Research in the La Trobe Law School

The La Trobe Law School is recognised nationally and internationally for its innovative and progressive research.

We are rated at well above world average in the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia.

Our academics conduct high impact research, partnering with industry, government and community organisations to influence law reform in Australia and overseas.

They participate in test case litigation, serve as expert witnesses in superior court cases and regularly engage with the media. They champion the rule of law and community service to promote a more just and equitable society.

Our research aligns with La Trobe’s Social change and equity, Healthy people, families and communities and Resilient environments and communities research themes.

Research areas

Our strong team of researchers work in an interdisciplinary culture that seeks to understand law in its social context.

Our research is grouped into three key areas:

The La Trobe Law School is a leader in the contextual study of law and society. Our focus is on building a legal system that will result in a more inclusive, equitable and just society.

Our researchers are highly regarded for their critical examination of the relationship between law and society in areas such as criminal justice, family relations and health.

They also partner with a range of industry, government and community organisations to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our society, including how to end modern slavery and how to protect the interests of children conceived through donated sperm and eggs.

Our researchers examine and theorise international and transnational legal engagement and interactions.

Our focus is on identifying exclusionary and oppressive forms of law and finding new ways to realise the emancipatory potential of law at a local and global level.

Our academics analyse the impact of international laws on national societies and how these are shaped by social, historical, cultural, political and economic contexts.

They are also breaking new ground in international criminal law, international environmental law and international human rights law.

Our researchers investigate Australian public administration and governance.

Our focus is on how law may be used as a tool to protect vulnerable and marginalised members of the community.

Our academics provide thought leadership on contemporary legal challenges associated with areas such as disability, human rights, refugees and social security.

They are well known for their contributions to public and policy debates in their areas of expertise.

Law in Context

Law in Context is a leading Australian journal for the contextual study of law and society. The journal is edited from the La Trobe Law School. For more than 30 years, Law in Context has published articles that explore the social, historical, economic, political and technological aspects of the operation of law. The journal welcomes original articles for general issues and expressions of interest in developing future special issues.

Find out more about Law in Context.

Graduate research

The La Trobe Law School is also educating the next generation of legal experts, delivering high quality training to our graduate researchers.

We have Masters and PhD opportunities, where candidates conduct high impact projects under the direction of experts in their field. PhD candidates also have the option of working with an industry organisation from government, private or not-for profit sector in our industry PhD.

Our graduate researchers are well supported by teams of at least two supervisors, Progress Committees and a carefully tailored milestone program.

They enjoy a vibrant research culture with reading groups, writing workshops, skills-based workshops, and an annual 3 Minute Thesis competition and Higher Degree by Research conference. Some also teach in the School, preparing them for a career in academia.

All graduate researchers are part of La Trobe’s Graduate Research School, which nurtures a vibrant research community and upskills researchers through the Research Education and Development (RED) team. The RED team run workshops on topics from preparing literature reviews through to data manipulation and visualisation; and run initiatives including Shut Up and Write!, and 3-Minute Thesis.

Find out more about graduate research opportunities at La Trobe, studying with the La Trobe Law School, or contact the La Trobe Law School’s Director of Graduate Research, Dr Maria Elander.

Photo of Dr Marc Trabsky

Our researchers are committed to the study of law in its social, historical, economic and cultural contexts. The La Trobe Law School provides an intellectual home for socio-legal scholars and lawyers who connect with the legal community to examine law in the real world.

Dr Marc Trabsky
La Trobe Law School

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