Dr Sangeetha Pillai

Dr Sangeetha Pillai is a constitutional lawyer and a Senior Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. She is an expert on Australian citizenship law, and the constitutional differences in the scope of government power that can be exercised over citizens and non-citizens. Her work on these issues has been published in leading Australian and international journals. She has also provided media commentary on various legal issues, particularly those raised by the recent introduction of broad citizenship stripping powers in Australia. She has appeared before and been cited by parliamentary committees on matters pertaining to Australian citizenship law.

Sangeetha is the Kaldor Centre's expert on the domestic public law framework that governs refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. Her current research examines the ongoing exploration of the boundaries of parliamentary and executive power over such persons in Australian case law.

Journal articles

Pillai S, 2019, 'Tiered Community Membership in Australia: The Impact of Constitutional Concepts and Contemporary Developments on Refugee Access to Citizenship', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 65, pp. 620 - 637, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajph.12617

Hobbs H; Pillai S, 2018, 'The disqualification of dual citizens from Parliament: Three problems and a solution', Alternative Law Journal, vol. 43, pp. 73 - 80, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1037969X18777910

Pillai S; Williams G, 2017, 'The utility of citizenship stripping laws in the UK, Canada and Australia', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 41, pp. 845 - 889

pillai S; williams G, 2017, 'Twenty-First Century Banishment: Citizenship Stripping In Common Law Nations', International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 66, pp. 521 - 555, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020589317000021

Williams G; Pillai S, 2015, 'The High Court, the Constitution and Family Law', Australian Journal of Family Law, vol. 29, pp. 65 - 89

Pillai S; Williams G, 2015, 'Commonwealth power and environmental management: Constitutional questions revisited', Environmental and Planning Law Journal, vol. 32, pp. 395 - 408

Pillai S, 2014, 'The Rights and Responsibilities of Australian Citizenship: A Legislative Analysis', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 37, pp. 736 - 785, http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?page=736&handle=hein.journals/mulr37&id=741

Pillai S, 2014, 'The rights and responsibilities of australian citizenship: A legislative analysis', Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 37, pp. 736 - 785

Pillai S, 2013, 'Non-immigrants, non-aliens and people of the commonwealth: Australian constitutional citizenship revisited', Monash University. Law Review, vol. 39, pp. 568 - 609, http://www.law.monash.edu.au/about-us/publications/monlr/

Book Chapters

Pillai S; Smith S, 2020, 'Regional Processing of Asylum Seekers, Democratic Accountability and Statutory Interpretation', in Boughey J; Crawford L (ed.), Interpreting Executive Power, Federation Press, Sydney, Australia, pp. 148 - 168


Pillai S, 2020, Supplementary submission to Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020

Pillai S, 2020, Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 inquiry into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related matters

Pillai S, 2020, Submission to Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020, https://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/Kaldor_Centre_Prohibiting_Items_Immigration_Detention_Bill_2020.pdf

Appleby G; Boughey J; Pillai S; Williams G, 2020, Submission to Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation inquiry into Exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight

Williams G; Chordia S; Pillai S; Goddard L, 2013, Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration on ‘Inquiry into Citizen Initiated Referendum Bill 2013, Australia


Conference Presentations

Pillai S, 2019, 'CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES TO AUSTRALIA’S ASYLUM SEEKER LAWS: WHY IS IT SO HARD TO WIN A CASE?', presented at The Judiciary and Public Policy, UNSW Law School, 03 December 2019 - 04 December 2018

Pillai S; Smith S, 2018, 'The interaction of statutory and non-statutory executive power in the migration context', presented at Interpreting Eecutive Power Workshop, UNSW Australia, 14 December 2018 - 14 December 2018

Constitutional law, citizenship, immigration detention, refugees, Australian migration law, limits of government power over refugees

Pillai S, 2020, The Legacy of the Asylum Seeker Phone Ban, http://rightnow.org.au/opinion-3/the-legacy-of-the-asylum-seeker-phone-ban/