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Dr Nicole Siller



Senior Lecturer


Faculty of Business and Law


Deakin Law School


Melbourne Burwood Campus

+61 3 924 68281


Nicole Siller is a Lecturer in Deakin Law School. Nicole received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Purdue University in 2004, her Juris Doctorate from the University of Toledo College of Law in 2008 and her Doctorate of Philosophy in law from the University of Groningen in 2017.

In 2008, She was appointed Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She prosecuted a voluminous amount of cases involving the crimes of attempted murder, firearms offences, assault, drug trafficking, sexual offences and theft/fraud offences. Her final assignment was a specialised position responsible for the vertical prosecution of all nonfatal shootings committed in southwest Philadelphia. Due to the nature and circumstances of these crimes, Nicole was also an active member of an FBI Task Force investigating dangerous criminal organizations and gangs. This collaboration led to the successful investigation and prosecution of complex and challenging cases involving several violent offenders at the state and federal levels.

In 2013, Nicole was awarded a fellowship to pursue doctoral research in the realm of transnational organised crime at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In 2017, she successfully defended her doctoral thesis: ‘Trafficking in Persons under International Law and Its Incorporation within Enslavement as a Crime against Humanity’.

From 2017-2018 Nicole served as Director of Research at Deakin Law School.

In 2018 Nicole redesigned the way criminal law (MLL114) is taught at Deakin by integrating pratical assessment tasks, interactive case studies and teaching using a flipped classroom approach. In 2019 Nicole created the unit Advanced Legal Practice (MLL442) which provides students the opportunities to learn from subject matter experts, observe courtroom proceedings and enhace advocacy skills. In 2020 Nicole was awarded funds to expand the Deakin Law Clinic to include a policy advocacy practice area.  

In 2019 Nicole was appointed Director of Work Integrated Learning for the faculty of Business and Law. 

Read more on Nicole's profile

Research interests

  • Trafficking in persons
  • Human exploitation
  • Criminal law and procedure (international and domestic)
  • Transnational organized crime 
  • Clinical Legal Education 
  • Work Integrated Learning


  • 2021: Admission to the Supreme Court of Victoria  
  • 2014-2019: Executive Editor and Creator, Journal of Trafficking and Human Exploitation
  • 2012-2013: Member, Federal Bureau of Investigation Task Force
  • 2008-Present: Admission to the Pennsylvania Bar (USA)

Units taught

  • MLL 214 - Criminal Law
  • MLL 218 - Criminal Procedure
  • MLL420 - Deakin Law Clinic 
  • MLL442- Advanced Legal Practice

Knowledge areas

Criminal Law 

Criminal Procedure 


Trafficking in Persons

Work Integrated Learning 


KE Powell and N Siller, Building an Online Law Clinic: From Classroom to Cloud in Bond University's Professional Legal Education Conference (Australia, 2020)

N Siller and KE Powell, Teaching and Learning (R)evolution: Challenges, Barriers, and Opportunities to Online Legal Education in UNSW Legal Education Research Conference (Australia, 2019)

N Siller, Modern Slavery and International Criminal Justice in 2018 Biennial Conference of the International Law Association (Australia, 2018)

N Siller, Interpreting the Palermo Protocol’s Controversial Terms, in Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Shifting Perspectives and Policing Practices at Villanova Law (USA, 2016)

N Siller, The Palermo Protocol: Identifying the Unlisted Forms of Human Exploitation, in the 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking (USA, 2015)
C Fournet and N Siller, Recruiting to Wed, Hate and Kill – How to qualify the worldwide recruitment of fighters by terrorist groups?, in the 15th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (Portugal, 2015)

N Siller, Slavery v. Trafficking: Is There A Difference And Does It Matter?, in United Nations University Conference Meeting on Eradicating Modern Slavery— what Role for International Criminal Justice? (USA, 2015)

N Siller, “Modern-day Slavery”: The Legal Tug-of-War between Globalization & Fragmentation, in the 50th Annual Conference of Labour and Social History (Austria, 2014)

N Siller, The Prosecution of Human Traffickers: A Comparative Analysis Among International Courts and Tribunals, in the 6th Annual Conference of the Netherlands Institute for Law & Governance (the Netherlands, 2014)

