Melissa Castan


Accepting PhD Students

1997 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Professor Melissa Castan is Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, and was Associate Dean (Staffing) (2020-2023) in the Law Faculty. Her most recent book is Time to Listen - An Indigenous Voice to Parliament with Professor Lynette Russell (2023, Monash University Press). She has over 25 years experience teaching, researching and publishing in Australian Public Law, Constitutional law, Human Rights Law, Indigenous Legal Issues and Legal Education.

Melissa's current ARC Project is Real-time rights-based recordkeeping governance with Professor Moira Paterson, Associate Professor Joanne Evans and Professor Elisabeth Shepherd. It explores how records co-creation can be conceptualised in child protection and information law and overseen dynamically through a new digitally enabled, child-centred and rights-based advocacy and regulatory framework (2020-2023).

Melissa edited Critical Perspectives in Human Rights Law in Australia with Professer Paula Gerber; co-authored The Global Lawyer (2021-22) Associate Professor Kate Galloway, and Professor John Flood; and the law text Federal Constitutional Law: A Contemporary View (6th ed, 2024) with Professor Sarah Joseph.  She is also co-author, with Professor Sarah Joseph, of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Cases, Commentary and Materials (OUP, 2013), The impact of this book is wide-ranging, with citations in the High Court of Australia and other Australian judgments, in the European Court of Human Rights and further citations by the UK House of Lords, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, the New Zealand Courts, the Supreme Court of Pitcairn Island, numerous international law bodies, and in law reform commission reports. 

Melissa is an experienced PhD, HDR and Honours supervisor, and is available forgradyuate supervisions in her areas of expertise. 

Melissa is National Convenor of the Alternative Law Journal, and hosted podcasts 'Law Radio' and 'Just Cases'.

Research interests

Indigenous Peoples and the Law

Australian Public Law

Constitutional Law

Human Rights

International Human Rights Law

Legal Identity

Legal History

Legal Education

Monash teaching commitment

International Human Rights Law

Public Law and Statutory Interpretation

Foundations of Law

Constitutional Law

Indigenous Rights and International Law


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Board Member, Victoria Law Foundation

1 Oct 2015 → …

National Editorial Convenor, Alternative Law Journal

Research area keywords

  • Human Rights
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • International Human Rights
  • Public law
  • Legal history
  • Legal Education
  • Indigenous Rights
  • Legal Identity

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or