BA (hons) (Sydney), LLB (UNSW), LLM (Yale)


MARGARET THORNTON is Professor of Law and ANU Public Policy Fellow at the Australian National University. She has degrees from Sydney, UNSW and Yale, and is a Barrister of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia. She was formerly Professor of Law and Legal Studies at La Trobe University, Melbourne (1990–2006) and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Law at Macquarie University, Sydney (1980-90). Professor Thornton specialises in discrimination law and policy, legal education, the legal profession, the corporatisation of universities and feminist legal theory. She is presently investigating work/life balance in the context of the globalisation of law firms. Other areas of expertise include:

  • women and law
  • the construction of merit
  • flexible work
  • Member, NSW Women’s Advisory Council
  • Chair, NSW Committee on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation
  • Consultant, ILO
  • Chair, Federal Government Advisory Committee for Gender Issues in the Law Curriculum Project
  • Member, DEET Quality Assurance in Higher Education Committee
  • Member, ARC Social Sciences and Humanities Discipline Panel
  • Member, ARC Appeals Committee
  • Member, Australian Research Council
  • Member, Fulbright Postdoctoral Selection Committee

1978: University Medal in Law, UNSW

2006: Life member Law & Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ)

2007: Foundation Fellow, Australian Academy of Law (FAAL)

  1. The Liberal Promise: Anti-Discrimination Legislation in Australia (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1990)
  2. Public and Private: Feminist Legal Debates (ed) (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1995)
  3. Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1996) Chinese translation, Law Press, Beijing, 2001
  4. Romancing the Tomes: Popular Culture, Law and Feminism (ed) (London: Cavendish Publishing, 2002)
  5. Sex Discrimination in Uncertain Times (ed), ANU E Press, Canberra, 2010
  6. Privatising the Public University: The Case of Law, Routledge, Abingdon UK & New York, 2012
  7. Through a Glass Darkly: the Social Sciences look at the Neoliberal University (ed), ANU Press, Canberra, 2014