Caroline Compton

PhD Candidate
BA(Hons) MEd JD(Hons) GDLP

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Caroline is currently undertaking a PhD with the ANU College of Law. Her research examines property law, development and disaster with an interest in understanding the interlegalities of disaster recovery. She received an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship to undertake doctoral fieldwork in the Philippines. She has been a Visiting Research Associate at the Institute of Philippine Culture at Ateneo de Manila University, a Visiting Researcher at the University of Coimbra, and will spend the 2017-8 US academic year at Yale University as a Fox Fellow.

Prior to commencing her studies at ANU, Caroline spent a number of years working on development projects in Vietnam. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Education from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Juris Doctor (Hons) from the Australian National University.


Recent news

Philippines after natural disaster
Caroline Compton (JD (Hons) '13, GDLP '16) studies aftermath of natural disasters. The completely predictable disasters that occur when the world’s attention has moved on and the real clean up begins.

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


  • Fox Fellowship, Yale University 2017-8
  • Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship 2015
  • Australian Postgraduate Award 2014-7


  • Oxfam International, Land issues after Typhoon Haiyan, 2014

Book chapters

  • Fitzpatrick D. and Compton C, ‘Land tenure systems as a challenge for disaster recovery: adapting to extreme weather events after Typhoon Haiyan’ in Eisma-Osorio, L., Kelman, I., Kibugi, R. & Koh, K. L. (eds.), Adaptation to climate change: ASEAN and comparative experiences, World Scientific, 2015


Conference papers & presentations

  • 22nd Young Scholars' Conference on Philippine Studies in Japan, Temporality, emergency, and disaster response, (8-9 July 2017)
  • DevNet Conference, Epistemologies of humanitarian work (5-7 December 2016)
  • Commission on Legal Pluralism, ‘Denaturalizing Climate Change’ workshop, Epistemologies of climate adaptation: what does 'care for our common home’ mean? (28-30 September 2016)
  • Institute for Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University, Inter-legality and disaster recovery (29 July 2016)
  • Centre for South East Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Recovering from Yolanda amid constellations of rules and incentives (25 May 2016) (Invited)
  • Institute of Philippine Culture International Summer School for Doctoral Researchers on the Philippines (26-29 July 2015) - Extractive institutions and property insecurity in the Philippines: a historical analysis.
  • APCEL Specialist Group on Climate Change Adaptation: ASEAN and the World (17 & 18 July 2014) - Rights and Access to Land After Typhoon Haiyan


Commissioned reports

  • More than Safe Land: Security of Land Tenure after Typhoon Haiyan, Oxfam International, 2014 (with Daniel Fitzpatrick)


Internal ANU Committees

  • ANU Higher Degree Research Consultative Committee, 2015-16

Past courses

  • 2015 Lecturer, Torts, ANU College of Law
  • 2015 Tutor, Torts, ANU College of Law
  • 2014 Tutor, Lawyers, Justice, Ethics, ANU College of Law
  • 2014 Tutor, Corporations Law, ANU College of Law
  • 2014 Tutor, Corruption in our world, ANU College of the Arts and Social Sciences


The regulation of post-disaster recovery


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Further information

Post-disaster reconstruction is premised on the idea that it is possible to “build back better”. At a minimum, building back better requires building back without rebuilding vulnerability. To do so requires more than a technical response - it necessitates the transformation of relationships and institutions. Perhaps unremarkably, post-disaster recovery often fails to deliver transformation.

This thesis examines the myriad of interlegalities that govern post-disaster recovery, with a view to identifying which of these underlying human systems and institutions are central to how the recovery experience unfolds, and the ways in which they matter. Rather than assume the primacy of a particualr form of law over the recovery process, the project starts from the premise that multiple interpenetrative normative systems regulate behaviour. The thesis develops a methodology for identifying how these interlegalities can be identified and mapped, opening up new sites for intervention in recovery practice.

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