DECRA success for Dr Ogg in landmark movement litigation study
Dr Kate Ogg

Associate Professor Kate Ogg will lead a groundbreaking study into movement litigation as part of her Discovery Early Career Researcher Award fellowship. Photo: Jane Duong

The DECRA project is a reflection of the ANU College of Law’s research and teaching strengths in human rights, law reform, and social justice.

Interdisciplinary scholar Associate Professor Kate Ogg receives $426,000 for research into movement litigation from an Australian perspective.

Associate Professor Kate Ogg has been awarded Federal Government funding through the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme, which aims to advance the career of promising researchers by providing funds over a three-year period.

Dr Ogg’s research project, ‘Mobilising Litigation to Effect Legal, Policy and Social Change’, will address a substantial gap in legal scholarship, specifically focusing on the burgeoning phenomenon of movement litigation. Also known as strategic, cause, integrated, planned or impact litigation, movement litigation is a multi-dimensional approach to using the court system that involves not only lawyers but also non-government organisations, media campaigns and not-for-profit litigation funders of social justice and human rights causes.

The study will use an innovative mix of socio-legal methods to examine movement litigation actors and their democratic role. As the first international and comparative study of refugee rights movement litigation, the project will also provide a methodological framework for global scholarship on movement litigation.

Dr Ogg said she was “thrilled” to be awarded her DECRA fellowship and expressed hope that her research would enhance participatory democracy and promote progressive social and legal change.

"The DECRA project is a reflection of the ANU College of Law’s research and teaching strengths in human rights, law reform, and social justice," she said.

As an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in refugee law, human rights, litigation, access to justice and feminist legal theory and method, Dr Ogg's work has the potential to reshape understanding and outcomes in diverse areas such as immigration detention, offshore processing, climate change and restorative justice for First Nations Australians.

Dr Ogg's expertise will guide the first comprehensive study of movement litigation from an Australian perspective, bringing to light the intricacies of its impact on legal, policy, and social change. This innovative approach seeks to advance public opinion and influence outcomes, where conventional processes and advocacy avenues have fallen short.

Researchers from ANU received a total funding of $7.9 million across 18 projects in the latest round of the ARC DECRA scheme.

The Australian National University (ANU) College of Law Dean, Professor Tony Connolly, lauded Dr Ogg on her funding success and the research impact of the College more broadly.

“This is a wonderful achievement for Kate and another indication of the great strides the College has made over the past few years in enhancing our research culture,” he said.

The significance of Dr Ogg's research extends beyond academia. As part of the project's funding, a PhD student from a refugee background will be supported, a testament to the project's commitment to fostering talent and diversity.

Dr Ogg’s DECRA success builds upon her existing scholarship into refugee rights including her monograph, Protection from Refuge: From Refugee Rights to Migration Management (Cambridge University Press, 2022). The book is the first global and comparative study of 'protection-from-refuge' litigation, examining whether courts facilitate or hamper refugee journeys with a particular focus on gender.

Dr Ogg's DECRA fellowship further positions the ANU College of Law as a leader in early career research and socio-legal scholarship. In 2021, the College secured a landmark three DECRA fellowships worth nearly $1.3 million. 

The ANU College of Law acknowledges the efforts of staff including Dr Sébastien Lacrampe and his team in the Research Office; Stacey Lamberth and her team in the Finance Office; and Associate Dean (Research), Associate Professor Will Bateman, for their support to Dr Ogg in her application and for all their work provided to its researchers.

More details of each project are available at the ARC website.