Dr Nicole Graham (BA (Hons, University Medal), LLB (Hons), PG Cert Higher Ed, PhD) is an Associate Professor at Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, Australia. Prior to taking up her current position at Sydney Law School, Nicole worked for Macquarie University (2004-2008) and the University of Technology Sydney (2009-2017). She teaches and researches in the fields of property law and theory, and legal geography. Nicole has received three teaching awards for her work teaching property law including the Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Teacher Award (2007), is recognised as a highly effective first year specialist, and has made significant contributions to educational development in embedding Indigenous laws and perspectives into the law curriculum; and sustainability in legal education. She is a member of the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law, the Australian and New Zealand Legal History Society, the Institute of Australian Geographers, the Management Committee of Law & Society Association of Australia and New Zealand, and is Chair of the its Prizes Sub-Committee).
Dr Graham is best known for her contribution to property law scholarship. Her book Lawscape: Property, Environment, Law (Routledge 2011) brought about an awareness of the problems created by the abstract formulation of property rights, the artificial cleave created between property and environment and the consequences for planet sustainability. Nicole also researches the agency of legal education in colonisation and anthropogenic environmental change, and is an influential scholar in the interdisciplinary field of legal geography, particularly in relation to the public law/private rights debate over agricultural land use practices. Her research has been published in both law and geography journals, edited book collections and leading reference works. Dr Graham is a Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grant entitled ‘Property as Habitat: reintegrating people, place and law’ with Professor Margaret Davies and Professor Lee Godden (2019-2021). The project explores the entrenched problems of a property law system that is disconnected from people, places and their environments. Their current book project arising from this research advances an alternative approach to basic concepts of property in a place-sensitive and socially-engaged manner.
In Epiphany Term 2021, Dr Graham will join archaeologist Professor Chris Gerrard and legal historian Dr Henry Jones for the fifth and final case study in their interdisciplinary IAS sponsored project entitled ‘Negotiating Landscapes of Rights.’ The project examines the role of material evidence, particularly historical ecologies of land use and exploitation, in negotiating and establishing the collective ownership of land and valuable resources. Drawing on the previous four case studies, Nicole will work with the Principal Investigators to analyse the archaeological record as evidence that the material processes of commoning are lawful and even legislative acts.