Michael Douglas

Started at UWA: 2018

Academic, lawyer and expert in conflict of laws 

I like solving complex problems and the law is full of them. These problems matter: they affect people’s lives, the livelihood of businesses, and the policies of governments. Being a legal academic means having the freedom to solve them. Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas is a legal academic and a litigation lawyer at the UWA Law School with expertise in conflict of laws and media law. While interested in all of private law, he focuses particularly on cross-border media law issues involving freedom of expression and privacy, and is a regular media commentator on legal issues involving the media.

After growing up in Bunbury, Western Australia, Michael studied law, philosophy, political science and international relations at UWA through a Fogarty Foundation Regional Scholarship. He was a self-confessed ‘terrible student’, and only discovered his love of law once working in litigation, where he dabbled in media law.

Michael spent ‘late nights’ studying his Master of Laws at UWA while working as a graduate lawyer where he was first exposed to media law litigation. 

After spending a couple of years as a lecturer at the University of Sydney teaching private international law, he was awarded a scholarship to do an intensive Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Since 2018 he has been teaching at UWA and working in litigation as a consultant at Bennett + Co.

Michael is researching and working on a number of books dealing with procedure, torts, media law and defamation. His PhD, supervised by Professor David Rolph and former High Court Justice Professor William Gummow, looks at cross-border defamation in Australian courts.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Bachelor of Laws, The University of Western Australia
  • Master of Laws with Distinction, The University of Western Australia
  • Master of Business Administration with Distinction, The University of Western Australia

External positions:

  • Consultant, Bennett + Co
  • Editor, Media and Arts Law Review
  • Reporter, New South Wales Law Reports
  • National Editor, Australia,
  • Associate, Centre for Media and Communications Law, Melbourne Law School

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Co-author of the 10th edition of ‘Nygh’s Conflict of Laws in Australia’, 2020

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Invited expert at the 22nd Diplomatic Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, 2019

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Guest lecturer in conflict of laws at Harvard Law School, 2018