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Professor, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne

Joo-Cheong Tham is a Professor at Melbourne Law School and has taught at the law schools of Victoria University and La Trobe University.

His research spans the fields of labour law and public law with a focus on law and democracy; and the regulation of precarious work. He has also undertaken considerable research into counter-terrorism laws. He has published more than 40 refereed articles and book chapters, edited two collections and produced three monographs including Money and Politics: The Democracy We Can’t Afford (2010, UNSW Press).

His research has also been published in print and online media with Joo-Cheong having published more than 50 opinion pieces including in The Age, Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, Herald Sun and Sydney Morning Herald. Joo-Cheong regularly speaks at public forums and has presented lectures at the Commonwealth, South Australian and Victorian Parliaments. He has also given evidence to parliamentary inquiries into labour migration, terrorism laws and political finance laws; and has written key reports for the New South Wales Electoral Commission on the regulation of political finance and lobbying.

His research on the regulation of precarious work is currently focussed on the challenges posed by temporary migrant work in Australia, particularly, the precariousness of such work. He is working with Dr Iain Campbell, Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University in an Australian Research Council project on this topic. Joo-Cheong is also currently researching labour protection under trade agreements and how the work of Robert Dahl can extend the law of democracy into the economic sphere.

In 2012, Joo-Cheong became the inaugural Director of the Electoral Regulation Research Network. The Network - an initiative sponsored by the New South Wales Electoral Commission, Victorian Electoral Commission and the Melbourne Law School - aims to to foster exchange and discussion amongst academics, electoral commissions and other interested groups on research relating to electoral regulation. Its key activities include the holding of regular seminars and workshops, and the publication of biannual newsletters and research working papers.

Joo-Cheong graduated from the University of Melbourne with a first class honours degree in law and also has a Master of Laws and Doctorate of Law from the same university. Joo-Cheong has held a number of visiting fellowships internationally including a fellowship under the Genest Global Faculty, Osgoode Hall Law School; a British Academy Visiting Fellowship at the Law School, King's College, University of London; the Rydon Fellowship for Australian Politics and History at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King's College, University of London; and an Australian Bicentennial Fellowship.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, Melbourne Law School


  • 2006 
    Melbourne University, Phd in Law