Leading criminal justice scholar appointed new Dean of Swinburne Law School

Monday 2 December 2019

New Dean of Swinburne Law School, Professor Mirko Bagaric, will keep building on the school’s reputation as a dynamic and forward-thinking institution that prepares students for the future of law.

In summary

  • Professor Mirko Bagaric is the new Dean of Swinburne Law School, where he has taught for the past three years
  • As a sentencing and criminal justice specialist, Professor Bagaric brings academic, legal practice and research expertise to the role
  • Professor Bagaric says Swinburne Law School is the newest, most dynamic and forward-thinking law school in the country, preparing graduates for the future and producing world-class research

Leading sentencing and criminal justice scholar, Professor Mirko Bagaric, has been appointed as the new Dean of Swinburne Law School, where he has been Director of Research for three years.

Professor Bagaric brings vast experience to the role. He was Dean of Law at Deakin University from 2003 to 2006 and 2012 to 2015. He has been a practicing lawyer for 20 years, and is a prolific author and media commentator.

Swinburne Pro-Vice Chancellor (Faculty of Business and Law), Professor Michael Gilding, says Professor Bagaric is ideally placed to lead Swinburne Law School as it enters into its sixth year.

“Professor Bagaric’s academic and legal practice experience, as well as his criminal justice expertise and high-level research capabilities, will enable him to grow the school’s research offerings, meaningfully engage with industry and prepare students for the future legal industry.”   

Criminal justice and technology

Punishment, sentencing and the intersection of criminal justice and technology are Professor Bagaric’s main research interests.

Professor Bagaric is the author of 30 books and over 150 articles. His research has been cited in at least 50 court judgements worldwide, including in the High Court of Australia.

He is at the forefront of research exploring how technologies such as artificial intelligence can improve sentencing procedures by removing emotional bias and human error.

He is also a regular contributer to The Australian newspaper on topical issues and has recently written opinion pieces on reoffending, George Pell’s trial, deportation of criminals and the cost of housing increasing prisoner numbers.

Professor Bagaric is also the Director of the Evidence-Based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project, a global project that provides clinical education to law students and seeks to make sentencing fairer and more efficient through law reform.

A dynamic and forward-thinking school

Professor Bagaric says he is excited to lead Swinburne Law School, which he describes as “the newest, most dynamic and forward-thinking law school in the country.”

“Swinburne Law School’s unique focus on law and technology means our graduates are future-ready. We teach students about how the law deals with emerging technological developments as well as how technology shapes the legal practice,” he says.

“We are also the only law school in Victoria that enables students to practice law immediately after graduation – a real advantage for our students. Our students heavily engage with industry and private practice and have high-level persuasive and problem-solving skills when they graduate.” 

He says he will ensure Swinburne Law School continues to produce world-class research that actively finds solutions to complex legal issues, especially in the areas of law and technology, intellectual property and criminal justice and sentencing.  

Building on achievements

As the new Dean, Professor Bagaric will build on Swinburne Law Schools’ achievements during its first five years, which include: