Researcher

Professor Melissa Crouch

My Expertise

comparative constitutional law; law and society; law and religion; law and politics in Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar and Indonesia;  

Academic and Editorial Boards

President, Asian Studies Association of Australia (2023-2024) (formerly Vice-President, and Secretary)

Secretary, Association for Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars (AMSEAS) (2017-2020)

Advisory Board, Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS), Indonesian Law Practicum

Associate, Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, University of Melbourne

Editorial Board, Asian Journal of Comparative Law, National University of Singapore

Editorial Board, Southeast Asia Publication Series, NUS Press

Editorial Board, Women in Asia Publication Series, Routledge

Member, Law and Society Association; Asian Studies Association of Australia; Asian Law and Society Association; International Society of Constitutional Law; Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies

Fields of Research (FoR)

Asian and Pacific law, Law and religion, Law and society and socio-legal research, Constitutional law, Studies of Asian society, Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific

SEO tags

Biography

Melissa's research contributes to the fields of law and society; comparative constitutional law; and law and religion. 

Melissa is the author of The Constitution of Myanmar (2019) (shortlisted for the Australian Legal Research Awards inaugural book award; see New Books Network podcast) and Law and Religion in Indonesia: Conflict and the Courts in West Java (2014). She has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals including Law & Society...view more

Melissa's research contributes to the fields of law and society; comparative constitutional law; and law and religion. 

Melissa is the author of The Constitution of Myanmar (2019) (shortlisted for the Australian Legal Research Awards inaugural book award; see New Books Network podcast) and Law and Religion in Indonesia: Conflict and the Courts in West Java (2014). She has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals including Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and International Journal of Constitutional Law. She is the editor of several volumes, including Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia (OUP 2023) and Women and the Judiciary in the Asia-Pacific (CUP 2021). From 2018-23 she led a project on "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes" funded by the Australian Research Council. Her article on 'Judicial Loyalty to the Military in Authoritarian Regimes' received an honorable mention from the Asian Law & Society Association (2023).

In 2022, she was the recipient of the Podgorecki Prize for outstanding scholarship of an early career socio-legal scholar, awarded by the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law, the International Sociological Association. She has also been awarded a Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan; the University of Indonesia Visiting Fellowship; and the University of Melbourne Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship. She serves on the editorial board of Law & Social Inquiry (2023-2025), the Asian Journal of Law & Society and the Asian Journal of Comparative Law, among other journals.

Melissa is the President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (2023-2024), the peak academic body for the study of Asia in Australia.

At UNSW, she runs the Asia Law & Policy Forum. She is also co-director with Theunis Roux of the project on Constitutionalism in the Global South. From 2019-21 she was Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Law at UNSW.

 


My Grants

2021-2023, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade Sri Lanka Knowledge & Linkages for an Inclusive Economy Grant on 'Reimagining Vulnerability in the Light of COVID 19 in Sri Lanka, in partnership with Dr Mario Gomez, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka 

2019-2020, Australia-ASEAN Council grant, ‘Fostering Women’s Empowerment through Digital Entrepreneurship’ with Felix Tan, Carmen Leong, Minako Sakai, Wing Wah Tham

2019, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung grant for workshop on Protecting Rights, Addressing Inequality: Constitutional Writs in Asia

2019, ASAA Workshop Grant for bursaries for students to attend the 'Women in Asia Conference' at UNSW

2019, Australian Academy of Humanities, grant to support the Early Career Workshop of the Women in Asia Conference at UNSW

2019, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung grant for workshop on the Women in the Legal Profession and Judiciary in Asia Panel Stream

2018-2021, ARC Discovery Grant, Chief Investigator, "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of Myanmar"

2017-2019, UNSW IGD Myanmar Seed Funds, "Constitutional Reform and the Peace Process in Myanmar"

2016-2019, Asian Development Bank, Professional Legal Education in Corporate and Commercial Law in Myanmar

2016, New Colombo Plan funding for UNSW Myanmar Law Ambassadors Program (scholarships for law students).

2016-2017, ANU Indonesia Project Research Grants and UNSW Indonesia Seed Grant, with Dr Fritz Siregar, University of Indonesia, Jakarta. Project: ‘Administrative Justice in Indonesia’.

2016, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project, Workshops with the Constitutional Tribunal of Myanmar, (with T Roux).

