School of Arts

Dr Margaret Camilleri

Position: Senior Lecturer
Discipline: Criminal Justice
Location: Mount Helen Campus, Room H242 
Phone: 5327 6947


Doctor of Philosophy - University of Ballarat, 2010
Master of Social Science (Social Policy) - RMIT University, 2005
Graduate Diploma (Community Development) - RMIT University, 1994
Bachelor of Arts (Multicultural Studies) - RMIT University, 1992



Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice


  • Victims of Crime (CRJUS2476)
  • Human Rights: Conventions to Practice (CRJUS2400)
  • Crime to Punishment (CRJUS1285)
  • Crime: Theory and Practice (CRJUS1283)
  • The Criminal Justice Process (CRJUS1284)
  • Explanations of Crime (CRJUS1287)
  • Comparative Criminal Justice (CRJUS2471)
  • Policing in Practice (CRJUS2474)
  • Australian Courts in an International Context (CRJUS2100)
  • Justice responses to Difference (CRJUS3303)
  • Masters Dissertation


During the past 20 years Dr Camilleri has worked in a range of justice related positions, including in the Community Legal Centres, the Victoria Law Foundation and as Senior Policy and Research Officer for the Department of Justice and Regulation in Victoria. Over the last two decades Dr Camilleri has worked collaboratively with many justice agencies in Victoria and nationally. Her work developing policies, business cases and conducting research in the area of access to justice and victim/witness support needs has provided Dr Camilleri with a comprehensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and processes.

Areas of expertise

Marg’s interests and expertise are predominantly in the areas of access to justice and victimology. She is particularly interested in how the justice system (police and courts) responds to people with disability. In particular people with cognitive impairments and Complex Communication Needs (CCN), victims of crime more broadly, survivors of family violence and sexual assault, young people and other marginalised groups. Her work has informed policy, legislation and programmatic reform.

Marg’s research interests and expertise can be categorised as follows:

  1. Access to Justice – Marg’s research in the area of access to justice includes the systemic barriers to accessing justice systems and processes. How the justice system responds to and interacts with difference. How such responses relate to international and state based human rights frameworks. Marg’s research is primarily focused on how our justice system can facilitate access to justice by meeting the needs of a diverse society.
  2. Victimology – Marg’s interest in victimology theory and the construction of victimhood and the hierarchy of victims. Marg is interested in the differential response of ‘ideal’ and ‘non-ideal’ by society and the justice system to some victims; critiquing the characterisation and construction of victims within victimology theory.
  3. Intersection between disability, criminology, rurality and gender. In this area of interest, Marg considers the intersectional theoretical dimensions of oppression and the limitations of such oppression on access to justice.


Present doctoral students

  • Jennifer Martin - Women's experiences of health care in the prison system in Victoria: do they align with through-care principles and human rights framework? – Principal Supervisor
  • Kay Lancefield - Early intervention to reduce young peoples’ contact with the criminal justice system - Associate Supervisor
  • Lauren Irvine - Women’s lived experience of their partner’s referral, to a men’s behaviour change program - Associate Supervisor
  • Peter Smith – An investigation of the barriers to students with disability completing Higher Degree by Research in Australian Universities - Associate Supervisor
  • Gerry Skene - Teaching with difference: barriers and enablers for   teachers with impairments in professional roles - Associate Supervisor

Present masters students

  • Dennis Batty - A review of current literature related to the response of the criminal justice system to adults with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) within the criminal justice system.

Present honours students

  • Lesley Cooper - ‘Is there potential for a transformative education approach to contribute to desistance from offending by adolescents’?


Project: Central Highlands Health Justice Partnership for Youth
Role: Principle Investigator
Funder: Legal Services Board + Commissioner
Value: $260,000
Duration: February 2014 to Current

Project: to explore the requirements of people with complex communication needs when interacting with the criminal and civil justice system.
Role: Principal Investigator
Funder: Legal Services Board + Commissioner
Value: $57,270
Duration: October 2016 to December 2018


Refereed journal articles

Ollerenshaw. A & Camilleri. M (April, 2017) Health Justice Partnerships: Initial insights into the delivery of an integrated health and legal service for youth in regional Victoria. Journal of Rural and Remote Health

Camilleri. M & Ollerenshaw. A (in review) A Health Justice Partnership for youth in regional Australia: Key learnings enabling dual-sector implementation. Australian Journal of Rural Health

Camilleri. M. (in publication) Disabled in Rural Victoria: Exploring the intersection of victimisation, disability and rurality on access to justice. International Journal of Rural Criminology

Refereed conference proceedings

Camilleri, M (2008) Enabling Justice – Paper presented at the National Victims of Crime Conference University of Adelaide, 23-24 September 2008


Goodfellow, J & Camilleri, M (2003) Beyond Belief - Beyond Justice: The difficulties for victim/survivors with disabilities when reporting sexual assault and seeking justice, Disability Discrimination Legal Service

Victims Support Agency (2013) Information and support needs of victims and witnesses in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria. Department of Justice Victoria

Sugden N. and Camilleri, M., (2011) Review of the National Coronial Information System, Department of Justice Victoria

Camilleri. M. (2010) 'Disabled Justice: Why reports of sexual assault made by adults with cognitive impairment fail to proceed through the justice system. PhD University of Ballarat

Camilleri. M, Ollerenshaw. A., Corbett. J., Taylor. M and Tania Burrows (2018) Central Highlands Health Justice Partnership: Evaluation Report. Victorian Legal Services Board

Camilleri. M & Pedersen (2019) Hear Us: The experience of persons with Complex Communication Needs in Accessing Justice. Federation University


Submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission reference ‘The Role of Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process’. Submitted 30 October 2015.

Submission to the Department of Justice’s Review of Sexual Offences Consultation Paper. Prepared in conjunction with the Federation of Community Legal Centres, Centres Against Sexual Assault, Associate Professor Wendy Larcombe (University of Melbourne) and Dr Margaret Camilleri (Federation University Australia). Submitted 2014.

Individual submission to the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee ‘Inquiry into the access to and interaction with the justice system by people with an intellectual disability and their families and carers’ 2013.

Joint submission with Women with Disabilities Victoria and Federation Community Legal Centres to the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee ‘Inquiry into the access to and interaction with the justice system by people with an intellectual disability and their families and carers’ 2013.

Prepared submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry - ‘Inquiry into the access to and interaction with the justice system by people with an intellectual disability and their families and carers’. Submitted 2011.

Prepared submission to the Law Reform Commission of Victoria of the Sexual Offences Act, which commenced in 2001. All of the recommendations (legislative and non-legislative) relating to victims with cognitive impairment, put forward in our submission were accepted by the Commission and are contained in its final report published in 2004.


Invited by Women with Disabilities Victoria to participate as reference group member - Safeguards Project April to June 2017

Invited to present at Disability Human Rights Clinic, Centre for Social Equity – University of Melbourne Law School February 2015

Invited by the Australian Human Rights Commission to review the draft publication – ‘Access to Justice’ report launched, 2014.

Invited to provide feedback on draft publications of the ‘Voices Against Violence’ research project. The project was developed by the Office of the Public Advocate, Women with Disabilities Victoria and Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, it consists of six papers researching different areas of the experience of women with disabilities of violence and the justice system. The report will was launched in May 2014.

Invited as reference group member for a project ‘Beyond Doubt’ conducted by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The report, considered the barriers to people with disabilities, reporting crimes to police. The report ‘Beyond doubt’ was launched in July 2014. My Doctoral thesis was the catalyst for this work by the VEOHRC.

Invited to offer expert advice to the ‘Stop the Violence (STV)’ project, National reform project conducted by University of New South Wales, Women with Disabilities Australia and People with Disabilities Australia in conjunction with the Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013.

Invited as reference group member of ‘Make Rights Reality’ pilot project. A Federation of Community Legal Centre project designed to increase access to justice for victims of sexual assault with cognitive impairment, 2011 to 2014.

Invited by the then Human Rights Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes to provide evidence to inform the Commissions Inquiry into Access to Justice for People with Disabilities, 2013.

Invited to meet and present information to the United Nations Rapporteur for Women ‘Stopping Violence Against Women with Disabilities’. Melbourne 2012.

Invited to present at a forum facilitated by former Police Commissioner Christine Nixon.Justice for People with Disability – Best Practice when responding to allegations of assault, 22 June 2012

Victoria Police: Code of Practice for Investigating Family Violence 2004 and 2010

Office of the Disability Services Commissioner – Victoria: used to develop procedural reforms and policy.

Health & Community Services Complaints Commissioner - contributed to South Australian Interagency Working Group  to strengthen detection, investigation & prosecution of alleged sexual abuse of people with cognitive impairment


  • World Society of Victimology
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology