Professor Mary Crock
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Professor Mary Crock

BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) PhD (Melbourne)
Professor of Public Law
+61 2 9351 0289
+61 2 9351 0200
Professor Mary Crock

Professor Mary Crock is Professor of Public Law at Sydney Law School, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, solicitor and Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law. Her expertise spans immigration, citizenship and refugee law, administrative and constitutional law, public international law, particularly human rights and international refugee law, and comparative law. She has published 13 books (including a leading text on Australian immigration and refugee law), over 70 refereed articles and book chapters and many other pieces; delivered hundreds of public lectures and has been awarded over 2.2 million dollars in research grants. Her research has been cited frequently in Australia’s Federal Courts and High Court and she has given evidence before a many parliamentary hearings in Australia and (once) in Canada. She has worked as adviser to the Australian Senate (Inquiry into Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, 2000); consultant to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (on immigration detention); and consultant to the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse (on children in immigration detention). She is frequently consulted by, and contributes opinion pieces to, the national and international media.

Mary is Australia’s lead researcher in a comparative law database project on international migration law and policy (IMPALA) that includes researchers from Harvard University, LSE, University of Luxembourg, University of Amsterdam, Sorbonne, University of Montreal and others.

Mary has taken a particular interest in the treatment and plight of migrants in vulnerable circumstances, including children and persons with disabilities. Her work on unaccompanied child asylum seekers saw her shortlisted in 2007 for the Human Rights Medal. She was awarded the National Ethnic Disability Alliance Medal for her work on refugees with disabilities in 2015 and the Affinity Intercultural Foundation Award for Contributions to Social Justice and Human Rights in 2016.

Mary has taught at Sydney Law School for over 22 years. In that time she has also been a visiting scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School, Laval University (Quebec), Harvard University and London School of Economics (LSE). She has given numerous public addresses across Australia on Australian immigration and refugee law and policy and has lectured at Oxford, LSE, Harvard, Berkley, Cornell, New York Law School, University of Miami, Laval Law School, University of Montreal, and University of Luxembourg in addition to all of Australia’s leading law schools.

Together with her husband, Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, Mary has undertaken consultations and professional missions on behalf of United Nations agencies (including UNDP, OHCHR and DESA) in Switzerland, Poland, Ireland, Ethiopia, Belgium, Korea and Fiji. Fieldwork on the disabilities and refugees project has taken her to Indonesia, Malaysia, Uganda, Jordan and Turkey, with a researcher adding Pakistan. This and her work on migrant children has involved partnerships with UNHCR and a variety of NGOs and civil society actors including Amnesty International, the Women’s Commission for Refugees, the Australian Red Cross and the Refugee Council of Australia.

An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, Professor Crock has been Chief examiner/ Head Assessor in various Specialist Accreditation programs in Immigration Law across Australia since 1994. She maintains a practice as a lawyer and migration agent and has been listed in the peer-appointed publication Best Lawyers in Australia in Immigration Law every year since 2008.

Mary was a member of the Expert Advisory Committee for the NSW Commission for Children and Young Persons between 2008 and 2014; and was a board member of the committee of management of the community radio station 2RPH (Radio for the Print Handicapped) from 2006 until early 2012. With broad interests in human rights, she has served in executive positions for the Law Institute of Victoria, Law Society of NSW, Law Council of Australia and the Refugee Council of Australia. In 1989 she helped to establish and run Victoria’s first community legal centre specializing in immigration law, the Victorian Immigration Advice and rights Centre Inc. The centre continues to this day as Refugee Legal.


Professor Crock was born in Perth, Western Australia but grew up in Melbourne, Victoria. She attended Melbourne University Law School for her undergraduate studies in Law (Hons) and Arts (Hons in French and Fine Arts); and for her doctorate. She was awarded her PhD in 1994. Mary is married to Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, working closely with him in all aspects of their joint professional life. Ron was a foundation member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), CRPD chair 2010-2013 and Chair of the Committee of Chairs of the 10 member UN Treaty bodies (2011-2012). They have three children: Gerard (b 1987), Daniel (b 1989) and Kate (b 1992).

Mary Crock came to academia in Sydney in 1995 from a background in practice after completing her doctorate on the relationship between the Courts and the Executive in controlling immigration. Her main field of research is migration, citizenship and refugee law. However, she has general interests in administrative law, constitutional law, public international law, international human rights and comparative law in these fields.

Her specific research interests range broadly from studies of the interaction between immigration and labour laws through the examination of vulnerabilities in particular categories of migrants - most particularly refugee children and youth and refugees with disabilities. Through her work with her husband, Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, she has been involved in internal United Nations initiatives for the reform of the UN Human Rights treaty body system. She is known for her work on immigration detention, but has also written and lectured on many other aspects of immigration and refugee law and their interface with other areas of law and other disciplines. She is currently working on three large research projects. One is a comparative law and policy project run in conjunction with Harvard University and the London School of Economics (and a range of other universities both in Australia and overseas). The second pursues her interest in refugee children and youth, while the third (funded by AusAid) involves a study of refugees with disability, conducted in collaboration with UNHCR and the Women's Commission for Refugees.


  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Public International Law
  • Immigration Refugees and Forced Migration
  • Public Law


  • Immigration and Nationality Law
  • Refugee Law
  • Immigration and Labour Law
  • Admitted to Practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and of the High Court in 1984
  • Admitted to Practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1994
  • Registered Migration Agent
  • Accredited Specialist, Immigration Law
  • NSW Committee of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law
Project titleResearch student
In the Face of Danger: On Disaster Law and the Equality of AutonomyMatthew COLE


Download citations: PDF; RTF; Endnote

Selected Grants


  • Children, Migration and the Right to Health, Crock M, Australian Communities Foundation Limited/Grant


  • Current and proposed changes to restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV in Australia and to compare relevant policies in New Zealand, Canada and the United States, Crock M, McCallum R, de Wit J, Fowler D, United Nations AIDS/Research Support
  • International Workshop of Social Transformation and International Migration Research Network Workshop at the University of Sydney, Castles S, Boucher A, Crock M, Inglis C, Rosewarne S, Short S, McClure W, Delgado Wise R, Icduygu A, Lee H, Fozdar F, Vasta E, Jakubowicz A, Collins J, Mansouri F, De Haas H, Kirisci K, Seol D, Manderson R, Bakewell O, Piper N, Office of Global Engagement/IPDF Grant
  • Comparing immigration policy in the Group of Five: Developing an evidence base for evaluating the role of policy in international migration -IMPALA, Crock M, Boucher A, Castles S, Hiscox M, Thielemann E, Cully M, Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP)
  • Making Rights Real: A Regional, Comparative Approach to Disability and Children's Rights in International Law., Crock M, Cashmore J, McCallum R, Saul B, Office of Global Engagement/IPDF Grant

Related research articles

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