A passionate commitment to human rights is the common thread throughout Jennifer’s studies and career. Best known for her work as a pro bono legal adviser to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Jennifer, as Director of Legal Advocacy for the Bertha Foundation, is currently creating a global public interest law program to encourage law students and emerging lawyers to pursue careers in human rights.
Jennifer studied Law/Asian Studies whilst living at Burton and Garran Hall, where she was a resident tutor and Vice-President of the ANU Students’ Association. She started her work in human rights as a student, where, as part of her Asian Studies degree, Jennifer spent a year in Indonesia working with a small human rights organisation in West Papua. While there she had the opportunity to work on the first trial of political prisoner Benny Wenda before the permanent human rights courts.
Graduating in 2006 with the University Medal in Law, Jennifer went on to become a Rhodes Scholar. While at Oxford she chaired the Law Faculty’s pro bono postgraduate organisation, Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP), which provides research assistance on major human rights cases around the world. In 2008 she was named by the UK Attorney-General as a National Pro Bono Hero for her work with OPBP.
During her studies at Oxford, she began working with renowned Australian human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC, providing advice to international organisations and governments. Jennifer has fought a number of cases as a volunteer for the Institute for Advocacy and Study of Human Rights (Elsham), a human rights organisation in West Papua, Indonesia. She is also a founding member of International Lawyers for West Papua.
Jennifer was a legal adviser to The New York Times during its investigation of what became the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal. Jennifer has also conducted human rights missions on behalf of the International Bar Association, including investigating the treatment of human rights defenders in Syria. She also works with legal advocacy organisations and social impact media to raise awareness of human rights issues. Jennifer is an adjunct lecturer in Law at the University of Sydney and is on the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Law Association.