law and politics in Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar and Indonesia; constitutional law; administrative law; criminal law; law and religion in Southeast Asia, including Islam and Buddhism
Field of Research (FoR)
Melissa Crouch is Associate Professor at the Law Faculty, the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She teaches and researches on law and religion, law and governance, and comparative constitutional law, with a specialization in Southeast Asia. She has been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the Endeavour Australia Research Fellowship; University of Indonesia Visiting Fellowship; and the University of Melbourne Kathleen...view more
Melissa Crouch is Associate Professor at the Law Faculty, the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She teaches and researches on law and religion, law and governance, and comparative constitutional law, with a specialization in Southeast Asia. She has been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the Endeavour Australia Research Fellowship; University of Indonesia Visiting Fellowship; and the University of Melbourne Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship. Melissa is Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Grant on "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes" (2018-2021). Melissa is the author of Law and Religion in Indonesia: Conflict and the Courts in West Java (2014) and The Constitution of Myanmar (2019). She has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal of Constitutional Law, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Sydney Law Review and Asian Studies Review. She is the editor of several volumes including: The Politics of Courts: Judicial Reform and Legal Culture in Indonesia (CUP 2019); 'Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging' (OUP 2016), and The Business of Transition: Law, Development and Economics in Myanmar (CUP 2017). Melissa has been invited to work with local and international organisations with a focus on constitutional and administrative law reforms, and legal education in Southeast Asia. She leads the UNSW Law Southeast Asia engagement strategy, and is the Myanmar Academic Lead for the UNSW Institute for Global Development. She is the Deputy Director of the Comparative Constitutional Law Project; member of the Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project, the Gilbert+Tobin Centre for Public Law; and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. A list of Melissa's publications and CV is available here, on SSRN, Academia or here.
2019, National Library of Australia, Asia Studies Visiting Fellowship Grant, "Legal Legacies of Authoritarian Regimes"
2019, ASAA Workshop Grant for bursaries for students to attend the 'Women in Asia Conference' at UNSW
2018-2021, ARC Discovery Grant, Chief Investigator, "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of Myanmar"
2017-2019, UNSW IGD Myanmar Seed Funds, "Constitutional Reform and the Peace Process in Myanmar"
2016-2019, Asian Development Bank, Professional Legal Education in Corporate and Commercial Law in Myanmar
2016, New Colombo Plan funding for UNSW Myanmar Law Ambassadors Program (scholarships for law students).
2016-2017, ANU Indonesia Project Research Grants and UNSW Indonesia Seed Grant, with Dr Fritz Siregar, University of Indonesia, Jakarta. Project: ‘Administrative Justice in Indonesia’.
2016, Konrad Adaneur Stiftung (KAS), Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project, Workshops with the Constitutional Tribunal of Myanmar, (with T Roux).
2015-2018, Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project on Building Constitutionalism in Myanmar (with W Sadurski, T Roux, M Krygier and C Renshaw).
2015, Faculty Research Grant, Project: From Military Rule to Rule of Law in Myanmar; Early Career Grant; Faculty Workshop Support Scheme, UNSW Law: The Business of Transition in Myanmar
2014-2015, Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) Research Grant, Project: ‘Authority and Islam: An Ethnography of Fatwa in Myanmar’
2013-2014, Research & Conference Grant, Project: ‘Law, Governance & Minorities in Myanmar’; and Myanmar Law Reform Project Fund (for workshops in Myanmar), Centre for Asian Legal Studies, National University of Singapore
2012–2013, Postdoctoral Research Support Funds, Law Faculty, National University of Singapore
2010, Melbourne Abroad Travelling Scholarship; MA Bartlett Research Scholarship Fund Competitive Funding; and Research Support Funds, the University of Melbourne
BA/LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne
PhD, University of Melbourne
2018, Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship in Comparative Constitutional Law, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
2017, University of Indonesia Resolv Visiting Scholars Fellowship, Faculty of Law
2009, Endeavour Australia Research Fellowship
2008-2011, Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship Doctoral Scholarship and Travel Scholarships
My Research Activities
I am interested in considering proposals for research supervision in the following areas: comparative constitutional law; law and society; law and development; law and religion. This includes Indonesian law (constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, legal pluralism and Islamic law); Myanmar law (public and private law, legal pluralism and socio-legal studies); and Southeast Asian law and legal traditions, comparative or socio-legal studies on the region. I am available to supervise LLB, LLM and PhD research thesis.
