Dr Julia Duffy

Research Fellow, Faculty of Business and Law

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Laws (1st Class)(University of Cambridge), LLB (University Medal) (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Women’s Studies)(City University of New York, Graduate School and University Centre), Bachelor of Arts (University of Sydney)

Dr Julia Duffy is a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research in the Faculty of Business and Law, Queensland University of Technology. She is currently research services to the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. She serves as a member of two Australian Heath Practitioner Regulatory Agency (‘Ahpra’) Boards – the Psychology Board of Queensland and the Osteopathy Board of Australia, and Chairs Aphra’s multi-profession immediate action committee.


Prior to coming to the Law, Julia had graduated with a Master of Arts at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School and University Centre completing her thesis titled: Language, Gender and Temporality in Virginia Woolf. She subsequently completed her LLB at the Queensland University of Technology, and began her career as a government policy maker, lawyer and senior executive. During that time she also spent one year in the UK with her young family, where she completed a Master of Law (1st class) at the University of Cambridge, funded by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and Clare Hall’s Hart Bursary.

Her interest in health law and ethics began with her tenure as the Executive Director of the Queensland Government Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, which led to her later being appointed as Queensland’s Deputy Public Guardian. The Office of the Public Guardian provides community visiting services to children in care, but its primary responsibility is to make personal decisions relating to health care and other matters with and for adults with impaired decision-making capacity, when they have no other supporters in their lives. From 2018 to 2021 she was a part time legal member of Queensland’s Mental Health Review Tribunal, making decisions on involuntary treatment for adults with mental illness.

In 2019 she was granted an Australian Postgraduate Research Award to study with academics at the ACHLR, completing a thesis titled: The Indivisibility of Human Rights and Decision-making by, with and for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities.

Research interests

  • Adult guardianship and surrogate decision-making
  • Supported decision-making for adults with cognitive disabilities
  • Philosophical and legal conceptions of personhood
  • Human rights law and theory