Intensive Course Lecturers and Presenters

2023 Lecturers and Presenters

Christiana BukaloChristiana Bukalo is the initiator & co-founder of Statefree, a non-profit that aims to build community, visibility and realise equal rights for stateless peopl. As a stateless person born and raised in Germany, Christiana has had first-hand experience with the lack of transparency and awareness around statelessness. Therefore she and her team follow the mission to empower stateless people through community, visibility and equal rights. Furthermore Christiana is part of the board of trustees as well as the advisory committee of the European Network on Statelessness and sits on the Advisory board of the Democracy & Belonging Forum. She has also been awarded the Echoing Green Fellowship '22/'23 and is on of the "100 Future Faces" on Germany's Business Punk Watchlist 2023. 
Fadi ChalouhyStateless since birth, Fadi Chalouhy endured a life of hardship and difficulties. From being denied basic human rights such as education and medical assistance, to experiencing arbitrary detention for over a decade in Lebanon. After 28 years of constant struggle, Fadi landed in Sydney in 2019, becoming the first stateless person in history to be issued a skilled shortage Visa. Currently, he is an associate manager within Accenture's Stategy & Consulting practice. He has extensive experience designing and implementing large scale transformation projects in retail, bankin, and telecommunications. Fadi supports the work of the Stateless Children Legal and is also an Advisory Council member of the Stateless Children Australia Network.
Sumedha ChoudhurySumeha Choudhury is a PhD candidate at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and a member of the Institute of International Law and the Humanities (IILAH). Sumedha's doctoral thesis focuses on the issue of statelessness in the context of postcolonial states (with a primary focus on India).

She has previously worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), India in the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Unit.
Professor Michelle FosterMichelle 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, human rights and statelessness including International Refugee Law and Socio-Economic Rights: Refugeee from Deprivation (CUP, 2007), with James C. Hathaway, The Law of Refugee Status, Second Edition, (CUP, 2014) and with Hélène Lambert, International Law and the Protection of Stateless Person (OUP, 2019). Michelle teaches Refugee Law, International Refugee Law and Statelessness, Citizenship and Belonging at Melbourne Law School, and in 2017 taught in the International Summer School in Forced Migration at Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre. Michelle directs the annual Statelessness Intensive Course at Melbourne Law School.

Michelle has undertaken consultancy work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and training of refugee tribunal members in New Zealand and Australia. She is Editor in Chief (with Lauren van Waas) of the Statelessness and Citizenship Review. Michelle is also an Advisory Board Member of the Melbourne Journal of International Law and an Associate Member of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Law Judges. She is a Board member and Deputy Chair of AMES Australia.
Radha GovilRadha Govil is a Senior Legal Officer in the Division of International Protection at UNHCR, where she has worked on issues relating to nationality and statelessness since 2010. Radha has helped to develop many of UNHCR's key doctrinal and policy positions on statelessness, including in relation to the definition of a stateless person under international law, particular standards in the 1961 Convention, as well as conceiving the #IBelong Campaign to End Statlessness and its implementation framework. Radha advises Governments, UNHCR operations and partner organisations around the world on how to prevent and reduce statelessness, and has developed a number of policy and practical tools to support them in this effort. Prior to working at UNHCR, Radha worked as a solicitor in Australia at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King Wood Mallesons). She holds an LL.B. and a BA from the University of Melbourne and a Master's Public International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science for which she was awarded the Lauterpacht-Higgens and Georg Schwazenberger prizes.
Andrea ImmanuelAndrea Marilyn Pragashini Immanuel (B.A.B.L. (Honours) School of Excellence in Law, The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University and LLM Utrecht University) is a PhD candidate at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. Her research project is on nationality and statelessness in armed conflict.

Before joining the Centre, Andrea was an Assistant Professor of Legal Practice at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), O.P. Jindal Global University, India. She is a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for International Legal Studies, JGLS and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Public Interest Law, JGLS. In JGLS, she researched widely on nationality and statelessness in South Asia. Andrea has also worked as a Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Assistant and Protection Associate in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), India.
Professor Susan KneeboneSusan Kneebone is a Professorial Fellow and Associate at the Asian Law Centre, Melbourne Law School. She researches in the area of International Migration, Nationality and Citizenship Law, including refugees, statelessnes, human trafficking, marriage migration and migrant workers, with particular reference to South East Asia. She has published widely in international journals including the Journal of Refugee Studies, the International Journal of Refugee Law and the Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law.
Dr Nyi Nyi KyawNyi Nyi Kyaw is Research Chair of Forced Displacement in Southeast Asia at the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development at Chiang Mai Univesity. He is also an honorary fell at Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and associate at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He has published papers in peer-reviewed journals including Social Identities, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, Asian Journal of Law and Society and Review of Faith & International Affairs and book chapters on citizenship, nationalism and constitutional change, among other topics, with a special focus on Myanmar.
Thomas McGeeThomas McGee (BA Univesity of Cambridge and MA University of Exeter) is a PhD candidate at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. His research project focuses on Syria's changing statelessness landscape since the start of the country's civil war in 2011. Alongside this, hew has worked with the centre in Lebanon on a project about "Nomadic Peoples and Statelessness".

Thomas is an Associate member of the European Network on Statlessness and prior to joining the Centre worked on their joint Stateless Journeys project with the Institute on Statlessness and Inclusion.
Subin MulmiSubin Mulmi is a human rights lawyer and researcher based in Nepal. He currently holds the position of Executive Director at Nationality for All (NFA). He has worked as the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor for Mercy Corps. Nepal. He worked for Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD) in Kathmandu as the Programme Coordinator and then as the Senior Legal Advisor. He has conducted several studies on acquisition of citizenship certificates and statelessness in Nepal. He identifies as a staunch feminist and adopts a strong intersectional feminist lens in all his work and writings.
Bongkot NapaumpornBongkot Napaumporn  is a PhD researcher at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. Prior to joining the Centre, she worked on statelessness for UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia  and the Pacific in Bangkok and was an advocate at the Thammasat University's legal clinic  that worked closely with civil societies and communities of stateless and displaced persons in Thailand. She was involved  in key law and policy reforms of Thailand which aimed at improving stateless people's legal status and access to human rights and promoting their well-being and inclusion in the society. These laws and policies include, for example, the amended Nationality and Civil Registration Acts in 2008, and proposal for a Cabinet Decision in 2015 to provide health insurance to stateless persons.

For the last 16 years, her work  has been dedicated to the prevention and reduction of statelessness and the protection of stateless persons who mostly are in protracted situations in South-East Asia. Bangkot has a keen interest in statelessness in a migratory context due to her self-evident experiences through legal advocacy provided to stateless migrants. Her current research focuses on human agency of stateless migrants from Thailand in Japan and analyses how their situations have a direct and indirect impact on state policies and relations relating to addressing statelessness.
Shahd QannamShahd is  a PhD candidate in Law at the City Law School, City , University of London. Her research  examines the right to nationality under international law. She explores the relationship between state formation, state recognition, and statelessness.

Shahd holds an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford  and a BA in Human Rights and International Law from Al-Quds Bard College. She is generally interested in questions pertaining to statelessness and refugeehood, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law.

Shahd worked as an external legal consultant at different regional and international organisations on projects related to statelessness, and particularly Palestinian statelessness. She is also currently a programme officer at the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion.
Matthias ReussAfter his PhD on human rights and trade sanctions, Matthias Reuss worked as a legal adviser in academia, public administration and various international organisations. His career included assignments as a Legal Officer at the Tribunals for Rwanda and Sierra Leone. He was Managing  Editor of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, and later Head of the Max Planck Institute's constitution building projects in Africa. At the German Parliament, he held the position of an adviser on international law, including  human rights. For UNHCR, he worked in South Sudan, at the Regional Office for Southern Africa, and since 2019 in the Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific.
Jade RobertsJade Roberts is a PhD Candidate and a Teaching Fellow at the Melbourne Law School and co-Managing  Editor of the Statelessness and Citizenship Review. Her doctoral research examines alternative approaches to understanding and addressing statelessness in international law. She has  previously worked as a Research Associate at Melbourne Law School, and in research roles with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva. Jade is a lawyer and has worked on human rights and refugee cases with Shine Lawyers and The Humanitarian Group. She has a Master's in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International  and Development Studies in Geneva.
Katie RobertsonKatie Robertson is a Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, focused primarily on the Centre's domestic engagement. She holds a BA/LLB (Hons) and LLM (Public International Law) from the University of Melbourne.

Katie's research focuses on the legal rights of stateless children in Australia, with a particular focus on the legal and administrative  barriers faced by stateless asylum seeker and refugee children in obtaining Australian citizenship. As a human rights lawyer with over ten years' experience , Katie has first-hand experience  acting for stateless asylum seeker and  refugee children. She is interested in examining the challenges faced by both these children and the legal practitioners assisting them, with the overall aim of improving the quality and accessibility of legal services available to stateless children in Australia.

Katie balances her time at the Centre with her dual role as the Assistant Director of the Melbourne Law School Clinics and teaches in the JD Program.
Tanja SejersonTanja Brøndsted Sejerson is a Statistician  at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Statistics Division, where she is the focal point for the regional initiative to 'Get Every One in the Picture' ( She has been engaged with Civil Registration and Vital Statistics improvement activities in Asia-Pacific since 2013, including ensuring government commitments to the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific in November 2014.

Before joining ESCAP, Tanja worked as a social researcher in the UK and on social  policy issues in the Middle East, more specifically on improving data for evidence based policy making.

Tanja is trained as a demographer and political scientist and is particularly interested in the intersections between identity, citizenship and social exclusion and the need to improve data for better development outcomes.
Dr Jordy SilversteinDr Jordy Silverstein is an Honorary Fellow in SHAPS at the University of Melbourne, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. She is the author of Anxious  Histories: Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning og the Twenty-First Century (Berghahn, 2015) and co-editor of Refugee Journeys: Histories of Resettlement, Representation and Resistance (ANU Press, 2021). Her research explores the history of  Australian child refugee policy and policymaking processes from 1970 to the present, focusing on the ways that ideas, discourses and practices of care and control have come to be preeminent.
Dr Christoph SperfeldtChristoph Sperfeldt is a Senior Lecturer at Macquarie Law School. He is a Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University, an Associateof the Asia Law Centre at Melbourne Law School, and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for the Study of Humanitarian Law at the Royal University of Law and Economics, Cambodia. He was a University Fellow at Charles Darwin University and held visiting positions at the University of Copenhagen, Tilburg University, KU Leuven, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Queen's University Belfast. Since 2022, Christoph has been Visiting Professor with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, supporting human rights education and training at Cambodian universities. He holds a PhD from the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University.

Christoph teaches and pursues socio-legal research in areas of human rights and justice that is empirically grounded and delivers impact of relevance to both scholarly debates and applied endeavours - with a geographical focus on Southeast Asia. He has made internationally-recognised contributions to two fields of research: transitional justice and statelessness.

From 2018-2021, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School and he remains affiliated with the Centre as an Honorary Fellow.
Professor John TobinProfessor 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.