Biography

Chelsea is a DPhil candidate (PRS) and Postgraduate Ramsay Scholar, focussing on the role of human rights law in addressing domestic abuse, under the supervision of Professors Shazia Choudhry and Jonathan Herring. Supported by a scholarship from Jesus College, she completed the BCL with Distinction in 2021, reading for the papers Comparative Human Rights, Comparative Equality Law, Law in Society, and Families & the State: Children. She received the Law Faculty Prize for best performance in Advanced & Comparative Criminal Law on the BCL.

Chelsea serves on the Editorial Board of the Oxford Human Rights Hub and is a Research Officer and member of the Executive Committee of the Oxford Pro Bono Publico. She convenes the Feminist Jurisprudence Discussion Group and Criminal Law Discussion Group in the Faculty of Law. A Choral Scholar at Worcester College, she is also Poetry Editor for the Oxford Public Philosophy journal, and has had works of prose and poetry published in The Turl magazine. Chelsea is passionate about improving access to justice and considering how intersectional marginalisation affects the availability and effectiveness of legal remedies. She has previously served as a Youth Ambassador for Oxfam Australia, a member of the Australian delegation to the Harvard Model United Nations Conference, and a Senior Judge for The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition. Chelsea is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Prior to studying at Oxford Chelsea completed undergraduate degrees in Law and International Business, alongside graduate studies in Politics and International Relations; International Economics and Finance; French and Latin language; Mathematics; and English Literature. Chelsea has two University Medals and a Chancellor's Medal, and received the Una Prentice Award for the highest achieving graduating law student in the state of Queensland. She was the youngest graduate of her university, aged seventeen. Chelsea also holds a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary), and spent three years teaching English, French, Latin and Philosophy at a boarding school in Australia, where she also coordinated Gifted & Talented programmes.

Chelsea's research interests centre on issues of complex social policy, particularly dealing with vulnerable parties who face challenges advocating on their own behalf. Her undergraduate thesis, published in the Journal of Law & Medicine, investigated how dynamic socio-political conditions interact with attempts to legalise voluntary euthanasia in Australia, drawing on a comparative study of Dutch and Belgian law reform experiences. More recently, she was the lead researcher for a report for Community Legal Centres NSW, compiled on behalf of the University of Sydney Policy Reform Project, exploring the implications of reduced access to advocacy for parents involved in child protection cases.

 

Publications

Recent additions

  • C Wallis, 'Making Women Powerful: What the Fight Against Gender-Based Violence in India can Teach us' (2021) Frontiers of Socio-Legal Studies University of Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies [Review]
    Poulami Roychowdhury’s Capable Women, Incapable States: Negotiating Violence and Rights in India presents a lucid and compelling reassessment of the circumstances in which disenfranchised individuals pursue and claim their legal rights. Capable Women, Incapable States provides a rich account of individuals’ attempts to live free from violence and coercive control, even when confronted by reluctant judicial officials and state malaise. The text makes an invaluable contribution to feminist Socio-Legal scholarship and to South-East Asian legal studies by interrogating how gender and cultural narratives collide within the politicised terrain of family violence. In particular, Roychowdhury’s feminist qualitative methodology positions her to recognise critical gaps between official reports and policy statements, and the reality of managing and policing gender-based violence in India.
  • C Wallis, 'The hidden pandemic of domestic abuse: will criminalising coercive control in Australia protect the most vulnerable?' (2021) Oxford Human Rights Hub
    Globally, organisations supporting survivors of domestic abuse have faced unparalleled challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, with victims confronting escalations of violence while confined at home with perpetrators. Within Australia, strict lockdown regulations over the past three months have led to providers of domestic violence support services being unable to manage the sharp rise in demand for assistance. Amidst this crisis, debates continue in Australian jurisdictions over whether – following the English legislature – the proposed offence of coercive control should be criminalised, to protect those confronting abusive behaviour in the home.
  • C Wallis, S Gillfeather-Spetere, V Mahapatra and C Sohoni, The Role of Legal and Non-legal Parent Advocates in the NSW Child Protection System (Report for Community Legal Centres NSW on behalf of the University of Sydney Policy Reform Project 2020)

