Current News


We are delighted to announce that Sharyn has received The Australian Sociological Association 2022 Distinguished Service to Australian Sociology Award at the TASA Annual Dinner on 1 December held at the University of Melbourne. This is a well-deserved recognition of her many valuable contributions.  This award is made to a TASA member who has demonstrated outstanding, significant and sustained service to Australian sociology over many years.  At the award ceremony the President of TASA noted that Sharyn’s socio-legal  research is the benchmark for empirical investigation of the judiciary in Australia and has impact on national and international research into courts and judicial work.

Sharyn has also been named as the inaugural TASA Travelling Scholar for 2023 which will entail giving lectures in several different locations within Australia during 2023.


Upcoming events:

In April, an in-person workshop is scheduled in Cambridge England for further development of the Handbook on Judging and the Judiciary. Sharyn and Kathy’s draft chapter is entitled: “Impartiality, bias and emotion in everyday judicial work”.

Sharyn and Kathy have submitted an abstract entitled: “Ambivalent emotions:  From Durkheim’s Le Suicide to coroners’ reports into judicial suicide” as part of the Law and Emotion Collaborative Research Network (CRN 42) at the Law & Society Association Annual Meeting on Law and Society to be held 1-4 June in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The XX International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology will be held in Melbourne Australia from 25 June – 1 July.  Sharyn and Kathy are co-authors of a presentation (abstract accepted) “The Challenges of Emotion and Judging,” in the Research Committees session “Emotions and the Law: Where to Go from Here?”

The Research Committee on the Sociology of Law (RCSL) will be holding a conference in Lund Sweden from 30 August to 1 September.  Sharyn is planning to attend in her capacity as Vice President of the RCSL.

Other research contributions:

Among her important research leadership roles, Sharyn is a Vice-President of the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law, a co-convenor of the Law and Emotion Collaborative Research Network 42 of the Law & Society Association and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Sociology.  She is also a member of the International Board of the Centre for Legal Studies, Cardiff University and a Visiting Professor, International Institute of the Sociology of Law Oñati, Spain.

Sharyn is continuing her work a Chief Investigator (one of eight) on a large Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant announced late in 2021, entitled: Judges’ work, place and psychological health – a national view.  The grant is being administered through the University of New South Wales.  Combining socio-legal and psychological approaches, the project will generate new knowledge about the stress judicial officers experience, the resulting psychological harm, and the human, juridical and financial costs of this harm. Expected outcomes include evidence-based strategies for recruitment and retention of judicial officers, including individual and institutional management of stressors. This research should provide significant benefits for judicial work capacities and courts’ delivery of justice.


Keynote/plenary presentations:

In July, Sharyn was the in-person plenary speaker to a conference entitled Psychological mechanisms in criminal justice:  Deconstructing objectivity, held at the Institute for Criminology, University of Slovenia, Ljubljiana. The presentation was entitled “Deconstructing Impartiality: Emotion in Sentencing”.

In addition, at the Postgraduate Day of the TASA conference in Melbourne, Australia in November, Sharyn delivered a keynote entitled: ‘My Life as an Academic: Practical Suggestions to Make it Work’.

Presentations and workshop organisation:

During 2022, Sharyn was a co-organiser for three successful in-person workshops.

  • “Empirical Research with Judicial Professionals and Courts: Methods and Practices” 23 and 24 June at the International Institute of the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain. Co Convenors were Professor João Paulo Dias and Dr Paula Casaleiro from Coimbra University, Portugal. It is expected that papers from this workshop will be published in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series.

  • “How to Research Emotion in and around Law?” an Academy of Social Sciences in Australia workshop 10-11 November in Adelaide Australia.  Co-convenors were Associate Professor Katie Barclay (University of Adelaide) and Associate Professor Kate Rossmanith (Macquarie University).  Papers from this workshop will also be published.


  • “Suicide and emotion: Cultural, historical, literary, and social insights” co-hosted by Flinders University and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, 3-4 November 2022.  Co-organisers were: Dr. Eric Parisot (Flinders University), Dr. Erin Sebo (Flinders University) and Professor Robert Phiddian (Flinders University).

Papers co-authored by Sharyn and Kathy were presented at all three workshops. Other co-authored presentations were given by Sharyn in person in Europe including at the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law (RCSL) Working Group on the Legal Professions in Coimbra, Portugal and at the Law & Society Association Global Meeting on Law and Society in Lisbon Portugal.  She has also given virtual co-authored presentations as part of seminar programs at The Centre of Law and Society, Cardiff University and at the Crime Research Centre, University of Sussex.  [For details, see the Presentations section of the website]

In April and September, Kathy and Sharyn both participated in virtual workshops with other authors as part of the development of the Handbook on Judging and the Judiciary, edited by Dr. Sophie Turenne (Cambridge). A further in-person workshop is scheduled for April 2023 in Cambridge.

In November, Sharyn gave a presentation at a CHASS Research Symposium entitled ‘Judges’ Work, Place and Psychological Health:  A National View’.

Sharyn also participated in a hybrid virtual and in-person workshop on Governing Through Contagion:  Perspectives Across Time and Space held in the Faculty of Law, University of Singapore, 19-21 April 2022.  Her paper, co-authored with George Sarantoulias is entitled: ‘Instruction and Information, Images and Icons:  Governing contagion, social regulation and public health’.   At TASA, she and George gave another presentation drawing on this research.

Other research contributions:

The final report of the Australian Law Reform Commission Review of Judicial Impartiality has been released Without Fear or Favour: Judicial Impartiality and the Law on Bias (2022).    Sharyn and Kathy’s contributions to this project were warmly recognised in the publication itself and in the formal presentation of the report and the government response.

Sharyn organised the visit of Associate Professor Kate Rossmanith (Macquarie), an ARC Future Fellow, as a Distinguished Research Fellow at Flinders University in November 2022. Her visit included a seminar given jointly with Professor Kathryn Temple (Georgetown, USA) at Flinders.