Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law

The Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law (CPICL) brings together a large group of faculty members and doctoral students who are actively engaged in research and teaching in the following areas:

Public law

  • constitutional law
  • administrative law
  • domestic human rights law
  • law of institutions, including educational, religious and professional institutions.

International law

  • public international law
  • international human rights law
  • international criminal and humanitarian law
  • the law of international organisations
  • private international law

Comparative law

Analysis and comparison of:

  • law in nations of Asia and the South Pacific
  • legal systems, other than the common law, including civil, chthonic, socialist and Syariah legal systems
  • role of legal institutions in different nations and legal systems
  • legal pluralism
  • inter- and intra-legal pluralism in Australia.

Legal theory

Philosophical, economic, social and historical perspectives on law.


Featured publication

Book coverReligious Freedom in Secular States: a 21st Century Perspective

This book reflects on what constitutes the core values, tenets, cultural, historic, and ideological parameters of secularism in international contexts. In twelve chapters, this edited work examines current tensions in liberal secular states where myriad rights and freedoms compete regarding education, healthcare, end-of-life choices, clothing, sexual orientation, reproduction, and minority interests. It explores the legal complexity of defining a ‘religion’ through judicial decisions and scrutinises Christianity, Hinduism and Islam’s relative success in accommodating religious pluralism.

Part One explores the religious practice and persecution nexus, COVID-19’s effect on religious freedom, religious education, burqas/headscarves, and religious culture in civil law. Part Two explores the constitutional principle of secularism in Member States of the Council of Europe, US Religious Clauses, and religious freedom in South Africa, UK, Australia, and India.

Editors: Md. Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan (External CPICL Fellow) and  Ann Black (CPICL Executive Director (Comparative Law). Both are members of CPICL’s Legal Pluralism Program.

More publications from CPICL members

Featured scholar

Dr Mark Deng in the UQ law libraryRebecca Barber

Rebecca Barber is a PhD candidate with the School of Law and a Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, University of Queensland. Her PhD thesis (currently under examination) focused on the legal powers of the UN General Assembly to prevent and respond to atrocity crimes. In 2021 she authored a guidance document for States on that topic. She is currently working on the development of a framework for the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect.

Rebecca’s research encompasses UN Charter law, international peace and security law, international organisations, state responsibility, international human rights and humanitarian law, and the responsibility to protect. Her research has been published in leading international law journals including the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, the International Review of the Red Cross, the Journal of International Peacekeeping, the Journal of Conflict and Security Law and the Journal on the Use of Force in International Law, among others. She also writes frequently for online international law forums including Just Security and EJIL:Talk!. Her blogs for EJIL:Talk! have for the last two years been listed as among the blog’s most widely read. 

Rebecca has received several national and international awards for her research including the International and Comparative Law Quarterly early career prize (2021), an Australian Legal Research Award (2022) and awards for HDR research excellence from the University of Queensland’s Law School (2021) and Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (2022).

Rebecca previously had a career in international humanitarian assistance and advocacy, with assignments in Africa, South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

For Rebecca’s publications see her UQ POLSIS page here.

About the Centre

Established in September 2003, the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law is dedicated to advanced research and seeks collaborative links and scholarly exchanges with other disciplines within the University, and with like–minded research organisations around the world.

Support is provided by the Centre for doctoral research and currently 15 doctoral students work with the supervision of the Fellows of the Centre. Fellows and other Centre members also contribute to the graduate program of the School of Law by the conduct of courses in its research areas. View our management and members.

The Centre disseminates its research through public seminars and conferences and publications. From 2004-2020, the Centre published the LAWASIA Journal in partnership with LAWASIA, The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific and from 2017, the Australian Journal of International Law, edited by Centre Director, Professor Anthony Cassimatis.

CPICL has established links with relevant government and public institutions and offers consultancy services in its areas of expertise.

CPICL is currently running eight research programs:


Whether you're a potential student, a scholar from Australia or overseas, or someone who's active in public, international and comparative law, CPICL welcomes your enquiries about our research areas, seminars and organisation. Please contact our Centre Director.

Professor Anthony CassimatisProfessor Anthony Cassimatis
Centre Director
Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law
Law School
The University of Queensland
Brisbane QLD 4072

+61 7 3365 2446