Associate Professor Matthew Zagor

Associate Professor
Director of Law Reform and Social Justice
B.A.(1st Class Hons; London); LLB (UNSW); GDLP (CoL)
+61 2 6125 4911
Room 269A

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Biography

Associate Professor Matthew Zagor has 20 years’ experience as a human rights advocate, practitioner and scholar. His research is characterised by its transdisciplinary approach and diversity, with recent publications covering comparative constitutional law, the legal 'recognition' of refugee narrative identities, the ‘humanity’ turn of international law, and perspectives of legality amongst Israeli soldiers. His current research applies theories of political theology to the legal construction of the border, and the Australian judiciary's approach to human rights treaty obligations.

Matthew’s most recent research considers how liberal notions of autonomy, authenticity and redemption inform legal and political constructions of the refugee. His current project uses these concepts to explore state sovereignty and border control.

Before joining academia, Matthew worked in community law, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, and as a Member on the Migration / Refugee Review Tribunal. He remains actively involved in law reform and public policy, making regular submissions to Parliamentary inquiries, commenting publicly on refugee policy, and sitting on the Advisory Committee of the ALRC’s Freedoms Inquiry.

Matthew is an Adjunct Fellow at the ANU Centre for European Studies, and Editor of the Australian Yearbook of International Law. He has held Visiting Fellowships at the LSE Centre for Human Rights and Society and the University of Grenoble’s Centre for International Security and European Cooperation, and in 2013 participated in the prestigious Michigan Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law. Matthew speaks regularly on refugee-related matters in Australia and overseas.

Appointments

  • Acting Director, Law Reform and Social Justice
  • Adjunct Fellow, ANU Centre for European Studies (Deputy Director 2010-2011)
  • Editor, Australian Yearbook of International Law
  • 2007-2015 International Humanitarian Law Committee (ACT Branch), Australian Red Cross; Member, Cluster Munitions Coalition (Australia).
  • 2006-2013: Academic Editor, Federal Law Review
  • 2010-2011: Legal Advisor to the Cluster Munitions Coalition, Australia
  • 2007-2012: National Committee, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights  
  • 2010-2011 Deputy Director, ANU Centre for European Studies; 2006 Visiting Professor, University of Alabama School of Law; 2006 Visiting Fellow, Centre for Study of Human Rights, LSE; 2012 Visiting Fellow, University of Grenoble; 2003-2006 P/T Member, Migration Review Tribunal / Refugee Review Tribunal.
  • Forner ACT Editorial Committee, Alternative Law Journal; ANUCES Briefing Paper Series. 

 

Significant research publications

'The Struggle of Autonomy and Authenticity: Framing the Savage Refugee' (2015) 21(4) Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 373-94 'Adventures in the Grey Zone: Judicial Review of Executive Power in the Migration Context' in M.L. Paris and J. Bell (eds) Changing Landscape - Comparative Reflections on Rights-Based Constitutional Review (Edward Elgar, 2016) ‘Recognition and Narrative Identities: Is Refugee Law Redeemable?’ in Rubenstein, Nolan and Jenkins, Allegiance and Identity in a Globalised World (CUP, 2014) ‘Elementary Considerations of Humanity’ in Bennalier, Christakis and Heathcote, The Enduring Impact of the Corfu Channel Case (2011, Routledge) ‘I am the Law! Perspectives of Legality and Illegality in the Israeli Army’ (2010) 43 Israel Law Review 551 'Judicial Rhetoric and Constitutional Identity' (2008) 19 Public Law Review 271 ‘Exclusion and Uncertainty: the High Court and the detention of aliens’ (2006) 34 Federal Law Review 'Persecuted or Persecutor: An Examination of Exclusion under Article 1F of the Refugees Convention,' (2000) 23 UNSW Law Journal 164

Recent news

10
Feb
2017
Hands

Dozens of legal scholars from ANU College of Law call on Australian Government to condemn US travel ban.

11
Nov
2016
Law Reform and Social Justice

The ANU College of Law’s Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ) program has initiated a research hub for students interested in making submissions to inquiries on contemporary law reform issues.

16
Mar
2016

Aurora internships provide an invaluable opportunity for students interested in working for Indigenous organisations after graduation.

Past events

13
Oct
2016
Event image
5.00PM to 7.00PM
Panel discussion
  • Julian McMahon (Reprieve Australia)

Does the death penalty deter crime? What is the scope and nature of Australia’s role in the region? Why has there been a resurgence of the death penalty in the Asia-Pacific?

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

Research biography

Associate Professor Matthew Zagor has 20 years’ experience as a human rights advocate, practitioner and scholar. His research is characterised by its transdisciplinary approach and diversity, with recent publications covering comparative constitutional law, refugee narrative identities, the ‘humanity’ turn of international law, and perspectives of legality amongst Israeli soldiers.

Matthew’s most recent research considers how liberal notions of autonomy, authenticity and redemption inform legal and political constructions of the refugee. His current project uses these concepts to explore state sovereignty and border control.

Before joining academia, Matthew worked in community law, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, and as a Member on the Migration / Refugee Review Tribunal. He remains actively involved in law reform and public policy, making regular submissions to Parliamentary inquiries, commenting publicly on refugee policy, and sitting on the Advisory Committee of the ALRC’s Freedoms Inquiry.

Matthew is an Adjunct Fellow at the ANU Centre for European Studies, and Editor of the Australian Yearbook of International Law. He has held Visiting Fellowships at the LSE Centre for Human Rights and Society and the University of Grenoble’s Centre for International Security and European Cooperation, and in 2013 participated in the prestigious Michigan Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law.

Currently supervising

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: Australia's Immigration Detention Health Care Reforms: An analysis of DIAC's health care policies post Palmer-Comrie Reports - Does it place a duty of care on the Commonwealth Government?
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: Border, Body, Sea: Legal Metaphors and Political Discourse in Australian Refugee Law.

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2017 LAWS8252
Class #9726
International Refugee Law

Previous courses

Year Course code Course name
2016 LAWS4271
Class #3277
Refugee Law
2016 LAWS8252
Class #9592
International Refugee Law

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