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Melanie Schwartz

Deputy Dean (Education) and Associate Professor, UNSW Law, UNSW Sydney

BA (USyd), MSt (Oxon), MA Peace and Conflict Studies (USyd), LLB (UNSW)

Melanie is Deputy Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Law and Justice. She teaches and convenes Criminal Laws, Advanced Criminal Law and teaches into the Indigenous programs in the Faculty, including the pre-law program and the winter school. She convenes the criminal justice stream in the Humanities Pathway Program.

Melanie is currently a Chief Investigator on three ARC Discovery grants: the Rethinking Community Sanctions Project, which explores alternative punishments to imprisonment; research into access to justice for Indigenous people in civi and family law; and an ARC Linkage grant exploring the role of the judge in facilitating access to justice when interpreters are used in the criminal courtroom. She has recently completed three further ARC grants: a Linkage grant exploring the civil and family law needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia (, the Australian Justice Reinvestment Project ( investigating the potential for a justice reinvestment approach to reducing incarcerating levels in the Australian context, and the Youth Punishment Project (, exploring our attitudes to the punishment of young people.

In 2009 Melanie was awarded the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2010, was highly commended in the LexisNexis-ALTA Awards for Innovation in the Teaching of Law (Australasia). In 2018 she was awarded the UNSW Presidents Award for Embraces Diversity, and in 2017 was runner up in the Respect category.

She was an Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of Human Rights until the end of 2019 and is a member of the editorial board of the Indigenous Law Bulletin.

Between 2015-2018 Melanie chaired the Law Faculty's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is was Deputy Academic Lead for the UNSW Athena SWAN gender equity Self Assessment Team until mid 2020.


  • –present
    Deputy Head of School and Senior Lecturer, UNSW Law, UNSW


  • 2004