Staff profile - Samantha Hepburn

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Prof Samantha Hepburn

Position: Associate Head Of School (Research)
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Business & Law
Department: Law
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92446061 +61 3 92446061



Samantha Hepburn is a Professor at the School of Law, Deakin University.  Previously, she was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the Australian National University.  Samantha teaches and researches in the area of property and land law, as well as mining, energy and environmental law and has published books and articles in these areas.  Samantha has a strong research interest in unconventional gas  regulation in Australia and is also examining the regulatory development of carbon capture sequestration both in Australia and internationally.


  • Bachelor of Law(s), Monash University, 1990
  • Master of Laws, University of Melbourne, 1995
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2006

Career highlights

Panel Member: Unconventional Gas in Victoria Winchelsea Otway Tourism, May 2014

Presentation: International Natural Gas and Fracking Conference: Sydney

Presentation: MC for AGS and NAIDOC Week

Presentation: Global Carbon Capture Frameworks: World Bank Global Partner Initiatives

Media: Radio National: Expansion of CSG in Australia

Media: Background research for CSG Focus: Four Corners

LinkedIn profile


Teaching Interests

Mining and Energy Law

Property Law

Land Law

Native Title

Equity and Trusts

Subjects and units currently teaching

MLL316 Mining and Energy Law

MLL405 Equity and Trusts

MLL327 Property Law

Knowledge areas

Mining and Energy Law

Native Title

Property and Land Law

Environmental Law

Natural Resource Management

Unconventional Gas Regulation

Trust law

Conferences and seminars

The Promised Land: The Future of Coal Seam Gas in Australia: Exploring the Social, Environmental and Regulatory Issues of Coal Seam Gas in Australia, November, 2013

Media appearances

Winchelsea Otway Tourism: Panel Member: Unconventional Gas in Victoria Wednesday May 28th, 2014 with Jon Faine Moderating: CSIRO, Australian Institute, Lakes Oil and Monash University Health.

My conversation pieces can be found at:


See also:

• Coal Seam Gas Mining in Australia: An Adaptive Future 2013  Vol 7 (1) Australian Resources and Investment 124-125.

• Environmental Assessment of Coal Seam Gas Lacks Scientific Back-Up, The Conversation, 17th April, 2013

• Federal Governments Control of Coal Seam Gas a Welcome Relief, The Conversation 13 March, 2013

• Background Research support for Connie Agius, for Monday April 1st Four Corners Program on Coal Seam Gas in Australia

• Coal Seam Gas Expansion: Social and Environmental Consequences, RightNow Human Rights in Australia online Journal, 1 September 2012.

• Sustainable Development the Key to CGS, ATSE Focus 173 (Australian Technology, Engineering and Science) at p.42, August 2012.

• Australian Science Media Centre: Interactive Media Presentation for CSG Regulation, July 2012.

• States grappling with coal seam gas regulations: Radio Interview, Deakin Matters - 94.7 The Pulse, May 2012.

• CSG and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth), Radio National Interview, April 2012.

• States grappling with coal seam gas regulations" discussion on Radio National's Bush Telegraph Wednesday 14 March 2012.

• Who Owns NSW CBM Gas, Natural Gas Daily, Volume 2, 86 at p. 8, May, 2012.

Who Owns Coal Seam Gas in New South Wales and Who Can Stop it Being Mined (This article was republished in the Northern Rivers Echo on 31 May 2012).

• National Coal Seam Gas Agreement: An Important Step in Protecting Water, March 2012.


Research projects

2013-2014 Projects:

Towards a New Regulatory framework for Unconventional gas in Australia - Land Access, Compensation and Environmental Management

A Comparative International Model of Carbon Capture Sequestration (To be published in the Environmental Reporter (United States)

The Impact of CSG on Native Title Interests in Australia

Research interests

Professor Samantha Hepburn has published extensively in the area of property and land law, native title law, natural resource management, mining and energy law and environmental law.  She has a strong interest in developing an appropriate regulatory framework for the progression of coal seam gas and shale gas projects within Australia, and particularly Victoria.  She is currently involved in a major project examining the impact of unconventional gas upon local communities with respect to land access, compensation and environmental management.  Samantha is also currently writing a comprehensive book on Mining and Energy Law in Australia for Cambridge University Press.  Samantha's other text, Australian Property Law: Cases, Materials and Analysis is a seminal text in the area and is currently in its third edition, being prescribed at law schools across the country.  Samantha has published scholarly articles in her areas of research in both Australia and the United States.



The senseless war : the sentencing drug offenses arms race
Prof Mirko Bagaric, Prof Samantha Hepburn, Mrs Lidia Xynas (2014) vol. 16, pp. 101-145, Oregon Review of International Law, Eugene, Or., C1

The implications of the Victorian Gas Market Taskforce report on unconventional gas development in Victoria
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2014) vol. 29, pp. 17-20, Australian environment review, Chatswood, NSW, C1

Ownership models for geological sequestration: a comparison of the emergent regulatory models in Australia and the United States
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2014) vol. 44, pp. 10310-10325, Environmental Law Reporter, Washington, DC, C1

The nature and scope of rights of removal
Prof Samantha Hepburn, Dr Steve Jaynes (2013) vol. 2, pp. 123-138, Property law review, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

Does unconventional gas require unconventional ownership? An analysis of the functionality of ownership frameworks for unconventional gas development
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2013) vol. 8, pp. 1-54, Pittsburgh journal of environmental and public health law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, C1

Native title in coastal and marine waters
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2011) vol. , pp. 296-321, Australian coastal and marine law, Annandale, N. S. W., B1

Native title rights in the territorial sea and beyond : exclusivity and commerce in the Akiba decision
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2011) vol. 34, pp. 159-181, University of New South Wales law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

Statutory verification of water rights : the 'insuperable' difficulties of propertising water entitlements
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2010) vol. 19, pp. 1-22, Australian property law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

Carbon rights as new property : the benefits of statutory verification
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2009) vol. 31, pp. 239-271, The Sydney law review, Rozelle, N.S.W., C1

Interpretive strategies in the overriding legislation exception to indefeasibility
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2009) vol. 21, pp. 86-106, Bond law review, Gold Coast, Qld., C1

Defeudalization : towards a pluralist land system in New Zealand
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2007) vol. 36, pp. 136-165, Common law world review, Dalby, Isle of Man, C1-1

Transforming customary title to individual title: revisiting the cathedral
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2006) vol. 11, pp. 63-88, Deakin law review, Geelong, Vic, C1

Reconsidering the scope of the equitable mortgage arising from deposit of title documents
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2006) vol. 80, pp. 121-130, Australian law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

Discourse of conscience in the assessment of voluntary assignments in equity
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2006) vol. 1, pp. 117-117, Journal of equity, Chatswood, N.S.W., C1-1

Reconsidering the benefits of equitable classification
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2005) vol. 12, pp. 157-168, Australian property law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

Feudal tenure and native title: revising an enduring fiction
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2005) vol. 27, pp. 49-86, Sydney law review, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

Disinterested truth: legitimation of the doctrine of tenure post-Mabo
Prof Samantha Hepburn (2005) vol. 29, pp. 1-38, Melbourne University law review, Melbourne, Vic., C1

Link to publications

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