Profile image of Samantha Hepburn

Prof Samantha Hepburn



Professor (Property Law)


Faculty of Business and Law


Deakin Law School


Melbourne Burwood Campus


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



Samantha Hepburn is a Professor of Law in Deakin Law School. Previously, Samantha was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the Australian National University.  She completed her PhD from the University of Melbourne. 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.

She has published numerous books, including a Mining and Energy Law book with Cambridge University Press (with a foreword by Professor Ross Garnaut) and a range of research articles examining the policy and regulatory environment for a transitioning energy framework including an examination of the shifting public interest responsibilities of state’s within a public resource framework, the social and environmental impact of the expansion of unconventional gas in the onshore sector, the ownership difficulties underpinning the fragmentation of land, resources and pore space for carbon capture sequestration and the policy and the environmental concerns relevant to unconventional gas extraction.  Her current research includes a detailed examination of Finkel Report Recommendations for a transitioning energy framework (with a focus upon renewables) and a scholarly examination of the connection between climate change, energy policy and resource ethics. Samantha has published two other significant legal texts within her discipline areas; Principles of Equity and Trusts, Federation Press 4th edition, 2016 (with a foreword by the Honourable Justice Geoffrey Nettle) and Australian Property Law: Cases, Materials and Analysis 4th edition, 2017. She is a regular contributor to The Conversation, Senate and Parliamentary Committees, Industry panels, media and public forums.  Samantha is also the current editor for the Equity section of Halsbury's and Laws of Australia.

Read more on Samantha's profile

Career highlights

  • Australian Energy Week, Panel Discussion Examining Energy Security, 2017.
  • 'Adani Coal Mine', Article Published in Huffington Post, 2017. 
  • Presentation, Unconventional Gas in Australia: Harvard Environmental Policy Unit, 2016.
  • Victorian Auditor General Consultation, Parliamentary Submission for Unconventional Gas Development in Victoria, 2015.
  • Panel Member, Unconventional Gas in Victoria Winchelsea Otway Tourism, May 2016.
  • International Natural Gas and Fracking Conference, Presentation.
  • MC for AGS and NAIDOC Week, Presentation.
  • Global Carbon Capture Frameworks: World Bank Global Partner Initiatives, Presentation.
  • Expansion of CSG in Australia, Radio National.
  • Background research for CSG Focus, Four Corners.

Research interests

Property and Land Law

Native Title Law

Natural Resource Management

Teaching interests

  • Mining and Energy Law
  • Property Law
  • Land Law
  • Native Title
  • Equity and Trusts

Units taught

  • 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


  • Organising Committee, Toshiba International Foundation (Funded by Japan-Australia Dialogue on Energy Policy and Regulation), Keio University Law School, Japan, August 2017.
  • 'What are the Most Critical Policy Shortfalls for the Energy Landscape and How can they be Addressed?', The Australian Energy Week, Energy Policy Forum, Australia, Panel Discussion, June 2017. 
  • ‘Identifying Energy Legislation and Policies Across Jurisdiction and Identifying Opportunities to Create Efficiencies’, The Australian Energy Week, Energy Policy Forum, Australia, Panel Discussion, June 2017. 
  • 'The Promised Land: The Future of Coal Seam Gas in Australia: Exploring the Social, Environmental and Regulatory Issues of Coal Seam Gas in Australia', Organiser, Deakin University, Australia, 2014.

Media appearances

  • 'The Conversation, Adani Gives itself the Greenlight But That Doesn’t Change the Economics of Coal’, The Huffington Post, Australia, 17 June 2017.
  • 'The Implications of the Finkel Report for the Energy Landscape', Radio National Interview, Sunday Roundtable with Judith Sloan (Economist Columnist with The Australian) and Alison Rowe (CEO of The Moreland Energy Foundation), Australia, 18 June 2017.
  • 'The Economics of Coal', Radio Adelaide 101.5 Breakfast Show, 8 June 2017.
  • Winchelsea Otway Tourism, Panel Member, Unconventional Gas in Victoria, Wednesday with Jon Faine Moderating, CSIRO, Australian Institute, Lakes Oil and Monash University Health, Australia, 28 May 2014.
  • 'Coal Seam Gas Mining in Australia: An Adaptive Future', Vol 7 (1),  Australian Resources and Investment 124-125, Australia, 2013.
  • 'Environmental Assessment of Coal Seam Gas Lacks Scientific Back-Up', The Conversation', Australia, 17 April 2013.
  • 'Federal Governments Control of Coal Seam Gas a Welcome Relief', The Conversation, Australia, 13 March 2013.
  • Background Research support for Connie Agius, Four Corners Program on Coal Seam Gas, Australia, 1 April 2013.
  • 'Coal Seam Gas Expansion: Social and Environmental Consequences', RightNow Human Rights, Australia, 1 September 2012.
  • 'Sustainable Development the Key to CGS', ATSE Focus 173, Australian Technology, Engineering and Science, Australia, August 2012.
  • 'Australian Science Media Centre: Interactive Media Presentation for CSG Regulation', Australia, July 2012.
  • 'States grappling with coal seam gas regulations', Radio Interview, Deakin Matters - 94.7 The Pulse, Australia, May 2012.
  • 'CSG and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth)', Radio National Interview, Australia, April 2012.
  • 'States grappling with coal seam gas regulations',  Radio National's Bush Telegraph, Australia, 14 March 2012.
  • 'Who Owns NSW CBM Gas', Natural Gas Daily, Australia, 8 May 2012.
  • 'Who Owns Coal Seam Gas in New South Wales and Who Can Stop it Being Mined', Republished in the Northern Rivers Echo, Australia, 31 May 2012.
  • 'National Coal Seam Gas Agreement: An Important Step in Protecting Water', Australia, March 2012.


  • Finkel Report - Review of Recommendations
  • Public Interest and Public Resource Frameworks - The Changing Nature of Community Engagement in Onshore Resource Development


Filter by


Bridging the divide between Rights In Personam and Rights In Rem in land transactions: a comparative perspective of Australian and South African law

S Hepburn, P Badenhorst

(2024), Vol. 32, pp. 90-111, African Journal of International and Comparative Law, Edinburgh, Scotland, C1

journal article

Private Climate Governance in Australia: Indigenous Land Use Agreements and the Majority Default Rule

Samantha Hepburn

(2022), Vol. 39, pp. 431-457, Wisconsin International Law Journal, Madison, Wis., C1

journal article

Equity and the Modern Forfeiture Rule

Samantha Hepburn

(2020), Vol. 94, pp. 186-201, Australian Law Journal, Rozelle, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Unconventional gas and royalty sharing: The benefits of reconceiving ownership and revenue

Samantha Hepburn

(2019), Vol. 36, pp. 1-11, Environmental and Planning Law Journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Public resource ownership and community engagement in a modern energy landscape

S Hepburn

(2017), Vol. 34, pp. 101-144, Pace environmental law review, New York, N.Y., C1

journal article

Intensity and authenticity: the duty to give real and genuine consideration in the context of superannuation trusts

S Hepburn

(2016), Vol. 22, pp. 406-415, Trusts & trustees, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

Statutory interpretation and native title extinguishment : Expanding constructional choices

Samantha Hepburn

(2015), Vol. 38, pp. 587-617, University of New South Wales Law Journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

The implications of the Victorian Gas Market Taskforce report on unconventional gas development in Victoria

S Hepburn

(2014), Vol. 29, pp. 17-20, Australian environment review, Chatswood, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Ownership models for geological sequestration: a comparison of the emergent regulatory models in Australia and the United States

S Hepburn

(2014), Vol. 44, pp. 10310-10325, Environmental law reporter, Washington, DC, C1

journal article

The senseless war : the sentencing drug offenses arms race

M Bagaric, S Hepburn, L Xynas

(2014), Vol. 16, pp. 101-145, Oregon review of international law, Eugene, Or., C1

journal article

The nature and scope of rights of removal

S Hepburn, S Jaynes

(2013), Vol. 2, pp. 123-138, Property law review, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Does unconventional gas require unconventional ownership? An analysis of the functionality of ownership frameworks for unconventional gas development

S Hepburn

(2013), Vol. 8, pp. 1-54, Pittsburgh journal of environmental and public health law, Pittsburgh, Pa., C1

journal article

Native title in coastal and marine waters

S Hepburn

(2011), pp. 296-321, Australian coastal and marine law, Annandale, N. S. W., B1

book chapter

Native title rights in the territorial sea and beyond: exclusivity and commerce in the Akiba decision

S Hepburn

(2011), Vol. 34, pp. 159-181, University of New South Wales law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Statutory verification of water rights: the 'insuperable' difficulties of propertising water entitlements

S Hepburn

(2010), Vol. 19, pp. 1-22, Australian property law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Carbon rights as new property: the benefits of statutory verification

S Hepburn

(2009), Vol. 31, pp. 239-271, Sydney law review, Rozelle, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Interpretive strategies in the overriding legislation exception to indefeasibility

S Hepburn

(2009), Vol. 21, pp. 86-106, Bond law review, Gold Coast, Qld., C1

journal article

Defeudalization: towards a pluralist land system in New Zealand

S Hepburn

(2007), Vol. 36, pp. 136-165, Common law world review, Dalby, Isle of Man, C1-1

journal article

Reconsidering the scope of the equitable mortgage arising from deposit of title documents

S Hepburn

(2006), Vol. 80, pp. 121-130, Australian law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Transforming customary title to individual title: revisiting the cathedral

S Hepburn

(2006), Vol. 11, pp. 63-88, Deakin law review, Geelong, Vic, C1

journal article

Discourse of conscience in the assessment of voluntary assignments in equity

S Hepburn

(2006), Vol. 1, pp. 117-134, Journal of equity, Chatswood, N.S.W., C1-1

journal article

Feudal tenure and native title: revising an enduring fiction

S Hepburn

(2005), Vol. 27, pp. 49-86, Sydney law review, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Disinterested truth: legitimation of the doctrine of tenure post-Mabo

S Hepburn

(2005), Vol. 29, pp. 1-38, Melbourne University law review, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

Reconsidering the benefits of equitable classification

S Hepburn

(2005), Vol. 12, pp. 157-168, Australian property law journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Draft Audit Performance Report Unconventional Gas

Prof Samantha Hepburn

Victorian Auditor General's Office

  • 2014: $12,272


Principal Supervisor

Matthew Storey

Thesis entitled: Factors Affecting the Efficacy of the Commonwealth's Indigenous Business Exemption

Doctor of Business Administration, Department of Management

Associate Supervisor

Siyu Christina Tao

Thesis entitled: Assessment and Theories of China's Compliance with WTO in Financial Services

Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin Law School