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 is an interdisciplinary researcher with extensive experience in research and practice in the fields of gender equality, natural resource governance, and justice systems, with a focus on jurisdictions in Australia and the Pacific. Her scholarship is influenced by studies of ‘law and development’, transnational feminisms, legal geography and political ecology.

Rebecca's work includes one of the earliest empirical accounts of climate relocation in the Pacific, which was subsequently expanded in an Australian Research Council Project held with Professor Daniel Fitzpatrick. Her book 'Gender, Property and Politics in the Pacific' is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press and 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. She is currently actively involved in the development of climate relocation guidelines for the Solomon Islands Government.

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, on gender, property and politics in Solomon Islands, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. She is also working on an edited volume publishing the results of research examining the capacity of customary tenure systems to respond to climate-induced displacement.



Available student projects

Law and development, particulary in Oceania

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)

Annie Kwai (panel)

Bianca Hennessey (panel) "Pedagogy in Pacific Studies"

Daniel Evans (panel) "Beyond Next Tomorrow: An Examination of Urban Male Youth in Solomon Islands" 






Past student projects

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

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

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

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



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:  11 June 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers