Research Spotlights

The University of Sydney Law School is an international leader in legal research, led by globally recognised legal educators, world-renowned researchers and highly respected professional practitioners.

In the most recent Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) outcomes report released by the Australian Research Council, Sydney Law School received the highest possible rating of five.

We place particular emphasis on international and comparative law while also maintaining a strong focus on taxation, corporate and criminal law. We offer research expertise in specialist areas such as climate and environmental law, as well as health and medical law.

Find out more about our School through this spotlight on some of our academic staff:

Belinda Smith

Anti-Discrimination Law

Associate Professor Belinda Smith specialises in labour law, with a particular research focus on anti-discrimination law as it applies to workplaces.

Rosemary Lyster

Climate and Environmental Law

Professor Rosemary Lyster’s research in the area of climate law examines the international and domestic law and policy frameworks that respond to this scientific consensus on climate change.

Helen Irving

Constitutions and Gender

Professor Helen Irving has long been interested in how constitutions are made – in the ideas that inspire their design and in their framers’ expectations about how they will work in practice.


Jennifer Hill

Corporate Law and Governance

Professor Hill’s research focuses strongly on the regulation and accountability of corporations and financial institutions from a comparative law perspective.

Arlie Loughnan

Criminal Responsibility

Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan said "I am concerned about popular and media portrayals of people who have mental illnesses and other conditions and have been charged with criminal offences"

Penelope Crossley

Energy and Resources Law

Penelope Crossley is a specialist energy and resources lawyer at Sydney Law School, focussing on the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors.


Patrick Parkinson

Family law, child protection and religious freedom

Professor Patrick Parkinson is a specialist in family law, child protection and the law of equity and trusts. He is the former President of the International Society of Family Law and is arguably Australia’s leading family law academic having written and published widely on the discipline.

Anne Twomey

Federal Constitutional Law

Professor Anne Twomey has spent her career balancing her academic and research work in the field of constitutional and public law with her practical work with governments, parliaments and inter-governmental bodies.

Ben Saul

Human Rights and Counterterrorism Law

Professor Ben Saul is internationally recognised as a leading expert on human rights, international crime and counterterrorism law.


Mary Crock

Immigration and Refugee Law

Professor Mary Crock is one of Sydney Law School’s most experienced academics, not only in terms of her own years of research but also in the number of other respected law practitioners and academics she has taught and mentored.

Simon Butt

Indonesian Law

Associate Professor Butt’s primary research interest is Indonesian constitutional law and he is particularly interested in Indonesia’s decade-old Constitutional Court which, despite some setbacks, has been a model for judicial reform in Indonesia and has protected fundamental civil, political and socioeconomic rights.

Kimberly Wetherall

Intellectual Property Law

Associate Professor Weatherall's research looks at the increasingly controversial role that intellectual property rights play in trade negotiations.


David Rolph

Media Law

Associate Professor Rolph's research examines all aspects of media law issues such as defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, contempt of court, media regulation.

Roger Magnusson

Medical and Public Health Law

Professor Roger Magnusson’s research focuses on the patient-focused area of medical law and the broader population-focused field of public health law.

Ghena Krayem

Multiculturalism and Islamic Law

Dr Ghena Krayem is a specialist in multiculturalism and Islamic law who wants to increase the understanding of Islamic Law in Australia


Emily Crawford

The Laws of Armed Conflict

Dr Emily Crawford’s primary area of research interest is in international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of armed conflict.

Greg Tolhurst

Where Personal Property and Contract Meet

Professor Greg Tolhurst says his time at Sydney Law School has been shaped and influenced by his interaction with valued academic scholars.