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Personal profile


Maria is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Monash University and a Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. Her teaching and research interests are administrative law, public law and international refugee law.

Maria has completed a PhD thesis on cessation of refugee status under Article 1C(5) of the 1951 Refugee Convention and is the author of a number of international and national publications on the subjects of refugee law. Her latest publication is an edited volume on access to refugee protection and procedures: 'States, the Law and Access to Refugee Protection - Fortresses and Fairness' (Hart, 2017; co-authored with Dallal Stevens, University of Warwick). She is also a co-author of 'Public Law and Statutory Interpretation: Principles and Practice' (Federation Press, 2017), a text which examines fundamental public law principles together with the principles and process of statutory interpretation.

Maria is currently writing a monograph on the durability of refugee protection, to be published by Routledge in late 2018.

Maria is a regular media commentator on refugee law and policy and can be contacted for comment on a wide range of immigration issues.

She welcomes Phd, Masters and Honours students in the areas of public law, refugee law and the law of armed conflict.

Her office is located in Room 365 in the Faculty of Law. Monash University Clayton Campus.

A sample of her research can be viewed at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=381881.

Community service

Media activities

Print Media and Online Commentary

 Citations and Expert Commentary


  • ‘The Concept of Sanctuary’ Channelnews Asia (Television), 5 February 2016
  • ‘The European Migrant Crisis’, SBS Television (‘The Feed’), 3 September 2015
  • ‘Detention of asylum seekers at sea: The High Court decision’ BBC World News Service: Newshour, 28 January 2015
  • ‘International Access to Asylum – The Syrian Crisis’, Between the Lines Program, Channelnews Asia (Television), 14 October 2014


  • Manus refugee death prompts renewed calls to end offshore detention’, ABC Radio National (RN Breakfast), 8 August 2017
  • ‘What next for asylum policy under the Turnbull government?’, The Daily Show, Radio 2SER, Sydney, 20 July and 25 July 2016
  • ‘PNG says Manus Island is no longer a detention centre’, ABC Radio National, 12 May 2016
  •  ‘Manus Island: The Alternatives’, The Daily Show, Radio 2SER, Sydney, 29 April 2016
  • ‘Refugee Policy in the European Union: Austria’s Emergency Legislation’, SBS Radio, 28 April 2016
  • ‘Alternatives to Offshore Processing on Manus Island’, ABC Radio, Western Australia, 28 April 2016
  • ‘European Asylum Policy: Migrant crisis: refugee lawyer says EU too disjointed to manage influx in people’, ABC Radio National, The World Today, 24 September 2015
  • Radio interviews re: various High Court challenge to the 'Malaysian Solution' and the High Court decision in Plaintiff M70/106, 2011:
    • Law Matters program, 2UE Sydney, 19 June 2011
    • Canberra 2CC, 9 August 2011
    • ABC Radio Australia, 10 August 2011
    • ABC Radio Australia, 23 August 2011
    • ABC 774 Melbourne, The Breakfast Show, 1 September 2011
    • ABC 702 Sydney, Breakfast Show, 1 September 2011
    • ABC News Radio, Drive with Sandy Aloisi, 5 September 2011
    • 3CR 855 AM Community Radio, 6 September 2011
    • ABC Radio Australia, 19 October 2011

Research interests

Administrative Law and Regulation

International Human Rights Law

International Law

Refugee Law

Monash teaching commitment

LAW 4331 Administrative law SEM1/T2

LAW 4199 International laws of armed conflict SEM2/T3

LAW 4164 International refugee law and practice SEM2/T3

LAW1112 Public Law and Statutory Interpretation SEM2/T3


  • Refugee Law and Policy
  • International Human Rights
  • Administrative Law

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2019 2019


Murray, P., O'Sullivan, M., Nethery, A., Dastyari, A., Hirsch, A., Lavenex, S., Musarò, P., Borraccetti, M., Ferri , F., Tubakovic, T., Loughnan, C., Soderstrom, K. & Noll, G.

Project: Other

Research Output 2005 2019

Deliberation and automation - when is a decision a "decision"?

Ng, Y-F. & O'Sullivan, M., 2019, In : Australian Journal of Administrative Law. 26, 1, p. 21-34 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Protecting vulnerable refugees: procedural fairness in the Australian fast track regime

McDonald, E. & O'Sullivan, M., 27 Sep 2018, In : University of New South Wales Law Journal. 41, 3, p. 1003-1043 41 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Access to refugee protection: Key concepts and contemporary challenges

O'Sullivan, M. J. & Stevens, D., 2017, States, the law and access to refugee protection. 1st ed. Hart Publishing, p. 3-28 26 p. (Studies in International Law; no. 65).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Activities 2016 2018

Progressive Law Network, ‘Australian Refugee Policy’, Monash University, March 2018

Maria O'Sullivan (Contributor)
2018 → …

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Monash Law Students Society, ‘Social Justice seminar on Refugee Policy’, March 2018

Maria O'Sullivan (Contributor)
2018 → …

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Progressive Law Network, ‘Careers in Public Interest’, 2017

Maria O'Sullivan (Organiser)
2017 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course

Responding to Refugees and Irregular Migration in Australia and the EU

Azadeh Dastyari (Organiser), Maria Josephine O'Sullivan (Organiser)
1 Dec 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference