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Rowena Cantley-Smith


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Personal profile


Dr Rowena Cantley-Smith [BEc, LLB, GCLT (Monash); LLM (Leiden); LLD (Leuven)] was appointed to Monash University’s Faculty of Law in 2003.  She is also a Barrister at the Victorian Bar (1998 – current).  Dr Cantley-Smith’s key expertise is in Australian energy law and international law (energy, environment and climate change). This includes polices, laws, and regulations concerning energy security of supply, renewable energy, demand-side management, environmental regulation of energy markets, and the protections afforded to energy consumers in energy market transitions.  

 In addition to teaching energy law, international law, international environmental law, climate change law, and contract law, Dr Cantley-Smith’s interdisciplinary research focuses on sustainable transitions and the energy sector (policies, laws, and regulations) in international, regional and Australian settings.  This necessarily draws on aspects of commercial, competition, and consumer laws, and economics.  Legislative, regulatory, and policy developments associated with the Australian Energy Market, especially electricity markets, have been the focus of Dr Cantley-Smith’s past and present research publications and projects with industry stakeholders. Dr Cantley-Smith is also interested in legal theory and international legal rights, and the practical impact of such rights for energy market stakeholders. This formed part of the multidisciplinary research completed for her Doctorate of Laws - A Question of Risk: New Stakeholders, Rights & Obligations in Traditional International Energy Markets, which examined the ramifications of changing legal paradigms – in particular new international legal rights embracing both human and environmental concerns – for energy market dynamics, energy security, and demand-side management.

 Rowena currently sits on multiple academic and industry committees, boards, and institutes. Her current commitments include the Editorial Board of the Environmental Law Review, IUCN Environmental Law Academy, Australian Institute of Energy, Monash’s Official Delegation to the annual international climate change negotiations (COP 24 in 2018), Monash Law Faculty’s Feminist Legal Studies Group (Leader - Climate and Energy Section), the Monash Grid Innovation Hub, ECA Board Stakeholder Forum, and DFAT’s UNFCCC negotiations Stakeholders Consultation Group. Past roles include Head of Monash University’s Official Delegation to COP23 (2017), Law Faculty’s Research and OSP Committees, Law Faculty’s Mooting Convenor, and Associate fellowships of the Clingendael International Energy Programme (The Hague, The Netherlands), and the Institute of Environmental and Energy Law (Faculty of Law, University of Leuven, Belgium).

A selection of Ms Cantley-Smith's publications is available on-line at:

Areas of Expertise

Commercial and contract law

Climate change law (International and Australian)

Energy law, regulation and policy (International and Australian)

International environmental law

International and Australian litigation and dispute resolution

Public and private international law

Research interests

Energy law, regulation and policy (Australian and International)

Energy market transitions (including security of supply, DSM, environmental regulation, consumer rights and protections)

International environmental and climate change Law

International human rights law and the environment

International law (public and private)

Legal Theory and International Legal Rights

Monash teaching commitment

LAW 5002 Principles of contract A SEM1/T2; SEM2/T3

LAW 5367 Energy law, regulation and policy SEM1/T2

LAW 5389 The Laws of Climate Change SEM2/T3



  • Energy law
  • Energy Policy
  • Energy Market Regulation
  • Climate change law
  • Climate change policy
  • International Law
  • Energy Security
  • Demand-side Mangement
  • Consumer Laws Rights and Protections

Projects 2005 2020

Research Output 2007 2013

  • 6 Chapter (Book)
  • 6 Conference Paper
  • 2 Article
  • 1 Commissioned Report

A human right to a healthy environment

Cantley-Smith, R., 2013, Contemporary Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia. Gerber, P. & Castan, M. (eds.). Pyrmont NSW Australia: Thomson Reuters (Prous Science), p. 447 - 474 28 p.

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

Moving towards a sustainable, low carbon-intensive energy future. Key challenges and responses

Cantley-Smith, R., 2011, Energy and the Environmental Challenge: Lessons From the European Union and Australia. Wylie, L. & Winand, P. (eds.). 1st ed. Brussels Belgium: Peter Lang Publishing, p. 393 - 406 14 p.

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

Sustainable regulation: moving towards environmentally sound energy markets

Cantley-Smith, R. & Morrow, K., 2011, Energy and the Environmental Challenge: Lessons From the European Union and Australia. Wylie, L. & Winand, P. (eds.). 1st ed. Germany: Peter Lang Publishing, p. 99 - 129 31 p.

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

Climate change and the Copenhagen legacy: where to from here?

Cantley-Smith, R., 2010, In : Monash University Law Review. 36, 1, p. 278 - 303 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Demanding more: The role of demand management and improved end use efficiency in Australian electricity markets

Cantley-Smith, R., 2009, Critical Issues of Environmental Taxation. Cottrell, J., Kreiser, L. A., Deketelaere, K., Ashiabor, H. & Milne, J. E. (eds.). 1 ed. London UK: Oxford University Press, p. 439 - 464 26 p.

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