Professor Patrick

Professor Patrick Keyzer


Head of School, Chair of Law and Public Policy

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

La Trobe Law School

Melbourne (Bundoora)


BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) GradDipLegPrac LLM PhD (Sydney)



Membership of professional associations

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, Member of the Council of Australian Law Deans, Member of the Editorial Board of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Member of the Editorial Board of Law In Context.

Area of study


Brief profile

Professor Patrick Keyzer was appointed Chair of Law and Public Policy and Head of La Trobe Law School in April 2014, and recently agreed to a second three-year term in that role.  During Patrick's first term the School designed and launched a new Juris Doctor degree, a Bachelor of Criminology degree including specialist subjects in forensics, border protection and international criminal law, and a Master of Cybersecurity (Law) which commences in 2017.  The School also appointed a team of experts in cyberlaw, data protection and privacy, a new focus for the School, and created two new research centres, the Centre for Legislation (capitalising on the School’s strength in public law, and leadership in research and writing on statutes, and public law generally) and the Centre for Health Law and Society (capitalising on its strength in socio-legal research on the topic of health). The School has significantly expanded its clinical legal education program; increasing the number and range of clinical placements for its students by building new teaching and research partnerships with the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (which now has its Secretariat at the Law Trobe Law School), the Collingwood Neighbourhood Justice Centre and Whittlesea Connections.     

After completing honours degrees in arts and law at the University of Sydney, Patrick worked as a consultant, solicitor and lecturer before joining the Chief Justice of Australia, Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE, as His Honour’s Executive Associate from 1996 to 1998.  Joining the Bar in 1999, Patrick has appeared as counsel in a number of High Court constitutional appeals, including North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service v Bradley, Fardon v Attorney-General (Queensland) and Queanbeyan City Council v Australian Capital Territory.  Patrick also co-prepared the successful submissions in Independent Commission Against Corruption v Cunneen, together with David Jackson QC, Arthur Moses SC and Dr Jeffrey Barnes.  He has provided expert opinions in numerous matters in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, in media law and work health and safety matters.  His work has been cited in the High Court and he has successfully represented clients in communications to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.  In 2010 he was shortlisted for an Australian Human Rights Award.

Patrick has taught across a range of law subjects, in Australia, China, Indonesia, Thailand and the United States.  He has won five teaching awards.  In 2015 he was President of the Australasian Law Teachers Association. 

Patrick's scholarship is diverse.  He has written or co-written seven books, edited or co-edited 21 books, and written or co-written over fifty refereed journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics. The Endeavour Foundation has recently published the second edition of his co-written guide to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Discover.  Patrick's recent research has examined the removal of offenders from Australia, the indefinite detention of indigenous people with cognitive impairment (he recently co-edited and co-coordinated a submission to a Senate Inquiry on this topic), access to constitutional and international justice, and a number of smaller projects examining risk management in a variety of contexts (Patrick is Chair of the Australian Fitness Industry Standards Council). Patrick has received grant funding for his research from the Australian Research Council, the Criminology Research Council and numerous industry partners, and was recently commissioned to co-write a history of disability services in NSW.     


Recent publications

Books (last five years)

Keyzer, Principles of Australian Constitutional Law, LexisNexis, 2017 (5th edition) (with Goff and Fisher)

Keyzer et al., Discover, A Guide to the NDIS, Endeavour Foundation, 2016

Keyzer, Popovski and Sampford, (eds) Access to International Justice, Routledge, 2015

Appleby, Keyzer and Williams, (eds) Public Sentinels: A Comparative Study of Australian Solicitors-General, Ashgate, 2014

Keyzer, (ed) Preventive Detention: Asking the Fundamental Questions, Cambridge: Intersentia, 2013

Clarke, Keyzer and Stellios, Australian Constitutional Law: Materials and Commentary, LexisNexis, 2013 (9th edition)

Keyzer, Johnston and Pearson, (eds) The Courts and the Media: Challenges in the Era of Digital and Social Media, Halstead Press, 2012

McSherry and Keyzer, (eds) Dangerous People: Policy, Prediction and Practice, Routledge, 2011

Keyzer, Open Constitutional Courts, Federation Press, 2011.

