- Megan Davis
BA (Australian History), LLB (UQ); LLM (International Law), GDLP, PhD (Law) (ANU)
Dr Megan Davis is a Professor of Law and an Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court. Professor Davis is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a member of the NSW Sentencing Council.
Megan is the Chair and UN expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples and holds portfolios including Administration of Justice and Gender and Women and is the focal point for UN Women and UN AIDS.
Megan was the Rapporteur of the UN EGM on an Optional Protocol to the UNDRIP in 2015 as well as the author of a UNPFII study on a supervisory mechanism for UNDRIP (2014). Megan was the UN Rapporteur for the International Expert Group Meeting on Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Rapporteur for the International EGM on Indigenous Youth.
Professor Davis current research is on constitutional design and Indigenous peoples and is one of the CIs in an ARC project on the impact of extra-legal factors on the sentencing of Indigenous offenders of sexual abuse of Aboriginal women in the Northern Territory.
In 2011, Megan was appointed to the Prime Minister's Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution and continues to be involved in legal discussions on the constitutional issues relating to the referendum model.
She is the co-author with Prof George Williams of ‘Everything you Need to Know About the Referendum to Recognise Indigenous Australians' and co-author with Prof Marcia Langton of 'It’s Our Country: Indigenous Arguments for Meaningful Constitutional Recognition and Reform'
In 2016 she was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Referendum Council
Her current research work at the United Nations involves development of an international oversight mechanism or Optional Protocol for the UNDRIP and reform of the working methods of the UNPFII at UN DESA
Megan has extensive experience as an international lawyer at the UN and participated in the drafting of the UNDRIP from 1999-2004 and is a former UN Fellow of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
Megan has worked with WIPO, UNRISD and regularly teaches in the UNITAR Diplomacy Fellowship Programme in Peacemaking and Preventive Diplomacy.
Megan is an admitted Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of the A.C.T. although currently not practising.
Professor Davis was awarded the 2010 NAIDOC Scholar of the Year and in 2013 was named as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac.
In 2013 Professor Davis was awarded the National Australia Bank/Women's Agenda Inspirational Ambassador Award.
In 2014, Professor Davis was awarded a University of Queensland Alumni Award for services to the UN and constitutional reform.
And in 2015 received the 58th E.S. Meyers Memorial Medal from UQMS.
Megan supports the North Queensland Cowboys and the Queensland Maroons.
Areas of expertise
Public Law; Public International Law; Indigenous peoples and constitutional law; Indigenous people and democracy; Indigenous women’s legal issues; Violence against Aboriginal women and sentencing; UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Australian Academy of Law; NSW Sentencing Council; Advisory Board, Public Law and Policy Research Unit, University of Adelaide; RAP Committee, Gilbert +Tobin; Centre Associate, Gilbert +Tobin Centre of Public Law UNSW Faculty of Law; International Law Association (Australia Branch); International Law Association (Indigenous Rights Committee); Member, Board Member, Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) UNSW; Editorial Board, Indigenous Law Bulletin; Editor, Australian Indigenous Law Review.
PhD student - Harry Hobbs (2016);
PhD student - Gemma McKinnon (2015);
PhD student - Lauren Butterly (2012);
PhD student - Dr Ngaire Brown (2011);
PhD student - Jackie Hartley (2011);
external supervisor MLS PhD student - Dylan Lino (2011).
UNSW Goldstar Awards (2016)
UNSW Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative (MREII) (2016)
UNSW Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative (MREII) (2015)
The limitations of the right to self-determination for Aboriginal women (UNSW Law) (2015)
ARC: A study of the impact of extra-legal factors about sexuality and Indigenous culture on the sentencing of Indigenous sex offenders in the Northern Territory (Australian Research Council IN130100054 2013-2016)
A study of how Aboriginal women fare in liberal democracies (Australian Research Council DI0775837 2007)
Aboriginal women and constitutional reform (UNSW Law Early Career Research grant)
Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department: A study of the experiences of Aboriginal women and children before the courts in sexual assault cases (2010).
- Principles of Public Law (LAWS1141)
- Indigenous People and the Law (LAWS3211)
- International Human Rights (LAWS8181)
- Indigenous Peoples in International Law (LAWS8413)
- Contemp Issues in Int'l & Domestic Indigenous Law (LAWS8415)
23 June 2016
23 June 2016
15 June 2016
14 January 2016
9 December 2015
9 December 2015
22 October 2015
27 August 2015
24 August 2015
4 August 2015