Associate professor, UNSW

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.

Experience

  • 2019–present
    Associate professor, Law Faculty, University of New South Wales
  • 2014–present
    Lecturer, Law Faculty, University of New South Wales
  • 2013–2014
    Research Fellow, Centre for Asian Legal Studies, National University of Singapore
  • 2012–2013
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Law Faculty, National University of Singapore
  • 2011–2012
    Research Fellow, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne

Education

  • 2012 
    University of Melbourne, PhD, Law
  • 2007 
    University of Melbourne, BA/LLB

Publications

  • 2019
    The Politics of Court Reform: Judicial Change and Legal Culture in Indonesia, Cambridge University Press
  • 2019
    The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis, Hart
  • 2017
    The Business of Transition: Law Reform, Development and Economics in Myanmar, Cambridge University Press
  • 2014
    Law and Religion in Indonesia: Conflict and the Courts in West Java, Routledge
  • 2014
    Law, Society and Transition in Myanmar, Hart Publishing
  • 2013
    Trials of People Smugglers in Indonesia: 2007-2012, Policy Paper, University of Melbourne
  • 2012
    Law and Religion in Indonesia: The Constitutional Court and the Blasphemy Law, Asian Journal of Comparative Law
  • 2009
    Indonesia, Militant Islam and Ahmadiyah: Origins and Implications, Policy Paper, University of Melbourne

Grants and Contracts

  • 2019
    ARC Discovery Grant
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2014
    Authority, Islam and Fatwa in Myanmar
    Role:
    Primary researcher
    Funding Source:
    Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP), Harvard Law School
  • 2013
    Law, Minorities and Governance in Myanmar
    Role:
    Primary researcher
    Funding Source:
    Centre for Asian Legal Studies
  • 2012
    Myanmar Engagement Fund
    Role:
    Co-researcher
    Funding Source:
    University of Melbourne
  • 2009
    Endeavour Research Scholarship
    Role:
    PhD
    Funding Source:
    Australia Awards

Professional Memberships

  • Asian Studies Association of Australia, Secretary
  • Association of Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars, Secretary

Research Areas

  • Government And Politics Of Asia And The Pacific (160606)
  • Constitutional Law (180108)
  • Law And Society (180119)
  • Comparative Law (180106)