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Management Board


Associate Professor Bernadette Richards, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide

Bernadette began her professional life as an English and Drama teacher, then moved on to the RAAF where she served as an Education Officer for many years. Along the way, she studied law and decided to combine her interests in education and the law and move into an academic role.

Bernadette has worked at the University of Adelaide for a number of years and her research focus is in the area of tort law in general with a specific focus on medical law and ethics. Her current research focus sits at the nexus of ethics and the law in the context of medical treatment, with a particular emphasis on consent to medical treatment. Bernadette is an active member of the Ethics Centre of South Australia and was recently  holder of an Australian Research Discovery Grant (along with other members of the Ethics Centre) entitled: 'Consent in the void: moral, legal and community values in decisions about human biological donations.'

Bernadette recently completed her Ph.D which challenged the existing legal framework around 'consent' to medical treatment (commonly referred to as informed consent). The thesis is entitled: Informed Choice not Informed Consent: Towards a meaningful consideration of pre-treatment advice).

Bernadette is currently Deputy Chair of the  Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee and is a past member of the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee and the South Australian Council on Reproductive Technology.

Bernadette is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (JBI) and President of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL).

Deputy Director

Professor Paul Babie, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide

Paul is an active and widely published researcher, working mainly on law and religion, especially the intersection of private property theory and Christian theology and the nature of religious law.

He is currently writing a book for UBC Press in Canada which draws together his research interests entitled Private Property, Climate Change and the Children of Abraham. He is an expert in the history of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia and the canon law of the Eparchy for Ukrainian Catholics for Australia, New Zealand and Oceania; he regularly consults on these matters.

In 2004, Paul was ordained a Priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, in which capacity he currently holds several positions: Chair of the Eparchial Statutes Review and Canon Law Committee and Canon Law Adviser to the Eparch; Consultor and Secretary of the College of Eparchial Consultors and the Eparchial Presbyteral Council; Legal Member of the Eparchial Financial Committee; Canon Law Advisor, Chief Constitutional Draftsperson, and Eparchial Representative to the Eastern Catholic Bishops Forum of Australia; and, Member of the Eparchial Liturgical Committee.


Cornelia Koch, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide

Cornelia’s teaching and research interests are in public law, comparative law and human rights. She is currently working on projects relating to children’s rights to bodily integrity and autonomy by investigating the legal regulation of male and female circumcision and of irreversible surgery on children with an intersex variation. Her research usually considers social problems from a comparative legal perspective.

Cornelia is a Member of the Advisory Board of the Australasian Institute for Genital Autonomy and a Member of the Convening Committee of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law (South Australian Chapter).

After completing a German law degree (Erstes Juristisches Staatsexamen) at the University of Würzburg and a period in private legal practice, Cornelia pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Queensland where she obtained a Master of Comparative Law and a Juris Doctor degree. Cornelia joined the Law School at the University of Adelaide in 2002. She is an Education Specialist and a Member of the Adelaide Education Academy. She has won teaching prizes at national, university and faculty level. Her work has been published in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Maeghan Toews, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide

Research Unit for the Study
of Society, Ethics & the Law

Adelaide Law School
Ligertwood Building
The University of Adelaide SA 5005
North Tce Campus Map


Associate Professor Bernadette Richards
T: +61 8 8313 6302
F: +61 8 8313 4344

Adelaide Law School