Lorraine Finlay

Law Lecturer

About me

Lorraine Finlay is a lecturer in the School of Law at Murdoch University.  Her research interests include criminal law, constitutional law, international criminal law and public international law.

Lorraine joined Murdoch University in 2010 from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (WA), where she worked as a State Prosecutor.  She has also previously worked at the High Court of Australia, initially as the Legal Research Officer and then as an Associate to The Hon. Justice J D Heydon.  In 2009 she was selected as a Singapura Scholar with the NYU@NUS program.  As part of this program she was awarded a dual LL.M in Law and the Global Economy (with a concentration in Justice and Human Rights) from New York University and in International & Comparative Law from the National University of Singapore.

Lorraine currently lectures in Constitutional Law and teaches as part of the International Human Rights Law Program in Geneva.  She has been awarded a number of teaching and research awards, including the OLT Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2013), Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Enhancing Learning (2013), Dean’s Service Award (2010 & 2011), Dean’s Research Prize Commendation (2011) and MSLS Lecturer of the Year (2011 & 2014).

In addition, Lorraine is the Director of the Mooting Program at Murdoch.  She is the Faculty Advisor to the Moot Court Bench, and is responsible for coaching a number of Murdoch’s international moot teams.  This includes award-winning teams in competitions such as the Philip C. Jessup Public International Law Moot (2013 International Quarter Finalists), International Maritime Law & Arbitration Moot (2011 Winning Team), INADR International Mediation Tournament (2014 H. Case Ellis Mediation Award Winners & 2011 Winning Team – Mediation Division) and IT & Privacy Law International Moot (2011 Ambassador Round Winning Team).

Teaching area

Lorraine currently teaches in the following units:

  • LLB259 Constitutional Law (Lecturer)
  • LLB312 Law Moot (Director of Mooting)
  • LLB314 Moot Court Bench (Unit Coordinator)

Lorraine has previously been the Unit Coordinator for Law130 Criminal Law & Procedure and LLB337 Legal Protection of International Human Rights (Geneva Program).


Research areas

Areas of particular research interest include constitutional law, criminal law, international criminal law and public international law.

Current projects

Lorraine is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Queensland under the supervision of Professor James Allan and Professor Nicholas Aroney.  The working title of her PhD project is The Universal Franchise: The Protection of Voting Rights under the Australian Constitution.


Awards and grants

Since commencing at Murdoch Law School in 2010 Lorraine has been selected for the following awards:

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (2016)
  • MSLS Law Lecturer of the Year (2014)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence (2014)
  • OLT Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2013)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Enhancing Learning (2013)
  • MSLS Law Lecturer of the Year (2011)
  • Dean’s Service Award (2010 & 2011)
  • Dean’s Research Award Commendation (2011).

Events and speaking engagements

Recent conference and speaking engagements include:

  • “Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Western Australia: Highlighting the Limits of the ‘Just Terms’ Guarantee”, paper presented at the Property Rights in Western Australia Conference (Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Perth, 6 October 2016).
  • “The Legal Status of the Unborn Child”, paper presented at the Midwifery Challenges – CPD Conference (Ausmed Education, Perth, 16 September 2016).
  • “The Nexus between Law & Politics”, paper presented at the Australian Institute of Administrative Law (WA Branch) (CPD Seminar Series, Perth, 16 September 2016).
  • Panel Speaker, “Human Rights and Statutory Interpretation”, Government Law Conference (Legalwise Seminars), Perth, 14 September 2016.
  • Guest Speaker, “No Offence Intended: Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act“, Curtin Corner Seminar Series (John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, Curtin University, 2 September 2016).
  • “It’s a Small World (After All): The Role of International Bodies in Legislative Scrutiny”, paper presented at the Australia-New Zealand Scrutiny of Legislation Conference, Perth, 14 July 2016.
  • Panel Speaker, “The Nexus Between Law and Politics”, Parliamentary Privilege, Immunities and Powers Seminar (Legalwise Seminars), Perth, 20 November 2015.
  • Panel Speaker, “Freedom’s Limits: Speech, Association, and Movement in the Australian Legal System”, Australian Law Reform Commission Freedoms Inquiry Symposium, Perth, 29 September 2015.
  • Panel Speaker, “A home is no longer a castle? – real property rights in the context of mining and environmental claims”, Australian Law Reform Commission Freedoms Inquiry Symposium, Brisbane, 2 September 2015.
  • Guest Speaker, “Property Rights and Environmentally Sensitive Areas” at Gingin Private Property Rights Group, 5 November 2014.
  • “A Parallel Universe – Sentencing in the International Criminal Court”, paper presented at the UNSW International Criminal Law Workshop, September 2014 .
  • Guest Speaker, “Prosecuting War Crimes – Can Theory & Practice be Reconciled?” at RUSI (WA), 27 March 2014.
  • “The Universal Periodic Review Mechanism: An Australian Perspective”, paper presented at the Curtin Law School Research Day, 6 September 2013.
  • Guest Speaker, “The Rights of the Unborn Child in WA Law” at Australian Law Librarians Association (WA), 15 May 2013.
  • “Re-building Iraq: The Role of the Iraqi High Tribunal in the State-Building Process”, paper presented at the ANZSIL & AsianSIL Joint Conference on International Law and Justice, Sydney, 25-26 October 2012.
  • “Free Speech, International Law & Julian Assange”, paper presented at the Threats to Freedom of Speech Conference, Murdoch University, 12-13 October 2012.
  • “Protecting the Unborn Child under the Criminal Law: Foetal Homicide Law Reform in Western Australia”, paper presented at the Murdoch Law School Research Day, 28 August 2012.
  • “Indigenous Recognition: Some Issues”, paper presented at the 24th Conference of the Samuel Griffith Society, Brisbane, 17-19 August 2012.
  • Guest Speaker, “Private Property Rights & Resources Session” at the 2011 PGA Convention, Perth, 25 February 2011.
  • “The Attack on Property Rights”, paper presented at the 22nd Conference of the Samuel Griffith Society, Perth, 28 August 2010.

Professional and community service

Lorraine is an elected member of the Murdoch University Academic Council.  She has previously served as an appointed member of the Murdoch University Learning & Teaching Committee, and has represented the Murdoch School of Law on the Graduate and Academic Standards Committee (Law Society of WA) and Graduate Recruitment and Advisory Group (Law Society of WA).

She is also a member of a number of professional organisations, including the Australian Association of Constitutional Law, Australia & New Zealand Society of International Law, Law Society of Western Australia, Samuel Griffith Society and Western Australian Legal Theory Association.

Lorraine continues to be actively involved in a variety of community organisations.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Women (WA), Board Member of the Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Service, and has previously been awarded the Centenary Medal and WA Law Society Youth Community Service Award for her volunteer work.



  1. No Offence Intended: Why 18C is Wrong (Connor Court Publishing, 2016) (co-authored with Joshua Forrester & Dr Augusto Zimmermann)
  2. Criminal Law in Australia (LexisNexis, 2014) (co-authored with Dr Tyrone Kirchengast).

Book Chapters

  1. “Indigenous Recognition: Some Issues” in The Samuel Griffith Society, Upholding the Australian Constitution (Proceedings from the 24th Conference) (2012).
  2. “The Erosion of Property Rights and its Effects on Individual Liberty” in G.A. Moens and S. Ratnapala (eds), Jurisprudence of Liberty (LexisNexis, 2nd ed, 2010).
  3. “The Attack on Property Rights” in The Samuel Griffith Society, Upholding the Australian Constitution (Proceedings from the 22nd Conference) (2010).

