Law dean appointed to UN's fair work body

Professor Rosemary Owens, Dean of the University of Adelaide Law School.
Photo by Jennie Groom.

Professor Rosemary Owens, Dean of the University of Adelaide Law School.
Photo by Jennie Groom.

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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Dean of Law at the University of Adelaide, Professor Rosemary Owens, has been appointed to the Committee of Experts for the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO), based in Geneva.

The ILO is the UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states in common action to promote decent working standards and conditions throughout the world.

The Committee of Experts is composed of 20 members who are outstanding legal experts both at national and international level.

Professor Owens is the first Australian academic to be appointed to the ILO's Committee of Experts and only the second Australian appointed (the first was South Australian Supreme Court Justice Robyn Layton).

Professor Owens's appointment recognises her international reputation as an outstanding scholar in the field of the law of work. Much of her research in recent years has focused on the importance of international standards and the role of the ILO in an era of globalisation.

"This is a unique opportunity to be part of a group that helps to deliver decent working standards and conditions and fundamental freedoms to millions of people around the world," Professor Owens says.

"International law is making a major impact in every area of law, and the workplace - through the ILO - is no different.

"At the University of Adelaide's Law School, our students are educated to understand the importance of international law and how it affects them in the legal profession both here in Australia and overseas. To be head of this Law School and to be so keenly involved in these international processes is both a personal and professional honour," she says.

Professor Owens is co-author of The Law of Work (Oxford University Press, 2007). Her other publications include a co-edited collection of essays, entitled Precarious Work, Women and the New Economy: The Challenge to Legal Norms (Hart Publishing, 2006), as well as numerous chapters and articles in other books and journals.

In 2009 she was the rapporteur at the XIX World Congress of Labour Law and Social Security Law on the topic of the informal economy. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Labour Law, having served as editor from 2002-2007. Since the early 1990s she has been associated with the Working Women's Centre (SA) Inc, and was Chair of its Board of Management between 2003-2006. She is currently the Chair of the Work/Life Balance Advisory Committee to the South Australian Government.

A graduate of the University of Adelaide (LLB (Hons), BA (Hons), DipEd), Professor Owens has been a member of staff with the University of Adelaide's Law School for more than 20 years.

The ILO is the pre-eminent international institution with oversight of work. The Committee of Experts is one of the two pillars of the ILO's supervisory system, monitoring compliance by Member States with the International Labour Code, which comprises Conventions and Recommendations. For more information visit:


Contact Details

Professor Rosemary Owens
Professor of Law
Law School
The University of Adelaide
Business: + 61 8 8313 5723

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762