Dr Rebecca Monson

College of Law

Rebecca is a lawyer and geographer with a strong record of reseearch and practice focusing on law, social inequality, and development. Her work is empirical and interdisciplinary, with a particular focus on Australia and the southwest Pacific. Rebecca draws on critical approaches in law, geography, anthropology and history to explore questions of regulatory pluralism, environmental change and social inequality that are of interest to researchers, policy makers and practitioners working in a variety of contexts.

Rebecca has conducted fieldwork in rural and urban communities in Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. She regularly undertakes professional consultancies relating to justice systems, gender and development for governments, major development institutions (eg The World Bank, ADB, IDLO) and NGOs.

Rebecca's current work revolves around three key themes:

(1) gender, legal pluralism and property rights

(2) climate change, displacement and property rights in the Pacific

(3) gender, customary justice, and rule of law programming

Rebecca is currently finalising a monograph under contract with Cambridge University Press, on gender, property and politics in Solomon Islands.

Rebecca has led law, governance and development teaching in the ANU College of Law, and is a member of the board of the ANU Pacific Institute, and the ANU Disaster Risk Science Institute. Rebecca co-founded and co-convenes the Australian Critical Development Studies Network and is a member of the board of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies.

Prior to joining the ANU, Rebecca was a solicitor in the emergency services team at Maddocks. She was also a researcher at RMIT's Centre for Risk and Community Safety, which included projects for the Bushfire CRC and Emergency Management Australia. She has worked in the planning and environment groups at several major Australian law firms, and at an international NGO specialising in housing, land and property rights.

Rebecca received her PhD from the ANU in 2012, for a thesis examining transformations in gendered land relations associated with colonisation, missionisation and the commodification of natural resources in Solomon Islands. She undertook her undergraduate studies at Monash University, where she graduated with first class honours in Law, the Supreme Court Prize for Best Honours Thesis, and first class honours in Geography and Environmental Science. Rebecca has two young children and works part time.

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
  • 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
  • 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