy trends or other new developments (edited by Dr. Kristy Belton).
Scholars interested in submitting an article for consideration are encouraged to visit the website and to address any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Production editor: Eliah Castiello, JD Candidate, Melbourne Law School, Comparative ASEAN Animal Law Library (Director)
- Dr Edwin Abuya, Associate Professor at the School of Law, University of Nairobi (Kenya)
- Dr Seth Anziska, Mohamed S. Farsi-Polosnky Lecturer in Jewish-Muslim Relations, University College London (UK)
- Professor Osamu Arakaki, Ph.D., Professor of International Law at International Christian University (Japan)
- Mr Fateh Azzam, Human Rights Consultant; Executive member, Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies (USA)
- Professor Matthew J. Gibney, Professor of Politics and Forced Migration, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford (UK)
- Professor Penny Green, Professor of Law and Globalisation, and Director of the International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London (UK)
- Professor Dr. Gerard-René de Groot, Emeritus Professor of comparative law and private international law, Maastricht University (Netherlands); Professor of Private Law, University of Aruba (West Indies)
- Professor Linda Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and Professor of History, Emerita, University of Iowa (USA)
- Professor Audrey Macklin, Director of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies and Professor and Chair in Human Rights, University of Toronto (Canada)
- Dr Bronwen Manby, Visiting Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics (UK)
- Dr Parivelan K.M., Associate Professor & Chairperson, Nodal Centre of Excellence for Human rights Education & Centre for Statelessness and Refugee Studies, School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India)
- Dr Nando Sigona, Senior Lecturer & Birmingham Fellow and Deputy Director, Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham (UK)
- Professor Julia Sloth-Nielson, Professor, Department of Public Law and Jurisprudence, University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and Professor of Children's Rights in the Developing World, University of Leiden (Netherlands)
- Professor Kim Rubenstein, Professor of Law and Public Policy Fellow, Australian National University (Australia)
- Professor Peter Spiro, Charles Weiner Professor of Law, Temple University Law School (USA)
- Ms Timnah Baker, Research Fellow, Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, Melbourne Law School (Australia)
- Ms Maria Jose Recalde Vela, PhD Researcher, Tilburg Law School and Programme Officer (volunteer), Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (Netherlands)
The Indian National Register of Citizens aims to separate 4 million “illegal” immigrants from “legitimate” residents. So, what does history tell us about the impact of removing citizenship?News
A new research centre in Melbourne will study the issue of statelessness both at home and overseas.News
Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness to develop responses to crisis affecting 10 million people worldwide.News
More than 10 million people are stateless, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness will help fight this issue by seeking to develop policy solutions and ultimately contributing to a United Nations goal of eradicating statelessness by 2024.News
The University of Melbourne's Law School is to host a new research centre devoted to ending statelessness, backed by philanthropists Peter and Ruth McMullin.News
Meet the Global PhDs on Statelessness Network
The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness is delighted to host the Global PhDs on Statelessness (GPS) webpage, showcasing the exciting and varied emerging approaches to statelessness research. GPS is a network of PhD students and Doctoral researchers engaged on issues of citizenship and statelessness around the world. The network was set up by participants of the inaugural PhD Workshop on Citizenship and Statelessness hosted by Tilburg University in October 2018.
Through the network’s mailing list, PhD students and Doctoral researchers can stay up-to-date on events, news and engage in peer-support, please subscribe at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/STATELESSNESSPHDS.
The GPS webpage is updated biannually. If you would like to have your work featured please contact Deirdre Brennan.
- Haqqi Bahram
Becoming a Citizen – Does it End There? An Intersectional Exploration of Statelessness Legacy, Forced Migration and Identity
- Katalin Berenyi
National University of Public Service
Mapping Stateless Minorities' Vulnerability to Mass Atrocities and Radicalization
- Deirdre Brennan
University of Melbourne
Campaigning for citizenship in Nepal (2006 – 2019): Assessing how activism impacts upon law reform and the public perception of the stateless
- Natalie Brinham
Queen Mary University of London
The slow and ongoing production of Rohingya statelessness in Myanmar
- Jing-Han Chen
University of Edinburgh
The Statelessness Issue in Taiwan: A Comparison of the Statelessness of Tibetan Refugees in Taiwan and Overseas Taiwanese People
- Eleanor Cotterill
Experiences of Statelessness in the UK (working title)
- Yuriko Cowper-Smith
University of Guelph
Rohingya Migrants’ Political Activism in Canada – A Complex Explanatory Model
email address to come
- Sangita Jaghai Bajulaiye
Denationalization (working title)
- Kaveri Urmilesh
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Interrogating Statelessness, Human Rights and Inclusion: A Study of Rohingyas in India (Working title)
- Thomas McGee
University of Melbourne
The Displacement-Statelessness Nexus – Syrians in Limbo
- Yesim Mutlu
Middle East Technical University
Disowning Citizens: Arbitrary Revocation of Citizenship and Statelessness in the Paternalist Turkish State
- Allison Petrozziello
Wilfrid Laurier University
Stateless at Birth? Upholding the Human Right to a Nationality for Migrant Women’s Children
- Maria Jose Recalde-Vela
Statelessness and Decolonial Perspectives (working title)
- Victoria Reitter
University of Salzburg
On the Production of Statelessness
- Jade Roberts
University of Melbourne
Beyond the State: An Individual Rights Approach to Recognising and Protecting the Rights of Stateless People
- Barbara von Rütte
University of Bern
The Human Right to Citizenship. From State Privilege to Individual Right
- Katherine G. Southwick
National University of Singapore
Theorizing Rule of Law for Ethnically Divided Societies
- Caia Vliecks
European statelessness: Nationality and the reduction of statelessness in Europe (working title)
- Ashley Walters
University of Connecticut
Experiences of Migrants to the United States in a Time of Heightened Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric (An Ethnographic Study)