Ashraf Azad, 'Irregular Migration of Rohingya Refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh and Malaysia
Indriaswati Dyah Saptaningrum, ‘From Government to Governance: The Politics of Indonesia’s Digital Content Policies post-2008
Nikki Edwards, 'Civil Society and Legal Activism in Southeast Asia'
Milda Istiqomah, 'Factors Contributing to Terrorism Sentencing Outcomes in Indonesia
Emma Dunlop, 'Justice in Exile: A Study of States obligations to ensure refugees access to courts under international law
Luke Potter, 'Local Government Authorities and Durable Solutions to Protect Against Disaster Displacement risk in Small Island Developing States in the Pacific
Xu Zhuangsi, ‘Implication of International Human Rights Law on China’s Protection of Minorities Language Rights’
Chuhunvoleak Srun, Court Reform in Cambodia
LLB research thesis: Goran Matic, Toward a Modern Egyptian Constitution; Elsa Lo, A Constitutionally Islamic Malaysia
LLM Research thesis: Yance Arizona, Becoming Indigenous Citizens in Indonesia
Academic and Editorial Boards
Advisory Board, Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS), Indonesian Law Practicum
Associate, Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, University of Melbourne
Editorial Board, Asian Journal of Comparative Law, National University of Singapore
Secretary, Association for Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars (AMSEAS)
Secretary, Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA)
Member, Law and Society Association; Asian Studies Association of Australia; Asian Law and Society Association; International Society of Constitutional Law; Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies;
(2018) Politics in Southeast Asia: A Review, at Sydney's Southeast Asia conference on Politics in Action.
Media Articles/op eds
(2019) 'The Death Penalty Paradox in Buddhist Myanmar, The Interpreter, 13 March
(2019) 'Renewed calls for Constitutional Change in Myanmar', The Interpreter, 14 March
(2019) 'Press Freedom in Myanmar' World Politics Review, 23 Jan
(2018) 'Myanmar's Press Freedom Mirage' The Interpreter, 20 Nov
(2018) 'Elections a Sham in Rakhine State' The Interpreter, 1 Nov
(2018) 'Myanmar's Rakhine State Crisis: Diplomatic Challenges for Australia and ASEAN' Disruptive Asia, The Asia Society, March
(2018) 'Democracy and Peace Frustrated in Myanmar' The Interpreter, 29 January.
(2017) 'The Twisted Politics of Terrorism in Myanmar' The Interpreter, 12 Sept
(2017) 'Ahok, Indonesia's Nemo, sentenced to jail' Policy Forum, 10 May
(2017) 'Myanmar's Legal Voice of Conscience: A personal tribute, U Ko Ni', New Mandala, 31 January.
(2016) 'Islamist rule by law in Indonesia' 2 Dec, Policy Forum, ANU.
(2016) 'What do blasphemy charges mean for Ahok? 22 Nov, Indonesia@Melbourne.
(2016) 'Blasphemy charges against Ahok a victory for Islamists in Indonesia', 17 Nov, East Asia Forum.
(2016) 'Reigning in Emergency Powers in Myanmar', 3 Nov, East Asia Forum.
(2016) 'Jokowi's Islamist Challenge: Curbing Terrorism and Religious Intolerance' 31 Aug, The Guardian
(2016) 'The Constitutional Implications of Myanmar's Peace Process', 25 July, ConstitutionNet
(2016) 'Dawn of a Democratic Era or Dialogue with Dictators? The Challenges Ahead for Myanmar's New Leaders', 12 Feb, ConstitutionNet
(2016) 'Indonesia: Persecution disguised as fighting terrorism' 28 Jan, The Sydney Morning Herald.
