Dr Emilie McDonnell completed her DPhil in Law in 2021, which focused on protecting the right to leave and related human rights of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants during externalised migration control. She was supervised by Professor Cathryn Costello and Associate Professor Miles Jackson. Emilie currently works with Human Rights Watch in London as the UK Advocacy and Communications Coordinator.
She is the 2016 Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar, having completed the MPhil in Law in 2018 and the BCL with Distinction in 2017 at University College, Oxford. She also held a Hertford College Senior Scholarship in support of her studies. Emilie also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology) and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours in Law from the University of Tasmania and is a qualified Australian lawyer.
In 2013, she co-founded and was a Director until 2016 of the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service. She is an Adjunct Researcher at the University of Tasmania School of Law, a Research Affiliate at the Refugee Law Initiative, and Member of the Asia-Pacific research group and Emerging Scholars Network at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney. She has experience working with the European Research Council’s RefMig Project (led by Professor Cathryn Costello), UNRWA's Department of Legal Affairs in East Jerusalem (funded by the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights 2019 Samuel Pisar Travelling Fellowship in Human Rights), the Oxford Human Rights Hub, and a UK legal aid law firm in the immigration detention and deportation team. During her time at Oxford, Emilie was also a co-convenor of the Refugee and Migration Law Discussion Group and coached the winning Oxford team in the European Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Strasbourg April 2019.
Emilie was the Graduate Teaching Assistant for Human Rights Law at the Oxford Law Faculty from 2019-21, having lectured and tutored for the Human Rights Law (FHS) course. She has previously lectured and tutored FHS undergraduates in Medical Law and Ethics, tutored International Refugee Law for the Stanford University Program in Oxford, and taught on several summer school programmes in Oxford. She has also taught on various subjects at the University of Tasmania.