Brandais York

  • Brandais York

    PhD candidate


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.

Thesis Title

The Legal Rights and Protections of Cambodian women within International Marriage Migration to China

Thesis Summary

International Marriage Migration has commonly been mislabelled as either forced marriage or human trafficking, without viewing the practice through the lens of the cultural and historical perceptions of marriage, gender, family, and duties that have shaped it. Since 2012, one of the newest transit routes of international marriage migration found in Asia has been from Cambodia to China. My thesis uses socio-legal and feminist theories to examine this trend considering the unique historical, economic, and legal histories that have shaped the legal frameworks that currently seek to regulate this form of migration between these two countries.


  • Asian Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Law and Development
  • Migration Law
  • Post colonial Theory