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UTS Law welcomes new academics for 2017 academic year

13 March 2017

New Academics

From left to right: Nola Ries, Linda Steele, Sara Dehm, Elyse Methven, Miranda Kaye

Academics Sara Dehm, Linda Steele, Elyse Methven, Miranda Kaye and Nola Ries will join UTS Law this year as the Faculty’s newest lecturers and senior lecturers.

Commencing in Autumn Session 2017, the new academics bring with them diverse legal expertise in areas such as refugee law, health law, criminal law and the social justice legal sector.

Sara Dehm, a senior fellow from Melbourne Law School, will join the Faculty in early 2017 as a lecturer.

Focusing on immigration and refugee law, Sara is particularly interested in the international regulation of labour migration.

Beginning her career as a paralegal at the native title representative body in Victoria, as well as assisting asylum seekers to lodge their refugee claims, Sara said social justice was always a priority for her as a legal practitioner.

“I studied law because I was driven by the desire to use it as a tool for social change,” she said. “My experiences [at the native title representative body and assisting asylum seekers] confirmed to me the importance of strong legal advocacy in the face of laws that may either perpetuate structural injustices or place people in positions of vulnerability.”

She said she’s looking forward to encouraging UTS students to “think critically about the work that international law and institutions do in the world; and what their limits and potentials are”.

Linda Steele, an expert in disability law who began her career as a legal researcher in Chambers, will be teaching the subject ‘Civil Practice and the Regulation of Reproductive Health’ in 2017. Like Sara, teaching law is a way for her to get students (and future lawyers) to consider law’s greater role in the world.

“I like to instil in students an intellectual and professional curiosity in law's inner workings, as well as to encourage students to always critically question what law does in practice - what its limits and possibilities are, and how it can be complicit in oppression, disadvantage and violence as well as potentially being used to ensure greater equity and equality in society.”

Associate Dean of Teaching, Maxine Evers, said the pool of academic candidates was competitive for the 2017 teaching year. “We decided to make several appointments due to the high level applications we received,” she said. “I’m incredibly confident in the Faculty’s newest additions and know they will bring great strength to research and teaching, as well as contributing to our core teaching program.”

Academic appointments Elyse Methven and Miranda Kaye are already familiar faces at UTS Law.

Elyse Methven, a specialist in criminal law and criminal justice, is a UTS Quentin Bryce Law Doctoral Scholar whose work explores the interrelationship between language and the law.

Her PHD thesis, submitted in 2016, focused on legal constructions of offensiveness. Unsure what words are offensive enough to get you locked up? Read her Guardian article here.

Senior Lecturer Miranda Kaye is an expert in family law, and will be joining UTS Law this year as teacher of the first year law subject, ‘Ethics, Law and Justice’.

An established academic, Miranda was previously a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney Faculty of Law; where she was recognised for excellence in both teaching and research. She has been a casual lecturer in the Faculty since 2013 and said her favourite aspect of teaching law is the “enthusiastic, bright and energetic students”.

The remaining academic appointment, Nola Ries, will join the Faculty mid-2017. She is an accomplished academic and previous Deputy Dean (Research) of Law at the University of Newcastle, specialising in law’s impact on health systems.

Story by: Tess Gibney