Staff profile

Lee Ann Basser

Associate Head of School, Reader & Associate Professor

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce
La Trobe Law School

Martin Buildin 281, Melbourne (Bundoora)


LLM (Lond) BA LLB (Mon) Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria

Membership of professional associations

Law Institute of Victoria, Law Council of Australia, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights Victorian Women Lawyers

Area of study


Research interests

Access to Justice

- Access to justice for people with disabilities

Family Law

- Children's Rights; Parenting, Parentage and Parental Responsibility

Human Rights Law

- Disability Rights; Children's Rights

Teaching units

Disability, Rights & Law (LAW3DRL)

Human Rights & Comparative Disability Law (LAW5HCD)

Family, Society & Law (LAW2FSL)

Real Property Law (LAW2RPT)

Recent publications


  • Critical Perspectives on Human Rights and Disability Law (2011) Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden & Boston (ed with M Rioux & M Jones)
  • Children on the Agenda: The Rights of Australia's Children (2001) Prospect Publishing Sydney (ed with M Jones)
  • Explorations on Law and Disability in Australia (2000) Vol 17(2) Law in Context Federation Press Sydney (ed with M Jones)
  • Disability, Divers-ability and Legal Change (1999) Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague (ed with M Jones) (Google Book link)
  • Cross Currents: Internationalism, National Identity and Law (1996) Special Edition of Law in Context Volume 14(1) 1996 LTU Press Melbourne   (ed with C Arup)


  • "Are We There Yet?  Is Australia Respecting the Rights of People with Disabilities?" (2013) in M Castan & P Gerber (eds)  Contemporary Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia Thomson Reuters
  • "Human Dignity" (2011)  in M Rioux, L Baser, M Jones (eds) Critical Perspecitves on Human Rights & Disability Law Martinus Nijhoff
  • “Disentangling Disability and Health” (2008) in B Bennett, T Carney (eds) The Brave New World of Health Federation Press 
  • “Globalization of Disability Rights Law: The Impact in Australia” (2006) in M Perlin, A Kanter, M Treuthart, E Szeli & K Gledhill International Human Rights and Comparative Mental Disability Law: Cases and Materials Carolina Academic Press ISBN 1-59460-210-7
  • “The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth): A Three Dimensional Approach to Operationalising Human Rights” (2005) in P Blanck (ed) Disability Rights Ashgate 0 7546 2452 8 Co-author M Jones 203 - 234
  • “The Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Blueprint for Australia’s Children” (2001) in M Jones and LA Basser Marks, Children on the Agenda: The Rights of Australia's Children Prospect Press Sydney (with M Jones)
  • “Mediating Rights : Children Parents and the State” (2001) in M Jones and LA Basser Marks Children on the Agenda: The Rights of Australia's Children Prospect Press Sydney (with M Jones)
  • “Law and People with Disabilities” (2001) in N Smesler & P Baltes (Eds) International Encycopledia of Social and Behavioral Sciences Elsevier (with M Jones)


  • “Justice for All?  The Challenge of Realizing the Right to Education for Children with Disabilities” (2005) 8 Journal of Gender, Race & Justice 531-559
  • “Fostering Inclusive Societal Values through Law” (2002) International Journal of Children's Rights Vol 10(4) 371-402 (with M. Jones)
  • “The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth): A Three Dimensional Approach to Operationalising Human Rights” (2002) Melbourne University Law Review Vol 26 (2) 254 ?284 (with M Jones)
  • “Valuing People through Law: Whatever Happened to Marion?” (2000) Vol 17(2) Law in Context 147 - 180 (with M Jones)


Research projects

Parenting with Disability in the Family Justice System.

The right to home and family, to form relationships, to partner and to parent, are fundamental human rights The most recent articulation of these rights is found in Article 23 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities   (CRPD). Despite widespread international recognition of these rights, people with disabilities continue to experience persistent, systemic and pervasive discrimination in all the areas covered by Article 23 and the voices of people with disabilities are absent from or silenced in the justice system. This project involves both doctrinal research and empirical research and focuses on the engagement of parents with disabilities in the family justice system.  It also investigates the role played by litigation guardians in the pre-litigation and trial process of parenting applications where one of the parents has a disability.


Human Rights and Law in the Lives of People with Disabilities – A monitoring This project provides a detailed study of the human rights experience of people with disabilities and seeks to develop measures for assessing social disadvantage through the framework of human rights. Using a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary approach and international benchmarks, including the CRPD, the project assesses the development and effects of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 in the lives of people with disabilities from three perspectives:  its implementation in law and government; its impact on social disadvantage and the practical enjoyment of human rights; and as a public policy case study in the strategic development of human rights.  The project is a collaboration with Associate Professor Paul Ramcharan form RMIT and was part of ARC Linkages project “Auditing the Victorian Charter: Australian and International Perspectives on Applied Human Rights”.  (Chief Investigators: R Watts (RMIT), M Slavaris (RMIT) and L A Basser.


Children’s Rights and Children’s Law

This project critically assesses the effectiveness of human rights as a framework for addressing the issues that affect children generally and those with disabilities in particular.  Using federal, state and territory anti-discrimination law as a case study the project focuses on the impact of law in the lives of children particularly in the areas of education, gender, race and religion.