DR Anna Arstein-Kerslake

DR Anna Arstein-Kerslake


  • Academic, Law
  • Disability Rights Law
  • Discrimination Law
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Law
  • Law and Society
  • Legal Education
  • Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Sexual Identities and the Law



  • Dr Anna Arstein-Kerslake is an academic at Melbourne Law School and the Convenor of the Disability Research Initiative (DRI) at the University of Melbourne. She developed, and leads, the Disability Human Rights Clinic (DHRC) at Melbourne Law School. She holds a PhD in Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), a JD from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law and a BA in Sociology from San Diego State University (SDSU). Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, she held a Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) at (NUIG). Her work on the right to equal recognition before the law has been published widely, including her 2017 book, Restoring Voice to People, published by Cambridge University Press. She is currently a Chief Investigator on the Unfitness to Plead project, funded by the Australian Government, which is applying a human rights framework to investigate the problem of indefinite detention of people with cognitive disability as a result of unfitness to plead findings. She has also received several grants for the development of the international Disability Human Rights Research Network (DHRRN), which she founded in 2015 and spans Europe, India, the USA, and Australia. She has led several other small and larger scale research projects as well as law and policy reform projects. Notably, she provided support to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on a general comment on the right to equal recognition before the law. She has also participated widely in consultation with governments and other bodies, including: the United Kingdom Ministry of Justice, the Irish Ministry of Justice, Amnesty Ireland, Interights, and the Mental Disability Advocacy Center, among others.   


Member of

  • Australian Disability Access to Justice Consortium. Member 2017 -
  • Disability Human Rights Research Network. Founder and Chair 2015 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Marie Curie Research Fellowship Grant 2011-2014 (€50,000 per year)
    Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets (DREAM) Training Network Popper Jones Loan Repayment Scholarship 2012 ($3,000). Demonstrated commitment to law in the service of human needs
    Investigator, $25,000 AUD from the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Hallmark Disability Research Initiative for the project, “Choice and Control in the NDIS” (September 2015 – December 2016)
    Investigator, $50,000 AUD from the Major Collaborative Grants fund of Melbourne Law School for the project, “Modelling supported decision making in consumer transactions for people with mental and cognitive impairments” (January 2016 – December 2016)
    Investigator, $10,000 AUD from the International Collaborative Fund of Melbourne Law School for the project, “Disability Human Rights Research Network” (September 2016 – December 2016)


Education and training

  • Ph.D., National University of Ireland 2014
  • J.D., City University of New York 2010
  • B.A., San Diego State University 2006