Review (1)

C Wallis, 'Making Women Powerful: What the Fight Against Gender-Based Violence in India can Teach us' (2021) Frontiers of Socio-Legal Studies University of Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies [Review]
Poulami Roychowdhury’s Capable Women, Incapable States: Negotiating Violence and Rights in India presents a lucid and compelling reassessment of the circumstances in which disenfranchised individuals pursue and claim their legal rights. Capable Women, Incapable States provides a rich account of individuals’ attempts to live free from violence and coercive control, even when confronted by reluctant judicial officials and state malaise. The text makes an invaluable contribution to feminist Socio-Legal scholarship and to South-East Asian legal studies by interrogating how gender and cultural narratives collide within the politicised terrain of family violence. In particular, Roychowdhury’s feminist qualitative methodology positions her to recognise critical gaps between official reports and policy statements, and the reality of managing and policing gender-based violence in India.

Internet Publication (1)

C Wallis, 'The hidden pandemic of domestic abuse: will criminalising coercive control in Australia protect the most vulnerable?' (2021) Oxford Human Rights Hub
Globally, organisations supporting survivors of domestic abuse have faced unparalleled challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, with victims confronting escalations of violence while confined at home with perpetrators. Within Australia, strict lockdown regulations over the past three months have led to providers of domestic violence support services being unable to manage the sharp rise in demand for assistance. Amidst this crisis, debates continue in Australian jurisdictions over whether – following the English legislature – the proposed offence of coercive control should be criminalised, to protect those confronting abusive behaviour in the home.

Report (1)

C Wallis, S Gillfeather-Spetere, V Mahapatra and C Sohoni, The Role of Legal and Non-legal Parent Advocates in the NSW Child Protection System (Report for Community Legal Centres NSW on behalf of the University of Sydney Policy Reform Project 2020)

Journal Article (1)

C Wallis, 'A Phronetic Inquiry into the Australian Euthanasia Experience: Challenging Paternalistic Medical Culture and Unrepresentative Health Policy' (2018) 25 Journal of Law and Medicine 837
Australia’s intermittent attempts to legalise euthanasia are typically fraught with brief, polarised, and often sensationalised, public debate. Yet beyond the sensitive arguments in favour and in opposition of reform, the practical antecedents of change that may determine Australia’s genuine aptitude to enact reforms have been largely neglected. Phronetic legal inquiry thus offers insights into the euthanasia law reform experience, using Australian and international case comparisons to examine covert power dynamics, cultural discourses, and social and institutional structures that affect the practices of the legislature. On this basis, it is argued that Australia’s medical profession, and particularly its dominant providers of palliative care, are hampered by an entrenched culture of medicalisation and paternalism, within which patient autonomy provides only a veneer of self-determination.This can be strikingly contrasted with the Dutch approach of patient-centred care, which seeks to produce collaborative, respectful dialogue between physician and patient and to integrate the principles of autonomy and bene cence. Furthermore, these contrasting medical cultures represent issues in the broader policymaking context, as Australia’s health policy remains unduly subject to the pressure of unrepresentative yet in uential conservative interest groups, most prominently including the Australian Medical Association. This pressure serves to suppress public opinion on the issue of euthanasia in a parliamentary climate that remains sti ed by bipartisan alliances and political inertia. It is therefore argued that Australia’s prospects for successful voluntary euthanasia law reform rest on the dual pillars of developing a more patient-centred medical culture and challenging the prevailing paternalistic approach to health policymaking in Australia’s currently unrepresentative political landscape.
ISBN: 1320-159X

Research programmes

Research Interests

Feminist legal theory; Family law; Human Rights; Medical Law and Ethics; Children's Rights; Criminal Law; Gender and the law; Equality Law; Access to Justice

Research projects