Dr Rebecca Monson

Senior Lecturer
BA(Hons I)/LLB (Hons I), PhD
+61 2 6125 8271
Room 6.3.075

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Dr Rebecca Monson is a socio-legal and feminist scholar with a particular interest in the southwest Pacific. Her work explores themes of colonialism, regulatory pluralism, transformations in systems of governance, and social inequality. She has conducted fieldwork in Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, and regularly works with government agencies, donors, and non-government organisations.

Prior to joining the ANU, Rebecca worked as a legal practitioner specialising in disaster and emergency law. She has also worked at the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, the RMIT Centre for Risk and Community Safety, and the Van Vollenhoven Institute at Leiden University.

Rebecca undertook her undergraduate studies at Monash University, where she graduated with first class honours and the Supreme Court Prize for Best Honours Thesis. She received her PhD from the ANU in 2012, for a thesis examining transformations in gendered land relations associated with colonisation, missionisation and the commodification of natural resources in Solomon Islands. Rebecca currenty convenes the Law, Governance and Development program in the ANU College of Law and is a member of the board of the Pacific Institute.


  • Convenor, Law, Governance and Development
  • Member, Academic Staff and Higher Degree Research Committee
  • Board member, Pacific Institute


Year Title
2016 ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship Mentoring Scheme

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2013 Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy, IGLP: The Workshop 2013
2013 Ian Potter travel grant

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2012 ANU Gender Institute, Second Commendation for a PhD thesis

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2012 US Development Mentoring Program

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2009 ANU College of Law Discretionary Research Grant
2009 Vice Chancellor's Travel Grant
2009 ANU College of Law Fieldwork Funding Grant
2008 Australian Federation of University Women Georgina Sweet Fellowship

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2007 Australian Postgraduate Award

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Recent news


In May, ANU College of Law Professor Daniel Fitzpatrick was an invited expert at the Nansen Initiative Pacific Consultation on Cross-Border Displacement from Natural Disasters and Climate Change.


Congratulations to all students and staff who received awards at the ANU College of Law Graduation Ceremony on Friday 14 December 2012. 


Congratulations to Christine Beuermann, Joanne Lee, Rebecca Monson and James Stellios who have received their Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the ANU graduation ceremony on Thursday 13 December 2012.


Congratulations to College of Law academics Daniel Fitzpatrick and Rebecca Monson, who received an Australian Research Council (ARC)

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

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Research biography

Dr Rebecca Monson is a socio-legal and feminist scholar with a particular interest in the southwest Pacific. Her work draws on law, geography and anthropology to explore themes of colonialism, transformations in customary governance, and social inequality. Her publications have investigated questions around property rights, natural resource governance, disaster management, and access to justice.

Rebecca regularly undertakes consultancies relating to gender, development and justice for government agencies, donors, and non-government organisations. She co-authored Justice Delivered Locally (2012), a major report for the World Bank that outlines the findings from extensive research into the management of disputes across Solomon Islands. In 2014, she was invited to present at the UNDP Regional Consultation on Women’s Access to Land and Property, which provided the basis for UNDP’s work on these issues in the Asia-Pacific.

She uses participatory research methods whenever possible and appropriate, and is committed to ensuring that her work is accessible to the communities she works with.

At present Rebecca is collaborating with Daniel Fitzpatrick on an ARC-funded project exploring climate change and displacement in Solomon Islands. She is also producing a book on the impact of colonisation, Christianity and the cash economy on customary land tenure in Solomon Islands.

Research projects & collaborations

Current projects include:

  • Completing a book manuscript on gender relations and land relations in Solomon Islands, in particular the ways in which local contests over the 'ownership' of land are entwined with state formation.
  • Collaborating with Solomon Islander researchers to produce an edited volume publishing the results of preliminary research examining the capacity of customary tenure systems to respond to climate-induced displacement.


I am regularly involved in program design, and peer-review of program design for Australian aid programs. My consulting experience includes:

  • Law and Justice Program, Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (May 2012)
  • Justice Delivered Locally, Solomon Islands Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs and the World Bank Justice for the Poor Program (recurring, 2009-12)
  • Understanding local context: evolving approaches to law and justice in Australia’s neighbourhood, AusAID (March 30 – April 1 2011)
  • Gender and Natural Resource Technical Advisor, Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth and Children's Affairs and International Women’s Development Agency (June 2010)
  • Coordinator and Facilitator, Pre-Departure Training for Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, ANU Enterprise, Canberra, ACT (recurrent, 2009-12)


PhD supervision

In addition to supervising students within the ANU College of Law, I am currently involved in supervision of the following students:

  • Joseph D. Foukona (panel) 'Why Land Reform Continues to Fail in Melanesia', PhD Candidate in School of Culture, History and Languages, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Bianca Hennessey (panel) - research on pedagogy in the field of Pacific Studies, PhD Candidate in the School of Culture, History and Languages, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Lincy Pendeverana - livelihood security in Solomon Islands, PhD Candidate in State, Society and Governance and Melanesia, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2019 LAWS8329
Class #5658
Gender, Law and Development

How my works connects with public policy

I regulary undertake consultancies with organisations and institutions including the World Bank, RAMSI, AusAID, and the International Women's Development Agency.

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