Adrienne Anderson

  • Adrienne Anderson

    PhD candidate

Adrienne Anderson is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. Her doctoral thesis examines domestic violence claims under the Refugee Convention across a range of jurisdictions.

She is currently a 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. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, she was 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.

She holds a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and an LLM from the University of Michigan.

Thesis Title

Refugee Law and Gender-Based Violence Against Women: Uncovering the Political Dimensions

Thesis Summary

This thesis analyses refugee jurisprudence in common and civil law systems to evaluate current approaches to the determination of refugee claims involving intimate partner violence. It examines whether and how decision-makers understand the nature and causes of gendered intimate partner violence and how these types of cases have been framed. It proposes a reframing of this type of claim with adherence to basic principle and a renewed focus on the political opinion ground in this context. The thesis aims to provide practical insight into how a political opinion analysis might best apply and to expand analysis of the meaning of ‘political opinion’ in refugee law generally.


  • Refugee Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Feminist Legal Theory