Professor Simon Rice OAM

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0408 088 024
Room 116

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Professor Simon Rice has worked and researched extensively in anti-discrimination law, human rights and access to justice issues.

After a period in private commercial practice he worked at Redfern Legal Centre in Sydney and co-founded Macarthur Legal Centre. He was Director of Kingsford Legal Centre while director of clinical legal education programs at the University of NSW. He has been a board member of Macarthur Legal Centre, Redfern Legal Centre, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing, the Communications Law Centre, the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre, the Intellectual Disability Rights Centre, and the ACT Welfare Rights and Legal Centre.

In 1989-95 he was a lecturer in the UNSW Law Faculty and director of clinical programs, and in 2000-01 he taught at Sydney University Law Faculty. He was a senior lecturer in Law at Macquarie University from 2005-07.

He has practised extensively in poverty law in community legal centres, particularly anti-discrimination law. In Australia and internationally he has trained and advised a wide range of businesses, agencies and NGOs in human rights and anti-discrimination law, and has consulted to NGOs on organisational management and strategic planning.

In 2002 he was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia for legal services to the economically and socially disadvantaged, and he has received a UNSW Alumni Award. In 2008 he was an invitee to the Australian Government's 2020 Summit.



  • Chair, ACT Law Reform Advisory Council


  • Legal adviser to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights


    Year Title
    2015 ANU College of Law Education Awards: Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
    2011 Nomination: ANU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Education
    2006 UNSW Alumni Award
    2005 Human Rights Law Award, Highly Commended
    2002 Medal of the Order of Australia

    read more »

    Significant research publications

    • Adam McBeth, Justine Nolan and Simon Rice, 2011, The International Law of Human Rights, Oxford University Press, Melbourne Australia.
    • Neil Rees, Simon Rice & Dominique Allen, 2008; 2011, Australian Anti-Discrimination Law, The Federation Press, Sydney, Australia
    • Simon Rice, 2010, 'And Which 'Equality Act' Would that Be?', in Margaret Thornton (ed.), Sex Discrimination in Uncertain Times, ANU ePress, Canberra, pp. 197-234.
    • Vivien Holmes & Simon Rice, 2010, 'Our Common Future: The Imperative for Contextual Ethics in a Connected World', in Reid Mortensen, Francesca Bartlett, Kieran Tranter (ed.), Alternative Perspectives on lawyers and Legal Ethics: reimagining the profession, Routledge, UK, pp. 56-84.
    • Simon Rice, 2009, 'Discriminating for World Peace', in Jeremy Farrall and Kim Rubenstein (ed.), Sanctions, Accountability and Governance in a Globalised World, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 355-377.
    • Simon Rice, Denise Meyerson & Kate Ogg, 2014, ''Are we there yet?' Measuring human rights sensibilities', Australian Journal of Human Rights, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 67-97.
    • Simon Rice, 2012, Are CLCs Finished?, Alternative Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 16-21.
    • Simon Rice, 2011, 'Staring Down the ITAR: Reconciling Discrimination Exemptions and Human Rights Law', Canberra Law Review, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 97-113.
    • Bruce Arnold, Patricia Easteal, Simon Easteal & Simon Rice, 2010, 'It just doesn't ADD Up: ADHD/ADD, the Workplace and Discrimination', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 34, no. 2, p. 359.
    • Simon Rice & Cameron Roles, 2010, 'It's a Discrimination Law Julia, But Not As We Know It: Part 3-1 of the Fair Work Act', Economic and Labour Relations Review, vol. 21, no. 1, p. 13.

    Recent news

    One of Australia’s leading anti-discrimination law experts believes it’s time for Australia to open up a potentially confronting discussion on race issues within the Australian legal system.
    Absrtact picture of birds flying out of a prison wall
    ANU Law Explains is a National Law Week 2017 event which will examine four highly political issues with a legal perspective for a layperson audience.
    David Marr
    Australia needs to have a ‘difficult’ conversation about the effect of race in its politics, says writer and journalist David Marr, who spoke at ANU College of Law this week about his new Quarterly Essay.
    Professor Michael Coper
    On Friday 2 December a conference celebrating the achievements of Michael Coper will be held in the Common Room, University House. Michael is a “big picture” person whose vision has always focused on the future. The conference’s title, “New Ways Forward”, with its tone of energy and optimism, could not be more fitting for an event celebrating the career of Michael Coper and reinforcing the continuing beneficial effects of his achievements.

    In the Media

    Simon Rice speaks to ABC RN Background Briefing
    Simon Rice quoted in National Indigenous Times
    Simon Rice talks to Justice Connections

    Upcoming events

    Teaching and Learning Forum
    1.00PM to 2.00PM
    Teaching and Learning Forum

    Several colleagues will share their ideas about requiring  students to reflect on their learning as part of course assessment.

    Past events

    Event image
    10.00AM to 7.00PM
    Panel discussion

    Learn about the legal issues impacting counter-terrorism, citizenship, race relations, climbing imprisonment rates and the South China Sea.

    David Marr
    1.00PM to 2.00PM
    Book launch
    • David Marr

    Most Australians despise what Pauline Hanson stands for, yet politics in this country is now orbiting around One Nation.

    Law Reform and Social Justice
    1.00PM to 2.00PM
    Information session

    Want to find out more about who ANU Law Reform and Social Justice are, or what we do? Are you interested in joining a project? Do you have ideas you are burning to share with like-minded students? Come along to our Info Session in Week 3!

    Sydney Alumni event
    6.00PM to 8.00PM
    • Professor Stephen Bottomley

    Professor Stephen Bottomley, Dean of the ANU College of Law, invites you to the inaugural Sydney Law Alumni Reception for alumni living and working in Sydney.

    Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

    Research biography

    Professor Simon Rice, OAM, is one of Australia’s leading scholars in anti-discrimination and human rights law, access to justice and legal education.

    Professor Rice is a co-author of the texts 'Australian Anti-Discrimination Law' and 'The International Law of Human Rights'. He is a former judicial member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal, and was the external legal adviser to the Federal Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.

    Having practised extensively in community legal centres, Professor Rice researches and writes on their role in providing access to justice in Australia. He is co-editor of Social Work: In the Shadow of the Law, and is currently researching the concept of a human right to legal aid, for a publication in a volume on access to justice.

    Funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, and the Office for Learning and Teaching, Professor Rice has been in academic teams to conduct national research into Best Practices for Clinical Legal Education and to develop large scale simulations for teaching social justice advocacy.

    Professor Rice chairs the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council, where he has overseen inquiries into and reports on suspended sentencing, legal recognition of gender diversity, and anti-discrimination and guardianship laws in the ACT.

    Research projects & collaborations

    Professor Rice's current research projects are:

    • critical legal education
    • lawyering for social change
    • discrimination in international human rights law


    • Professor Rice was part of a team of laws teachers who received an Australian Teaching and Learning Council (ALTC) grant to research and establish best practice guidelines for clinical legal education in Australia.
    • Professor Rice was part of a team of laws teachers who received an Office for Learning and teaching (OLT) grant to test, modify and disseminate a simulation exercise designed to close the gap between theoretical learning and practical experience when teaching university students social justice principles and practice.


    External Organisations

    Currently supervising

    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Topic: The impact of judicial culture on equality rights protection.
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Topic: Thai Courts and Interpretation of Constitutional Rights Provisions
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Topic: Country lawyers and conflicting duties. Using a Fullerian analysis to examine the functional role of the professional principle to avoid conflicts of interest

    PhD supervision

    I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

    I am also currently supervising:

    • Fiona Allison (panel, James Cook University): Indigenous access to racial discrimination law.

    I have previously supervised:

    • Mark Hecht: Raping the Benefits: Big Business and the Sexual Exploitation of Children.

    SJD supervision

    I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

    MPhil supervision

    I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

    LLM Masters thesis supervision

    Subject to availability, I do supervise Masters students' research theses. Previous supervisions include:

    • Alex Madsen: Intellectual disability and the Capability Approach

    Honours thesis supervision

    Subject to availability, I do supervise Honours students. Previous supervisions include:

    • Christina Nicholas: Religious exceptions to anti-discrimination law in the Australian education system.
    • Phoebe McGrory: The public/private divide in anti-discrimination law
    • Michael Wright: The confidentiality of the confessional, and s116 of the Constitution
    • Simon Thompson: Undue Reserved Judgement Delay
    • Stephanie Fowler: Does the inclusion of Indigenous customary law in the criminal justice system sacrifice Indigenous women’s rights?
    • Alexandra Banks: When Law Reform Fails: A Study of the Failure of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Law Reform Process
    • Gabrielle Szabo: Understanding and improving the exercise of temporary exemption powers under Australian discrimination law
    • Nicholas Kitchin: Reconsidering Access to Justice And The Role Of Community Legal
      Education In Achieving It
    • Pamela Cue: Health, Human Rights & Prison: The Case for Needle Exchange in the Alexander Maconochie Centre
    • Victoria Mak: Domestic Violence Order Legislation in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales: Comparison, Analysis and Reform

    Internship supervision

    I supervise students who enrol in 'LAWS4230 Law Internship' and carry out their internship:

    • as a Law Reform and Social Justice activity in the ANU College of Law (LRSJ)
    • with the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council (LRAC)

    Previous supervisions include:

    • Stephanie Schweiger (LRSJ): A law reform proposal for exclusion zones around abortion clinics in the ACT
    • Christian Dent (LRAC): Review of the ACT Discrimination Act
    • Amy Sinclair (LRAC): Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
    • Clare Brennan (LRSJ): The legislative regime for segregation in the ACT: a deficiency in human rights compliance
    • Sonja van der steen (LRSJ, for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia): Command responsibility of mid-level political and military cadre
    • Stephen Priest (LRSJ, for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia): Ensuring Judicial Impartiality in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
    • Ellen Chapple (LRSJ, for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia): The status of double jeopardy in international criminal law, specifically in relation to the trial in Cambodia
    • Jessica Lee (LRSJ, for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia): Does the ECCC have jurisdiction to apply the doctrine of command responsibility?
    • Khash Kamali (LRSJ): Justice behind the Shi’a veil: The rule of law and the Iranian Judiciary
    • Laura Sweeney: The physical punishment of children in the Australian Capital Territory: legal regulation and options for reform
    • Helen McLeod and Samual Watts (LRSJ): Student Impressions & Preliminary Research into the effectiveness of the Northern Territory Emergency Response alcohol provisions in reducing
      alcohol related harm in the Katherine region
    • Melanie Poole (LRSJ): Catholic Healthcare Australia guidelines as torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment: a human rights inquiry
    • Stephanie Henry (LRSJ): Constitutional recognition of Australian Indigenous Peoples: prior consultation in Colombia and Australia?

    Current courses

    Year Course code Course name
    2017 LAWS4270
    Class #4788
    Law Reform

    Philosophy & approach

    I facilitate learning. Education is an active, engaged exercise, where students talk to me and each other, to share and explore their understanding of readings and issues. 

    Teaching awards

    Year Title
    2015 ANU College of Law Education Awards: Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
    2011 Nomination: ANU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Education

    Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team