Dr Rebecca Monson

Associate Professor
College of Law

Rebecca's teaching and research focuses on social difference, natural resource governance and justice systems, particularly in Australia and the Pacific. Her work is influenced by the fields of law and development, transnational feminisms, legal geography, political ecology and Pacific Studies.

Rebecca's work includes some of the earliest empirical accounts of climate displacement and relocation in the Pacific, and she led the development of Solomon Islands relocation guidelines in 2022. Her book 'Gender, Property and Politics in the Pacific' (Cambridge 2023) examines land struggles and gender relations across multiple scales and was awarded the 2023 Australian Legal Research Awards prize for a book. She currently holds an ARC DECRA to examine the ways in which Pacific women's movements mobilise around natural resource rights.

Rebecca regularly provides advice on customary and informal justice systems, resource governance, climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction and the rule of law to aid donors, government agencies, and international organisations working across Australian and the Pacific region. She has experience working in collaborative teams for organisations including The World Bank (particularly the Justice for the Poor Program), the Asian Development Bank, the International Development Law Organisation, and the International Organization for Migration.

Rebecca has previously been Deputy Associate Dean (Research) and Director Higher Degree Research (now called Associate Dean) in the ANU College of Law. She is a member of the board of the ANU Pacific Institute and the board of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies.

Rebecca has worked part-time since 2014. Prior to joining the ANU, she was a researcher with the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre and RMIT's Centre for Risk and Community Safety, and a solicitor in a team specialising in the emergency services sector. Rebecca has also worked in the planning and environment groups of several major law firms, for an international NGO specialising in housing, land and property rights, and as a research assistant in the Van Vollenhoven Institute at Leiden University.

Research interests

  • Access To Justice
  • Comparative Law
  • Environmental And Natural Resources Law
  • Law And Society
  • Social And Cultural Geography
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology
  • Pacific History (Excl. New Zealand And Maori)
  • Anthropology Of Development
  • Fitzpatrick, D & Monson, R 2020, 'Property rights and climate migration: Adaptive governance in the South Pacific', Regulation & Governance, vol. -, no. -, pp. 1-17.
  • Allen, M, Teaiwa, K, Koya-Vaka'uta, C et al. 2018, The rush for Oceania: critical perspectives on contemporary oceans governance and stewardship.
  • Monson, R 2017, 'The Politics of Property: Gender, Land and Political Authority in Solomon Islands', in Siobhan McDonnell, Matthew G. Allen, Colin Filer (ed.), Kastom, Property and Ideology: Land Transformations in Melanesia, ANU ePress, Canberra, pp. 383-404.
  • Fitzpatrick, D & Monson, R 2015, 'Land law and natural disasters in the South Pacific', Alternative Law Journal, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 195-198.
  • Monson, R 2015, 'From Taovia to Trustee: Urbanisation, Land Disputes and Social Differentiation in Kakabona', Journal of Pacific History, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 437-449.
  • Monson, R & Hoa'au, G 2015 '(Em)placing law: migration, belonging and place in Solomon Islands', in Fiona Jenkins, Mark Nolan, Kim Rubenstein (ed.), Allegiance and Identity in a Globalised World, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. 117-141.
  • Monson, R & Foukona, J 2014, 'Climate-related displacement and options for resettlement in Solomon Islands', in Scott Leckie (ed.), Land Solutions for Climate Displacement, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 291-316.
  • Monson, R 2014, 'Unsettled Explorations of Law's Archives: The Allure and Anxiety of Solomon Islands' Court Records', The Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 35-50.
  • Allen, M & Monson, R 2014, 'Land and Conflict in Papua New Guinea: The Role of Land Mediation', Security Challenges, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 1-14.
  • Fitzpatrick, D & Monson, R 2013, 'Climate Change and the Legal Framework for Settlement Relocation in the South Pacific', 2013 FIG Pacific Small Island Developing States Symposium: Policies and Practices for Responsible Government, ed. To be checked, International Federation of Surveyors, Fiji.
  • Monson, R 2013, 'From Taovia to Trustees: male spokespersons and 'dangerous' land disputes in Kakabona', Solomon Islands in Transition Workshop, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia., pp. 1pp.
  • Monson, R 2013, 'Vernacularising Political Participation: Strategies of Women Peace-builders in Solomon Islands', Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, no. 33, p. 12.
  • Monson, R 2013, ''From Adam's rib': land disputes, social differentiation and state formation in postcolonial Solomon Islands', Property and Citizenship in Developing Countries, ProCit research group, Copenhagen, pp. 6pp.
  • Monson, R 2013, 'Outsider engagement in debates about constitutional reform', IGLP: The Workshop, ed. Institute of Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts, pp. 1pp.
  • Allen, M, Dinnen, S, Evans, D et al 2013, Justice Delivered Locally Systems, Challenges and Innovations in Solomon Islands. Washington DC: World Bank, Justice Delivered Locally, Research Report, August 2013, pp 1-92.
  • Monson, R 2012, 'The problem of property: Knowing and speaking about land in Solomon Islands', Innovation, Development, Creativity and Access in Knowledge in Pacific Island Countries, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, Canberra, pp. 2pp.
  • Monson, R 2012, 'Gender in the Pacific: what's particular about women's inclusion in land and natural resource governance?', unknown, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, pp. 4pp.
  • Monson, R 2011, 'Negotiating Land Tenure: Women, Men and the Transformation of Land Tenure in Solomon Islands', in Janine Ubink (ed.), Customary Justice: Perspectives on Legal Empowerment, International Development Law Organization in conjuction with Van Vollenhoven Institute, University of Leiden, Rome, pp. 169-185.
  • Monson, R, 2011 'Negotiating Land Tenure: Women, Men and the Transformation of Land Tenure in Solomon Islands'in Janine Ubink (ed.) Customary Justice: Perspectives on Legal Empowerment, International Development Law Organisation and Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Development, Rome, Italy, pp 169-185
  • Fitzpatrick, D & Monson, R 2010, 'Asia-Pacific: Haitians must determine the future of Haiti', Alternative Law Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 41-42.
  • Monson ,R 2010 'Participatory research on land issues in Solomon Islands' Pacific Currents Issues 1.2 and 2.1
  • Monson, R 2010 'Women, State Law and Land in Peri-Urban Settlements on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands' World Bank Justice for the Poor Briefing Note 4(3)
  • Fitzpatrick, D & Monson, R 2009, 'Balancing Rights and Norms: Property Programming in East Timor, the Solomon Islands, and Bougainville', in Scott Leckie (ed.), Housing, Land, and Property Rights in Post-Conflict United Nations and Other Peace Operations: A comparative survey and proposal for reform, Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 103-135.
  • Monson R and Handmer J 2004 'Does a Rights Based Approach Make a Difference? The Role of Public Law in Vulnerability Reduction' International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 22(3): 43-59
  • Monson, R 2004 'The 1998 Floods in the Tambo Valley' International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 22 (3):61-86