C Fournet and N Siller, Dismantling the body, Trafficking the dead- Human remains, organs, and the law of human trafficking, in the 14th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (Czech Republic, 2014)

N Siller, Contaminated Law: The Challenges of Prosecuting Slavery and Human Trafficking, in the International Conference on Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science (France, 2014)

N Siller, De la “traite des blanches” à la traite des personnes: La perspective du droit international (presented in French- title translated: From “White Slavery” to Human Trafficking: Perspectives from International Law) in Paris-Sorbonne University and the German Historical Institute’s conference: Prostitution, trafficking, abolition in Europe (France, 2014)

N Siller, Fuzzy Logic: Interpretational Consequences in Human Trafficking and Slavery under Human Rights and International Criminal Law, in Asser Institute: Exploring the Synergies between Norms and Institutions of International Criminal Law and Human Rights (the Netherlands, 2014)

N Siller, Prosecuting the Crime of a Thousand Faces: A Century of Fighting Human Trafficking, in Actors-Discourses-Practices: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Governing Trafficking in Women 110 Years of Experience (Austria, 2014)

N Siller, Self-Defense in the United States, in Congress Simon van der Aa: “The boundaries between self-defense and vigilante justice” (Netherlands, 2014) 

N Siller, Human Trafficking & Slavery: An ill founded discourse plaguing prosecution?, in Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory (Australia, 2013).


Success and Retention through WIL:  Increasing Success for Cloud-based Law Students
Funding: $40,000 AUD

This project aimed to improve the participation and success of LSES undergraduate law (LLB) students by providing a tailored and personal opportunity to enhance practical legal skills directly tied to increased employability and resilience.  To address the WIL accessibility and equity issue for LSES cloud students to increase both retention and employability, the project team designed a pilot online legal clinic: Policy Practice Area.

Eradicating Modern Slavery: What Role for International Criminal Justice? 
2014- 2016 

The UN University Office at the United Nations launched a policy research project to address both the role of international criminal justice and that of the UN system in responding to modern slavery. The project will explore both normative development and institutional practice, with a particular focus on institutions including the International Criminal Court, the International Labour Organization, the UN Security Council, and the broader UN system.

Sponsors: The United Nations University, Permanent Mission of the Principality of
Liechtenstein to the United Nations, The Freedom Fund and Journal of
International Criminal Justice


Filter by


From law school to practice: conflict in Australian University mental health management and law student employability

K Powell, N Siller

(2024), Vol. 31, pp. 111-140, International Journal of the Legal Profession, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Can Law Schools Provide Students With a Subversive Legal Education in an Online Learning Environment?

K Powell, Nicole Siller

(2022), pp. 103-126, Critical Legal Education as a Subversive Activity, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

Establishing the constituent elements of trafficking in persons: conceptualizing "transnationality" and "involvement by an organized criminal group"

Nicole Siller, Kathryn van Doore

(2019), pp. 1-13, Palgrave international handbook of human trafficking, Cham, Switzerland, B1

book chapter

Human trafficking in international law before the Palermo protocol

N Siller

(2017), Vol. 64, pp. 407-452, Netherlands international law review, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Modern slavery: the legal tug-of-war between globalization and fragmentation

N Siller

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 30-49, On coerced labor: work and compulsion after Chattel slavery, Leiden, The Netherlands, B1-1

book chapter

'Modern slavery': does international law distinguish between slavery, enslavement and trafficking?

N Siller

(2016), Vol. 14, pp. 405-427, Journal of international criminal justice, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

The prosecution of human traffickers? A comparative analysis of enslavement judgments among international courts and tribunals

N Siller

(2015), Vol. 2, pp. 236-261, European journal of comparative law and governance, Leiden, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

'We demand dignity for the victims' - reflections on the legal qualification of the indecent disposal of corpses

C Fournet, N Siller

(2015), Vol. 15, pp. 896-925, International criminal law review, Leiden, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

The Prosecution of Human Traffickers?

Nicole Siller

(2015), Vol. 2, pp. 236-261, European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


No completed student supervisions to report