Bal Kama

PhD Candidate
LLB (Hons), BA (International Relations & International Studies), (UC), Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (College of Law, Sydney), Admission as a Solicitor ACT
+61 2 6125 9365
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Bal Kama began his PhD studies at the Australian National University College of Law in 2014. His dissertation seeks to examine the relationship between the judiciary and the parliament under the Papua New Guinea Constitution.

Bal was admitted as a solicitor in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) after completing his Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the Sydney College of Law. Bal graduated from University of Canberra in 2012 with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and International Studies). The findings from his Honours thesis – on the 2011-2012 constitutional crisis in Papua New Guinea – were presented to the Australian Law Council.

In 2013, Bal was engaged as a consultant with the United Nations Women in Papua New Guinea to assist in designing an action plan for the United Nations Gender Task Team (UNGTT) in response to sorcery related violence. UNGTT is a multi-agency UN task force formed to address gender issues in Papua New Guinea. Bal worked as a paralegal with the Aboriginal Legal Service ACT-NSW and Ashurst Sydney, and currently teaches at the ANU College of Law and the University of Canberra Faculty of Business, Government and Law.

Bal writes for Australia's leading international think tank, The Lowy Institute, and Canberra-based Development Policy Centre on issues in the Pacific region. Bal is also the Founder and Director of Kama Scholars Foundation (KSF), a community-based scholarship and mentoring program for village students and youths in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. He was awarded the 2016 Commonwealth Pacific Young Person of the Year, an award that gave Bal the privilege to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in England.

Bal is a founding member of the Commonwealth Youth Health Network (CYHN) at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London and a recipient of the University of Canberra Distinguished Alumni Commendation Award in 2013 in recognition of his contribution to the community.


Unit Convenor and Lecturer, University of Canberra 2016

Significant research publications


Recent news

A highlander sports Hela's new flag during the 2012 elections (Flickr/Commonwealth Secretariat/Treva Braun CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Papua New Guinea national elections, due in June this year, promise to be momentous. Like many democracies, the people have always looked forward to the opportunity of choosing their political leaders through a process of free and fair elections.

Swept (Flickr/David Goehring CC BY 2.0)

A letter to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on the morning of 16 June 2014 started off what would become the most controversial anti-corruption story in the history of Papua New Guinea.


In less than 24 hours, Papua New Guineans will know the fate of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when the national parliament sits for a vote of no-confidence. Bal Kama explores the three possible scenarios.


Prime Minister Peter O’Neill reminded Papua New Guineans in his New Year’s address that PNG ‘is a place of great opportunity, that also carries with it great responsibility’ writes ANU Law PhD student Bal Kama.

In the Media

A Political Dilemma Looms
Bal Kama writes in The National Newspaper PNG
A Political Dilemma Looms
Bal Kama writes in The National Newspaper PNG

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

Research projects & collaborations





  • United Nations Women (UN Women), Papua New Guinea (2013)

Books & edited collections


Book chapters


Refereed journal articles


Conference papers & presentations

  • 'The Manus Island Decision: Adjudicating Australia’s Role in the Detention of Asylum Seekers
    in the Pacific,' 24th Australia-New Zealand Society of International Law Conference, Canberra, 30 June - 02 July 2016
  • 'PNG's Changing Legal Culture: the 'Innocent until proven guilty' syndrome," State of the Pacific Conference, Australian National University, 07-09 September 2015.
  • 'An activist judiciary in a transformative constitution – a necessity or nuisance? the Papua New Guinea experience,' Research in Progress Seminar, Australian National University College of Law, 09 July 2015.
  • '"The last bastion of hope:" Judicial Independence in Papua New Guinea,' International Workshop on Informal Networks in Non-western Judiciaries, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra 26-27 March 2015.
  • 'The Corruption Allegations against the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea: A Case Review,' Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific, Australian National University, Canberra 05 March 201.
  • 'Rule of Law on an Island of Treasures: A Neccesity or Nuisance?' 4th Alfred Deakin Institute PNG Symposium, Port Moresby, 15 September 2014.
  • 'Separation of Powers in an Autochthonous Constitution,' Pacific Research Colloquium, State Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM), Australiana National University, January 2013.
  • 'PNG's Historic Constitutional Crisis:The Making of Two Governments,' Law Council of Australia, Sydney, December 2012.

Commissioned reports


Government submissions



External Organisations

Internal ANU Committees


Case notes & book reviews



Past courses

Tutored the following units at the University of Canberra Faculty of Business, Government and Law (2013 - 2015):

  • Constitutional Law
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Legal Systems
  • Justice Policy and Community Engagement
  • Law and Society

2016 - Unit Convenor and Lecturer: University of Canberra

  • Justice Administration and the Constitution

2016 - Tutor at ANU College of Law

  • Contracts Law




Does the activist role of the judiciary under the PNG Constitution, designed to be transformational, set up unworkable tension between the judiciary and other arms of government? 


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Primary supervisor

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