Kirsty Gover

Associate Professor Kirsty Gover

Phone: +61 3 834 47960

Email: Kirsty Gover

Room: 0811

Overview    Publications

B.A./L.L.B. (hons) (Canterbury), L.L.M. (Columbia), J.S.D. (NYU).

Programme Director, Indigenous Peoples in International and Comparative Law.

Dr. Kirsty Gover was appointed to the faculty in 2009. Her research and publications address the law, policy and political theory of indigenous rights, institutions and jurisdiction. She is interested in the role played by "indigeneity" in the constitutionalism of settler societies, and in the importance of indigenous concepts of law and politics in settler state political theory and international law. Dr. Gover is the author of Tribal Constitutionalism: States, Tribes and the Governance of Membership (Oxford University Press 2010). She is currently working on a book entitled: When Tribalism meets Liberalism: Political Theory and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2014), examining the ways in which indigenous self-governance influences the development of international law and international legal theory by altering the behaviours of states. Dr Gover is a graduate of New York University (NYU) JSD Doctoral Program, where she was an Institute for International Law and Justice (IJIL) Graduate Scholar and New Zealand Top Achiever Doctoral Fellow. She is Co-Director (with Mark McMillan) of Melbourne Law School's Indigenous Peoples in International and Comparative Law Research Program, and Chair of the Staff Equity and Diversity Committee.


Representative Publications








Gover, K. A – Tribal Constitutionalism: States, tribes and the Governance of Membership Oxford University Press, Oxford: xxii + 276 pp. (2010).


Articles and Book Chapters


Gover, K. A. - Indigenous Membership and Human Rights: When Tribalism meets Liberalism, in Handbook of Indigenous Peoples' Rights, eds. D. Short and C. Lennox, Routledge  (forthcoming 2015)


Gover, K. A. - Inter-indigenous Recognition and the Cultural Production of Indigeneity in the Western Settler States in Recognition and Self-determination, eds; J. Webber, A. Eisenberg, A. Boiselle and G. Coulthard, UBC Press (forthcoming 2013)


Gover, K. A. - Indigenous Jurisdiction as a Provocation of Settler-state Political Theory: The Significance of Human Boundaries in Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, eds. T. Rowse and L. Ford, Routledge (2012)


Gover, K. A. – Proprietary Consitutionalism, with Jeremy Webber, in Handbook on Constitutional Law, eds. C. Saunders and M. Tushnet, Routledge (2012)


Gover, K. A - The Politics of Descent: Adoption, Discrimination and Legal Pluralism in the Treaty Claims Settlements Process, 2 New Zealand Law Review  pp.  261- 293 (2011)


Gover, K. A - Review essay: the elusive promise of indigenous development: rights, culture, strategy by Karen Engle, 12(2) Melbourne Journal of International Law : pp 419-431 (2011)


Gover. K.A. - Indigenous Rights and Governance in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, Oxford Bibliographies (2010)


Gover, K. A. - Comparative Tribal Constitutionalism: Membership Governance in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, 35(3) Law and Social Inquiry: pp 689-762 (2010)


Gover, K. A. - Tribal Constitutionalism and Membership Governance in Australia and New Zealand: Emerging Normative Frictions 7(2) New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law: pp 191-236 (2009)


Gover, K. A, Genealogy as Continuity: Explaining the Growing Tribal Preference for Descent Rules in Membership Governance (2009) 33 American Indian Law Review 243


-       Gover, K. A ‘Legal Pluralism and State-Indigenous Relations in Western Settler Societies’ (Working Paper, International Council on Human Rights Policy, 2009)


-       Gover, K. A and Kingsbury, B, ‘Editorial Note: Indigenous Groups and the reviews of Recognition in Asia: Cases from Japan, Taiwan, West Papua, Bali, and the People’s Republic of China, and Gilgit’ (2004) 11 International Journal of Minority and Group Rights


-       Gover, K. A and Hancock, F, He Tirohanga o Kawa ki te Tiriti o Waitangi : A Guide to the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (2002)


-      Gover, K. A and Baird, N, Identifying the Maori Treaty Partner (2002) 52 University of Toronto Law Journal 39

Areas of Expertise:

The Melbourne Law Masters:
  • Human Rights of Groups: Indigenous Rights in International and Domestic Law (2015)

  • Other Faculty and University Responsibilities

    Program Director: Indigenous Peoples in International and Comparative Law Research Program

    Indigenous Liaison Officer

    Chair, Staff Equity and Diversity Committee

    Memberships and Affiliations

    Law and Society Association

    Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law