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Emilie McDonnell

MPhil Student, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship


Emilie McDonnell is a lawyer from Australia with a background in refugee and human rights law. She is currently an MPhil in Law candidate at University College at the University of Oxford and is the 2016 Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar. Her MPhil research focuses on protecting the human rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants when migration control has been offshored and outsourced to third states and non-state actors.

Prior to the MPhil, she completed the Bachelor of Civil Law with Distinction at Oxford. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Criminology, and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours in Law from the University of Tasmania. She has also been admitted to the Tasmanian Supreme Court as an Australian lawyer.

In 2013, Emilie co-founded Tasmania’s first community legal centre for refugees, the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service, with a group of Tasmanian lawyers and community members. The service provides free legal assistance to asylum seekers and refugees within the Tasmanian community.

While at Oxford University, Emilie has been the Co-Convener of Rhodes to Asylum, a Rhodes Scholar group in Oxford focused on asylum seeker and refugee related issues, contributes to the Oxford Human Rights Hub blog and undertakes occasional research for Oxford Pro Bono Publico.

Emilie has previously worked as a tutor, researcher, unit facilitator and lecturer at the University of Tasmania law faculty.

Regional Focus

Europe, Oceania