Dr Rebecca LaForgia

Senior Lecturer
Dr Rebecca LaForgia
  Org Unit Law School
  Email rebecca.laforgia@adelaide.edu.au
  Telephone +61 8 8313 0877
  Location Floor/Room 2 10 ,  Ligertwood Building ,   North Terrace

I  am joint topic co-ordinator for Public International Law and also run an elective International legal practice; Interpretative approaches. In 2015 and to be re-run in 2016 I was part of a team which offered and developed a MOOC( massive open online course) on Cyber-War Surveillance and Security. 

I have a First Class Honours degree in Law from Adelaide University, and a First Class Masters degree in Law from Cambridge University and a Doctorate from Flinders University. 

LL.B (First Class Hons, University of Adelaide)

LL.M ( First Class University of Cambridge)

PhD (Flinders University, 2013)  

United States Studies Centre Research Grant: Exploring compliance with the right public participation under United States Bilateral Free Trade Agreements  (2010) 

The Russell Vick Prize for Law, for results in LL.M examination by Jesus College Cambridge University (1995)

Britain–Australian Bicentennial Scholarship 1994, to read for the Master of Law Degree at Cambridge University Jesus College

Primarily in the areas of public international law, public law, jurisprudence and 

Narrative analysis.   

Awarded Federal Government Carrick Teaching Prize for Constitutional Law (jointly with two colleagues – Professor Elizabeth Handsley and Dr Chris Reynolds), 2007

Nominated and received “Golden Key” award through student nomination, Flinders University 2007    

Teaching Roles

Internationalisation & International Student Support, Adelaide Law School

I teach and research in Public International Law as stated; my main interest being exploring the question of how these areas can be accessed by and open to all.
This means that I am interested in how the public participates within a treaty that may well have ongoing effects on their lives: e.g., do we have ongoing sites at which we can see how the treaty affects us (and others) – and how do we participate meaningfully within this context?

I am also interested in narrative analysis of law and international discourse. My current project is considering the Asian Infrasturcture Investment Bank and the meaning of the terms "lean clean and green'

Here is a presentation I did on the AIIB at a seminar organised by Flinders University and  the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL)


My motivation is that without public input into and around international law there is, of course, the well-documented democratic deficit; but – more importantly – without public participation, we as a global society are missing out on different ways of seeing and developing international legal obligations and international legal relationships.  Further information on this is contained in my research section below.









LaForgia, Rebecca, ‘Limitlessness in Australian Constitutional Legal Narrative: The Memory of Black's Address in the Tasmanian Dam Case’ Submitted October 2015 Griffith Law Review.


2015  Rebecca LaForgia ‘Public Participation in the Environmental Undertaking in the Trans Pacific Partnership a Listening Approach’ Participatory Educational Research (PER)  Special Issue 2015 pp. 145- 154  June 2015 ISSN: 2148 6123 




LaForgia, Rebecca with (Gabrielle Appleby and Alexander Reilly) ‘To Watch, To Never Look Away: The Public’s Responsibility for Australia’s Offshore Processing of Asylum Seekers’ (2014) 39(3) Alternative Law Journal 163

LaForgia,  (co-authored with Gabrielle Appleby, Peter Burdon, Joe McIntyre and Ngaire Naffine)  ‘Review Essay: Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil’ (2014) 34(2) Adelaide Law Review


 LaForgia (co-authored with Alexander Reilly)  Secret “Enhanced Screening” of Asylum Seekers: A Democratic Analysis Centring on the Humanity of the Commonwealth Officer’ (2013) 38(4) Alternative Law Journal 143

 Robert McCorquodale & Rebecca La Forgia, “Taking off the Blindfolds: Torture by Non-State Actors”; reprinted in ‘International Law beyond the State: Essays on Sovereignty, Non-State Actors and Human Rights’ by Robert McCorquodale, 2011.


Rebecca LaForgia, ‘The Politics of International Law–Twenty Years Later’: A Reply to Martti Koskenniemi;  European Journal of International; (2009) 20 (4): 979.

