Carolyn Evans

Vice Chancellor and President, Griffiith University
Queensland, Australia

Professor Carolyn Evans assumed her post as Vice Chancellor and President of Griiffith University in Queensland, Australia, in February 2019. Professor Evans was fomerly Deputy Vice Chancellor (Graduate and International) and Deputy Provost at the University of Melbourne, where she was Harrison Moore Professor of Law and previouisly served as Dean of the Law School. Her teaching and research have been in the areas of constitutional law, human rights and religious freedom. Professor Evans has degrees in Arts and Law from Melbourne University and a doctorate from Oxford University where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar and where she held a stipendiary lectureship for two years before returning to Melbourne in 2000. She also qualified to practice law and is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria. In 2010, she was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to allow her to travel as a Visiting Fellow at American and Emory Universities to examine questions of comparative religious freedom.

Professor Evans is the author of Religious Freedom under the European Court of Human Rights (OUP 2001) and co-author of Australian Bills of Rights: The Law of the Victorian Charter and the ACT Human Rights Act (LexisNexis 2008). She is co-editor of Religion and International Law (Kluwer 1999); Mixed Blessings: Laws, Religions and Women’s Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region (2006 Martinus Nijhoff) and Law and Religion in Historical and Theoretical Perspective (CUP 2008). She is an internationally recognised expert on religious freedom and the relationship between law and religion and has spoken on these topics in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, Greece, Vietnam, India, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Malaysia, Nepal, and Australia.

From 2007-2010 she undertook a joint ARC Discovery Project with Beth Gaze on the topic of religious freedom and non-discrimination that explores religious exemptions to non-discrimination laws and the relationship between religious freedom and equality. She also researched on the area of domestic protection of human rights, particularly the role of parliament in the protection of human rights and Commonwealth Bills of Rights and held a grant on this topic with Professor Simon Evans. Papers from both grants can be found on the website of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies (