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Dr Suzanne O'Toole Lecturer, Law Melbourne

After completing a degree in social work at the University of Queensland, I worked in that profession in Sydney and London. I completed a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours at the University of Technology in Sydney, and then worked as a criminal defence solicitor in the children’s courts. I completed a Doctor or Juridical Science degree and worked as a senior teaching fellow and then assistant professor at Bond University for almost ten years before joining La Trobe Law School, initially as a tutor, and then a lecturer, in 2016. My doctoral thesis was published as a book, I Find You in Contempt, which was recently considered in the Victorian Law Reform Commission reference on Contempt of Court.
My research explores how the courts manage participants in the criminal justice system that have mental health challenges. I am interested in how far and to what extent the juvenile justice system accommodates children with developing brains. I am also interested in how the courts punish people who commit contempt in the face of the court, and whether this could be done in a way that addresses the human rights and mental health challenges faced by contemnors. Recently I have been writing about spent convictions.


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