A/Prof. Sonia Allan



Associate Professor


Faculty of Business and Law


BL Law


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2010


Dr. Sonia Allan OAM CF is an Associate Professor of Health Law in Deakin Law School. She has more than 20 years experience in the health, law, ethics and policy field. Sonia holds an LLB (Hons), BA(Psych)(Hons), MPH (Merit), LLM (Global Health Law) (Dist), and PhD in law. She was a Global Health Law Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center in 2011, where in 2012 she also won the Cali Award for Health and Human Rights. She is also a Churchill Fellow. In 2019 Sonia was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to tertiary education and the law. Her work examines the ethical, legal, and social issues raised by certain health matters, the regulation of emerging and existing health technologies, and public and global health law. 

Sonia has participated in numerous federal and state government inquiries on health law related matters and has been influential in law reform. She has developed models for responsive regulation and effective health governance, policy and legislative solutions. In 2018 Sonia led the review of the Western Australian Human Reproductive Treatment Act and Surrogacy Act, having been appointed by the WA Minister for Health. From 2015 to 2017, Sonia led the review of the South Australian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act having been directly appointed by the SA Minister for Health. She has also held senior roles in academia including as Head of Department of Health Systems and Populations and Deputy Chair of a large Human Research Ethics Committee (Clinical Medicine) at Macquarie University. Sonia regularly consults with the private and public sector on health law and regulatory matters.

Sonia's work has been published nationally and internationally, with books including, 'Law and Ethics for Health Practitioners' (upcoming, 2019), 'Australian Health Law' (2018), 'Donor Conception and the Search for Information: From Secrecy and Anonymity to Openness' (2017), and 'The Patient and Practitioner: Health Law and Ethics in Australia' (2014). Her experience and expertise span the regulation of assisted reproduction, donor conception, gene technologies, research and experimentation on human embryos, children's health and well being, access to health care and medicines, and using the law as a tool to prevent and/or respond to public and global health concerns.

Sonia is also the creator of Health Law Central a community information website on health law.

Read more on Sonia's profile

Research interests

  • Health Law
  • Public Health Law
  • Assisted Reproduction


  • Member, Australasian Bioethics and Health Law Association.
  • Member, Australian Human Rights Lawyers.
  • Member, Assisted Reproductive Technology Working Group (United States).
  • Member, Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.
  • Member, Public Health Association of Australia.
  • Member, Public Health Law Network (United States).
  • Surveillance Committee, International Federation Fertility Society.

Teaching interests

  • Health Law
  • Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
  • Research Supervision (Honours, Masters, PhD)

Units taught

  • MLL330 - Health Law
  • Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
  • Research Supervision (Honours, Masters, PhD)

Knowledge areas

  • Health and medical law
  • Regulation of assisted reproduction, surrogacy, and donor conception
  • Regulation of existing and emerging health and bio- technologies
  • Public and global health law
  • Access to health care and medicines
  • Health and human rights
  • Child and maternal health law


  • Invited Expert, UN Population Fund, WHO, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, meeting in Thailand, Bangkok regarding international commercial surrogacy, 2018.
  • Results of the South Australian Review of Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008, Obstetrics & Malpractice, 8-9th August 2017
  • Establishing a donor register, Fertility Society of Australia, 2017, 17-19 October 2017.
  • Achieving Universal Health Care in Resource-Constrained Nations: A Response, Macquarie Minds Showcase, Australia, December 2016.
  • Donor Conception and the Release of Information around the Globe, Assisted Reproductive Technology Summit, Australia, November 2016.
  • Current Issues: Surrogacy in Australia & Abroad, W.A. Family Law Practitioner’s Association, Australia, 15 February 2016.
  • Donor Conception – Systems for Information Release, Reproductive Technology Council, Australia, 16 February 2016. 
  • Payment for gametes and surrogacy, Reproductive Technology Council, Western Australia Department of Health, Australia, 16 February 2016. 
  • Information Release to Donor-Conceived People, Contracts for Anonymity, Laws, and Guidelines, National Conference for Donor-Conceived People, Australia, 27 June 2015.
  • International Surrogacy Arrangements, Issues and Regulatory Responses at Home and Abroad, 24th Annual Medico-Legal Conference, Australia, 2015.
  • Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Raised by Synthetic Biology and Current Regulation in Australia and Beyond, Macquarie University Workshop on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Raised by Synthetic Biology, Report, 2015.
  • Introduction to Public International Law: Human Rights and Global Surrogacy, International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague Forum on International Adoption and Global Surrogacy, 11-13 August 2014.
  • The Argument Against Payment of Fees for Gametes, Embryos and Surrogacy, Annual Louise Waller Lecture, VARTA, 31 October 2013.
  • The Surrogate in Surrogacy Global Health and The Law Conference, Incorporating Theory into Law, Sydney University, Australia, 1 October 2013.
  • Allan, S., Braveman, A., Suter, S., Poole, S. and Crockin, S., O’Neil Institute and Georgetown University Law Center, Family Building with Donor Gametes, USA, 17 April 2013.
  • Allan, S., Braveman, A., Cahn, N. and Crockin, S., O’Neil Institute and Georgetown University Law Center, Current issues regarding information release to donor-conceived people about their donors, USA, March 2012.
  • Donor Conception Practices in Australia, 14th World Congress on Human Reproduction, Donor Linking Symposium, 4 December 2011.
  • The Release of Identifying and Non-Identifying Information about Donors to Donor Conceived Individuals, E-Poster Presentation,  Fertility Society of Australia Conference, Australia, 10-13 October 2010.
  • The Regulation of Research Involving Human Embryos and Cloning' Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law, Australia, July 2010.
  • An Historical Overview of Australian and New Zealand Responses to Assisted Reproduction, Annual Scientific Meeting of Australian Birth Defects Society/Symposium on Embryo, Fetus and Newborn, Royal Children`s Hospital, 29-31 April 2005.

Media appearances

  • A/Prof Sonia Allan has been interviewed by, or written articles for the media on issues related to the regulation of assisted reproduction; pre-implantation genetic diagnosis; gender selection; regulation of the IVF industry; donor conception and information release; surrogacy; genetic implications of donor conception; global health; and medical law. She has appeared in articles, radio and television programmes published by: ABC News; ABC Life Matters; ABC 7.30 Report; ABC The World Today; ABC Fact File; 666 ABC Canberra; ABC Online; Australian Story; BBC World Service; The Project (Channel 10); SBS Online; SBS News; SBS Insight; Sydney Morning Herald; The Australian; The Age; The Leader; The Conversation; The Advertiser; 6 Minutes (Medical News).

Research groups

  • Member, Centre for Employee and Consumer Wellbeing (CECW). 


  • Medal of the Order of Australia, 2019 - For service to tertiary education and the law.
  • AMP Tomorrow Fund, 'To build a community internet resource on health law', 2014.
  • Macquarie University Faculty Grant with Professor Wendy Rogers,  International Workshop on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues regarding Synthetic Biology, with invited contributors from John Hopkins University, University of Edinburgh, University of Sydney, University of Tasmania, and Monash University, 2014.
  • Faculty Travel Grants Scheme, Macquarie University, 2014.
  • CALI Award, Georgetown University Law Center Washington D.C. Best performance in Health and Human Rights Law, 2012.
  • Churchill Fellow, 'To undertake a cross-jurisdictional study on regulatory aspects of collecting and releasing information about donors to donor-conceived people', a study conducted in the United Kingdom, Austria, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland, 2011
  • Global Health Law Fellow, Global Health Law Fellowship, Georgetown University, USA, 2011-2012.
  • Outside Studies Program Award, Deakin University, 2011.
  • Competitive Research Funding, Deakin Law School, Deakin University, March 2011.
  • Competitive Tuition Scholarship for MPH, Sydney University School of Public Health, Australia.
  • Melbourne Research Scholarship, Full PhD funding and living stipend, 2003-2009.
  • Melbourne Abroad Travelling Scholarship, 2005. 
  • Winner of the Faculty of Law & Mallesons Stephens Jacques Mooting Competition, 2000.


Published Reports

  • Sonia Allan, Report: South Australian Review of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 (2017). Report prepared for the Minister of Health South Australia regarding legislative review of Act.
  • International Federation Fertility Society, Surveillance 2016 (7th Edition), 1(1) Global Reproductive Health September 2016, pp 1-143.
  • Sonia Allan, A Cross-Jurisdictional Study of Regulatory Requirements and Practice Regarding the Recording of Donor Information and its Release to Donor Conceived People 2012 Report prepared for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.


Filter by


A governance model for the application of AI in health care

Sandeep Reddy, Sonia Allan, Simon Coghlan, Paul Cooper

(2019), Journal of the American medical informatics association, Oxford, Eng., C1


Australian health law

S Allan, M Blake

(2018), Sydney, N.S.W., A1


The impact of the law in helping or hindering fertility preservation for children with cancer facing gonadotoxic therapies

S Allan, Debra Gook, Yasmin Jayasinghe

(2018), Vol. 26, pp. 322-333, Journal of law and medicine, New York, N.Y., C1


Donor conception and the search for information: from secrecy and anonymity to openness

S Allan

(2017), Abingdon, Eng., A1-1


Public health law and public health policy

S Allan

(2017), Vol. 6, pp. 200-209, International encyclopedia of public health, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, B1-1


Governing transnational surrogacy practices: what role can national and international regulation play?

S Allan

(2017), pp. 344-375, Babies for sale? Transnational surrogacy, human rights, and the politics of reproduction, London, Eng., B1-1


Assisted reproduction: emerging technologies ethics, regulation and practice

S Allan

(2017), pp. 298-317, Tensions and trauma in health law, Sydney, N.S.W., B1


Public health law

S Allan

(2017), pp. 167-187, Tensions and traumas in health care law, Sydney, N.S.W., B1


Donor identification: Victorian legislation gives rights to all donor-conceived people

S Allan

(2016), Vol. 98, pp. 43-55, Family matters, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1


The surrogate in commercial surrogacy: legal and ethical consideration

S Allan

(2015), pp. 111-143, Surrogacy, human rights and the law, Surrey, Eng., B1-1


Report on Macquarie University workshop on ethical, legal and social issues raised by synthetic biology (10 December 2014)

S Allan

(2015), Vol. 15, pp. 5-26, Macquarie Law Journal, Australia, C1-1


The patient and the practitioner: health law and ethics in Australia

M Blake, S Allan

(2014), Chatswood, N.S.W., A1-1


Access to information about donors by donor-conceieved individuals : a human rights analysis

S Allan

(2013), Vol. 20, pp. 655-670, Journal of law and medicine, Rozelle, N. S. W., C1


Screening applicants for assisted reproduction : complexities and issues

S Allan

(2013), pp. 257-276, Ethics, law and society, Farnham, England, B1


Building a family tree: donor-conceived people, DNA tracing and donor nnonymity

A Damian, S Allan

(2013), Vol. 7, pp. 1-16, Australian Journal of Adoption, Australia, C1


Gate-keeping parenthood: the law and access to assisted reproductive treatment

S Allan

(2012), Vol. 2, pp. 149-163, Family Law Review, United States, C1


Donor identification 'kills gamete donation'? A response

S Allan

(2012), Vol. 27, pp. 3380-3384, Human Reproduction, C1


Donor conception, secrecy, and the search for information

S Allan

(2012), Vol. 19, pp. 631-650, Journal of Law and Medicine, Australia, C1-1


Psycho-social, ethical and legal arguments for and against the retrospective release of information about donors to donor-conceived individuals in Australia.

S Allan

(2011), Vol. 19, pp. 354-376, Journal of law and medicine, C1-1


Fundamental elements in examining a child's right to education: A study of home education research and regulation in Australia

G Jackson, S Allan

(2010), Vol. 2, pp. 349-364, International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, C1-1


The whats, whys and wherefores of home education and its regulation in Australia

S Allan, G Jackson

(2010), Vol. 15, pp. 55-77, International journal of law and education, Newcastle, N.S.W., C1-1


Recognition of same-sex parenting in Australia : South Australia, the final frontier?

S Allan

(2010), Vol. 35, pp. 227-231, Alternative law journal, Clayton, Vic., C1-1


Regulatory design strategies and enforcement approaches for research involving human embryos and cloning in Australia and the United Kingdom - time for a change.

S Allan

(2010), Vol. 32, pp. 618-644, Sydney law review, Rozelle, N.S.W., C1-1


Clinical, ethical and legal considerations in the treatment of newborns with non-ketotic hyperglycinaemia

A Boneh, S Allan, D Mendelson, M Spriggs, L Gillam, S Korman

(2008), Vol. 94, pp. 143-147, Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, C1-1


From social issues to state regulation : an historical overview of Australian and New Zealand responses to assisted reproduction

S Magri

(2005), pp. 1-1, ABDS : Annual Scientific Meeting of Australian Birth Defects Society. Update on drugs in pregnancy and lactation. Symposium on embryo, fetus and newborn: from experiment to clinical practice and prevention in the Antipodes, Melbourne, Vic., E1-1


Research on human embryos and cloning: difficulties of legislating in a changing environment and model approaches to regulation.

S Magri

(2005), Vol. 12, pp. 483-493, Journal of law and medicine, C1-1


Research on human embryos, stem cells and cloning: one year since the passing of Australian Federal legislation: Australia, around the word, and back again

S Magri

(2003), Vol. 10, pp. 1-1, Murdoch University electronic journal of law, Perth, W.A., C1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


No completed student supervisions to report