Penny Gleeson

  • Penny Gleeson

    PhD candidate


Penny Gleeson is an Honorary Fellow and PhD Candidate at the Melbourne Law School. She is an active member of the Law School’s Health Law and Ethics Network and the legal member of the University’s Medicine and Dentistry Human Ethics Sub-Committee.

Ms Gleeson’s research focusses on the regulation, ethics and public policy of medical technologies. From 2014 to 2016 Ms Gleeson was a Principal Research Fellow at Melbourne Law School investigating the ethical, legal and social implications of genomics research in collaboration with the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. She was a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Victorian Genetics and Genomics Advisory Committee.

Ms Gleeson has been a sessional lecturer for the Melbourne Law School’s Juris Doctor program and a subject coordinator and lecturer for the Melbourne School of Government. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School Ms Gleeson was an executive with the Victorian Public Service, including as General Counsel for the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Director of Corporate Development. She also served as an associate to the Hon Chief Justice M E Black of the Federal Court of Australia and as a solicitor with Ashurst.

Ms Gleeson holds a LLB (Hons) / BA from the University of Melbourne and a LLM from the University of Cambridge. Her graduate studies have been supported by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, the Australian Government Research Training Program and the Melbourne Networked Society Institute. Her professional training includes fellowships with the Centre for Ethical Leadership and the Australian and New Zealand School of Government.

Thesis Title

Dope, Drugs and Devices: The Political Legitimacy of Therapeutic Goods Regulation in Australia

Thesis Summary

Australia’s regulation of medicines and medical devices is highly regarded amongst the relevant Australian and international regulatory community. Ms Gleeson is examining whether and how the emergence, or re-emergence, of new therapeutic goods challenges the political legitimacy of this regulatory scheme in Australia. Her analysis will focus on the particular challenges posed by medicinal cannabis, drugs to facilitate abortion, gene therapy, gene editing and stem cell therapy. In light of this analysis, she will identify what changes should be made to the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia.


  • Administrative/Public Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Health Law and Bioethics
  • Medical Law
  • Medico-Legal
  • Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Science and Technology Regulation