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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Paula O'Brien (cropped)

LML Visiting Scholar

April 2018


Paula O'Brien is a Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of the Health and Medical Law Masters at Melbourne Law School. Paula researches in the area of health law and public interest law. Her primary research interest relates to the regulation of harmful commodities, in particular alcohol. She has written on many aspects of the domestic and international regulation of alcohol, including its labelling, advertising, pricing, licensing and trade as a global commodity. Her current doctoral work is on the self-regulation of the labelling and marketing of alcohol. Paula also writes about the right to health, and has published papers on accountability in health care for asylum seekers in detention, the phenomenon of privatisation, the global shortage of health workers, and access to health care for migrant workers and their families in Australia. Paula uses her research to make submissions and provide advice to government and non-government bodies about public health law.


Selected Recent Publications

    • O'Brien P., Accountability through Litigation: Health Care Justice and Australia's Immigration Detention Program in Ian Freckelton and Kerry Petersen (eds) Tensions and Traumas in Health Law (The Federation Press, 2017).
    • O'Brien P. et al., 'Marginalising health information: implications of the trans-pacific partnership agreement for alcohol labelling'. Melb. UL Rev. 41 (2017) 341.
    • O’Brien, P. and Phillips, M., 'Health care justice for temporary migrant workers on 457 visas in Australia: A case study of internationally qualified nurses'. Journal of law and medicine22(3) (2015).
    • Davoren, S., and O’Brien, P., Regulating to reduce alcohol-related harm: Liquor licensing and the harm minimisation test in Elizabeth Manton, Robin Room, Caterina Giorgi and Michael Thorn, (Eds.) Stemming the Tide of Alcohol: Liquor Licensing and the Public Interest (Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, 2014).