Ms Elisabeth Perham

Ms Elisabeth Perham

  • LLM Harvard (USA)
  • BA (Hons) Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)
  • LLB (Hons) Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)
  • BA Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)
Law & Justice
School of Global & Public Law

Elisabeth is Lecturer in the School of Global and Public Law in the UNSW Faculty of Law & Justice. She is a comparative constitutional law scholar with interests in constitution making, constitutional transfers, small state constitutionalism, and gender and constitutions; as well as interests in public law in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand more generally. She undertook her undergraduate law studies at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington, and also holds a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School, where she was a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow. Her doctoral research (also at UNSW Law & Justice) focusses on the role of external constitutional advisors in constitution-making processes, with a geographic focus on small island states in Oceania.

Elisabeth teaches into public law subjects, and has taught in both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Elisabeth is a Co-Editor of the blog of the International Association for Constitutional Law (, and a former joint editor of the Australian Public Law Blog ( In March 2022 she was a Visiting Fellow in the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law at Melbourne Law School, and has also been a visiting researcher at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the National University of Singapore, and the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington. She is a member of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Law & Justice, and is the Deputy Director of the Centre's project on Comparative Constitutional Law, and of the Centre's Project on Public Law and Public Health, as well as an affiliate of the Centre's Project on Constitutionalism from the Global South. She is an Advisory Committee member for the ICON-S Australia New Zealand Chapter, and a Co-Convenor of the ICON-S Interest Group on Constitution Making. She is a founding Co-Director of the Pathways to Politics Program for Women (NSW) at UNSW (

Prior to commencing her postgraduate studies, Elisabeth worked as Judge's clerk at Te Kooti Piira o Aotearoa | New Zealand Court of Appeal, as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group, and as a legal policy officer for the NSW Government.

  • Journal articles | 2022
    De Visser M; Perham E, 2022, 'Variables shaping participatory constitution-making: Insights from the experiences of small states', ICON-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Angelo T; Perham E; Lau Y-S, 2021, 'Niue in New Zealand Legislation', Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 52, pp. 245 - 284,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Angelo T; Perham E, 2016, 'Let Te Reo Speak: Granting Legal Personality to Te Reo Māori', Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 46, pp. 1081 - 1110,
    Journal articles | 2011
    Perham E, 2011, 'Citizenship Laws in the Realm of New Zealand', New Zealand Yearbook of International Law, 9, pp. 219 - 240
    Journal articles | 2010
    Perham E; Angelo T, 2010, 'The report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on New Zealand's relationships with South Pacific countries', New Zealand Yearbook of International Law, 8, pp. 181 - 194
  • Other | 2022
    Horowitz DL; Perham E, 2022, Designing Constitutions for a Lasting Democracy, American Judicature Society, ,
    Other | 2022
    Perham E, 2022, Book Review of Tony Angelo and Jennifer Corrin eds., Legal Systems of the Pacific: Introducing Sixteen Gems, Association de Législation Comparée des Pays du Pacifique, New Zealand Association for Comparative Law, ,
    Other | 2021
    Perham E, 2021, Book Review of Ruth Rubio-Marín and Helen Irving eds., Women as Constitution-Makers: Case Studies from the New Democratic Era, Oxford University Press, ,
    Other | 2020
    Perham E, 2020, Book Review of Gunter Frankenburg, Comparative constitutional studies: Between magic and deceit, Sweet and Maxwell,

2023 Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law Workshop Grant 

2023 UNSW Law Faculty Research Grant (RSP)


  • Garth Nettheim Teaching Fellowship, UNSW Law (2019)
  • Sir Antony Mason PhD Award in Public Law, UNSW Law (2019)
  • Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship, Harvard University (2017-2018)

My Teaching

Principles of Public Law (LAWS1141/JURD7141)

Federal Constitutional Law (LAWS2150/JURD7250)

Legal Concepts, Research and Writing (LAWS8213)