2015-2018, Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project  on Building Constitutionalism in Myanmar (with W Sadurski, T Roux, M Krygier and C Renshaw).

2015, Faculty Research Grant, Project: From Military Rule to Rule of Law in Myanmar; Early Career Grant; Faculty Workshop Support Scheme, UNSW Law: The Business of Transition in Myanmar

2014-2015, Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) Research Grant, Project: ‘Authority and Islam: An Ethnography of Fatwa in Myanmar’

2013-2014, Research & Conference Grant, Project: ‘Law, Governance & Minorities in Myanmar’; and Myanmar Law Reform Project Fund (for workshops in Myanmar), Centre for Asian Legal Studies, National University of Singapore

2012–2013, Postdoctoral Research Support Funds, Law Faculty, National University of Singapore

2012, Myanmar Engagement Fund, University of Melbourne, with Professor Tim Lindsey

2010, Melbourne Abroad Travelling Scholarship; MA Bartlett Research Scholarship Fund Competitive Funding; and Research Support Funds, the University of Melbourne


My Qualifications

BA/LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne

PhD, University of Melbourne


My Awards

2024, Senior Fellowship, The Baldy Centre for Law & Social Policy, the State University of New York at Buffalo (6 months)

2023, Honourable Mention, Distinguished Article Award 2023 of the Asian Law & Society Association (for the article 'Judicial Loyalty to the Military in Authoritarian Regimes' Law & Social Inquiry 2022)

2023, Visiting Research Fellowship, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan (3 months)

2022, Podgorecki Prize for outstanding scholarship of an early career socio-legal scholar, awarded by the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law, International Sociological Association.

2022, Visiting Scholars Scheme, Faculty of Law, University of Diponegoro (Semarang, Indonesia)

2021, Visiting Scholars Scheme, Faculty of Law, University of Brawijaya (Malang, Indonesia)

2021, Postgraduate Supervisor of the Year Award 2021, Postgraduate Council and Graduate Research School, the University of New South Wales

2021, Finalist, Australia Indonesia Award (Education) of the Australia Indonesia Association 

2020, Shortlisted for the inaugural Australian Legal Research Award's Book Award of the Council of Australian Law Deans, for the book The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis

2019, National Library of Australia, Asia Studies Visiting Fellowship, "Legal Legacies of Authoritarian Regimes"

2018, Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship in Comparative Constitutional Law, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne

2017, University of Indonesia Resolv Visiting Scholars Fellowship, Faculty of Law (Jakarta, Indonesia)

2012, International Institute of Asian Studies, Visiting Fellowship, the Netherlands

2009, Endeavour Australia Research Fellowship

2008-2011, Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship ‘Islam & Modernity in Southeast Asia' (FF0668730) Doctoral Scholarship and Travel Scholarships


My Research Activities

Current projects include

The military and the constitution in authoritarian regimes

Rights and Vulnerability during Covid-19 in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia

Women judges in Asia

 

 


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


My Engagement

Academic Associations and Editorial Boards

President, Asian Studies Association of Australia (2023-2024)

Editorial Board, Law & Social Inquiry (2023-2024) 

Editorial Board, Asian Law & Society Journal (2023-)

Advisory Board, Trunojoyo Law Review, Faculty of Law, University of Trunojoyo, Madura, Indonesia (2023-)

Advisory Board, As-Siyasi: Journal of Constitutional Law, Dept of Constitutional Law, Shariah Faculty, Universitas Islam Negeri Raden Intan Lampung, Indonesia (2023-)

Editorial Board, Indonesian Journal of Socio-Legal Studies (est. 2021-)

Editorial Board, Al-Ahkam, Faculty of Sharia and Law, State Islamic University of Walisongo, Indonesia (2022-)

Reviewer, Jurnal Mengkaji Indonesia, University of Airlangga (2022-)

Editorial Board, Human Rights in the Global South, Indonesian Consortium for Human Rights Lecturers (2021-)

Editorial Board, Jurnal Ilmyiah Syariah, Sharia Faculty, Institut Agama Islam Negeri Batusangkar (2021-)

Editorial Board, PETITA, Jurnal, Kajian Ilmu Hukum dan Syariah, Universitas Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh, Indonesia (2019-)

Editorial Board, ADLIYA: Jurnal Hukum & Kemanusiaan, State Islamic University of Bandung, Indonesia (2019-)

Advisory Board, Mazahib Journal of Islamic Legal Thought, Samarinda Institute of Islamic Studies, IAIN, Indonesia (2018-)

Editorial Board, Asian Journal of Comparative Law, National University of Singapore

Editorial Board, Southeast Asia Publication Series, ASAA, NUS Press

Editorial Board, Women in Asia Publication Series, ASAA, Routledge

Member, Law and Society Association; Asian Studies Association of Australia; Asian Law and Society Association; International Society of Public Law (ICON-S); International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL); Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies

Senior Associate, Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, University of Melbourne

Former roles

Vice-president, Asian Studies Association of Australia (2021-2022)

Secretary, Association for Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars (AMSEAS) (2017-2019)

Secretary, Asian Studies Association of Australia (2019-2020)

Advisory Board, Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS), Indonesian Law Practicum (2018)

 


My Teaching

My teaching interests include Constitutionalism in the Global South; Constitution-making; Law and Society; Asian Legal Systems; and Law and Religion in Asia. I have taught a range of workshops overseas, including on Judicial Independence; Principles and Processes of Constitution-making; The Role of Courts in Democratisation; Constitutional Courts in Federal Systems; Federalism and Minority Rights; and Emergency Powers. At UNSW, I teach the following: The Rule of Law in Asia (LAWS3167; JURD7567; LAWS8500) and Constitutionalism in the Global South (LAWS8375/JURD7975); and an in-country elective in Indonesia on Law and Society in Asia (LAWS3139). I also teach Principles of Public Law (LAWS1141).

I am interested in considering proposals for research supervision in the following areas: law and society; comparative constitutional law; law and governance; law and religion. This includes Indonesian law (constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, legal pluralism and Islamic law); Myanmar law (public law, legal pluralism and socio-legal studies); and Southeast Asian law and legal traditions, comparative or socio-legal studies on the region. I am available to supervise LLB, LLM and PhD research thesis.

Supervision 

Existing PhD supervision:

Chuhunvoleak Srun, 'Access to Justice in Cambodian Commercial Land Disputes'

Ayesha Wijayalath, 'Constraining Abusive Constitutional Change in Sri Lanka' (Scientia Fellow)

Mhd Abu Sayeed, 'Constitutionalism of the Other: Non-Sovereign Politics in Gandhi and Agamben'

Mohammad Ibrahim, 'Stealth Theocracy in Democratic Indonesia'

Tirtawening Parikesit, 'Access to Justice for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse in Indonesia'

Jessica Marpaung, 'The Eradication of Gender-Based Violence against Women in Indonesia'

Natasha Naidu, 'The System of Indian indentured labour in Fiji: A Socio-legal Analysis' 

Ali Salmande, The Role of Indonesian Domestic Courts in Promoting ASEAN Regional Integration'

Raisa Annisa, 'Conflict of Interest in Policy Responses during an Emergency in Indonesia'

Maidina Rahmawati, Restorative Justice in the Criminal Investigation Process in Indonesia (LLM)

Supervision completions (PhD)

Emma Dunlop, 'Justice in Exile: A study of state obligations to ensure refugees access to courts under international law'

Ashraf Azad, 'Irregular Migration of Rohingya Refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh and Malaysia'

Nikki Edwards, 'Civil Society and Legal Activism in Southeast Asia' (external, USyd)

Mahaarum Kusuma Pertiwi, 'Religion and the Indonesian Constitutional Court'

Luke Potter, 'Decentralised Government and Disaster Displacement Reduction in Small Island States in the Pacific'

Indriaswati Dyah Saptaningrum, ‘Internet Regulation in Indonesia 1990-2018: An Inquiry into a Contested Regulatory Field'

Xu Zhuangsi, ‘The Implications of International Human Rights Law on China’s Protection of Minority Language Rights’

Milda Istiqomah, 'Factors Contributing to Terrorism Sentencing Outcomes in Indonesia'

Yance Arizona, 'Becoming Indigenous Citizens in Indonesia' (LLM)

Supervision completions (JD, LLB)

JD research thesis: Sai Myint Aung, 'Law and Economic Development in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Central Bank'

LLB research thesis: Jarrod Mitchell, 'Community Stability and Adat Law in Indonesia'; Goran Matic, 'Toward a Modern Egyptian Constitution'; Elsa Lo, 'A Constitutionally Islamic Malaysia'

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Location

Office 247, Level 2, Law Building F08