In touch with… Hossein Esmaeili

From Muslim culture and law, to the law of the sea, Associate Professor Hossein Esmaeili’s teaching and research delves into some of the biggest legal issues of our time.

What does your role at Flinders University involve?

I am an Associate Professor of Law with the College of Business, Government and Law, involved in both research and teaching.

I am a principal researcher in two funded research grants, including one investigating family violence within one migrant community in South Australia.

The topics I teach at Flinders include Real Property Law, Equity and Trusts, Law of the Sea, and International Law.

As part of my research, I have written and edited five scholarly books, including The Legal Regime of Offshore Oil Rigs in International law, and published in leading international law journals.

My book The Boundaries of Australian Property Law, co-edited with Brendan Grigg and published by Cambridge University Press, is the set text for property law at Flinders and some other universities.

What are two of your key interests at the moment?

My teaching and research interests are varied, but I can narrow it down to two priority areas  – international law, and Middle Eastern and Islamic law.

For international law, I have published extensively, particularly in the area law of the sea. On Islamic law, I am interested in any matter in which Muslim culture and law may be involved.

These two areas are particularly interesting because they are contemporary, practical, and day-to-day issues.

Do you think they are increasing significantly in their global relevance?

These issues are definitely becoming more globally relevant.

If you check the media, almost every day you may find issues relating to international law, particularly the law of the sea, and Muslim and Middle Eastern countries.

For example, drilling for oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight is well covered, as are issues relating to the South China Sea or conflicts in the Persian Gulf. I have commented on these issues through various media outlets in Australia.

As humans have exhausted a significant amount of natural resources onshore, they are increasingly looking offshore for more resources including food, oil and gas, and even fresh water under the oceans.

Legal issues relating to Middle Eastern countries and Muslims living in Australia are also increasingly relevant, both internationally and from the perspective of Australian law, politics and policies.

Are you finding strong commonalities in the interests of your students?

I have found students to be very interested in issues relating to international law and the law of the sea, and above all, climate change and the environment.

Can you share a highlight from your career?

I have co-authored a number of international law reports with a few international law academics from Europe, which, I believe, have contributed to the development of international law with respect to the rule of law, freedom of expression and Islamic law. Part of these reports was published in a book in 2017.

Can you share a challenge in your work or life and how you overcame it?

I came to Sydney to study law at the University of NSW in 1991 as a migrant from the Middle East.

Migrants get great opportunities in their life and work, but face significant challenges too. Understanding and adapting to the new world, which I have chosen, may pose some challenges but it is also very rewarding.

Can you share some of your interests outside of your career?

I have many social and cultural passions. My family of five, which includes my wife and three daughters, our Middle Eastern communities, gardening, and reading in both English and Persian, are my other passions.

Posted in