Dr Karen O'Connell is an expert in discrimination law, particularly sex and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, and biotechnologies of the body, neuroscience and genetics. She is experienced in law reform, policy development and managing large research projects.
Prior to joining UTS she worked in human rights law and policy at the Australian Human Rights Commission. In a number of senior roles, she worked on national inquiries and major reports into pregnancy discrimination, immigration detention, paid maternity leave, family responsibilities discrimination and age discrimination. She co-wrote submissions on key human rights cases and law reforms and produced national guidelines on sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Dr O'Connell completed her masters and doctoral degrees at Columbia University in New York.
At UTS, Dr O'Connell is a member of the Law Health Justice Centre and co-founded the Feminist Legal Research Group. She has national and international advisory roles, as a member of the federal government's National Women's Safety Alliance on the board of Berkeley Law School's Centre for Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law. She is active in human rights and law reform work, as a member of the Discrimination Law Experts Group, and as an adviser on projects for the Champions of Change Coalition, the Intellectual Disability Rights Service and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
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