Professor Rebecca Monson

BA(Hons I) (Geography) (Monash), LLB (Hons I) (Monash), PhD (ANU)
Associate Professor
ANU College of Law
T: (02) 6125 8271

Areas of expertise

  • Access To Justice 180102
  • Environmental And Natural Resources Law 180111
  • Law And Society 180119
  • Social And Cultural Geography 160403
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104
  • Pacific History (Excl. New Zealand And Maori) 210313
  • Anthropology Of Development 160101


Rebecca's teaching and research focuses on social difference, natural resource governance and justice systems, particularly in Australia and the Pacific. Her work is influenced by the fields of law and development, transnational feminisms, legal geography, political ecology and Pacific Studies.

Rebecca's work includes some of the earliest empirical accounts of climate displacement and relocation in the Pacific, and she led the development of Solomon Islands relocation guidelines in 2022. Her book 'Gender, Property and Politics in the Pacific' (Cambridge 2023) examines land struggles and gender relations across multiple scales and was awarded the 2023 Australian Legal Research Awards prize for a book. She currently holds an ARC DECRA to examine the ways in which Pacific women’s movements mobilise around natural resource rights.

Rebecca regularly provides advice on customary and informal justice systems, resource governance, climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction and the rule of law to aid donors, government agencies, and international organisations working across Australian and the Pacific region. She has experience working in collaborative teams for organisations including The World Bank (particularly the Justice for the Poor Program), the Asian Development Bank, the International Development Law Organisation, and the International Organization for Migration.

Rebecca has previously been Deputy Associate Dean (Research) and Director Higher Degree Research (now called Associate Dean) in the ANU College of Law. She is a member of the board of the ANU Pacific Institute and the board of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies.

Rebecca has worked part-time since 2014. Prior to joining the ANU, she was a researcher with the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre and RMIT’s Centre for Risk and Community Safety, and a solicitor in a team specialising in the emergency services sector. Rebecca has also worked in the planning and environment groups of several major law firms, for an international NGO specialising in housing, land and property rights, and as a research assistant in the Van Vollenhoven Institute at Leiden University.

Researcher's projects

Rebecca has published in the field of housing, land and property rights; natural resource management; disaster and emergency management; and the intersection of local and state-based forms of dispute resolution.

Rebecca's first book, 'Gender, Property and Politics in the Pacific' won the 2023 Australian Legal Research Award prize for a book.

Rebecca is currently working on (i) an edited collection focusing on climate change in Solomon Islands, (ii) a monograph on legal pluralism and struggles for justice across Oceania, and (iii) the relationship between Pacific Studies and traditions of critical legal scholarship and practice.


Available student projects

Law and development, particulary in Oceania

Law and Pacific Studies

Law and 'natural' disasters

Legal geography and political ecology

Postcolonial legal theory

Feminist theory, particularly as it relates to the themes above

Current student projects

Sarouche Razi (Chair and Primary Supervisor) 'Civil Law as a Space of Punishment of First Nations Peoples' ANU College of Law

Annie Kwai (panel member) 'History, Culture and Contemporary Gender Discourse in Solomon Islands' School of Culture, History and Languages, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Heidi Tyedmers (panel member) 'Re-reading Vanuatu’s national narrative: gender, culture and justice in a post-colonial Pacific state' RegNet, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Past student projects

Bal Kama (Primary Supervisor until parental leave) 'An Ingenious Judiciary in an Autochthonous Constitution: A Necessity or Nuisance? The Case of Papua New Guinea' ANU College of Law

Bianca Hennessey (panel member) "The Possibilities in Decolonial Pacific Studies", School of Culture, History and Languages, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Daniel Evans (panel) "Beyond Next Tomorrow: An Examination of Urban Male Youth in Solomon Islands", Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Caroline Compton (panel) 'Institutional resilience and incentives in post-disaster recovery', ANU College of Law

Brad Jessup (panel) 'Concepts of Justice in Australian Environmental Law’ ANU College of Law

Joseph D. Foukona (panel) 'Why Land Reform Continues to Fail in Melanesia', School of Culture, History and Languages, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  25 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers