Associate Professor Moeen Cheema

Associate Professor
PhD (ANU); LLM (Harvard); LLB (London)
+61 2 6125 1139
Room 6.3.28

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Moeen Cheema is an Associate Professor at the ANU College of Law. He earned his PhD from the ANU College of Law, Master of Laws from Harvard Law School, and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of London. He has extensive experience in research, teaching and consultancy work across the fields of comparative public law, criminal law, and legal and political developments in Pakistan. An interdisciplinary researcher, his legal scholarship draws on critical approaches to law, constitutional politics and judicial review, criminal justice systems, the intersection of the state and Islamic law, and post-conflict state-building.

Moeen has authored and edited several books, chapters and papers examining the history of the law and courts in Pakistan, including Courting Constitutionalism The Politics of Public Law and Judicial Review in Pakistan (Cambridge University Press, 2022). In 2021, he was awarded funding under the Australian Research Council’s DECRA scheme for his project investigating the post-conflict criminal justice reform program in north-western Pakistan.

Significant research publications

Recent news

Associate Professor Moeen Cheema
Associate Professor Moeen Cheema's new book has been praised as a 'must-read' for anyone interested in constitutionalism in South Asia.
DECRA fellows
ANU has become the first Australian university to clinch three Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards in a single round within the Law and Legal Studies field of research.
Moeen Cheema
ANU College of Law Senior Lecturer Moeen Cheema has been granted an Australia Awards Fellowship to analyse the rule of law dimensions of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Moeen Cheema
ANU College of Law lecturer Moeen Cheema has been granted an Australia Awards Fellowship to assist with reform of the criminal justice system in Pakistan. The Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the awards earlier this week.

In the Media

Moeen Cheema interviewed by The Wire radio
Moeen Cheema interviewed by ABC The World Today
Moeen Cheema interviewed by ABC Radio National

Past events

Moeen Cheema
5.30PM to 7.00PM ANU College of Law Research Showcase Series
  • Associate Professor Moeen Cheema

The first event in this series acknowledging and promoting outstanding research by ANU College of Law academics.


  • Australia Awards Fellowship 2017-18 on Rule of Law Impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC):

    The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the first and most significant stage of China’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ program that is set to re-draw the political and economic geography of South and Central Asia. This fellowship program brought together Pakistani scholars working on diverse aspects of CPEC and its wider ramifications for the region. The program was designed to provide a platform to systematically engage with CPEC-related issues, and thereby develop a sustainable network of organizations that serve as a nodal point for continuing research and policy work. 

  • Australia Awards Fellowship 2016-17 on Promoting Criminal Justice Reform in Pakistan: This fellowship program brought together several organizations that are involved in litigation, research and public advocacy aimed at the reform of the criminal justice system in Pakistan. The program was designed to enhance the research, advocacy, public policy and law reform oriented skills of the fellows and the capacities of their organizations. The program also aimed to develop a sustainable network of partner organizations working on criminal justice research and reform in Pakistan.


  • UNDP, Rule of Law Institutions in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 2018 – Conducted a political economy analysis of the formal and informal legal institutions in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan with a view to developing the strategy for their prospective integration into the Pakistani state structure.
  • Rule of Law Roadmap, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2017 – Developed the ‘Rule of Law Roadmap for the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan as part of the technical assistance provided by Adam Smith International (ASI) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The Roadmap lays out a 5-year strategy for the reform of the criminal justice system including the institutions of police, judiciary, prosecution, prisons, probation and parole.
  • UNDP Evaluation of Judicial Trainings, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy, Pakistan, 2016 – Conducted an evaluation of the curriculum, methodology and effectiveness of judicial trainings imparted by the KPJA with the support of the UNDP.
  • UNDP Baseline Study on Rule of Law, Southern Districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, 2016 – Prepared a report for the UNDP Strengthening Rule of Law Program analysing the baseline data on public perception of and engagement with formal and informal justice sector institutions in the southern districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. 
  • Correctional Services Policy, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, 2016 – Advised Aitebaar Program, Coffey on an integrated correctional services policy in the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan covering prisons, probation and parole. 
  • International Commission of Jurists Report on Corpus Delicti, 2009 – Advised the ICJ on the possibilities of prosecution of murder based solely on circumstantial evidence in cases of enforced disappearance. The report included a comparative analysis of relevant criminal law in a number of jurisdictions as well as of the jurisprudence of international tribunals.
  • USAID Rule of Law Assessment in Pakistan, 2008 – Advised USAID team on the historical contexts of Pakistan's legal system and authored part of the Report. The report is available online at 
  • UN-Habitat Consultancy Project, 2006- 2007 – Advised UN-Habitat on land rights issues and compensation-related grievances in the areas of northern Pakistan affected by the earthquake of October 2005.
  • Relief and Information Systems for Earthquakes Pakistan (RISEPAK) – Led teams of students and researchers affiliated with RISEPAK based at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan, in research and date collection on post-earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction compensation scheme.

Books & edited collections

Refereed journal articles

Book chapters

  • 'A Supreme Court or a Constitutional Jirga?' in Sten Widmalm (ed), Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in South Asia (Routledge, 2021)
  • 'From Nation to State: Constitutional Founding in Pakistan' in Kevin YL Tan and Ridwanul Hoque (eds), Constitutional Foundings in South Asia (HART, 2021) [with Sadaf Aziz]
  • '‘Election Disputes’ or Disputed Elections?: Judicial (Non-)Review of Elections in Pakistan' in P J Yap (ed), Judicial Review of Elections in Asia (Routledge, 2016)
  • 'The Chaudhry Court: 'Rule of Law' or 'Judicialization of Politics'?' in Moeen Cheema and Ijaz Gilani (eds), The Politics & Jurisprudence of the 'Chaudhry Court' (2005-2013), (Oxford University Press, Pakistan, 2015)
  • 'Police Order 2002: Police Reforms in Pakistan' in S. M. Ali and M. A.Saquib (eds), Devolution and Governance Reforms in Pakistan (Oxford University Press, Pakistan, 2008) [with Sikander Shah and Waleed Khalid]
  • 'Gender Discrimination: Exploring Judicial Bias in the Superior Courts of Pakistan' in D. Ghaznavi and B. A. Khan (eds), Managing NGOs in Developing Countries: Gender Challenges (Oxford University Press, Pakistan, 2006)

Conference papers & presentations

  • Workshop on ‘Peace Processes, Federalism and Constitution-Making: Comparative Perspectives on the Complexities of Conflict Resolution and Maintenance’ at UNSW Law Faculty, December 6-7, 2018;
  • 2018 Asian Law and Society Association (ALSA) Conference at Bond University, November 30 -December 1, 2018;
  • Conference on "Shifting to a New Constitutionalism?: Changing Political Orders in Asia" at the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG), Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, November 26-27, 2018;
  • Second ‘Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonised’ Conference, University of the West Indies, July 11-13, 2018
  • Eleventh Annual South Asia Legal Studies Workshop at University of Wisconsin Law School, October 26, 2017;
  • Symposium on "Constitutionalism in South Asia" at Columbia Law School, April 7, 2017;
  • ASLI Workshop on “Transplantation of Foreign Public Law in Asia”, Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, 3-4 November 2016
  • Washington International Law Journal Symposium on “Asian Courts and Constitutional Politics in the 21st Century”, University of Washington Law School, 3 October 2016
  • Workshop on Judicial Review of Elections in Asia, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, 3 July 2015
  • 12th ASLI Conference "Law 2.0: New Challenges in Asia", National Taiwan University, 21-22 May 2015
  • YCC-ASCL Workshop on Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Milan, 4 May 2015
  • 2014 International Judicial Conference, The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, 18-19 April 2014
  • 'Asian Legal Studies: New issues and new Scholarship' Workshop, Centre for Asian legal Studies, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, 5-6 December 2013
  • Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society Conference: 'Receiving Laws/Giving Laws', Faculty of Law, University of Technology of Sydney, 10-12 December 2012
  • The Australian Society of Legal Philosophy Annual Conference 2011, T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, 29-31 July 2011
  • Law & Religion workshop, Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, Melbourne Law School, 14 July 2011
  • Harvard-Stanford International Junior Faculty Forum 2010, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, 7-8 October 2010
  • 'Postcolonialism & Islam' Conference, Northern Association of Postcolonial Studies (NAPS), Sunderland, UK, 16-17 April  2010
  • Workshop on 'Islamic Law in the Courts: Judicial Interpretation of Shari’a in Modern Muslim States' at the University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, USA, 5-6 June 2009

Current courses

Previous courses

Year Course code Course name
2020 LAWS8716
Class #1445
Legal Theory - Completion Course

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