Daniel Hochstrasser

  • Daniel Hochstrasser

    PhD candidate

Daniel is a PhD student at Melbourne Law School, whose research interests lie across the criminal justice system.  His thesis examines whether a suspect in a criminal investigation can rely on the privilege against self-incrimination to refuse to provide the password to encrypted electronic devices in his or her possession that are sought by law enforcement officials.

Daniel holds a Master of Laws (by research) from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Laws (cum laude) from the University of Cape Town.  He is currently a Teaching Fellow at the Melbourne Law School.  Prior to commencing his PhD, Daniel practised law for several years, including at Bowman Gilfillan in South Africa and Baker McKenzie in Melbourne.

Thesis Title

The privilege against self-incrimination and the compelled production of a password

Thesis Summary

In recent years the use of encryption to prevent unauthorised access to electronic documents has become widespread.  All major operating systems for mobile phones and computers include the technology.  This has consequences for law enforcement officials, who may require access to encrypted data where it is believed to contain evidence of criminal conduct.  My thesis examines whether a suspect can refuse to grant law enforcement officials access to encrypted data on the grounds that doing so will breach the privilege against self-incrimination.


  • Criminal Law and Procedure