Lauren Butterly


  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Dr Lauren Butterly is an award winning researcher and teacher. Lauren researches and teaches in the areas of environmental law and governance, heritage law, administrative law, mining law, native title and legal history. 

Lauren graduated with a BA in Australian history (with a focus on WA history) and an LLB with First Class Honours from UWA. Following graduation, Lauren served as the Principal Associate to Chief Justice Wayne Martin of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. Lauren has practiced as an environmental and heritage lawyer in both a top tier law firm in Sydney and the national not-for-profit Environmental Defenders Office (where she was Special Counsel). Lauren has also held academic appointments as a Lecturer at the ANU College of Law and University of NSW Law. In 2018, Lauren was awarded the two top teaching accolates at UNSW Law: the UNSW Law Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2018) and the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award (Rising Star) (2018). 

In 2020, Lauren completed her PhD at UNSW Law entitled: 'Reconciling Indigenous and Settler-State Assertions of Sovereignty over Sea Country in Australia’s Northern Territory’. Lauren's PhD was awarded both the 2020 UNSW Law PhD Excellence Award and the 2020-2022 Australian Legal Research Awards PhD Award for doctoral excellence.

Lauren is currently one of the Chief Investigators on the ARC Linkage Grant LP210100011 Indigenous-led Sea Country Management: Protecting Australia's Marine Estate:

Industrial relevance

Lauren holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and is admitted as a lawyer in Western Australia (2009), New South Wales (2011) and the High Court of Australia (2011).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Law, PhD, Reconciling Indigenous and Settler-State Assertions of Sovereignty over Sea Country in Australia’s Northern Territory’, University of New South Wales

Award Date: 26 Nov 2020

Law, LLB (1 Hons), The University of Western Australia

Australian History, BA (History), The University of Western Australia

Industry keywords

  • Environmental
  • Law
  • Oceans

Research expertise keywords

  • Environmental law
  • Environmental governance
  • Intersection between environmental law and Indigenous peoples and the law
  • Marine environmental governance
  • Heritage law
  • Mining law
  • Native title
  • Legal history
  • Administrative law


Dive into the research topics where Lauren Butterly is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or