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University welcomes new Head of School (Law and Justice)

Legal scholar with passion for advocacy takes over top position

The University of Southern Queensland has appointed distinguished legal philosopher and anti-violence advocate Professor Jonathan Crowe as its new Head of School for Law and Justice.

With a career spanning decades, Professor Crowe’s work on natural law theory is internationally renowned, while in Australia, his support for sexual violence survivors has seen him at the forefront of an advocacy campaign to implement affirmative consent standards across the country.

Professor Crowe joins the University from his recent role as Associate Dean (Research) in the Law Faculty at Bond University.

“I am very excited to lead the vibrant and growing law and criminology programs at the University of Southern Queensland,” Professor Crowe said.

“The School of Law and Justice has a reputation as a leading regional law school that values traditional legal skills and knowledge.

“It has close connections to the communities in Toowoomba, Ipswich and the Darling Downs, and takes seriously its mission to expand educational opportunities.”

Having completed a PhD in Law and Philosophy in 2006, Professor Crowe worked as a lecturer, senior lecturer and then associate professor at the University of Queensland. He has previously served as president of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy and remains an honorary life member.

He is also a founding director of Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy (RASARA), and has joined forces with author and activist Bri Lee to reform the mistake of fact excuse in Queensland rape law.

Professor Crowe said a love of public speaking first drew him to study law.

“I wanted to be a barrister like Rumpole of the Bailey - but over time, I realised law is about more than making arguments in court,” he said.

“Legal advocacy is very important, but law structures our societies in ways that go far beyond the courtroom.

“My research examines how law interacts with other standards, such as moral values and social norms, to shape the way people treat each other.

“Placing law in this wider context shows its potential to advance justice and the common good, but also its potential to undermine justice in various ways.”

Having stepped into the new role on September 1, Professor Crowe said he aims to help students understand how law shapes our society.

“I aim to uphold and enhance the school’s reputation for rigor in legal education and scholarship while continuing to build its connections to the community and serving the needs of its diverse student cohort,” Professor Crowe said.

“I plan to pay particular attention to enhancing the student experience to ensure that all groups of students, ranging from recent school leavers to more mature students with work or caring responsibilities, are supported throughout their studies.

“I will also continue to develop the school’s links with First Nations peoples, so we can fully appreciate the region’s cultural heritage.”

Are you a student with a passion for making a difference? Are you curious about the legal profession and eager to connect with like-minded peers? Learn more about studying Law at the University of Southern Queensland.

man in suit smiling at camera
Professor Crowe joins the University from his recent role as Associate Dean (Research) in the Law Faculty at Bond University.