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Laurie Berg


Laurie joined the Law Faculty in February 2009. She is a graduate in law of the University of New South Wales, New York University and University of Sydney. Her research explores the rights violations experienced by low-waged migrant workers in Australia, working with or without legal authorisation, and the normative claims for justice of these largely invisible communities. Laurie's broader research interests span political theories of inclusion, international human rights jurisprudence and Australian public law.

Laurie has previously worked at Human Rights First, in New York, in the International Humanitarian Law Program of the Australian Red Cross and as Co-Convenor of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW).

Image of Laurie Berg
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law
Core Member, Law Research Centre Research Strength
LLB Bachelor of Laws, BA (Hons), Master of Laws, PhD (Syd)
+61 2 9514 3759
Can supervise: Yes

  • Immigration and refugee law
  • Human Rights
  • Public Law


Berg, L.A. 2015, Migrant Rights at Work: Law's precariousness at the intersection of migration and labour, 1st, Routledge, London.
Crock, M. & Berg, L.A. 2011, Immigration, Refugees and Forced Migration: Law, Policy and Practice in Australia, 1st, Federation Press, Annandale.
This book provides a comprehensive analysis of immigration law in Australia and of the political, social and cultural forces that have shaped and are shaping it. It explains the momentous changes that have occurred in law and policy since the first attempts, in December 1989, to `codify decision-making through detailed regulations. It is a study of revolution and counter-revolution: of the impact that the courts and tribunals have had on law and policy through the review of migration decisions; and of the increasingly extreme steps taken by government to assert control over every aspect of its immigration program.


Berg, L.A. 2015, 'Hiding in Plain Sight: Au Pairs in Australia' in Cox, R. (ed), Sisters or Servants? Au Pairs' Lives in Global Context, Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 187-202.
Berg, L.A. 2013, 'Migrating Rights' in Arvanitakis, J. & Matthews, I. (eds), The Citizen in the 21st Century, Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, pp. 63-72.
Berg, L.A. & Millbank, J. 2013, 'Constructing the Personal Narratives of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Asylum Claimants' in Goldberg, S.B. (ed), Sexuality and Equality Law, Ashgate, Burlington, pp. 275-299.
Berg, L.A. & Millbank, J. 2013, 'Developing a Jurisprudence of Transgender Particular Social Group' in Thomas Spijkerboer (ed), Fleeing Homophobia: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Asylum, Routledge, Oxford, pp. 121-153.
Berg, L.A. & Millbank, J. 2011, 'Constructing the Personal Narratives of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Asylum Claimants' in Robson, R. (ed), Sexuality and Law - Volume III: Sexual Freedom, Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey, pp. 321-349.
Berg, L.A., Samson, A., Robinson, P.K. & Wills, J. 2009, 'Economic Migrants, the Banana Supply Chain, and the London Living Wage: Three Cases of Global Civil Society Activism on Poverty' in Fiona Holland (ed), Global Civil Society, Sage Publications, London, UK, pp. 166-185.


Berg, L.A. 2011, 'Refugee claims on the basis of transgender identity: trends in the case law'.
Berg, L.A. 2011, 'Access to Justice for Temporary Migrant Workers in Australia: An Immigration Law-Based Proposal'.
Berg, L.A. 2010, 'That Which We Call a Rose, the Multiple Characterizations of Irregular Migrants under International Human Rights law'.
Berg, L.A. 2010, 'Labour market necessities or racial exclusion: The rise and rise of English language requirements in skilled visa categories'.
Berg, L.A. 2009, 'Private practice: The partial citizenship of temporary migrant workers in Australia'.
Berg, L.A. 2007, 'Intersectionality and the Rights of Unauthorized Migrants'.

Journal articles

Berg, L.A. 2013, 'Book Review: Susan Kneebone and Julie Debeljak, Transnational Crime and Human Rights', Australian International Law Journal, vol. 20, pp. 203-206.
Berg, L.A. 2011, ''Mate Speak English, You're in Australia Now': English language requirements in skilled migration', The Alternative Law Journal, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 110-115.
Berg, L.A. 2010, 'Reforms to Skilled Migration', The Alternative Law Journal, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 179-180.
Berg, L.A. & Millbank, J. 2009, 'Constructing the Personal Narratives of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Asylum Claimants', Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 195-223.
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This article draws upon psychological and sociological literature to explore the issues that arise in eliciting and presenting a refugee narrative when the claim is based upon sexual orientation. In particular we explore the psychological stage model of sexual identity development and examine the pervasive impact this model has had upon decision-makers pre-understanding of sexual identity development as a uniform and linear trajectory.
Berg, L.A. & Loughnan, A. 2009, 'Preface - W(h)ither Human Rights?', Public Space: The Journal of Law and Social Justice, vol. 4, pp. 1-2.
Berg, L.A. 2007, 'At the Border and Between the Cracks: The Precarious Position of Irregular Migrant Workers under International Law', Melbourne Journal of International Law, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1-34.
This article aims to identify jurisprudence which advances the standards of treatment of unauthorised migrants in the context of often hostile domestic laws and political rhetoric. Due to its universalist and humanist underpinnings, many would consider international human rights law to be a natural source of rights protecting migrant workers. However, human rights doctrine takes a chequered approach to the protection of those living or working in a foreign state without visa authorisation. Even the Migrant Workers Convention recognises states sovereign prerogative over immigration control, and thereby fails to cater to the especially precarious position of irregular migrants who decline to assert their rights for fear of facing sanctions under immigration laws. It is argued that we need to look to regional judicial forums to find international legal doctrine which articulates a progressive legal framework robustly protective of irregular migrants rights. This article canvasses jurisprudence in the regional Human Rights Courts in Europe and the Americas which succeeds, in different ways, at decoupling the absolute discretion of states to regulate border control from the substantive rights of irregular migrants nce present in a host state.
Berg, L.A. 2004, 'Abu Graib - International Legal Standards Pertaining to torture and Degrading and Inhumane Treatment', Human Rights Defender, vol. 13, pp. 24-24.