Emma Larking

Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ)


Bachelor of Arts (Hons)/Bachelor of Law (LLB), Monash University; PhD in Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Contact details
P: +61 2 6125 0537
Room: 3.25
Building: Coombs Extension, #8

Emma has a law/arts degree from Monash University and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Melbourne. Before commencing her PhD she was a practising solicitor and subsequently Associate in the County Court of Victoria. With Chief Investigators Professor Brian Galligan and Dr John Chesterman, she worked on the ARC Discovery Project, ‘The Politics of Rights’. She has also worked as a lecturer in the University of Melbourne’s Schools of Philosophical and Historical Studies, and of Social and Political Sciences.

Research interests:

Law, philosophy, history, and politics of human rights; refugees and immigration; global justice; political and applied philosophy; and contemporary political theory

Research projects:

Until recently, Emma was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Hilary Charlesworth’s Australian Research Council Laureate Project, ‘Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism’. Her research examined those features of human rights and the international rights regime likely to facilitate rights ritualism, or behaviour by states which undermines or ignores rights despite those states having made a formal commitment to rights recognition. As well as identifying mechanisms to encourage and support genuine rights realisation, her research explores the limitations of rights language and the implications for social justice and political dissent of the now overwhelming dominance of this language.

Emma’s current research engages with political mobilisations for social justice. She is currently interested in anti-poverty campaigns, as well as the global food sovereignty movement and advocacy for a UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas.

Emma’s PhD research focused on the liberal democratic response to refugees and asylum seekers. She drew on history, philosophy, and law to analyse the contemporary response to refugees. Her book, Refugees and the Myth of Human Rights: Life Outside the Pale of the Law was published by Ashgate in 2014.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet