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The Australian National University
Elisa Nesossi

Dr Elisa Nesossi

ARC Research Fellow

PhD (Law), SOAS, London
MA (Comparative Legal Studies), SOAS, London
BA, MA (East Asian Studies), Università Ca’ Foscari of Venice

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Elisa Nesossi is an ARC Research Fellow at the Australian Centre on China in the World. She obtained her post-graduate qualifications from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her scholarship focuses on the relationship between human rights law, criminal justice and legal reforms in contemporary China. Specifically, her PhD and post-doctoral research involves the study of the administration of criminal justice in places of detention and alleged abuses of power in the Chinese criminal justice system assessed against international standards. She has experience working for human rights NGOs, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and is occasionally consulted as expert witness on cases concerning Chinese law and immigration law.

Other Languages

  • Chinese
  • Italian

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Chinese law
  • Chinese criminal justice
  • Human rights in China
  • Chinese legal history
  • International human rights law and comparative human rights discourses
  • Comparative legal studies and criminal justice
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Current Projects

  • Changes in Chinese concepts of criminal justice, 1980-2015 (Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Award, since 2015)
  • Deprivation of liberty in contemporary China (co-edited volume, under contract with Ashgate)
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Selected Publications

Contributions to The China Story

‘Under Rule of Law’, (with Susan Trevaskes) in Geremie R. Barmé with Jeremy Goldkorn eds, China Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China, Canberra: Australian Centre on China in the World, 2013, online at:

‘An Interview with Zeng Jinyan’ ,The China Story Journal, 27 May 2013, online at:

‘The 2012 Mental Health Law – An Interview with Guo Zhiyuan’ (with Susan Trevaskes), The China Story Journal, 23 January 2013, online at:精神卫生法-an-interview-with-guo-zhiyuan-郭志媛/

‘He Jiahong: Working between law and literature’, The China Story Journal, 28 September 2012, online at:何家弘-working-between-law-and-literature/

‘Human Rights’, (with Susan Trevaskes) The China Story Lexicon, 7 August 2012, online at:


‘Detention, stability and ‘social management innovation’’, in Susan Trevaskes, Elisa Nesossi, Flora Sapio and Sarah Biddulph eds, The Politics of Law and Stability in China, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing (2014)

Ed. with Susan Trevaskes, Flora Sapio and Sarah Biddulph, The Politics of Law and Stability in China, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing (2014)

‘Lawyers and access to (criminal) justice in the PRC’, in Michael McConville and Eva Pils eds, Criminal Justice in China. Comparative perspectives, pp. 256-278. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, (2013)

China’s Pre-Trial Justice. Criminal justice, human rights and legal reforms in contemporary China, London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing, (2012)

‘Civil litigation for violations of international human rights law: the case of the Falungong’, Journal of Comparative Law,vol.4, no.2 (2011): 44-61

‘Reforming criminal justice in the People’s Republic of China? The black hole of pre-trial detention’, Journal of Comparative Law, vol.3, no.2 (2008): 305-15
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Updated:  4 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, China in the World /Page Contact:  China in the World