Michelle Foster

Professor Michelle Foster

BComm (Hons) LLB (UNSW), LLM SJD (Michigan)

Phone: +61 3 834 41149

Email: Michelle Foster

Room: 0853

Overview    Publications

Dr Michelle Foster is a Professor and Associate Dean (Research) at Melbourne Law School.  Michelle is also Director of the International Refugee Law Research Programme in the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School.  Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of public law, international refugee law, and international human rights law.  Michelle has LLM and SJD degrees from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a Michigan Grotius Fellow. She also holds an LLB and BComm (Hons 1 and the University Medal) from the University of New South Wales. Prior to her graduate studies she worked for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, as Research Director for the Hon AM Gleeson AC (then Chief Justice of NSW) and Legal Research Officer in the Chambers of the NSW Solicitor-General and Crown Advocate. 

Michelle has published widely in the field of international refugee law, and her work has been cited extensively in the international refugee law literature and also in judicial decisions in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Her first book, International Refugee Law and Socio-Economic Rights: Refuge from Deprivation, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007, and has been widely and favourably reviewed.   Michelle is co-author, with James Hathaway, of The Law of Refugee Status, Second Edition, published by CUP in 2014.  Since joining Melbourne Law School in 2005, Michelle has developed a new curriculum in Refugee Law in both the LLB and JD degrees. She has conducted training workshops for the New Zealand Refugee Status Appeals Authority and the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal, and has been engaged as a consultant by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Michelle is an Advisory Board Member of the Melbourne Journal of International Law, an Associate Member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges and a Board member of AMES (http://www.ames.net.au/).

Representative Publications
  • James C. Hathaway and Michelle Foster, The Law of Refugee Status, Second Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: lxxxi + 693 pp (2014).
  • Michelle Foster, "From Bad to Worse", Review of "A Country Too Far: Writings on Asylum Seekers" (edited by Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally), (2014) Sydney Review of Books (http://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/between-bad-and-worse/)
  • Michelle Foster, ‘Why We Are Not There Yet: The Particular Challenge of “Particular Social Group”’, in Efrat Arbel, Catherine Dauvergne, and Jenni Millbank (eds), Gender Equality in Refugee Law: From the Margins to the Centre,(Routledge, 2014) 17-45.
  • C. Saunders and M. Foster, ‘The Australian Federation: A Story of the Centralization of Power’, in D. Halberstam and M. Reimann (eds), Federalism and Legal Unification: A Comparative Empirical Investigation of Twenty Systems (Springer, 2014) 87-102.
  • Michelle Foster and Jonathan Klaaren, 'Asylum and Refugees', in Mark Tushnet, Thomas Fleiner and Cheryl Saunders (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law, (Routledge, 2013) 415-425.
  • Michelle Foster, ‘'The Implications of the Failed 'Malaysia Solution': The Australian High Court and Refugee Responsibility Sharing at International Law', (2012) 13 (1) Melbourne Journal of International Law 395-423.
  • Michelle Foster, 'The 'Ground with the Least Clarity': A Comparative Study of Jurisprudential Developments relating to 'Membership of a Particular Social Group', UNHCR Legal and Protection Policy Research Series, April 2012, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendocPDFViewer.html?docid=4f7d8d189&query=social%20group
  • Michelle Foster and Jason Pobjoy, ‘A Failed Case of Legal Exceptionalism? Refugee Status Determination in Australia’s ‘Excised’ Territory’, (2011) 23 (4) International Journal of Refugee Law 583-631 (http://ijrl.oxfordjournals.org/content/current)
  • Michelle Foster, ‘An Alien by the Barest of Threads’: The Legality of the Deportation of Long-Term Residents from Australia', (2009) 33(2) Melbourne University Law Review, 483-541. 
  • Michelle Foster, 'Non-refoulement on the basis of Socio-Economic Deprivation: The Scope of Complementary Protection in International Human Rights Law', (2009)  Part II New Zealand Law Review, 257-310.
  • Michelle Foster, ‘Refugee Law’ in Ian Freckelton and Hugh Selby, Appealing to the Future: Michael Kirby and his Legacy, 686-720 (Sydney: Thompson, 2009).
  • Michelle Foster, 'Obstacles on the road to protection: Assessing the treatment of sex-trafficking victims under Australia's migration and refugee law' (2008) 9 The Melbourne Journal of International Law, 1-46 (with A. Dorevitch)  (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1371944)
  • Michelle Foster, International refugee law and socio-economic rights: Refuge from deprivation (CUP, 2007) (http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521870177)
  • Michelle Foster, 'Protection elsewhere: The legal implications of requiring refugees to seek protection in another state' (2007) 28 Michigan Journal of International Law, 223-286.
  • J C. Hathaway and and M. Foster, 'Internal Protection/Relocation/Flight Alternative as an Aspect of Refugee Status Determination' in E. Feller et al (ed), Refugee Protection in International Law: UNHCR's Global Consultations on International Protection, Cambridge University Press (2003) 353-413 (http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521825740); republished as ‘La possibilité de protection interne/ réinstallation interne/ fuite interne comme aspect de la procédure de determination du statut de réfugié’ in E. Feller et al eds., La protection des réfugiés en droit international 403-473 (Larcier, 2008)

Areas of Expertise:

The Melbourne Law Masters:
  • International Refugee Law (2016)
  • International Refugee Law (2015)
  • The Melbourne JD:
  • Refugee Law (2015)