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Reader of Law, Newcastle University

I am an academic lawyer with a particular interest in the Pacific islands. I have researched and published on a range of human rights, family and resource issues. Recent work has focused on environmental concerns including but not limited to Marine Protected Areas, indigenous rights, climate risks.

Having initially majored in English and Social Anthropology, I studied law in the mixed jurisdiction of South Africa before post-graduate studies in South Africa and at Cambridge. I have held posts at the University of KwaZulu Natal (Pietermaritizburg), the University of the West of England, the University of the South Pacific, the University of Dundee, and Northumbria University, as well as teaching at universities in France and Malaysia. I am an Associate of the Centre for Pacific Studies at St Andrews University in Scotland.

My research interests are broadly human rights, particularly those of women and children, and the law that governs property, including but not limited to, land and intellectual property. My research often uses case studies from the island countries of the South Pacific region to focus on issues of human rights, legal pluralism, the challenges of development and sustainability, globalisation and legal colonialism. In particular I am interested in the interface between legal systems and normative frameworks within states and between states, and the relationship between national, regional and international players in shaping and developing legal responses to contemporary issues. I welcome interdisciplinary collaboration and research that escapes from the usual categorisation of legal topics.


  • 2019–present
    Reader, Newcastle University


  • 2012 
    Northumbria, Phd
  • 1985 
    Natal, LLM
  • 1984 
    Cambridge, LLM
  • 1982 
    Natal, LLB
  • 1978 
    University of South Africa, BA Hons
  • 1974 
    Natal, BA