Petra Mahy is a lecturer in law at SOAS, University of London. Previously she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (2013-2015) and remains a research associate of the Centre. Prior to joining the Centre, Petra was a research fellow at both Monash University and the University of Melbourne (2010-2013) and she continues to collaborate with researchers at those institutions. Petra was also a Visiting Professor to the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR) at the University of the Philippines in July-August 2013. Petra’s PhD on the topic of gender, development and corporate social responsibility in mining was completed at the Australian National University in 2012. 

Petra's current research interests and publications are concerned with the comparative historical evolution of company law and labour law in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. This research is employing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies for charting legal change. 

Petra is also working on a project aimed at understanding the content and development of informal forms of work regulation in the restaurant sector in Indonesia and Australia. During 2013-2014, Petra has spent a total of four months conducting interviews with workers and employers in the cities of Yogyakarta, Bandung, Manado and Melbourne.


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  • P Mahy, 'The Functional Approach in Comparative Socio-Legal Research: Reflections Based on a Study of Plural Work Regulation in Australia and Indonesia' (2016) International Journal of Law in Context (forthcoming)
  • I Landau , P Mahy and R Mitchell, The Regulation of Non-Standard Forms of Employment in India, Indonesia and Viet Nam (ILO-INWORK Working Paper 2015)
  • P Mahy and I Ramsay, 'Legal Transplants and Adaptation in a Colonial Setting: Company Law in British Malaya' (2014) Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 123
  • S Cooney, P Mahy, R Mitchell and P Gahan, 'The Evolution of Labor Law in Three Asian Nations: An Introductory Comparative Study' (2014) 36 Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 23
  • R Mitchell, P Mahy and P Gahan, 'The Evolution of Labour Law in India: An Overview and Commentary on Regulatory Objectives and Development' (2014) 1 Asian Journal of Law and Society 413
  • P Mahy, 'Being Kartini: Ceremony and Print Media in the Commemoration of Indonesia's First Feminist' (2012) 28 Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
  • P Mahy and J Sale, 'Classifying the Legal System of the Philippines: A Preliminary Analysis with Reference to Labor Law' (2012) 32 Philippine Journal of Labor and Industrial Relations 1
  • P Mahy, Evolution of the Corporate Form in Indonesia: An Exploration of Legal Innovation and Stagnation (Workplace and Corporate Law Research Group, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash University Working Paper no. 19 2012)
  • R Mitchell, P Mahy and P Gahan, The Evolution of Labour Law in India: An Overview and Commentary on Regulatory Objectives and Development? (Monash University Workplace and Corporate Law Research Group, Working Paper no. 18 2012)
  • P Mahy, 'Mining, Sex Work and Livelihoods: Looking Beyond Negative Impacts on Women' in K Lahiri-Dutt (ed), Mining, Gender and Sustainable Livelihoods (ANU E-Press 2011)


Research projects

Research Interests

comparative labour law, comparative company law, legal systems in Asia, law and society in southeast Asia, informal norms and institutions, legal history, socio-legal research methods

Research projects