Melissa Crouch is Associate Professor at the Law Faculty, the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She teaches and researches on law and religion, law and governance, and comparative constitutional law, with a specialization in Southeast Asia. Melissa is an expert in Indonesian law and Myanmar law.
Melissa is the author of Law and Religion in Indonesia: Conflict and the Courts in West Java (2014) and The Constitution of Myanmar (2019). She is the editor of several volumes including: The Politics of Courts: Judicial Reform and Legal Culture in Indonesia (CUP 2019); 'Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging' (OUP 2016), and The Business of Transition: Law, Development and Economics in Myanmar (CUP 2017). She has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal of Constitutional Law, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Sydney Law Review and Asian Studies Review. Her work has been widely cited by leading academics and by Amnesty International; the Asian Development Bank; Human Rights Watch; International Commission of Jurists; UN Office of Drugs and Crime; UN Women; International IDEA, World Bank and UNHCR.
Melissa is Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Grant on "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes" (2018-2021). She has been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the Endeavour Australia Research Fellowship; University of Indonesia Visiting Fellowship; and the University of Melbourne Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship.
Melissa has been invited to work with local and international organisations with a focus on constitutional and administrative law reforms, and legal education in Southeast Asia.
Melissa is the Secretary of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), and also of the Association of Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars (AMSEAS). She sits on the Australian In-Country Consortium of Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) Advisory Board for the Law Practicum. Melissa speaks Indonesian, having studied it from high school. She previously undertook internships with the Ombudsman in Yogyakarta, a law firm in Jakarta, and the Religious Courts of Banjarmasin. She is an alumni of the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP).
Melissa has been interviewed on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and in the Australian media, including The Drum, The Big Idea (Radio National), SBS, Channel 7, ABC Radio’s ‘Law Report’, ‘Connect Asia’, and ‘Encounter’ programs. She has written for or been cited in a range of outlets, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles (LA) Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Conversation, The Guardian, The East Asia Forum, The Asia Society, The Lowy Institute, The New York Review of Books, Inside Indonesia, ConstitutionNet and New Mandala.
At UNSW, Melissa leads the Law School Southeast Asia engagement strategy, and she is the Myanmar Academic Lead for the UNSW Institute for Global Development. She is the Deputy Director of the Comparative Constitutional Law Project; member of the Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project, the Gilbert+Tobin Centre for Public Law; and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. A list of Melissa's publications and CV is availalbe on Academia.