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Staff Profile


Career Summary


Dr. Berman completed both his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Magna Cum Laude) as well as his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University. After graduating from law school, he practiced in the areas of real estate and business litigation for several years. He was awarded an LLM from Victoria University of Wellington with First Class Honors. He completed his PhD in 2006. The topic of his PhD was entitled: 'French Colonization, Kanak Nationalism and Gender Inequality in New Caledonia.' Dr. Berman has taught in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Dr. Berman has been a member of the Newcastle Law School since mid-2008. He remains an Adjunct Research Fellow of the Socio-Legal Research Centre at Griffith Law School.


  • PhD, Southern Cross University, 22/09/2006
  • Master of Laws, Victoria University of Wellington, 02/05/1991
  • Attorney and Counselor at Law, Supreme Court of the State of California, 27/12/1983
  • Juris Doctor (Equiv Masters), Duke University - USA, 08/05/1983
  • Bachelor of Arts, Duke University - USA, 01/09/1979


Research keywords

  • Anti-Discrimination Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Equal Opportunity Law
  • Gender and the Law
  • Hate Crimes
  • Indigenous Peoples and International Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Sexuality and the Law

Research expertise

Dr. Berman's research interests span a variety of areas, including international human rights law, indigenous peoples and the law, gender and the law and sexuality and the law.


  • English
  • French

Fields of Research

180199Law Not Elsewhere Classified70
160699Political Science Not Elsewhere Classified15
160899Sociology Not Elsewhere Classified15


Adjunct Research Fellow
Socio-Legal Research Centre, Griffith Law School (Australia)


Dr. Berman has published widely in international and comparative law journals. Many of his articles on New Caledonia have been cited in books, treatises, journal articles and the New Zealand Law Commission Report. His recent book has also been cited by non-governmental organizations (eg. Australian NGO report on the implementation of CEDAW, Joint NGO submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Australia, and by the Australian Human Rights Commission) as well as in legal judgements and journal articles. Since publication of his book in 2010, several op-ed pieces have been written by Dr. Berman whose advice is routinely sought by members of the press. See, for example, ‘Homosexual Advance Defence’ is a source of shame for Queensland, Sydney Morning Herald March 31, 2014 (; ‘It is better late than never to scrap the antiquated ‘gay panic’ defence. Opinion on-line June 28, 2012 (; and ‘A gay advance is no excuse for murder’, Sydney Morning Herald April 27, 2011 (

Most recently, Dr. Berman has been the recipient of a grant from the Legal Practitioner Interest on Trust Accounts Fund (LPITAF) administered by the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General. Dr. Berman served as the Project Manager and Chief Investigator on the 2009 research grant which involved collaboration with Bond University. He has made several media appearances relating to the results of his research. See, for example, ‘Renewed Calls to Scrap Provocation Defence’ The World Today ABC News July 11, 2012(; ‘Study Shows gay hate crime rife in Queensland’ The World Today ABC News June 4, 2010 (; ‘Anti-gay hate crime rife in Queensland- study’ Sydney Morning Herald, AAP June 3, 2010 (; and ‘Majority of harassed gays suffer in silence’ ABC News June 4, 2010 (


Administrative expertise

LLB Honours Coordinator, 2014, 2015

Director Newcastle Law School Research Committee, 2014, 2015

Member, ERA Review Team, Newcastle Law School 2014-15

Law School Representative to Academic Senate, 2009-10

Member, Academic Senate Constitutional Working Party, 2009-10

Member, Faculty Board of Business and Law

Member, Law School Board


Teaching keywords

  • Australian Constitutional Law
  • Crime and Australian Society
  • Equal Opportunity Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Legal System and Method

Teaching expertise

Dr. Berman teaches in the areas of Australian Constitutional Law, International Human Rights Law and Australian Crime and Society. He has previously taught Legal System and Method, Public Law, American Constitutional Law, and Civil Obligations.



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (1 outputs)

2010Berman AB, Robinson S, Speaking Out: Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland, Australian Academic Press, Bowen Hills, Queensland, 260 (2010) [A1]

Chapter (1 outputs)

2008Berman AB, 'The repeal of the sodomy laws in Tasmania in 1997 and the status of homophobia in contemporary Australia', Homophobia: An Australian History, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW 236-253 (2008) [B1]

Journal article (11 outputs)

2015Berman AB, 'International Human Rights Law and Racial Hate Speech Regulation in Australia: Reform and Replace? (forthcoming)', Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 44 (2015)
2008Berman AB, 'The Anwar saga: Sexuality & politics in contemporary Malaysia', Gay & Lesbian Issues Pyschology Review, 4 188-197 (2008) [C1]
2008Berman AB, 'The experiences of 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 University Comparative Law Forum, Article 2 (2008) [C1]
2006Berman A, 'Kanak Women and the Colonial Process', International Journal of Law in Context, 2 11-36 (2006) [C1]
2005Berman A, Berns S, 'Homophobia Perpetuated: The Demise of the Inquiry into the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 (Cth)', Alternative Law Journal, 30 104-106 (2005) [C1]
2005Berman A, 'The Law on Gender Parity in Politics in France and New Caledonia: A Window into the Future or More of the Same?', Oxford University Comparative Law Forum, - (2005) [C1]
2001Berman AB, 'The Noumea Accords: Emancipation or Colonial Harness?', Texas International Law Journal, 36 277-298 (2001) [C1]
1998Berman AB, '1998 and Beyond in New Caledonia: At Freedom's Gate', Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, 7 1-76 (1998) [C1]
1998Berman AB, 'Future Kanak Independence in New Caledonia: Reality or Illusion?', Stanford Journal of International Law, 34 287-347 (1998) [C1]
1991Berman AB, 'In Mitigation of Illegality: The US Invasion of Panama', Kentucky Law Journal, 79 735-800 (1991) [C1]
1990Berman AB, 'International Human Rights Law and New Zealand's Foreign Relations: A Comparative Study of New Zealand's Relations With South Africa and Iran', University of Hawaii Law Review, 12 283-321 (1990) [C1]
Show 8 more

Conference (1 outputs)

2010Berman AB, 'Case Study - Speaking Out: Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland', Berlin International Human Rights Congress (BIHRC). Videos, Berlin, Germany (2010) [E3]

Grants and Funding


Number of grants3
Total funding$104,200

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2009 (1 grants)

Free Speech in Australia and the United States: Do we need a Bill of Rights?$5,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Alan Berman
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2008 (1 grants)

Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse, Harassment and Violence in Queensland$79,200
Funding Body: Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General

Legal Practitioners Interest on Trust Accounts FundChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2000 (1 grants)

French Colonialism, Kanak Nationalism and Gender Inequality in New Caledonia$20,000
Funding Body: Social Legal Research Centre, Griffith Law School

SLRC, GLSChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions1
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.3

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20152018PhD (Law)Co-SupervisorReforming corporate social responsibility in Australia through the reinterpretation of continuous disclosure provisions, the introduction of mandatory codes of ethics and amendments to sustainable investment regulations

Dr Alan Berman

Work Phone(02) 4921 8810
Fax(02) 4921 6931
PositionSenior Lecturer
Newcastle Law School
Faculty of Business and Law
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaLaw
UNH 237,
Univwersity House,
Newcastle City Campus