Sarah Murray

Professor, BA LLB W.Aust., PhD Monash

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

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Biography

Dr Sarah Murray is a Professor at the University of Western Australia where she teaches Constitutional Law and researches in public law, electoral law and court innovation. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a current member of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, is co-Chair of the International Society of Public Law AUS-NZ Chapter and a co-Convenor of the WA Chapters of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law and the Electoral Regulation and Research Network. Her PhD thesis received the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for Law by Monash University and was published as a monograph, The Remaking of the Courts - Less-Adversarial Practice and the Constitutional Role of the Judiciary in Australia (Federation Press, 2014). Professor Murray was awarded the Fay Gale Fellowship and Institute for Advanced Studies Distinguished Early Career Fellowship for her work on Community Justice Centres. She has published widely in Australia and internationally and is an editor of Constitutional Perspectives on an Australian Republic– Essays in Honour of Professor George Winterton (Federation Press, 2010), co-editor of Regulating Preventive Justice- Principle, Policy and Paradox (Routledge UK, 2017) and a co-author of The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia – History, Principle and Interpretation (CUP, 2015) and Winterton’s Australian Federal Constitutional Law (Thomson Reuters, 2022).  She has recently published a monograph on the community justice model, Community Justice Centres - New Trajectories in Law (Routledge, 2022).  

 

Professor Murray with Associate Professor Joe Clare are part of the Law School Justice Evaluation Network (JEN). JEN brings together interdisciplinary expertise in the evaluation, study, and research of justice spaces and interventions.  JEN members have experience across a broad array of sectors including the courts, legal services, police and first responders. Using mixed methods approaches and building on a realist evaluation framework, the UWA JEN is able to deliver a range of research products, including best-practice reviews, development of evaluation program logic, and implementation of process and impact evaluations.       

 

In 2021, Professor Murray was a member of the WA Ministerial Expert Committee on Electoral Reform alongside Malcolm McCusker AC QVO QC, Professor John Phillimore and Associate Professor Martin Drum. The Ministerial Expert Committee on Electoral Reform Final Report recommended significant electoral reforms for Western Australia, including that for Legislative Council elections the whole of the State of Western Australia be one electorate as well as recommending the abolition of Group Voting Tickets and the introduction of Optional Preferential Voting. The Report recommendations were followed by historic WA legislative amendments in the form of the enactment of the Constitutional and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Equality) Act 2021 (WA).

          

 

 

Roles and responsibilities

UWA Academic Board, member

Nominee of Chair of Academic Board on Board of Studies (Society & Culture)

Co-Chair of the International Society of Public Law AUS-NZ Chapter 

WA Co-Convenor of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law

WA Co-Convenor of the Electoral Regulation Research Network

Member of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia

BA (Hons) W.Aust., LLB (Hons) W.Aust.
Grad Dip (Legal Practice)
PhD (Monash)

Funding overview

UWA Teaching/Research Nexus Grant, ‘A Closer Look at Case Reading in the JD) (with Aidan Ricciardo, Ian Murray and Julie Falk)

Convenience Voting & the 2021 WA Election (with Ben Reilly, Martin Drum, John Phillimore, Yvonne Haigh, Narelle Miragliotta and Lachlan Umbers

Problem Properties (Law Reform Fund grant) (with Natalie Skead, Joe Clare, Penny Carruthers, Tamara Tulich and Ian Murray)

 

FABLE Research Accelerator Scheme Award $20,000: ‘Ensuring the Right to Have Rights’ (with large team across FABLE led by Ned Curthoys)

 

2017 Fay Gale Fellowship recipient

"Pocketing the Proceeds of Crime: The Legislation, Criminological Perspectives and Experiences"- Criminology Research Grant with Natalie Skead, Hilde Tubex and Tamara Tulich - $48,880

Public Purposes Trust Family Violence and Property Disputes: A pilot research project (collaborative team): $49,500

Recipient of Funding for the Project: ‘Doing Justice Differently': A Community Justice Centre for Western Australia: A Feasibility Study' (2017-2018)

2015 Institute of Advanced Studies Distinguished Early Career Fellowship - $5000

2014 UWA Diversity Initiatives grant (with Natalie Skead) – awarded $9948

2010 National Mediation Conference Scholarship

Participant in 2011 Gilbert & Tobin Federalism Research Roundtable

Previous positions

Sarah is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the High Court of Australia.

Prior to joining the UWA Law Faculty, Sarah worked as a lawyer at Allens Arthur Robinson (Perth & Melbourne) and the Mental Health Legal Centre (Melbourne). Sarah previous held an academic position at Murdoch University School of Law where she taught Constitutional Law and Law, Justice & Social Policy.

Current projects

2021-2 – Convenience Voting & the 2021 WA Election (with Ben Reilly, Martin Drum, John Phillimore, Yvonne Haigh, Narelle Miragliotta and Lachlan Umbers)

2021-2 – Problem Properties (Law Reform Fund grant) (with Natalie Skead, Joe Clare, Penny Carruthers, Tamara Tulich and Ian Murray)

Teaching overview

Sarah is the Unit Coordinator for Foundations of Public Law (LAWS4108) and teaches in Foundations of Public Law (LAWS4108)and Constitutional Law (LAWS5101).

She has previously taught Legal Process, Administrative Law, Marketing Law and lectured in Law, Justice & Social Policy.

Research

Dr Sarah Murray researches in the areas of public law, institutional change and less-adversarial justice and has a particular interest in Community Justice Centres as well as the constitutional law implications of less-adversarial curial processes.

She completed her PhD at Monash University on the topic "Less-Adversarial Practice and the Constitutional Role of the Judiciary in Australia". Her thesis was awarded a 2011 Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal by Monash University and she is the recipient of a 2015 IAS Distinguished Early Career Fellowship and a 2017 Fay Gale Fellowship.

 

Professor Murray and Associate Professor Joe Clare are part of the Law School Justice Evaluation Network (JEN). JEN brings together interdisciplinary expertise in the evaluation, study, and research of justice spaces and interventions.  JEN members have experience across a broad array of sectors including the courts, legal services, police and first responders. Using mixed methods approaches and building on a realist evaluation framework, the UWA JEN is able to deliver a range of research products, including best-practice reviews, development of evaluation program logic, and implementation of process and impact evaluations.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Law, PhD, Monash University (Australia)

Law, LLB (First Class Honours), The University of Western Australia

Arts, BA (First Class Honours), The University of Western Australia

External positions

Member of Law Reform Commission, WA Law Reform Commission

Research expertise keywords

  • Constitutional Law
  • Legal Reform
  • Neighbourhood/Community Justice Centres
  • Constitutional law
  • Administrative law
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence
  • Mental health law
  • Legal anthropology

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