Emilie McDonnell recently completed her DPhil in Law, which focuses on protecting the right to leave and related human rights of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants during externalised migration control, specifically when it is conducted extraterritorially and has been outsourced to states of origin and transit, private actors, and international organisations. She is supervised by Professor Cathryn Costello and Associate Professor Miles Jackson. In support of her studies, Emilie holds a Hertford College Senior Scholarship.

Emilie 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 holds a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology) and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours in Law from the University of Tasmania, and is also a qualified lawyer from Australia. In 2013, she co-founded and was a Director until 2016 of Tasmania’s first community legal centre for refugees, asylum seekers and humanitarian entrants, the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service.

She is an Adjunct Researcher at the University of Tasmania School of Law, a Research Assistant at the Oxford Human Rights Hub, and previously a Co-Convenor of the Refugee and Migration Law Discussion Group. She is 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.

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. Emilie was awarded the 2019 Samuel Pisar Travelling Fellowship in Human Rights from the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights enabling her to intern with the Department of Legal Affairs at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Jerusalem from July to October 2019. 


Recent additions

Internet Publication (10)

Report (1)

Other (2)

Journal Article (1)

E McDonnell, 'Proprietary rights in the online world: Is a digital footprint property?' (2016) 25 Australian Property Law Journal 69
This article explores whether a person’s digital footprint, specifically their online accounts and the contents within them, can be property owned by the account user. Despite people living a significant part of their lives online, there is no law in Australia which specifies whether digital footprints are property or a concise legal framework for determining when new concepts can be afforded proprietary rights. The example of classic cars is used to demonstrate that digital footprints can fall within a property law framework and hold proprietary rights. It is concluded that digital footprints are conceptually capable of being property and should be recognised as property under Australian law because they are commercially valuable and no other body of law adequately protects a person’s ability to determine how their digital footprint will be treated after death.
ISBN: 1038-5959

Research programmes

Research Interests

Human Rights, Human Rights Law, Migration Law, Refugee Law, Public International Law

Options taught

Human Rights Law

Research projects