Older publications

Monographs and Expert Reports 1. The Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual, Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia, 2014 (with Ian Coyle, Joachim Dietrich, JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, Caroline Finch, Veronica Jones, Kevin Norton and Betul Sekendiz) 2. Juries and Social Media, a report commissioned by the Victorian Attorney-General on behalf of the Standing Council on Law and Justice, 2013 3. Discover: A Resource for People Planning for the Future, Endeavour Fn, 2013 (with Gail Casey and Veronica Jones) (second edition, with Gail Casey and Darren O'Donovan, 2016) 4. Preventive Detention for ‘Dangerous’ Offenders in Australia: A Critical Analysis and Proposals for Policy Development, Criminology Research Council: 2006 (with Bernadette McSherry and Arie Freiberg) 5. Legal Problem Solving: A Guide for Law Students (LexisNexis, 2003, 2nd edition) 6. Intellectual Property in Indonesia: An Analysis of Recent Statutory Reform, Ratio Books: 2001 7. Intellectual Property Rights: Comparative Notes on Law and Practice in Thailand, Commonwealth of Australia Attorney-General’s Department, 2000 (with Philip Griffith, Mark Davison and Stephen Fox) 8. I Hope He Dies Before Me: Caring for Ageing Children with Intellectual Disabilities, Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health, 1997 (with Terry Carney and David Tait). Refereed journal articles and book chapters (just the last five years) 1. Keyzer, P. and O’Donovan, D., ‘Imprisonment of Indigenous People with Cognitive Impairment: What Do Professional Stakeholders Think?  What Might Human Rights-Compliant Legislation Look Like?’ (2016) 8(22) Indigenous Law Bulletin 17-20. 2. Coyle, I. and Keyzer, P., ‘The Removal of Convicted Noncitizens from Australia: Is There Only a Minimal and Remote Chance of Getting it Right?’ (2016) Alternative Law Journal, forthcoming 3. Gray, S.E., Keyzer, P., Norton, K., Dietrich, J., Sekendiz, B., Coyle, I.R., and Finch, C.F., “The role of equipment, the physical environment and training practices in customer safety within fitness facilities: the perspectives of fitness industry employees”, Journal of Fitness Research, (2016) vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 26-33. 4. Gray, S.E., Sekendiz, B., Norton, K., Dietrich, J., Keyzer, P., Coyle, I.R., and Finch, C.F., “The development and application of an observational audit tool for use in Australian fitness facilities”, Journal of Fitness Research, (2016) vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 29-38. 5. Sekendiz, B., Gray, S.E., Norton, K., Keyzer, P., Dietrich, J., Eickhoff-Shemek, J., and Finch, C.F., “Safety alert for treadmills in health and fitness facilities in Australia: Results from a pilot study of an observational audit tool”, Journal of Fitness Research, (2015) vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 24-28. 6. Keyzer, P. and McSherry, B., “The Preventive Detention of Sex Offenders: Law and Practice”, (2015) 38 University of New South Wales Law Journal 792-822. 7. O’Donovan, D., and Keyzer, P., “Visions of A Distant Milennium? The Effectiveness of the UN Human Rights Petition System’, in Keyzer, P., Popovski, V., and Sampford, C., eds., Access to International Justice, Routledge, 2015, 148-177. 8. Keyzer, P., “Solicitors-General and the Public Interest”, in Appleby, G., Keyzer, P., and Williams, J., eds., Public Sentinels: A Comparative Study of Australian Solicitors-General, Ashgate: 2014. 9. Dietrich, J., Keyzer, P., Finch, C., Norton, K., Sekendiz, B. and Coyle, I.R., “Train the Trainers: Maintaining Standards to Minimise Injuries and Avoid Legal Liability in the Fitness Industry”, (2014) 8 Australia and New Zealand Sports Law Journal 89-106. 10. Keyzer, P., et al., “Legal Risk Management and Injury in the Fitness Industry: The outcomes of focus group research and a national survey of fitness professionals”, (2014) 21 Journal of Law and Medicine 826-844 (with Ian Coyle, Joachim Dietrich, Kevin Norton, Betul Sekendiz, Veronica Jones and Caroline F Finch) 11. 'The findings of the Australian fitness industry risk management (AFIRM) project', British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 48, 2014, no. 7, pp. 618-618 (with Keyzer, P, Finch, C, Norton, K, Dietrich, J & Sekendiz, B). 12. Keyzer, P, Finch, CF, Norton, KI, Dietrich, J, Sekendiz, B & Coyle, I 2014, 'Key issues influencing the management of risks in the Australian fitness industry: combining legal perspectives with injury prevention approaches', British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 48, no. 7, pp. 618-618. 13. Gray, S, Keyzer, P, Norton, K, Dietrich, J, Sekendiz, B, Coyle, I & Finch, C 2014, 'Equipment and environment of fitness facilities: the perspective of fitness industry employees', British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 48, no. 7, pp. 601-602. 14. Keyzer, P., “Solicitors-General and the Public Interest”, in Public Sentinels: A Comparative Study of Australian Solicitors-General, Ashgate: 2014 15. Gogarty, B., Bartl, B. and Keyzer, P., “The Rehabilitation of Preventive Detention” in Keyzer, P., Preventive Detention: Asking the Fundamental Questions, Intersentia: 2013. 16. Keyzer, P., “Who Should Speak for the Courts and How? The Courts and the Media Today”, in Keyzer, P., Johnston, J., and Pearson, M., The Courts and the Media: Challenges in the Era of Digital and Social Media, Halstead Press, 2012. 17. Keyzer, P., “Who Should Speak for the Courts and How? The Courts and the Media Today”, in The Courts and the Media: Challenges in the Era of Digital and Social Media, Halstead Press, 2012 18. Keyzer, P., “The International Human Rights Parameters for the Preventive Detention of Serious Sex Offenders”, in McSherry, B., and Keyzer., P., Dangerous People, Policy, Prediction and Practice, Routledge: New York, 2011, 25-36. 19. Keyzer, P., “Using ‘Deeper’ Case Method to Introduce Legal Theory and Context”, in Kift, Sanson, Cowley and Watson eds., Excellence and Innovation in Legal Education, LexisNexis, 2011, 295-310 20. Keyzer, P., “The United Nations Human Rights Committee’s views about the legitimate parameters of the preventive detention of serious sex offenders”, (2010) 34 Criminal Law Journal 283 21. Freckelton, I, and Keyzer, P, “Indefinite detention of sex offenders and human rights: The intervention of the human rights committee of the United Nations” (2010) 17(3) Psychology, Psychiatry and Law 345  

Research projects

Lead Chief Investigator, Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management (AFIRM) Project, funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project Grant (LP: 1201000275). ( (