About Associate Professor Rita Shackel

Rita's research interests include: Psychological testimony; Prosecution of child sexual assault cases; Victim impact statements & sentencing; Children and law; Criminal processes; Legal professional responsibility and ethics; Legal education

Rita is a graduate of the University of Sydney holding undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in law, science (pure mathematics), psychology and education. Rita’s academic awards include the Jones Memorial University Medal for most outstanding academic and professional record. Rita has worked as a lawyer, legal policy officer and academic in a range of settings including the NSW Cabinet Office, The NSW Office of Youth Affairs and The Australian Law Reform Commission. She has participated on a number of government, institutional and professional committees and has delivered professional training and CLE programs to legal practitioners in NSW. Rita is a member of the Institute of Criminology. Rita’s PhD thesis examined the use of expert evidence in child sexual assault cases. In 2005, Rita joined Sydney Law School and was awarded a University of Sydney Early Career Development Award. Prior to joining the Faculty Rita spent some time teaching and undertaking research in the United States including at Duke University Law School as a Visiting Scholar and Researcher and the Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville as a Visiting Professor. Rita was also awarded a prestigious American Association of University Women International Fellowship, which allowed her to further her research on the use of expert testimony in child sexual abuse cases in the United States. More recently, Rita has been awarded a number of other grants to undertake research on victims of crime as well as develop her research program in the area of ethics and legal professionalism. Rita is committed to public interest and community work and has worked as a volunteer in community legal centres both in Australia and in the United States. In semester 2, 2011, Rita visited the Law Center at Georgetown University as a Dean’s Scholar where she worked on developing an agenda for future research in Australia on the study of the Legal Profession. Rita was also appointed as a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Law, European University Institute where she undertook research on changing perceptions of childhood and the impact of such in shaping legal, administrative and decision-making processes that involve children and young people.

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Interested applicants are invited to submit an Expression of Interest accompanied by a detailed research proposal for consideration prior to making a formal application. For further information, please visit How to apply.

Selected publications