Melissa de Zwart

Professor Melissa de Zwart

Dean of Law

Adelaide Law School

Faculty of the Professions

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Melissa has a keen interest in the intersection between law and technology. Prior to joining academia, she was the Manager, Legal Services, CSIRO, where she advised on protection and commercialisation of technology. Her areas of research focus primarily on digital technology, as it interacts with culture, human behaviour and new areas of innovation. She has published widely on copyright, social media, surveillance, popular culture, the internet and outer space. She is a Board Member of the Space Industry Association of Australia, a member of the International Institute of Space Law, Co-Editor of the Woomera Manual on the International Law Applicable to Military Space Operations and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. In 2015 she was the Team Leader of the AdelaideX Cyberwar, Surveillance and Security MOOC which has attracted over 40,000 students globally.

Research Interests

Copyright, fair dealing, digital technology, technology and innovation, space, commercial space, content regulation, online games, social networking, governance of online environments, digital identity, new media, convergence.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2019 Board Member Space Industry Association of Australia
    2019 Lieutenant Royal Australian Navy
    2016 - 2019 Member, Advisory Council Space Industry Association of Australia
    2011 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
  • Education

    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)
  • Research Interests

Copyright Agency Research Fellowship 2016: Copyright in an Instagram World

Copyright Society Research Grant 2014: Intermediary Liability

Surveillance and Big Data

Intellectual Property

Media Law

Law and Popular Culture

Tort Law


  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 Co-Supervisor Law of the sea is an inspiration by analogy to the development of space law. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Tracy Lynn Reynolds
    2019 Principal Supervisor Best Practices in Leveraging the AI Commercial Sector for US / Australia Defence Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Andrew Scott Bowne
    2019 Principal Supervisor Legislating for Emerging Areas of Commercial Activity in Outer Space Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Joel Willis Lisk
    2017 Co-Supervisor Reconciling conflicts in the application of disparate and fragmented International legal regimes to military uses outer space Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Duncan Blake
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    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
  • Editorial Boards

    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
  • Position: Dean of Law
  • Phone: 83135172
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Ligertwood Building, floor 5
  • Room: 5 11
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Law School

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