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Professor Lorana Bartels

School of Law& Justice
Highest Qualification – Phd
HDR Completions - 1

Contact Details
Phone No.: +61 (0) 2 6201 5767


Lorana Bartels undertakes research in criminal law and criminology, with a particular focus on sentencing and corrections, and the treatment of women and Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.  Examples of current and recent research projects include: public opinion on sentencing for sex offences; public opinion on parole; the use of suspended sentences in Tasmania and the potential impact of their abolition; the use of meditation and yoga programs in prison; human rights in prison; the benefits and challenges of electronic monitoring for offenders; swift, certain and fair sanctions; sentencing practices in the Australian Capital Territory; juvenile sex offending; media representations of women who kill; offenders' Indigenous status in sentencing; the operation of the guilty plea discount; findings from research with Children's Court magistrates; the implications of the abolition of defensive homicide in Victoria; a review of Australian sentencing practices and the increasing reliance on prison; the High Court's decision in Bugmy on the relevance of Aboriginality in sentencing; the ongoing vulnerabilities experienced by sexually victimised women offenders; and programs to make the criminal justice system more responsive to the needs of Indigenous defendants, victims and witnesses.

Lorana's research involves legal, policy and quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and is often multi- and inter-disciplinary in nature. Her research has an applied focus and she regularly undertakes consultancy research projects for justice agencies around Australia. Lorana is the Sentencing Editor of the Criminal Law Journal. She is a member of the ACT Government's Law Reform Advisory Council, Justice Reform Advisory Group, Justice Reinvestment Advisory Group and Behavioural Law Responses Expert Reference Group. She is also a member of the ACT Law Society's Criminal Law Committee and Prisoners Aid ACT and the International Mainstreaming Therapeutic Jurisprudence Advisory Group. Between 2008 and 2015, Lorana was the ACT representative on the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology. In 2015, Lorana was a Visiting Scholar at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology and a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. She is now a Life Member of Clare Hall and is also an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania.

Lorana holds Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from the University of NSW, a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Tasmania, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education from the University of Canberra. She is admitted to practice as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW.


  • Fitzgerald R, Bartels L, Cherney A and Freiberg A (2014), 'Parole in crisis? Public perceptions of parole and Parole Board decision-making', Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, DP150100569 ($235,780).
  • Bartels L (2014), 'Sentencing briefs using data from the ACT Sentencing Database', ACT Government ($30,380).
  • Warner K, Bartels L, Davis J, Freiberg A, Mackenzie G, Plater D, Roberts L, Zdenkowski G, Gelb K, Hinchey J, Overland S and Reinhardt G (2013), 'Gauging informed public opinion on sentencing sex offenders: A national study', Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, LP130100083 ($252,124).
  • Anthony T, Bartels L and Hopkins A (2015), 'Lessons lost in sentencing: Welding individualised justice to Indigenous justice', Melbourne University Law Review, 39: 1-28.
  • Bartels L (2015), 'Swift and certain sanctions: Is it time for Australia to bring some HOPE into the criminal justice system?' Criminal Law Journal, 39: 53-66.
  • Bartels L (2013), 'Parole and parole authorities in Australia: A system in crisis?', Criminal Law Journal, 37: 357-376.
  • Bartels L (2009), 'The weight of the Sword of Damocles: A reconviction analysis of suspended sentences in Tasmania', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 41: 72-100.

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

Areas of Research Interest

  • Criminology
  • Criminal law
  • Sentencing and corrections
  • Women in the criminal justice system
  • Indigenous people in the criminal justice system

Research Theories / Models of Interest

  • Socio-legal research
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence
  • Utilitarianism
  • Feminist theory

Research Methods of Interest

  • Legislative and case law analysis
  • Policy analysis
  • Socio-legal research 
  • Qualitative and qualitative analysis