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Public Law & Policy Research Unit (PLPRU)

The Public Law & Policy Research Unit contributes an independent scholarly voice on issues of public law and policy vital to Australia's future. It provides expert analysis on government law and policy initiatives and judicial decisions and contributes to public debate through formulating its own law reform proposals.

Our researchers specialise in

The research unit brings a range of theoretical, comparative, international and interdisciplinary perspectives to its research and scholarship. It has a particular focus on the functioning of:

  • Australia's constitutional and political systems
  • government integrity and accountability
  • human rights and anti-discrimination law
  • environmental law
  • local government law
  • migration and refugee issues.


  • Facilitate innovative scholarship and critical thinking through its research, media and consultancy work
  • Contribute actively to government and parliamentary inquiries on issues within the expertise of our members
  • Contribute a South Australian perspective on national public policy issues
  • Collaborate with national and international experts and scholars to broaden understanding of shared and cross-jurisdictional issues
  • Support the work of young and emerging scholars, including through the supervision of research students undertaking the M Phil and PhD programs and dissertations in the LLB program
  • Facilitate and host workshops and conferences within our areas of expertise
  • Promote community understanding and participation in legal and policy debate

The Research Unit facilitates and hosts seminars, workshops and conferences on these areas of law and policy, as well as coordinating submissions to government and parliamentary bodies on current issues. Our members are committed to active community engagement.

Key contacts

Prof Alex Reilly (Director)

Assoc Prof Judith Bannister (Deputy director)

Dr Anna Olijnk (Deputy director)

Current funded projects

  • Labour Supply in the Horticulture Industry.

Researchers : Joanna Howe, Alex Reilly, Chris Wright, Diane van den Broek and Stephen Clibborn,

Funding: VegWA $210,000


  • ‘Refugee Women and Work: pathways to employment for social inclusion and health and well-being’

Researchers: Alex Reilly, Joanna Howe, Anna Ziersch and Clemmi Due

Funding: National Research Grants, Strong and Resilient Communities Activity $311,000


Recently completed projects

Funding: Fair Work Ombudsman $55,000

Alexander Reilly, Joanna Howe, Laurie Berg, Bassina Farbenblaum and George Tan

Funding: Horticulture Innovation Australia $238,000

Joanna Howe, Alexander Reilly, Diane van den Broek and Chris Wright