ARC Laureate Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr Lynsey Blayden

    Lynsey Blayden has lectured in Administrative and Federal Constitutional Law at UNSW, where she completed a PhD in 2020. Her doctoral thesis explored the role of values discernible within the Australian political    system, such as trust in democracy and a belief in the positive role of the administrative state, in the shaping of the doctrine of judicial review of administrative action. Lynsey is a Fellow of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and has previously worked for the New South Wales Parliamentary Library Research Service and the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet.

  • Dr Anna Dziedzic

    Dr Anna Dziedzic is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law. She researches comparative constitutional law and judicial studies, with a particular focus on the Pacific region. Her postdoctoral research explores how constitutions and constitutional institutions are reflective of the people and the state, and how they can accommodate diversity, legal pluralism and non-state actors. Anna is a Convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network at Melbourne Law School, Co-Editor of the Blog of the International Association for Constitutional Law, and Regional Coordinator for Oceania for the Global Citizenship Observatory at the European University Institute. Previously she was a Global Academic Fellow at the Faculty of Law at Hong Kong University, where she conducted comparative research into foreign judges on domestic courts. Anna holds a PhD in law from Melbourne Law School, an MA in Human Rights from University College London and a BA/LLB from the Australian National University. She is the author of Foreign Judges in the Pacific (Hart 2021) and co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Foreign Judges on Domestic Courts (forthcoming). She has published academic journal articles in Global Constitutionalism, Federalismi, Federal Law Review, and the Hong Kong Law Journal, as well as practice and policy papers with International IDEA, the United Nations Development Programme, and the National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea.

  • Dr Jayani Nadarajalingam

    Jayani Nadarajalingam researches primarily in political philosophy and social theory. Her doctoral thesis (currently under examination) considers issues of methodology in political philosophy, with a particular focus on constructive roles political philosophy could play in the guiding and evaluation of political action in the real world and, in doing so, take history and social context seriously. During her postdoctoral fellowship with the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law, she plans to apply the methodology developed in her doctoral thesis to study the roles played by state and non-state actors in various constitutional contexts. She was a Kathleen Fitzpatrick visiting fellow with the Program in 2018 and is very much looking forward to returning to the Program in a longer term capacity. Jayani is a Convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network at Melbourne Law School. Previously she was a lecturer with the Melbourne School of Government. She has extensive teaching experience, having taught in the Melbourne School of Government’s undergraduate breadth and Masters programs and the Melbourne Law School’s JD program.  Jayani undertook her doctoral research at Monash University (Law and Arts(philosophy) faculties). She holds an LLM (Legal Theory) from New York University and a BA(Hons)/LLB(Hons) from Monash University. She has forthcoming chapters in Constitutional Resilience in South Asia (Hart Bloomsbury) and Facts in Public Law Adjudication (Hart Bloomsbury). In 2019, she received funding from the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness’s competitive seed funding scheme.

Senior Research Associate

  • Dr Stijn Smet
    Dr Stijn Smet

    Dr Stijn Smet

    Stijn Smet is Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at Hasselt University and Senior Research Associate to the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law at Melbourne Law School. Stijn holds a PhD in Law from Ghent University. Prior to joining Hasselt University, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Melbourne Law School (March 2017 – August 2018) and at Ghent University (October 2014 – February 2017). At Hasselt University, Stijn teaches Constitutional Law, Public Law, Legal Protection against the Government, and Law and Power (the first three in Dutch). His primary research expertise is in comparative constitutional law, with a focus on religious freedom, and in human rights law, a focus on conflicts of rights. Stijn is particularly interested in the role of tolerance in law, both generally and in relation to religious freedom specifically. He is the author of Resolving Conflicts between Human Rights: The Judge’s Dilemma (Routledge, 2017 (hardcover) and 2018 (paperback)) and co-editor of When Human Rights Clash at the European Court of Human Rights: Conflict or Harmony? (OUP, 2017). Stijn has published among others in Human Rights Law Review, American University International Law Review, Journal of Media Law and Religion & Human Rights. His work has been cited by the European Court of Human Rights (in separate opinions).

  • Dr Dinesha Samararatne
    Dr Dinesha Samararatne

    Dr. Dinesha Samararatne is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Public & International Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo. At the University of Colombo, Dinesha has been teaching Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law. Previously she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the ARC Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law where she studied constitution-making in post-war contexts (2019-2020). Dinesha is a Co-Convenor of the Constitution Transformation Network (CTN) of the Melbourne Law School, a Co-Editor of the Blog of the International Association for Constitutional Law (IACL) and a member of the Editorial Board of the Indian Law Review. Her recent research work has been in relation to public participation in constitution-making, constitutional resilience, women and constitutional law, and the relevance of the global south in comparative constitutional law. Dinesha has previously been affiliated with the Centre on Comparative Constitutional Law as a Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellow (April – May 2018). Dinesha has published in the Asian Journal of Comparative Law, Journal of Law and Society, Indian Law Review, Asian Journal of Law and Society, the Modern Law Review, and the Journal of Asian Studies.

  • Dr Erika Arban
    Erika Arban

    Erika Arban holds a PhD in Law from the University of Ottawa in Canada, where her doctoral thesis Italian Regionalism and the Federal Challenge was awarded the Governor General Gold Medal for the best thesis in the humanities. Erika’s primary research interests are in comparative constitutional law and theory, with a focus on federalism, and legal research methodology. She is particularly interested in cities as constitutional units, constitutional law and socio-economic asymmetries, and languages in comparative constitutional law. Erika was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law (May 2017-June 2022).  Erika is one of the co-editors of Federalism and Constitutional Law. The Italian Contribution to Comparative Federalism(Routledge 2021) and the sole editor of Cities in Federal Constitutional Theory(OUP 2022, forthcoming)She is the co-convenor of the IACL research group New Frontiers of Federalism, and comments editor of Comparative Constitutional StudiesHer work has been published in journals such as The Modern Law Review, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, and ICON. Erika also held teaching positions at the University of Ottawa, the University of Antwerp, and the University of Milan.

Doctoral Candidates

  • Mr Darshan Datar
    Mr Darshan Datar
    Mr Darshan Datar

    Darshan Datar is a doctoral candidate with the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law. He holds two LL.M degrees from the Central European University, Budapest in Comparative Constitutional Law (2015-16) and the European University Institute (2017-18). His research is focused on the concept of religion followed by constitutional courts. His other research interests include theoretical accounts of secularism and constitutionalism.

  • Ms Toerien van Wyk
    Ms Toerien van Wyk
    Ms Toerien van Wyk

    Toerien van Wyk is a doctoral candidate in the ARC Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law. Her interests are in comparative constitutional law, human rights and information law. Before joining the project, she was the Co-Director of the South African History Archive, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting struggles for justice through the use of access to information laws and archival practice. Toerien holds a Master of Laws: Human Rights Law degree (LLM) (cum laude) and a Higher Diploma in International Taxation from the University of Johannesburg as well as a Baccalaureus Legum degree (LLB) from the University of South Africa. Toerien has experienced working in many facets of human rights law and has previously been employed as a legal consultant, a human rights researcher, and a law lecturer. Her research is in comparative constitutional law, with a focus on the protection and promotion of information flow. Her doctoral research explores international and African communally-centered understandings of access to information and freedom of expression. It considers how the flow of information, particularly between the state and residents of the state, ought to be given constitutional protection.

Program Manager

  • Gabrielle Dalsasso
    Gabrielle Dalsasso
    Gabrielle Dalsasso

    Gabrielle Dalsasso is the Program Manager for the Laureate Fellowship in Comparative Constitutional Law. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, she has held senior administrative positions  related to events and training in corporate and not-for-profit organisations.