Rebecca LaForgia, (with Marinella Marmo), ‘Inclusive National Governance and Trafficked Women in Australia: Otherness and Local Demand’ (2008) Asian Journal of Criminology 173.

Rebecca LaForgia, ‘The Administration of Transparency Under the Labour Chapter of United States Bilateral Free Trade Agreements: Is the United States Creating a Glass House?’ 1 Global Studies Journal 47, (2008). 

Rebecca LaForgia, “Sowing seeds for transparency (You reap what you sow: Lessons from the Australian Wheat Board on the need for business to advocate for transparent Free Trade Agreements)” (2006) 2 Monash Business Review 25.

Bryan Mercurio and Rebecca LaForgia, “Expanding Democracy: Why Australia should Negotiate for Open and Transparent Dispute Settlement in its Free Trade Agreements” (2005) 6 Melbourne Journal of International Law 485 

Rebecca LaForgia and Martin Flynn, ‘Australia’s Pacific Solution to Asylum Seekers’  (2002) LAWASIA  Journal 31. 

Rebecca LaForgia, “Subverting the Rule of Law” (2006) 10  Southern Cross University Law Review 201.

Rebecca LaForgia, “Attorney General, Chief Law Officer of the Crown: but where is the Law?”; (2003) 28 Alt Law Journal 163.

Robert McCorquodale & Rebecca La Forgia, 'Taking off theBlindfolds: Torture by Non-State Actors', 1 Human Rights Law Review (2001),

LaForgia, Rebecca (with Cummings, Barbara and Blokland, Jenny) “Lessons for the Stolen Generations Litigation”, 19 Adelaide Law Review, 25-44 (1997).

Submissions and Government Engagement

2015  Submission to the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

2015 Oral Submission to the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

2015  Oral testimony of Dr LaForgia cited by the Majority report of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Report into China Australia Free Trade Agreement.  See below citation form the report( footnotes ommitted)

"There were also suggestions to improve the future interpretation of treaty
text. The Committee received a proposal from Dr Rebecca LaForgia for an
interpretative declaration to be developed and attached to ChAFTA. This
would promote clarity and openness around the interpretation of the
text. The interpretative declaration would be created by the Executive
and interpret ambiguous sections of the text, particularly the provisions in
Article 14 governing the Joint Commission. The declaration should also
allow public access to reports from the Joint Commission.   Dr LaForgia
suggests that this would provide a means of ensuring that the working of
ChAFTA is transparent over the long term" 

see http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/17_June_2015/Report_154

2014 Submission to the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee

2014 Oral Submission to the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee

2014 Cited in the majority report of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee. See below citation from the report( footnotes omitted).  


“The committee notes DFAT's statement that, in general, the Australian government was 'very open to having a high degree of transparency on the implementation going forward'. In order to assist to remove a perception of secrecy surrounding FTAs and to advance the understanding and accessibility of FTAs for industries, businesses and the community, the committee supports the procedural recommendation made by Dr Rebecca LaForgia to make an interpretive declaration relating to the public nature of KAFTA committee proceedings and documents. …..


see http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/Korea-Australia_Free_Trade_Agreement/Report


2012 Rebecca LaForgia; “Submission regarding the inclusion of a Public Participation obligation within the TPP”, 12 September 2012, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade;  available at http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/tpp


2012 Rebecca LaForgia; Record of oral submission to TPP Negotiators, March 4, at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Melbourne, Australia; “The merits of including public participation within the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement”

2010 Rebecca LaForgia;  Question to the United States Trade Representative  regarding the inclusion of Public Participation within the TPP available at http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/may/ustrs-tpp-online-chat

2005 Rebecca LaForgia; “Australia’s policy in relation to dispute mechanisms in bilateral trade treaties”, Department of Foreign Affairs Inquiry into Australia and ASEAN Trade Negotiations  


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Entry last updated: Friday, 22 Jan 2016

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