Staff profile

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Prof Mirko Bagaric

Position: Alfred Deakin Professor And Chair In Law
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Business and Law
Department: Deakin Law School
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92446303 +61 3 92446303



Mirko Bagaric is an Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair in Law at Deakin University. He was the Dean and Head of the Law School from 2003 to 2006 and 2012 to 2015.

He graduated from Monash University with a BA/ LLB (Hons) degree in 1992. He obtained a PhD from Monash University in 2001 for his thesis ‘Punishment and Sentencing: A Rational Approach’.

Professor Bagaric is the author or co-author of over 20 books and 100 articles in leading international journals including the Harvard Human Rights Journal; the Buffalo Law Review; the Stanford Journal of Criminal Law and Policy; the Saint Louis University Law Review; the San Diego Law Review; the Santa Clara Law Review and the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice. He has also published in the leading Australian law journals, including the University of New South Wales Law Journal; the Sydney Law Review; the Melbourne University Law Review and the Monash Law Review.

His main work is in the area of punishment and sentencing. He has also written extensively in migration and refugee law and human rights law. His articles have been cited in over 50 court judgments, including the High Court of Australia and superior courts in Canada, Singapore, New Zealand and Ireland.

His research actively and regularly engages with the community, having written approximately 500 opinion pieces on a range of socially relevant and important legal topics. He appears regularly in the electronic media as an expert commentator on his research areas.

Professor Bagaric’s main research priority is encouraging governments to implement an evidence-based and normatively sound sentencing system.

Professor Bagaric is one of 18 contributors to Future Proofing Australia (MUP, 2013) which is edited by Federal Senator and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Brett Mason and Daniel Wood. The forward to the book is written by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot who states that the authors are ‘big thinkers on big ideas’.

Professor Bagaric has extensive legal experience. He is a former member of the Migration and Refugee Tribunal and as a lawyer has appeared at courts at all levels of the judicial hierarchy including the High Court of Australia.

As well as his academic writing, he is the co-author of several practitioner works which are updated quarterly. The main works are Australian Sentencing Law; Federal Offences; Victorian Criminal Law and Procedure and Ross on Crime. He is the editor of the two volumes of Laws of Australia which cover the criminal law and co-editor of the Criminal Law Journal.


  • Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 1992
  • Bachelor of Law(s), Monash University, 1992
  • Master of Laws, Monash University, 1997
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2001


Teaching Interests


Human Rights

Subjects and units currently teaching


Human Rights

Knowledge areas

Sentencing and Punishment

Refugee and Migration Law

Human Rights

Student supervision

Completed PhD Supervision

James McConvill, Shareholder Participation in the Corporation: A New Perspective (2006)

Joshua Wilson QC, Extradition Law in Australia - Time for a Rational Approach  (2009)

Keith Akers, An Analysis of Australian Law Regarding Animal usage in Bio-medical Research (2008)

Neera Bhatia, Medico-Legal Decision Making for Incapacitated Neonates (2013)

Sharon Erbacher, The Illegality Defence in Torts (2015)

Victoria Lambropoulos, Rethinking Summary Dismissal Law (2015)


Supervising Current PhD Students


Edward Alstergren QC,  Pro Bono Law in Victoria

Carmen Randazzo QC, The Defence of Mental Impairment in the Summary Jurisdiction

Theo Alexander, The Sentencing of White Collar Criminals

Rami Hanegbi, Retirement Policy in an Ageing Society

Jane O’Callaghan, An Education Revolution

Krystine Pniewski, Sentencing and Rehabilitation

Athula Pathinayake, Character Exclusion in Refugee Law

Media appearances

Approximately 500 articles from 2005 to 2014 including articles in the following newspapers: The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun, The Age, Courier Mail, Adelaide Advertiser, Geelong Advertiser, Western Australian, New Zealand Herald, Straits Times, Jakarta Post.

Pieces include:

• Sentencing laws ruled by politics, The Australian, 7 February 2014
• New chapter for crime and punishment, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 January, 2014
• Politically brilliant, morally bankrupt, Courier Mail, 24 July 2013
• Science shows laws of deterrence are failing, The Australia, 13 April 2013
• Don’t turn back the clock against terror, The Australian, 23 March 2012
• Multiculturalism: bikinis and burqas can co-exist, Courier Mail, 4 January 2011,
• Not having a whale of a time behind the farm fence, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 February 2011
• Boat Arrivals are condemning those in camps to limbo: Courier Mail, 9 February 2011
• A flood of tide in affairs of banks, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 2011
• Flood of bad decisions from Gillard, The Australian, 31 January  2011
• Australian needs smart sentencing, The Australian, 21 January 2011
• Abbott sees the light on NBN, Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2011
• Distant rains fall on deaf ears here, The Australian, 18 January 2011
• Don’t expect sports stars to be saints, Courier Mail, 4 January 2011
• Access to nest egg super choice for home ownership, Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2010
• Wealth and status, detour to happiness, Courier Mail, 24 December 2011
• Double intake, stop the boats, The Australian, 20 December 2010
• Lies and secrecy are not privacy, Courier Mail, 17 December 2010
• Rights crusade simply worthless, The Australian, 3 December 2010
• Need must define who is a refugee, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 2010
• Law has to peg loan to RBA ruling, Courier Mail, 22 November 2010
• Mutant Rebels need causes, The Australian, 29 October  2010
• Don’t encourage the Grim Reaper, The Australian, 31 September 21 2010
• Federal Labor now political roadkill, Geelong Advertiser, 2 September 2010
• Choice of dress serves freedom better than burqa ban, New Zealand Herald,  14 August  2010
• Migration can end worldwide poverty, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April  2010
• Fear the real enemy, Courier Mail, 18 January 18, 2010
• Big pay packets just fine, Courier Mail, 13 January,  2010
• Fat cat bosses and shareholders drink the same cream, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 January 2010
• Saving our planet will be driven by self-interest, Courier Mail, 23 December 2009
• Ideals are for teenagers - the end always justifies the means, Courier Mail, 26 August 2009


