Michael Douglas

Mr, BA(Hons) LLB LLM(Dist) MBA(Dist) W.Aust

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

    6009 Perth


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I'm an academic lawyer with a keen interest in all aspects of private law but a specialisation in the principles applicable to cross-border litigation: private international law or the conflict of laws. In particular, I am interested in cross-border media law issues involving freedom of expression and privacy. These are subjects which I have commented upon on national television, at TEDx, and in academic journals.

I combine my academic work with legal practice. I work on litigious matters as a consultant at Bennett + Co. I’m also general editor of the Media & Arts Law Review and a reporter for the New South Wales Law Reports.

My academic research has been cited by superior courts and by parliamentary committeess. I’m a regular contributor to popular media platforms, including the ABC.

In the ‘Fall’ of 2018 I researched conflict of laws and privacy law at Harvard Law School, where I also taught a couple of classes to JD and LLM students. In 2019 I was a Visiting Scholar at the Hague Conference on Private International Law; I was an invited expert for the diplomatic session which saw the finalisation of the HCCH Judgments Convention.

I am originally from Bunbury, Western Australia, and attended UWA Law School as a Fogarty Foundation Regional Scholar. Apart from my legal studies, I hold an Honours degree in philosophy and an MBA with Distinction. My PhD is supervised by David Rolph and William Gummow.

Books published in 2019:

Michael Douglas, Vivienne Bath, Mary Keyes and Andrew Dickinson (eds), Commercial Issues in Private International Law: A Common Law Perspective (Hart Publishing)

Martin Davies, Andrew Bell, Paul le Gay Brereton and Michael Douglas, Nygh’s Conflict of Laws in Australia – 10th edition (LexisNexis)


Private international law, media law, obligations, remedies

Teaching overview

Conflict of laws, media law, procedure, federal jurisdiction; previously remedies, torts, equity, property

Future research

Project areas in 2020: defamation; media law; economic torts; civil procedure; conflict of laws.

Previous positions

Lecturer, University of Sydney
Lecturer/Associate Lecturer, Curtin University
Solicitor, Lavan Legal

Industrial relevance

I'm a litigation lawyer, admitted in the Supreme Court of Western Australia and the High Court of Australia. I'm a Consultant at Bennett + Co in the firm’s commercial litigation and dispute resolution practice. I've worked on a wide variety of litigious matters and have appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

I'm a former director of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) National Coordination Committee for Australia. In 2013, I interned at the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific in South Korea, where he researched investor-State dispute settlement. I maintain an interest in the harmonisation of laws in respect of business, particularly in respect of private international law.

Funding overview

Postgraduate Research Support Scheme, University of Sydney: $3,500 (2019)

BarNetwork Pty Ltd project grant: $10,000 (2018)

UWA Teaching-Research Nexus grant: $2,500 (2018)

Walter Reid Scholarship – PhD travel scholarship, University of Sydney: $7,000 (2018)

Postgraduate Research Support Scheme, University of Sydney: $3,000 (2018)

CMCL & IPRIA ECR Workshop travel grant, Melbourne Law School (2017)

External positions

Barrister and Solicitor, Supreme Court of Western Australia and High Court of Australia

Consultant, Bennett + Co

Editor, Media and Arts Law Review

Reporter, New South Wales Law Reports, Council of Law Reporting for New South Wales

Associate, Centre for Media and Communications Law, Melbourne Law School

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2019

Choice of Law in the Age of Statutes: A Defence of Statutory Interpretation after Valve

Douglas, M., 13 Jun 2019, Commercial issues in private international law: A common law perspective. Douglas, M., Bath, V., Keyes, M. & Dickinson, A. (eds.). 1st ed. Oxford: Hart Publishing, p. 201-228 ( Studies in private international law).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Commercial Issues in Private International Law: A Common Law Perspective

Douglas, M. (ed.), Bath, V. (ed.), Keyes, M. (ed.) & Dickinson, A. (ed.), 13 Jun 2019, UK: Hart Publishing.

Research output: Book/ReportEdited book/Anthology

private law
common law
international law
commercial law

Defamation by WhatsApp

Douglas, M., 2019, In : Media and Arts Law Review. 23, 3, p. 310 313 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Federal Court Forum Shopping in Australian Defamation Litigation

Douglas, M., 5 Dec 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera

Projects 2018 2019


UWA Business School Dean’s MBA Award

Michael Douglas (Recipient), 2015

Prize: Other distinction

UWA Fogarty Foundation Regional Scholarship

Michael Douglas (Recipient), 2005

Prize: Other distinction

Activities 2018 2019

  • 7 Membership of professional association
  • 2 Editorial activity
  • 2 Visiting an external academic institution
  • 1 Consultancy/collaboration

Hague Conference on Private International Law

Michael Douglas (Visiting researcher)

Activity: External visitsVisiting an external academic institution

Invited Expert, 22nd Diplomatic Session, Hague Conference on Private International Law

Michael Douglas (Consultant)
18 Jun 20192 Jul 2019

Activity: Consultancy/industry and government engagementConsultancy/collaboration

Australasian Legal Academics Association (ALAA) (External organisation)

Michael Douglas (Member)
2019 → …

Activity: MembershipsMembership of professional association

Law Society of Western Australia (External organisation)

Michael Douglas (Member)
2018 → …

Activity: MembershipsMembership of professional association

Harvard Law School

Michael Douglas (Visiting researcher)

Activity: External visitsVisiting an external academic institution