Senior Lecturer and Programme Director - Comparative Tribal Constitutionalism Research Programme, University of Melbourne

Dr. Kirsty Gover joined the Melbourne Law School faculty in 2009. Her research and publications address the law, policy and political theory of indigenous rights, institutions and jurisdiction. She has a particular interest in tribal constitutionalism. Dr Kirsty Gover is a graduate of the New York University (NYU) JSD Doctoral Program, where she was an Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) Graduate Scholar and New Zealand Top Achiever Doctoral Fellow. Kirsty received her B.A./LL.B. from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and her LL.M. from Columbia University, United States, where she was a Columbia University School of Law Human Rights Fellow and James Kent Scholar.

Dr. Gover is the author of “Tribal Constitutionalism: States, Tribes and the Governance of Membership” (Oxford University Press 2010). She is interested in the role played by “indigeneity” in the constitutionalism of settler societies, and in the importance of indigenous concepts of law and politics in settler state political theory. Recent work addresses the friction between tribal and settler state laws on the status of adopted children, the political theory of state-tribal jurisdictional agreements, and the absence of empirical reference to indigenous claims in theories of indigeneity.


  • 2009–present
    Programme Director, Comparative Tribal Constitutionalism Research Programme, Melbourne University


  • 2008 
    NYU Law School, JSD

Research Areas

  • Maori Law (1802)
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Law (180101)