Research interests


Human Rights

Research grants

1. Animal Protection (Voiceless Institute)

  • 2011: $15,000

2. ARC Linkage: Komesaroff,  L, Hyde, M, Komesaroff, L, Bagaric, M,  A comparison of anticipated benefits and the personal, educational and social outcomes of cochlear implantation in deaf children.

  • 2008: $27,010.00
  • 2007: $39,244.00
  • 2006: $51,506.00
  • 2005: $24,953.00

3.  M, Bagaric,  Coverdale,  Legal Compliance for Primary Industry - Study Program Best Practice Model 

  • 2008: $19,000.00
  • 2007: $9,500.00

4. M Bagaric, Coverdale, R,  Legal Compliance for Primary Industry - Study Program Best Practice Model

  • 2009: $9,751.00

5. Bagaric, M, Wood, P, Coverdale, R, Thompson, H and MacLeod, A. A Best Practice Model for the Online Delivery of Units of Study on Legal Compliance for Primary Industry

  • 2006: $30,000.00

6. ARC Discovery, 2001-2003: ARC Discovery Grant for project titled: 'Criminal sanctions and employment deprivations (with M Pittard and I Leader-Elliott)

  • 2001-3:$60,000




Professor Bagaric is the author or co-author of over 20 books and more than  100 articles. More of his publications can be viewed in the publications link.

Sample publications


Sentencing in Australia (with Richard Edney) (3rd ed., Thomsons,  2015) 700 pages.

Humanising Animals: Civilising People (with Keith Akers) (CCH, 2012) 220 pages.

Australian Human Rights Law (with Peter Faris and Theo Alexander) (CCH, 2011) 460 pages.

Migration and Refugee Law (with John Vrachnas et al) (Cambridge University Press, 2005) 340 pages. 2nd ed.,  2008. 3rd., ed 2011.

Euthanasia, Morality and the Law (Peter Lang Publishing, New York, 2002) (with Kumar Amarasekara) 180 pages.

Punishment and Sentencing: A Rational Approach (Cavendish Publishing, London, 2001) 300 pages.

Articles (recent)

A Rational (Unapologetically Pragmatic) Approach to Dealing With The Irrational – The Sentencing of Offenders With Mental Disorders (2016) 28 HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL (forthcoming).

The Irrelevance to Sentencing of (Most) Incidental Hardships  (2016) 39 UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES LAW JOURNAL (with Victoria Lambropoulos and Lidia Xynas) (forthcoming). 

A Sober Assessment Of The Link Between Substance Abuse And Crime (2016) 56 SANTA CLARA LAW REVIEW (with Sandeep Gopalan) (forthcoming). 

Saving the United States From Lurching Into Another Sentencing Crisis  (2016) 60 ST LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL (with Sandeep Gopalan) (forthcoming).

Three Reforms That Will Reduce Indigenous Over-Imprisonment (2016) 32 HARVARD JOURNAL OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC JUSTCE (forthcoming).

Unshackling Society From The Burden of Imprisonment (2015) 2 STANFORD JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND POLICY (with Sandeep Gopalan).

Addressing the Curious Blackspot that is the Separation Between the Principle of Legality and Sentencing (2015) 41 MONASH LAW REVIEW (with Theo Alexander).

Rich Offender; Poor Offender: Why it (Sometimes) Matters in Sentencing (2015) 33 LAW AND INEQUALITY (University of Minnesota) 1-51.

Taking Parsimony Seriously (2015) 57 SOUTH TEXAS LAW (with Lidia Xynas and Victoria Lambropoulos).

Jail Up; Crime Down Does Not Justify Australia Becoming An Incarceration Nation (2015) 40 AUSTRALIAN BAR REVIEW (with Athula Pathinayake) 64-96.

Sentencing: The Need To Abolish The Stain That is The Instinctive Synthesis (2015) 38 UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES LAW JOURNAL 72-139.

First-time Offender; Productive Offender; Offender with Dependants: Why the Profile of Offenders Matters in Sentencing (2015) 78 ALBANY LAW REVIEW (with Theo Alexander) 397-446.

A Rational Theory of Mitigation and Aggravation in Sentencing (2014) 62 BUFFALO LAW REVIEW 1159-1237.

From Arbitrariness to Coherency in Sentencing: Reducing the Rate of Imprisonment and Crime While Saving Billions of Taxpayer Dollars (2014) 19 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF RACE AND THE LAW 349-413.

The Punishment Should Fit the Crime – Not the prior convictions of the person that committed the crime (2014) 51 SAN DIEGO LAW REVIEW 343-417.

(Particularly) Burdensome Prison Time Should Reduce Imprisonment Length  (2014) 38 MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW (with Richard Edney and Theo Alexander) 409-433.

The Negation of Venting in Australian sentencing: Denouncing Denunciation and Retribution (2014) 88 AUSTRALIAN LAW JOURNAL 502-519.  

Rehabilitating Totality in Sentencing (2013) 36 UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES LAW JOURNAL (with Theo Alexander) 139-167.

Link to publications

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