(2015) 'Persecution of Muslims in Myanmar is misunderstood by the West' 3 Dec, The Sydney Morning Herald.
(2015) 'Why constitutional review is needed', 17 July, The Myanmar Times
(2015) ‘Law and Conflict in Myanmar, 11 August, New Mandala
(2015) Myanmar elections lack legitimacy without constitutional change, 25 May, East Asia Forum
(2014) ‘Reality check needed on Islam, Buddhism in Myanmar’ 17 Nov, New Mandala
(2014) ‘Writs but no Weapons? A Stocktake on Administrative Justice in Myanmar’ 12 Nov, International Journal of Constitutional Law blog.
(2014) 'Myanmar's Muslim Mosaic and the Politics of Belonging' New Mandala, 4 Nov.
(2014) ‘Road to Constitutional Amendment in Myanmar Going Nowhere’ East Asia Forum [Special Edition: On the Edge in Asia] 27 March
(2013) 'Myanmar’s Constitutional Transition is the Military’s Call, 27 Nov, The Conversation.
(2013) ‘Indonesian Constitutional Court rejects Blasphemy Law Case’ 23 Oct, International Journal of Constitutional Law blog.
(2013) ‘Indonesian Constitutional Court reconsiders Blasphemy Law’ 30 Jul, International Journal of Constitutional Law blog
(2013) ‘Constitutional Writs as “Weapons” in Myanmar?’ 9 Jul, International Journal of Constitutional Law blog
(2013) ‘Myanmar: Civil-Military Relations and Constitutional Reform’ 21 Jun, East Asia Forum (ANU) [reposted in Asia Sentinel, 21 Jun, and The Irrawaddy 24 Jun]
(2013) ‘The Challenge of Regulating Religious Freedom in Indonesia’ 18 Feb, Right Now
(2012) ‘Law Reform and Human Rights in Indonesia-Myanmar: The Potential of National Human Rights Commissions’ No 62 (Winter) International Institute of Asian Studies 7.
(2012) ‘The Indonesian Blasphemy Case: Affirming the Legality of the Blasphemy Law’ 1(2) Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 1-4.
(2012) ‘Religious Intolerance and Law Reform in Indonesia’ 20 Jun, East Asia Forum (ANU).
(2012) ‘Indonesia’s Blasphemy Law: Bleak Outlook for Minority Religions’ 14
(26 Jan) Asia Pacific Bulletin No 146.
(2012) ‘Indonesia’s Draft Law Exacerbates Religious and Ethnic Tensions’ 20 Mar, Asia Pacific Memo No 141 (Institute of Asian Research, UBC).
with Antje Missbach (2012) ‘Australia-Indonesia commitment must on people-smuggling’ Crikey, 10 Sept
(2011) ‘Religious Deviancy and the Law: The Escalation of Violent Attacks Prompts Some Local Governments to Ban Ahmadiyah’ (Jul-Sept) Inside Indonesia.
(2010) ‘God and Democracy: A Christian Church is Asserting its Democratic Rights by Suing the Mayor of Depok’ 100 (April-June) Inside Indonesia.
with Tim Lindsey (2008) ‘Burma’s millstone milestone’, The Herald Sun, 20 October 2008, p 20.
My teaching interests include Constitutional Law; Comparative Law; Constitution-making; Law and Development; Administrative Law; Asian Legal Systems; Law and Religion; and Law and Society. I have taught a range of workshops overseas, including on Judicial Independence; Principles and Processes of Constitution-making; The Role of Courts in Democratisation; Constitutional Courts in Federal Systems; Federalism and Minority Rights; Emergency Powers. At UNSW, I have taught Principles of Public Law (LAWS1141). I also teach the following electives: The Rule of Law in Southeast Asia (LAWS3167; JURD7567); Islamic Law and Society (LAWS3165; JURD7865) and Indonesian Law (LAWS3139). At UNSW, I have taught Principles of Public Law (LAWS1141). I also teach the following electives: The Rule of Law in Southeast Asia (LAWS3167; JURD7567); Islamic Law and Society (LAWS3165; JURD7865) and Indonesian Law (LAWS3139)