Brief Bio

Dr Scott Stephenson is a Senior Lecturer at Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne. His research focuses on topics of Australian and comparative constitutional law and theory, including federalism, the migration of constitutional ideas, models of rights protection, political backlash against courts, and quasi-constitutional law.

After receiving his BA and LLB(Hons) with the University Medal in Law from the Australian National University, he worked at the High Court of Australia, first as the Court’s Legal Research Officer and then as Associate (Law Clerk) to Justice Virginia Bell AC. He then obtained his LLM and JSD from Yale University. While at Yale, he held the position of Tutor-in-Law for two years, was awarded the Fox International Fellowship to spend a year undertaking research at the University of Cambridge, and visited the University of Copenhagen’s Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts).

His book on the bills of rights in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, From Dialogue to Disagreement in Comparative Rights Constitutionalism (Federation Press, 2016), was awarded the Holt Prize in 2015. He has published in a number of Australian, Irish, UK and international journals, including the Dublin University Law Journal, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Melbourne University Law Review, and Public Law.

Representative Publications


From Dialogue to Disagreement in Comparative Rights Constitutionalism (Federation Press, 2016).

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

‘Rights Protection in Australia’ in Adrienne Stone &Cheryl Saunders (eds), Oxford Handbook of the Australian Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2017) (forthcoming).

‘When Constitutional Conventions Fail’ (2015) 38 Dublin University Law Journal 447–64.

‘The Supreme Court’s Renewed Interest in Autochthonous Constitutionalism’ [2015] Public Law 394–402.

‘Federalism and Rights Deliberation’ (2014) 38 Melbourne University Law Review 709–54.

‘Constitutional Reengineering: Dialogue’s Migration from Canada to Australia’ (2013) 11 International Journal of Constitutional Law 870–97.

Book Reviews

‘Review of Stephen Gardbaum, The New Commonwealth Model of Constitutionalism: Theory and Practice’ (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 1156–62.

Short Pieces & Commentary

‘Scott Stephenson, Michael Crommelin and Cheryl Saunders on the Judgments in Plaintiff M68-2015 v Commonwealth’, Opinions on High Blog, 29 February 2016 (with Michael Crommelin and Cheryl Saunders).

‘Court Ruling Leaves the Buck with MPs’, Pursuit, 3 February 2016.

‘The Complications and Consequences of Constitutional Comparison’, Opinions on High Blog, 2 November 2015.

‘The Constitutional Referendum in Comparative Perspective: Same-Sex Marriage in Ireland and Australia’, International Journal of Constitutional Law Blog, 4 June 2015.

Republished in Michel Rosenfeld, Norman Dorsen, Susanne Baer, Susanna Mancini and Andras Sajo (eds), Comparative Constitutionalism: Cases and Materials (West Academic Publishing, 3rd ed, 2016) (forthcoming).

‘Federalism and Liberty in Australia Through the Lenses of Same-Sex Marriage and Organised Crime’, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog, 13 November 2013.

‘The Future of Rights Reform in the Age of the Referendum’, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog, 17 July 2013.

‘The Constitutional Significance of Statutory Repeal: How Far Can Parliament Turn Back the Clock?’, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog, 7 March 2013.

Courses taught at CTLS

  • Anti-Discrimination Law (Spring 2018)
  • Comparative Constitutional Law (Spring 2018)