Our staff

Jeffrey Barnes - Centre Director

Jeffrey Barnes centre directorJeffrey Barnes is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, the Australian National University, and La Trobe University. He is a Senior Lecturer, School of Law, La Trobe University.

He is a former co-editor of Legal Education Review and was the inaugural Director of Teaching and Learning in La Trobe Law School.

His teaching and research interests generally lie in the areas of public law, the legislative process, and statutory interpretation. He regularly teaches the subject Principles of Administrative Law and the subject Statutory Interpretation. He also occasionally teaches an elective, Legal Change, Legislation and Law Reform.

His research interests currently focus on legislative drafting, statutory interpretation and administrative law. In 2013 he successfully completed a PhD on the plain language movement and legislation.

In 2013 he was invited to give a presentation on statutory interpretation at the Supreme and Federal Courts Judges’ Conference in Adelaide.

Apart from his academic work, Dr Barnes has practised law extensively —  as a Legal Officer (legislative drafter) with the Parliamentary Counsel's Office of NSW; a law reporter for the Australian Law Reports;* Associate to Justice Michael Kirby (Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission); Law Reform Officer, Australian Law Reform Commission;* solicitor, Stephen Jaques Stone James; Project Officer for the Administrative Review Council; Legal Member, Social Security Appeals Tribunal;* and Consultant for the Australian Capital Territory Parliamentary Counsel's Office, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel (Cth), and the Council of Australian Law Deans.

Patrick Keyzer - Head of School

Head of School Patrick KeyzerProfessor Patrick Keyzer is Chair of Law and Public Policy at La Trobe Law School.

Patrick was appointed Head of the 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 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 also expanded its clinical legal education program; substantially 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.

Caralene Moloney - centre manager and secratariat

Caralene Moloney

Caralene Moloney has post-graduate qualifications in criminology from the University of Western Australia, and undergraduate qualifications in criminal justice from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). As the Research Coordinator at La Trobe Law School, Caralene provides Secretariat support to the Research Centre for Legislation, its Interpretation and Drafting.

Caralene is experienced in the public, private and international development sectors.  She is practiced in state government, having worked in senior roles in the Department of Justice, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and Office of the Auditor-General. Caralene applied her knowledge of the justice sector and legislative process to establish Cambodia’s national Arbitration Council secretariat, and to undertake prison reform in the Solomon Islands as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) Law and Justice project.  Caralene is also skilled at developing collaborative research partnerships and preparing grant applications, having secured AusAID, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Australian Research Council project and research funding.

Darren O'Donovan - centre member

Dr Darren O'Donovan

Dr Darren O’Donovan holds a BCL (Hons), and a PhD from University College Cork, Ireland, where he also lectured from 2009-2012.

As an Assistant Professor at Bond University, Queensland for the past four years, Darren’s main teaching specialisation was in Administrative Law. He has written extensively on rights, oversight and public administration, including the book Law and Public Administration in Ireland (co-authored with Dr Fiona Donson). This work examines the reform of Irish public law and governance in the aftermath of Ireland’s financial crash, stressing the centrality of non-judicial review bodies and first instance decision-makers to delivering administrative justice. These ideas also featured in his examination of the Office of the Ombudsman (co-authored with Dr Fiona Donson), which was published in the leading international law journal, Public Law in 2014.

Darren’s PhD thesis, which was funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, concerning housing rights, equality and Ireland’s Travelling Community. In examining the underlying policy and legislative dynamics behind Traveller/Roma exclusion in Europe, the thesis critically analysed the difficulties of accessing culturally appropriate housing for the Irish Travelling Community. Many of its themes are reflected in an article published this year in the International Journal on Discrimination and the Law.

In joining La Trobe University, Darren will be seeking to contribute to the faculty’s ongoing research into the National Disability Insurance Scheme. He was a co-author (with Professor Patrick Keyzer) of Discover: the National Disability Insurance Scheme Help Guide (2nd edition) which recently published by the Endeavour Foundation. Darren has also contributed to the faculty’s legal advocacy by co-authoring legislative submissions concerning the treatment of cognitive impairment in the criminal justice system. These were recently discussed in a piece for the Indigenous Law Bulletin.

Darren O'Donovan's SSRN profile

Matthew Groves - centre member

Matthew Groves Matthew Groves joined La Trobe University in late 2016.  Prior to that, he worked at Monash University for 15 years. Before that, he worked in a range of roles in government and the legal profession. He is a member of the Australian Academy of Law and editor of the Australian Journal of Administrative Law.

His research work is mostly centred on administrative law, which is the body of law about the making and review of government decision making. Matthew Groves mainly researches in judicial review and is a co-author of the leading Australian work in the field - M Aronson, M Groves & G Weeks, Judicial Review of Administrative Action and Government Liability (6th edtiion, 2017, Thomson Reuters).  He has also edited several books on administrative law and written over 50 journal articles on the area. His recent other books include M Groves & G Weeks (eds), Legitimate Expectations in the Common Law World (2017, Hart Publishing) and M Groves (ed) Modern Administrative Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

His forthcoming books include D Meagher & M Groves, The Principle of Legality in Australia and New Zealand (forthcoming March 2017, Federation Press) [this is the first detailed study of an important interpretive principle of our public law] and M Groves and C Campbell (eds), Australian Charters of Rights (forthcoming May 2017, Federation Press) [an edited book that examines aspects of the Victorian and ACT Charters of Rights] and R Creyke, J McMillan, M Smyth and M Groves, Control of Government Action 5th edition, 2018) [this is the leading Australian casebook of the area].  He is also undertaking comparative work on Australian judicial review and fairness in government decision making.

Anita Mackay - centre member

Anita Mackay - centre member

Dr Anita Mackay is a lecturer at La Trobe Law School who introduces students to legislation and statutory interpretation during the first semester of their degree.  Prior to joining La Trobe Anita worked for the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department for a number of years, where she gave drafting instructions to the Office of Parliamentary Counsel, wrote explanatory memoranda and second reading speeches for a range of civil justice legislative amendments.  Of particular relevance is her work on the amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) that were passed in 2011 – these were the most significant amendments to this Act since its passage as the second Act of the Federal Parliament in 1901.  Anita was also involved in developing the Clearer Commonwealth Laws strategy. Much of Anita’s research focuses on how law may be used as a tool to protect vulnerable and marginalised members of the community.  Anita has a particular interest in the human rights of imprisoned people and has examined the application of the ACT and Victorian human rights legislation in prisons.  In both of these jurisdictions, there is a requirement that legislation be interpreted consistently with human rights (although there are limitations).  Anita’s publications may be obtained from her SSRN author page.

Dan Meagher - centre member

Dan Meagher - centre member

Dan Meagher is an Associate Professor at the La Trobe Law School. He writes and teaches in the areas of constitutional law and statutory interpretation and is particularly interested in the intersection between the latter and the protection of human rights. Dan has published widely in leading Australian and international law journals, recently co-edited (with Matthew Groves) a collection of essays on The Principle of Legality in Australia and New Zealand (The Federation Press, 2017) and is the longtime comments editor for the Public Law Review.