Dr. Alan Berman

Associate Professor of Law
Dean of Law

Chair, Research and Research Training

Associate Professor Alan Berman is the Dean of Law and Chair of Research and Research Training within the College of Business and Law.  Dr. Berman completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Magna Cum Laude) as well as a Juris Doctor degree from Duke University.  He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.  He worked in private practice in the areas of real estate and business litigation for the second oldest law firm in California for several years.  He also served as in-house counsel (Regional Vice President of Legal Affairs) for the fifth largest homebuilder and real estate development firm in the United States.

Having achieved a straight high ‘A’ average in his postgraduate studies, Dr. Berman was awarded an LLM in International and Comparative Law from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand with First Class Honours.  In 2006, he completed his Doctorate of Philosophy from Southern Cross University in Australia.  His PhD thesis is entitled: ‘French Colonization, Kanak Nationalism and Gender Inequality in New Caledonia.’

Dr. Berman has taught in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  His principal areas of teaching are International Human Rights Law, Equal Opportunity Law, Australian Constitutional Law and Comparative Legal Systems.  His research and publications have been mainly in the areas of indigenous peoples and international law, the link between international human rights law and foreign policy, humanitarian intervention, the international rules regulating the use of force, gender and the law, sexuality and the law, international law and racial hate speech regulation and comparative constitutional law.  Dr. Berman has had a longstanding interest in the regulation of hate crimes.  He was one of a handful of academics invited to participate in the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes during the Clinton administration in 1997. 

Dr. Berman has worked on several presidential campaigns, including the Mondale/Ferarro campaign in 1984 as well as the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1996.  He served as Legal Counsel to Democrats-Abroad (Australia) during the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.  He also served as Press Advance to President Clinton from 1997-1999 on many of his domestic and foreign trips.

Dr. Berman has published a book, a book chapter and numerous law review articles in highly ranked international law journals, including Stanford Journal of International Law, Texas International Law Journal, Oxford Comparative Law Forum, Cambridge International Journal of Law in Context and Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law.  His publications have been cited in leading treatises, governmental and non-governmental reports and by legal scholars as well as French and Australian anthropologists.   He has presented his research at numerous conferences, including the Law & Society Conference in Australia, the annual Law & Society Conference in North America, the International Studies Association Conference in the US and the Legal Studies Conference in the UK. 

Dr. Berman was the Project Manager and Chief Investigator of a $79,200 grant from the Legal Practitioners Interest on Trust Accounts Fund (‘LPITAF’) administered by the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General to investigate legal responses to homophobic and transphobic violence in Queensland.  He was also the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the Socio-Legal Research Centre at Griffith Law School to conduct empirical research in New Caledonia on the historical role of women in political affairs as well as the impact of a law on gender parity on political representation of indigenous women in the territory.   

Dr. Berman has published op-ed pieces in the Sydney Morning Herald, Crikey, Brisbane Times, Huffington Post, On-line Opinion and The Sunday Territorian.  He has made submissions to the Australian Federal Parliament on proposed changes to the Marriage legislation and in 2017 to the Northern Territory Attorney General on potential future amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act of the Northern Territory.  He has been a radio commentator on legal issues, such as The World Today ABC News and Territory FM. 

Dr. Berman has served as a referee for many law journals, including Melbourne Law Review, University of New South Wales Law Journal, Griffith Law Review, Criminal Law and Justice Journal, Australian Journal of Human Rights, Southern Cross Law Review, Child Abuse and Neglect,  Journal of Homosexuality, and the Gay & Lesbian Issues Psychology Review.

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Selected publications

‘Speaking Out: Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland’ (with Shirleene Robinson) Australian Academic Press, pgs. 1-260

‘International Human Rights Law and Racial Hate Speech Regulation in Australia: Reform and Replace?’ Vol.44:45 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, pgs. 46-103

‘Future Kanak Independence in New Caledonia: Reality or Illusion? Vol.34:2 Stanford Journal of International Law, pgs. 287-346.

‘The Noumea Accords: Emancipation or Colonial Harness? Vol.36:2, Texas International Law Journal, pgs. 277-297.

‘The Law on Gender Parity in Politics in France and New Caledonia: A Window into the Future or More of the Same? Oxford Comparative Law Forum

‘Denying Constitutional Protection to Sodomy Laws in the United States, Australia and Malaysia: you’ve come a long way baby and you still have a long way to go!’ Oxford Comparative Law Forum

‘Kanak women and the Colonial Process’ Cambridge International Journal of Law in Context Vol. 2:1, pgs. 11-36

‘The Anwar Saga: Sexuality and Politics in Contemporary Malaysia’Vol.4:3 Gay & Lesbian Issues Psychology Review, pgs. 188-197

‘The Repeal of the Sodomy Laws in Tasmania in 1997 and the Status of Contemporary Homophobia in Australia’ in Homophobia: Towards An Australian History, pgs. 236-254

 ‘Homophobia Perpetuated: The Demise of the Inquiry into the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 (Cth) Vol. 30:3 Alternative Law Journal, pgs. 104-108

‘1998 and Beyond in New Caledonia: At Freedom’s Gate?’ Vol. 7:1 Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, pgs. 1-76.

‘In Mitigation of Illegality: The U.S. Invasion of Panama’ Vol.79:4 Kentucky Law Journal, pgs. 735-800.

‘International Human Rights Law and New Zealand’s Foreign Relations: A Comparative Study of New Zealand’s Relations with South Africa and Iran’ Vol. 12:2 University of Hawaii Law Review, pgs. 283-320.

Op-ed pieces

‘Finding Our way with vilification laws’ Sunday Territorian 10/12/2017 (www.pressreader.com/australia/sunday-territorian/20171210/281663960348112)

‘Could Turnbull’s lack of nuance lose the election? Online Opinion 3/06/2016 (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18276)

‘A Vote For Turnbull Could Be a Vote For Abbott’ Huffington Post 20/05/2016 (https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/alan-berman/a-vote-for-turnbull-could-be-a-vote-for-abbott_b_9803414.html)

‘Is Turnbull’s election strategy too little, too late? Online Opinion 3/05/2016 (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18202)

‘Why Turnbull Could Become One of Australia’s Shortest Serving Prime Ministers’  Huffington Post 20/04/2016 (https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/alan-berman/why-turnbull-could-become-one-of-australias-shortest-serving-prime-ministers_b_9724360.html)

‘Turnbull’s ‘caretaker’ prime ministership: a looming electoral defeat? Online Opinion 12/04/2016 (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18162)

‘Does Trump v Cruz foreshadow irreversible Republican divisions? Online Opinion 30/03/2016 (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18131)

‘Lessons for Australia’s political class from Donald Trump’ Online Opinion 17/03/2016 (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18102)  

Anti-semitic attack proves need for racial vilification laws’. Online Opinion 14/08/2014 (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16591&page=0

‘Homosexual Advance Defence’ is a source of shame for Queensland, Sydney Morning Herald 31/03/2014 (http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/homosexual-advance-defence-is-a-source-of-shame-for-queensland-20140331-35tze.html) 

‘Queensland’s ‘homosexual advance defence’ puts Gay Men’s lives at Risk, Crikey 3/18/2014 (http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/03/18/qlds-homosexual-advance-defence-puts-gay-mens-lives-at-risk/) 

‘It is better late than never to scrap the antiquated ‘gay panic’ defence. Online Opinion 28/06/2012 (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13795) 

‘A gay advance is no excuse for murder’, Sydney Morning Herald 27/04/2011  (https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-gay-advance-is-no-excuse-for-murder-20110426-1duyi.html )


“New German Hate Speech Laws”, Territory FM 06/07/2018 (http://territoryfm.com/podcasts/mornings-mel-little-42)

‘Human Rights and Hate Speech Regulation, Territory FM 07/04/2017 (http://territoryfm.com/podcasts/professor-alan-berman-cdu-school-law)

‘Renewed Calls to Scrap Provocation Defence’ The World Today ABC News 12/07/2012 (http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3543471.htm)

‘Study Shows gay hate crime rife in Queensland’,  The World Today ABC News 4/06/2010 (http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2010/s2918353.htm)

‘Anti-gay hate crime rife in Queensland-study’ Sydney Morning Herald AAP 3/06/2010 (http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/antigay-hate-crime-rife-in-qld-study-20100603-x2d4.html)

‘Majority of harassed gays suffer in silence’ ABC News 4/06/2010 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-06-04/majority-of-harassed-gays-suffer-in-silence/854028)

‘Sodomy charges highlight plight of homosexuals in Malaysia’ The Wire 8/07/2008 (http://thewire.org.au/story/sodomy-charges-highlight-plight-of-homosexuals-in-malaysia/)


T: 08 8946 6116
E: alan.berman@cdu.edu.au

Casuarina Campus
Building Yellow 1 Level 1 Room 50