Professor Jolyon Ford SFHEA

Professor and Associate Dean (International)
BA, LLB (KwaZulu-Natal), LLM (Cambridge), PhD (ANU)
+61 2 6125 4164
Room 7.3.14

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I re-joined the ANU as an Associate Professor in July 2015 from the UK, where I was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, London (Chatham House) and a Research Associate of the Global Economic Governance programme at the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government. Before that I held a senior role at Oxford Analytica. I have worked in the federal public service, an intergovernmental organisation, academia, civil society, the private sector and freelance consulting. From Zimbabwe, I hold degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Cambridge University, and the ANU. I am admitted as a Legal Practitioner in New South Wales.


  • Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy 2021-
  • Associate Dean (International) 2017-
  • ANU Academic Board, 2018-2020; 2020-
  • College Executive 2017-; Finance Committee 2017-; Education Committee 2017-; Scholarships Committee 2017-
  • Sub-Dean, International Exchanges 2016-2018
  • Acting & Co-Coordinator, Myanmar Partnerships for Development Project 2016-17
  • Co-Convenor (2016) and Director (2017-18) DFAT Graduate Training Programme in International Law 2016-2018
  • Convenor, LLM International Law stream 2015
  • Editor, ANU College of Law SSRN Series 2015-16
  • Extraordinary Member, Executive of the African Studies Association of Australia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) 2015-

Significant research publications

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Recent news

Professor Jolyon Ford SFHEA
Professor Jolyon Ford SFHEA will continue his research into the global mechanisms for promoting corporate transparency and accountability as a Fulbright Fellow.
Matthew Bunten
ANU Juris Doctor candidate, Matthew Bunten, has been accepted into a program that will see him complete his postgraduate studies abroad at the University of Oxford.
Jo Ford
A new article by Dr Jo Ford warns businesses against over-relying on reporting-based schemes to identify and improve human rights risks in their supply chains.
Jo Ford
Associate Professor Jolyon Ford is Associate Dean (International) at ANU College of Law.

In the Media

Jolyon Ford speaks to Canberra Weekly
Jolyon Ford interviewed by Voice of America
Jolyon Ford interviewed by CIBER Focus
Jolyon Ford speaks to ABC The World Today

Past events

3.00PM to 4.00PM Information session
  • A/Prof Jolyon Ford

A/Prof Jo Ford will be holding an exchange briefing for prospective student applicants in the Law school foyer.

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Research biography

My research is typically cross-disciplinary, grounded in law and regulatory theory, with a strong public policy orientation. I am mainly interested in ways to influence the social and governance impact of business and investment activity in fragile, post-conflict and transitional settings; the private sector’s role in conflict resolution and peacebuilding; emerging regulatory frameworks on the human rights responsibilities of business enterprises; and the governance of responsible new technologies, especially AI.

My wider research interests include reflecting on the role of law, lawyers and legal institutions in developing countries, especially where emerging from conflict or diplomatic isolation. From 2008 to 2018 I was a senior research consultant to the Institute for Security Studies, Africa’s leading think-tank.

Research projects & collaborations

I am collaborating with colleagues in Australia and abroad on various projects in the field of 'business and human rights'. Current and recent funded projects include:

* 'Asia Dialogue of AI Governance' (Microsoft Asia and SMU) 2019-21

* 'Regulating AI: Research for Policy' (ANU-funded research collaboration with SMU Singapore) 2019-20

* 'Navigating the Backlash against Global Norms and Institutions' (ANU-funded research project with two US partner universities) 2019-20, with Farrall and Saunders

* 'Responsible business and the SDGs' (Danish government-funded research project 2017-2022) (with the Danish Institute for Human Rights')

* 'Corporate reporting on human rights risks in supply chains (Modern Slavery Act)' (CPA Australia funded project 2018-2019 (with Justine Nolan and Aziz Islam)


  • Curriculum and Training Course in 'Business and Human Rights for the Legal Profession', for the International Bar Association, London, 2017-18

  • Senior expert on legal and human rights issues for Trustworks, helping companies manage the complexities of investment in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

  • Part of the Experts Roster of the UNDP’s Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery.

  • Since 2008, senior research consultant to the Institute for Security Studies, Africa's leading thinktank.

Books & edited collections

  • FORD, J., Regulating Business for Peace (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • FORD, J., and Findlay, M., Seah, J., and Thampapillai, D., (eds.) Regulatory Insights on Artificial Intelligence: Regulating for Policy (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2020)

Government submissions

  • Ford, J., Written Submission to Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Technology and Human Rights’ Public Enquiry, April 2020
  • Ford, J., Written Submission to Dept. of Trade and Industry (CSIRO/Data61) Public Enquiry on ‘An Ethical AI Framework for Australia’, May 2019
  • Ford, J., Written Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission / WEF White Paper on ‘The Governance of Responsible Innovation’ (Technology and Human Rights), March 2019
  • Ford, J., Written Submission (Project Finance, Human Rights High-Risk and Fragile States) to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Inquiry into the Export Credit and Insurance Agency Amendment Bill 2019, March 2019
  • Ford, J., Expert consultation paper on ‘exposure draft’ of the Modern Slavery Bill (invitation to consult from the Minister’s office), May 2018
  • Ford, J., Submission to Modern Slavery Bill drafting team, Dept. of Home Affairs, on ‘Defining ‘Supply Chains’ in a Modern Slavery Act’, May 2018
  • Ford, J., Written Submission to Attorney-General’s Department, ‘Consultation on a Modern Slavery Act for Australia’, October 2017
  • Ford, J., Written Submission to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade on ‘Proposals for a Modern Slavery Act in Australia’ (August 2017; testified to this paper to the Committee on 11 August 2017) (with Justine Nolan)

