Maria O'Sullivan

Assoc Professor


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Maria is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, a Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and an affilate of the Monash Data Futures Institute. 

Maria is the author of a number of international and national publications on the subjects of public law, human rights and refugee law, including:

  • ‘Revitalising Public Law in a Technological Era: Rights, Transparency and Administrative Justice’  43(3) (2020) UNSW Law Journal (co-authored with Y-F Ng, M Paterson and N Witzleb) available here
  • ‘Deliberation and Automation – When is a Decision a ‘Decision’?’ (2019) 26(1) Australian Journal of Administrative Law 21-34 (co-authored with Y-F Ng)

A sample of her research can be viewed at

Maria's work has influenced case law, law reform and public debate. Her research has been cited in a judgment in the High Court of Australia, by the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union and in reports of parliamentary inquiries and law reform commissions in Australia.

She is currently working on a series of projects relating to automation, artificial intelligence and government decision-making and conducting research on the law of protest. 

Maria is a regular media commentator on a wide range of public law, human rights and refugee law issues (see list below) and can be contacted for comment via her email:

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

For student consultations: Maria's office is located in Room 365 in the Faculty of Law. Monash University Clayton Campus.

Community service

Media activities

Print Media and Blogs

 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


  • How life might change for the unvaccinated, ABC Signal Podcast, 7 August 2021
  • Can vaccine passports help us prevent spread of the delta variant? , ABC Radio National, Life Matters, 22 July 2021
  • Should freedoms increase for Australians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19?, ABC Melbourne Radio, Conversation Hour, 7 July 2021
  • The legalities of the treatment of the Bioela Tamil family, ABC News Radio, Drive, 15 June 2021
  • Commentary on the resettlement of the Bioela Tamil family, Triple MMM news Perth, 15 June 2021
  • Covid-19 Vaccine Passports, ABC Radio, Afternoons with Jacinta Parsons, 14 June 2021
  • Covid-19 Vaccine Passports, ABC Radio Sydney, Saturday Afternoons with James Glenday, 12 June 2021
  • Covid-19 Vaccine Passports, Ultra 106.5 Tasmania, 11 June 2021
  • Covid-19 Vaccine Passports, ABC Radio WA, 10 June 2021
  • Radio Interview on Asylum seekers in Immigration Detention (Open letter), Ultra 106.5 Tasmania, 11 March 2021
  • ‘Can employers mandate the Covid vaccination’, ABC Radio Sydney Morning Drive Time, March 2021
  • Can an employer force you to have a COVID vaccination?’ Radio 2GB, The Two Murrays Program, 16 January 2021
  • Use of Incitement Charges in Victoria for Protesting Raises Concerns’, The Wire, 6 September 2020,
  • ‘Victoria flags 12-month extension of Covid-19 State of Emergency’ ABC Radio National PM with Linda Mottram, 24 August 2020
  • ‘Can the Covid Vaccine be mandatory’, ABC Radio Adelaide Drive-time, 21 August 2020
  • ‘Human Rights under Lockdown’, ABC Life Matters, ABC Radio National, 7 July 2020
  • Expert comment on the legal implications of physical tracing records during Covid for the daily news broadcast, ABC Central Victoria, 18 June 2020
  • Expert comment on the legal implications of physical tracing records during Covid, ABC Sydney Drive Program with Richard Glover, 17 June 2020
  • Protest during a Pandemic’, ABC Radio National, PM with Linda Mottram, 11 June 2020
  • Expert comment on the NSW Court of Appeal judgement on the Black Lives Matter Protest – Triple MMM news, 7 June 2020
  • Commentary on the Right to Protest in the Age of Covid, Radio Adelaide, 28 April 2020
  • Commentary on the Legality of the ‘Sports Grants affair’, Radio Adelaide, 21 January 2020
  • ‘US considers indefinite detention for migrating families during processing’, SBS World News Radio, August 2019
  • 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

External positions

Legal adviser, Human Rights Act panel, Queensland Parliament

15 Jan 20202021

Research area keywords

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


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