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Professor Louise Chappell

Professor Louise Chappell
+61 (2) 9385 9818

Scientia Professor Louise Chappell is Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney.

A Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2010-14), Louise’s research interests are in the areas of women’s rights; gender, politics and institutions and comparative federalism and public policy. 

Louise is a UNSW Sydney SHARP hire - an initiative identifying established research leaders to drive up the University's research performance and the number of high-quality and highly cited research publications.

Research areas

Women’s rights, gender and politics from a comparative and international perspective, public policy and federalism.


Editorial Board member: Australian Journal of Political Science; British Journal of Politics and International Relations; Politics, Groups and Interests

Co-director, Feminist Institutionalism International Network (based at Edinburgh University)

Affiliations and Memberships

Australian Political Studies Association

American Political Science Association

British Political Studies Association

Postgraduate Research Supervision

Areas of Supervision

Gender, law and politics; human rights; gender and public policy; comparative federalism.

Current Postgraduate Research Supervision

Josh Gibson, PhD Law, "Effectiveness of State-derived Gender-specific Institutions"

Allison Henry, PhD Law

Anna Hush. "Sexual Assault on Australian University Campus"

Angela Kintominas, Scientia PhD Law, "The Uber-isation of Care? The Gig-economy, Gender, Migration and Care"

Lenka Olejníková, Scientia PhD Social Science, "Conflict Zones and Sexual Violence as Informed by Gender Norms"

Kavitha Suthanthiraraj, PhD Social Science & Policy, "Gender and the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine"

Sophie Yates. PhD Social Sciences. "The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence: A Gender Analysis"

Recent Postgraduate Research Completions

2018. Natalie Galea. "Gender and the Construction Industry" 

2015. Rosemary Grey, PhD Politics & International Relations, "Gender Justice and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court"

2005. Ladan Rahmani, PhD Politics, University of Sydney, "Transformation or Tokenism?: Assessing Gender Mainstreaming in International Organization: The Case of the United Nations Human Rights Agencies"

Recent media

2018. With Elaine Person. Human rights in 2018 - ten issues that made headlines. The Conversation.

2018. Expert Analysis: How accurate is Trump's 'cesspool' description for the UNHCR?. SBS The Feed.

2017. With Carolien van Ham and Lisa Hill. Ten things Australia can do to be a Human Rights Hero. The Conversation.

2016. With Natalie Galea. Construction is the last frontier for women at work. Sydney Morning Herald.

2013. Justice for Women depends on the International Criminal Court. The Conversation (UK)

2012. With Rosemary Grey. Simone Gbagbo & the International Criminal Court: The unsettling spectre of the female war criminal. IntLawGrrls Blog.

2012. With Andrea Durbach. ICC deserves help in seeking justice for all. The Age.

2012. With Rosemary Grey. Tribunal's ruling is real alternative to trial by vigilante. The Sydney Morning Herald.

2011 Coalition has won but women have lost. The Sydney Morning Herald.

Research activities

Research areas

Women’s rights, gender and politics from a comparative and international perspective, public policy and federalism.

Past research projects

Combating sexual violence against women post-conflict through 'transformative' reparations: problems and prospects. Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP140102274

This project, conducted with UNSW Law colleagues Andrea Durbach and Sarah Williams, focuses on the application of reparations for addressing sexual violence in post conflict settings. Working with the International Criminal Court's Trust Fund for Victim's, the research team will consider how reparations have been applied through transitional justice mechanisms in a range of conflict settings, including Cambodia, South Africa and Rwanda and draw lessons for the development of the ICC's reparations mandate.

Building gender equity and diversity in the Australian construction industry. Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP130100402. 2013-1015.

This project investigates the construction industry's informal gender rules and their role in inhibiting policy measures to improve gender equity and diversity in its professional ranks, and makes innovative recommendations for shifting the stubborn gender imbalance. With Professor Martin Loosemore; Dr Abigail Powell and partners: Lend Lease; Abigroup; Brookfield Multiplex; Australian Human Rights Commission; Diversity Council Australia.

Partner Investigator. Gender and Institutional Change. European Research Council Senior Scholar Award. (Chief Investigator: Prof. Georgina Waylen, University of Manchester). 2012-2017. 

Achieving gender justice: national implementation of the gender provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP0879958

This study offers the first comprehensive explanation of the take-up of the gender articles of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The project provides: an explanation of the global pattern of implementation of the gender-specific articles within state parties; an assessment of the role played by women’s rights organisations in the implementation process; and, an evaluation of the implementation outcomes in order to build new theoretical frameworks which explain the diffusion of international women’s rights norms to the national level.

Research Fellowships and Visiting Appointments

2010-2014: Australian Research Council - Inaugural Future Fellowship - The International Criminal Court and the Protection of Women’s Rights in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts: International Developments and Regional Strategies

2013: Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities/School of Social and Political Studies Fellowship - Edinburgh University - Scotland

2011: Australian/European University Institute Fellow - Department of Law - European University Institute - Italy

2011: Hallsworth Fellow - Department of Politics - Manchester University - United Kingdom

2008: Visiting Fellow - Department of Politics - University of Leiden -  Netherlands

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Wainer Z; Carcel C; Hickey M; Schiebinger L; Schmiede A; McKenzie B; Jenkins C; Webster J; Woodward M; Hehir A; Solomon B; de Costa C; Lukaszyk C; Colville DJ; Dempsey E; Wright GM; Mishra GD; Fisher JRW; Kulkarni J; Mitchell JA; Hutchison K; Thompson K; Jorm L; Chappell L; van der Meulen M; Henry A; DiGiacomo M; Huxley R; Ivers R; Peters S; Rogers WA; Wang X; Norton R, 2019, 'Sex and gender in health research: updating policy to reflect evidence', Medical Journal of Australia,