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Dr Fanny Thornton

Assistant Professor
School of Law& Justice
Highest Qualification – Phd
HDR Completions - 0

Contact Details
Phone No.: +61 (0) 2 6201 5773


My research interests are varied and include public international law, international and domestic human rights law, international refugee law, international environmental law, state responsibility, forced migration, climate change and human migration & displacement. I focus in particular on international legal and governance frameworks relevant to human migration & displacement in the context of environmental and climatic change. I am influenced by justice theory and rights theory in developing non-protection based legal approaches to responding to migration and displacement in that context. I furthermore have research interests in the area of litigation and compensation in response to the damaging impacts of climate change, particularly as this evolves in the cross-border sense.

  • Fanny Thornton, Climate Change and People on the Move: International Law and Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018);
  • Hedda Ransen-Cooper, Carol Farbotko, Karen McNamara and Fanny Thornton, 'Being(s) Framed: The Means and Ends of Framing Environmental Migrants' (2016) 35 Global Environmental Change 106;
  • Karen E McNamara, Carol Farbotko, Fanny Thornton, Olivia Dun, Hedda Ransan-Cooper, Emilie Chevalier, Purevdulam Lkhagvasuren, ‘Environment and Migration Experts: Who are they and What are their Views? (Report, International Organization for Migration, Geneva, 2017).
  • Patricia Easteal, Joshua Favaloro and Fanny Thornton, ‘Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: The Consideration of Habitual Residence in Australian Courts’ (2016) 6 Family Law Review 123;


  • Australian Research Council (Linkage grant number: LP170101136) 2018-2021; Project Name: Transformative Human Mobilities in a Changing Climate. In this inter-disciplinary project, I am working with researchers from various universities in Australia and the CSIRO, as well as partner organisations including the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, to develop frameworks by which mobility issues arising in connection with climate change are integrated with adaptation and development goals and planning in the Pacific Islands region. Grant total: AUD 379,000
  • National Geographic Society (grant number: HJ2-194R-18) 2018-2019; Project Name: Navigating Rising Seas: Relocation in Fiji, the Maldives and Tuvalu: In this inter-disciplinary project, I am working with researchers from various universities in Australia and the CSIRO to look at communities experiencing relocation in various small island nations in the face of climatic change. We want to capture pathways that ensure positive relocation experiences and trajectories. Grant total: AUD 39,000

Fanny is available for a HDR supervision consultation to prospective students.

Areas of Research Interest

  • Refugee Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Law
  • Climate Change Law & Regulation
  • Migration

Research Theories / Models of Interest

  • Legal Theory
  • Critical Legal Theory
  • Justice Theory
  • Jurisprudence
  • New Approaches to International Law

Research Methods of Interest

  • Legal Research Methods
  • Law Reform Methods
  • Interdisciplinary Methods
  • Socio-Legal Methods