School of Architecture and Civil Engineering
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Melissa is the Deputy Director and Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants 4 Space and Professorial Member of the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources.
Melissa is a prominent legal researcher, working in the areas of commercial and military uses of outer space, encompassing both domestic and international space law. She has worked closely with the Australian space industry, including serving as Deputy Director and Board Member of the Space Industry Association of Australia, as well as on the successful bid team for the 2025 International Astronautical Congress to be held in Sydney. She has published widely on all legal and regulatory aspects of the space environment.
Melissa joined the University of Adelaide in 2011 and was Dean of Law 2017- 2021. She holds a PhD from Monash University, an LLM from the University of Melbourne, and a BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Grad Cert in Higher Education from Monash and a Grad Cert in Higher Education (Online Learning) from the University of Adelaide. Prior to joining Adelaide Law School, she was a Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer at Monash University (1996-2009) and an Associate Professor UNISA (2009-2010). She has held visiting positions at The University of Amsterdam (2002), and National University of Singapore (2006 and 2017). Melissa has also served on the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Classification Review Board (2009-2014). She is a Lieutenant, Royal Australian Navy (Reserve) and holds a current practising certificate in South Australia.
Melissa is a Member of the International Institute of Space Law and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. She is on the Editorial Board of the Alternative Law Journal and Legalities: The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Law and Society, and previously Editor of the Media & Arts Law Review (2013-2020).
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
Regulation of outer space, including commercial, military, domestic and international law; technology and innovation; human uses of outer space; sustainability of outer space and resources.
Date Position Institution name 2019 - 2023 Board Member Space Industry Association of Australia 2019 - ongoing Lieutenant Royal Australian Navy 2016 - 2019 Member, Advisory Council Space Industry Association of Australia 2011 - ongoing Professor University of Adelaide 2009 - 2014 Member Attorney-General's Department Australia 2009 - 2011 Associate Professor University of South Australia 1996 - 2009 Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer Monash University 1994 - 1998 Manager, Corporate Legal Services Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Date Institution name Country Title 2012 - 2013 University of Adelaide Australia Graduate Certificate Higher Education (Online Learning) 2000 - 2006 Monash University Australia PhD 2000 - 2001 Monash University Australia Graduate Certificate Higher Education 1995 - 1996 University of Melbourne Australia LL.M. 1986 - 1991 University of Melbourne Australia B.A. (Hons) 1986 - 1992 University of Melbourne Australia LL.B (Hons)
Year Citation 2023 Human Uses of Outer Space (2023). . Springer Nature Singapore.
2023 Human Uses of Outer Space (2023). . Springer Nature Singapore.
2021 Zwart, M. D., & Henderson, S. (2021). Commercial and Military Uses of Outer Space. Springer Nature.
2016 Comparative Defamation and Privacy Law (2016). . Cambridge University Press.
2016 Richards, B., & de Zwart, M. (2016). Tort Law Principles (2 ed.). Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters. 2015 de Zwart, M., Richards, B., & Le Mire, S. (Eds.) (2015). Law and Popular Culture in Australia. LexisNexis Butterworths. 2013 Richards, B., de Zwart, M., & Ludlow, K. (2013). Tort Law Principles (6th ed.). Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia. 2010 Campbell, E., Fox, R., & de Zwart, M. (2010). Students' guide to legal writing, law exams and self assessment (3 ed.). Annandale, N.S.W.: Federation Press. 2008 Richards, B., Ludlow, K., & Gibson, A. (2008). Tort Law: In Principle. Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters.
Report for External Bodies
Year Citation 2018 Zito, P. C. (2018). Geographical Indications: What is Their Worth? A Comparison of Geographical Indication Registrations Between Australia and Italy. (PhD Thesis, The University of Adelaide).
Copyright Agency Research Fellowship 2016: Copyright in an Instagram World
Copyright Society Research Grant 2014: Intermediary Liability
Surveillance and Big Data
Law and Popular Culture
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2021 Co-Supervisor Intellectual Property in the 21st Century’s Space Race Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Art Cotterell 2019 Co-Supervisor Legislating for Emerging Areas of Commercial Activity in Outer Space Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Joel Willis Lisk
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2019 - 2023 Co-Supervisor Attracting Commercial Artificial Intelligence Firms to Support National Security Through Collaborative Contracts Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Andrew Scott Bowne 2013 - 2017 Principal Supervisor To What Extent Can Libyan Intellectual Property Laws Protect Traditional Cultural Expressions From Unauthorised Use? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Abdolhamed Masoud M Agal 2013 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Geographical Indications: What is their Worth? A Comparison of Geographical Indication Registrations between Australia and Italy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Paula Caroline Zito
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2020 - ongoing Board Member Legalities: The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Law and Society Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ) Australia 2014 - ongoing Board Member Alternative Law Journal - Australia 2013 - ongoing Board Member Media & Arts Law Review University of Melbourne Australia
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