Journal Articles

  1. “Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Western Australia: Highlighting the Limits of the ‘Just Terms’ Guarantee” (2016) University of Western Australia Law Review (forthcoming).
  2. “It’s a Small World (After All): The Role of International Bodies in Legislative Scrutiny” (2016) The Western Australian Jurist (forthcoming).
  3. “Addressing Obstacles to Cyber Attribution: A Model Based on State Response to Cyber Attack” (2016) The George Washington International Law Review (forthcoming) (co-authored with Dr Christian Payne).
  4. “The McMullan Principle: Ministerial Advisors & Parliamentary Committees” (2016) 35(1) University of Tasmania Law Review 69.
  5. “Protesting the Anti-Protest Laws: Will a Constitutional Challenge Succeed?” (2016) 31(3) Australian Environment Review 67 (co-authored with Professor Nicholas Aroney).
  6. “Foetal Homicide Law Reform in Western Australia” (2015) 40 University of Western Australia Law Review 464.
  7. “Is there a Crisis of Federalism in Australia?  A View from the West” (2015) 74(3) Meanjin 60.
  8. “A Forgotten Freedom: Protecting Freedom of Speech in an Age of Political Correctness” (2014) 14 Macquarie Law Journal 185.
  9. “Suri Ratnapala’s Contribution to the Understanding of the Rule of Law” (2014) 33 University of Queensland Law Journal 367 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann).
  10. “The Power of the Purse: An Examination of Fiscal Federalism in Australia” (2012) 24 Journal of Constitutional History 81.
  11. “Reforming Federalism: A Proposal for Strengthening the Australian Federation” (2011) 37(2) Monash University Law Review 190 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann).
  12. “Exporting the Death Penalty?  Reconciling International Police Cooperation and the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Australia” (2011) 33(1) Sydney Law Review 95.
  13. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Kadi Decision and Judicial Review of Security Council Resolutions” (2010) 18 Tulane Journal International & Comparative Law 477.
  14. “Does the International Criminal Court Protect Against Double Jeopardy: An Analysis of Art. 20 of the Rome Statute” (2009) 15 U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy 221.
Law Reform Submissions
  1. Submission to the Government of Tasmania on the Anti-Discrimination Bill 2016 (Tas), 9 September 2016 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann & Joshua Forrester).
  2. Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on the Traditional Rights and Freedoms – Encroachments by Commonwealth Laws, Interim Report, 20 September 2015.
  3. Submission on the Exposure Draft: ‘Freedom of Speech (Repeal of s.18C) Bill 2014′, 29 April 2014 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann).
  4. Submission to the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on the Inquiry into the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 – Exposure Draft Legislation, 21 December 2012 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann).
  5. Submission to the Select Committee on the Reform of the Australian Federation (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann), 20 August 2010.
Opinion Pieces
  1. “How to Repeal 18C”, Policy: Journal of Public Policy (Centre for Independent Studies, Spring 2016) (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann & Joshua Forrester).
  2. “Section 18C is too broad and too vague, and should be repealed”, The Conversation, 31 August 2016 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann & Joshua Forrester).
  3. “NT takes the democracy out of the democracy sausage”, FreedomWatch, 29 August 2016.
  4. “Section 18C and the Sound of (Constitutional) Silence”, IPA Review, August 2016 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann & Joshua Forrester).
  5. “Have Western Australians elected an ineligible One Nation Senate candidate”, The Conversation, 13 July 2016.
  6. “Who gifts human rights to the UK”, FreedomWatch, 8 May 2016.
  7. “Indeed, Mr Abbott, Section 18C is ‘clearly a bad law’”, On Line Opinion, 6 May 2016 (co-authored with Joshua Forrester & Dr Augusto Zimmermann).
  8. “18C may render all speech ‘inoffensive’”, News Weekly, 26 March 2016 (co-authored with Joshua Forrester & Dr Augusto Zimmermann).
  9. “We don’t need laws to tell farmers to like trees”, FreedomWatch, 15 December 2015.
  10. “In defence of Germaine Greer”, FreedomWatch, 28 October 2015.
  11. “Recognising the Constitution and its limits”, FreedomWatch, 9 & 10 August 2015.
  12. “Reflecting on the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta”, FreedomWatch, 12 June 2015.
  13. “Iran: A leader in women’s rights?”, FreedomWatch, 17 April 2015.
  14. “The Case Against Quotas in Victoria”, On Line Opinion, 31 March 2015.
  15. “Strengthening property rights in Western Australia”, FreedomWatch, 13 March 2015.
  16. “Can State Parliaments legislate for same-sex marriage?”, News Weekly, 6 December 2014 (co-authored with Dr Augusto Zimmermann).
  17. “Achieving elusive justice for flight MH17 victims will be a challenge”, The Conversation, 25 July 2014.
  18. “Having Iran as its standard-bearer for women’s rights discredits UN”, The Conversation, 15 May 2014.