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Senior Research Associate, Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Law School, UNSW Sydney

Dr Sangeetha Pillai is a constitutional lawyer and a Senior Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. She is an expert on Australian citizenship law, and the constitutional differences in the scope of government power that can be exercised over citizens and non-citizens. Her work on these issues has been published in leading Australian and international journals. She has also provided media commentary on various legal issues, particularly those raised by the recent introduction of broad citizenship stripping powers in Australia. She has appeared before and been cited by parliamentary committees on matters pertaining to Australian citizenship law.

Sangeetha is the Kaldor Centre's expert on the domestic public law framework that governs refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. Her current research examines the ongoing exploration of the boundaries of parliamentary and executive power over such persons in Australian case law.


  • 2017–present
    Senior Research Associate, Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW, Australia
  • 2015–2016
    Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Monash University
  • 2015–2015
    Director, Federalism Project, Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW, Australia
  • 2011–2014
    ARC Laureate Fellowship Project, 'Anti-Terror Laws and the Democratic Challenge', UNSW, Australia


  • 2015 
    UNSW, PhD
  • 2011 
    University of Sydney, Master of Laws
  • 2008 
    UNSW, Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws


  • 2015
    Proposals to strip citizenship take Australia a step further than most, Global Focus, NSW Law Society Journal
  • 2015
    Commonwealth Power and Environmental Management: Constitutional Question Revisited (with George Williams), Environmental Planning and Law Journal
  • 2015
    The High Court, the Constitution and Family Law (with George Williams), Australian Journal of Family Law
  • 2015
    Citizenship bill lacks clarity and necessary safeguards, Rights Agenda
  • 2014
    The Rights and Responsibilities of Australian Citizenship: A Legislative Analysis, Melbourne University Law Review
  • 2013
    The Rhetoric and Reality of Australian Citizenship: A Constitutional Analysis, Monash University Law Review
  • 2011
    Commonwealth Power over Higher Education (with George Williams), University of Queensland Law Journal