Case notes & book reviews

Regularly act as a peer reviewer for proposed publications in my fields of study


Business and Human Rights

  • ‘Globalisation and Clinical Trials: Transnational Litigation’ in Bennett, B. & Tomossy, G. (eds.) Globalisation and Health: Challenges for Health Law and Bioethics (Springer, Amsterdam) (with George Tomossy)
  • ‘Globalisation, Clinical Research and Developing Countries: the Plaintiff’s Challenge’ (2004) Jnl of Law, Social Justice and Global Development (with George Tomossy)

Business and Peace

Governance of Responsible New Technologies

  • ‘Regulatory Insights on Artificial Intelligence: Framing the Agenda on ‘Research for Policy’ in Findlay, M., Ford, J., Seah, J., and Thampapillai, D., (eds.) Regulatory Insights on Artificial Intelligence: Regulating for Policy (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2020) (with Mark Findlay)
  • ‘Governance of Responsible AI: from ethical guidelines to regulatory frameworks’ in Findlay, M., Ford, J., Seah, J., and Thampapillai, D., (eds.) Regulatory Insights on Artificial Intelligence: Regulating for Policy (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2020)

Human rights, international crime / counter-terrorism, and the rule of law

Constitutionalism and constitution-making in transitional societies

  • ‘Some Reflections on a Decade of International and Comparative Influence on the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court’ in du Plessis, M. & Pete, S. (eds.) Constitutional Democracy in South Africa 1994 – 2004 (Lexis-Nexis Butterworths, Durban)
  • ‘South Africa’ in Bermann, G., (ed.) Party Autonomy: Constitutional and International Limits in Comparative Perspective (Juris, New York) (with Max du Plessis)
  • ‘Developing the Common Law: Horizontality, the Human Rights Act and South Africa’s Experience’ European Human Rights Law Review 3 (with Max du Plessis)
  • The ‘Age of Constitutions’? Lessons for Afghanistan and Iraq from Constitution-Making in Europe’ Paper No. 132 (National Europe Centre, Canberra)

Representative publications

  • Commonwealth Model National Plan of Action on Human Rights 2007 (author, for the Commonwealth Expert Group)
  • Commonwealth Manual on Human Rights Training for Police 2006 (with Pieter Cronje)
  • ‘Human Rights’ in Commonwealth Manual on Counter-Terrorism Practice and Procedure 2006 (author)
  • Commonwealth Handbook on Ratification of Human Rights Instruments 2006 (with Max du Plessis)
  • Model Curriculum on Human Rights for Commonwealth Universities 2006 (author)
  • Model Curriculum on Human Rights for Indian Universities 2005 (author)


  • ‘Principled Engagement? Donors and HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe 2000-2010’ in Pedersen, M. and Kinley, D. Principled Engagement: Promoting Human Rights in Repressive Regimes (Ashgate) (with Joel Negin)
  • ‘Transitional Justice: A Truth Commission for Zimbabwe?’ (2009) 58(1) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 73-117 (with Max du Plessis)
  • ‘Peacebuilding in Zimbabwe: The Longer-term role of International Actors’ Issues Paper No. 7 (Centre for International Governance & Justice, ANU)
  • ‘Rebuilding Zimbabwe: Australia’s Role in the Transition’ Policy Brief Series (Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney)
  • ‘Australia’s Aid to Africa’ Australian Review of Public Affairs (online)
  • ‘Australian – African relations: another look’ (2003) Australian Journal of International Affairs 57(1) 17 (Issue on ‘Threats, Alliances, Security’)


Currently supervising

PhD supervision

Currently supervising various PhD candidates

Available to supervise postgraduate and higher degree research in relevant areas.

LLM Masters thesis supervision

Available to supervise postgraduate research in relevant areas.

Honours thesis supervision

Available to supervise Honours research or LLB Research Project in relevant areas.

  • 2016/1: Hons thesis on human rights, decentralisation and service-delivery through the jurisprudence of South Africa's constitutional court
  • 2016/1: Hons thesis on the portrayal of 'justice' in transitional societies through institutional and non-institutional modes
  • 2016/1: Hons thesis on empirical approaches to the effectiveness of amnesties as a form of transitional justice
  • 2016/2: Hons thesis on regulating human rights issues in business supply-chains in the garment sector
  • 2017/1: Hons thesis on Australian regulatory options on overseas forced labour in corporate supply chains
  • 2017/1: Hons thesis on critical perspectives on human rights discourse in the regulation of transnational corporations

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2021 LAWS6103
Class #2706
2021 LAWS1203
Class #2280
2021 LAWS8418
Class #6509
International Commercial Arbitration
2021 LAWS8254
Class #4617
Business, Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility

Past courses

  • Convenor, 'Torts' (LLB/JD) 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
  • Convenor, 'Business, Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility' (LLM) 2016-
  • Convenor, 'International Commercial Arbitration' (LLM) 2019-
  • Convenor, 'Law Internships' (LLB/JD) 2019
  • Convenor, 'Law and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa' (LLM) 2016-
  • Convenor (2016) and Director (2017-2019), DFAT Graduate Training Programme in International Law
  • Guest Lecturer 2015 onwards (various including ANU Crawford School; LLM in Law, Governance and Development; other)

How my works connects with public policy

See 'Research'.

Updated:  24 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team