Professor Graeme Orr


School of Law
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
+61 7 336 53014


The law of politics, in particular electoral law, is Professor Graeme Orr's primary research expertise. He has authored The Law of Politics (1st edn 2010, 2nd edn 2019) and Ritual and Rhythm in Electoral Systems (2015), co-authored The Law of Deliberative Democracy (2016), co-edited Realising Democracy (2003), Electoral Democracy: Australian Prospects (2011) and The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (2018) and edited 3 symposia on the law of politics. His doctoral thesis explored the nature and regulation of electoral bribery. In the field of the law of politics, he does consultancy and pro bono work, and regular media commentary. Graeme has published over 100 commentary pieces in both the traditional press and online outlets.

Graeme has also published extensively in labour law, the law of negligence and on issues of language and law. Currently he is the legal adviser on the NSW Electoral Commission’s iVote panel and was recently part of the Australian Republican Movement’s Constitutional Advisory Board that drafted a model for an elected Head of State.

An Associate to two judges in the Federal Court of Australia and solicitor of the Queensland Supreme Court, prior to joining UQ Graeme was also an Associate Professor at Griffith University, where he taught for 13 years. In recent times he has been international editor of the Election Law Journal and board member of the Australian Journal of Labour Law. He was formerly managing editor of the Griffith Law Review, columnist with the Alternative Law Journal on sport's links to law, and employment law columnist with the Australian Journal of Administrative Law. He currently authors the entry on Australia for The Annual Register, a 257 year old almanac of world affairs.

He has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (2014) and the Australian Academy of Social Sciences (2020).

Research Interests

  • Law of politics: parliamentary law and electoral law
  • Non-instrumental approaches to Law and Politics (ritual, symbols, language)
  • Labour and employment law


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Griffith University
  • Masters (Coursework) of Law, University College London
  • Bachelor of Law, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Orr, Graeme (2024). Australia. The annual register: world events 2023. (pp. 356-358) Ann Arbor, MI, United States: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2023). Elections as rituals. Routledge handbook of election law. (pp. 101-111) edited by David Schultz and Jurij Toplak. Oxford, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429401800-9

  • Orr, Graeme (2023). Australia. The Annual Register: World Events 2022. (pp. 359-361) edited by D.S. Lewis and Wendy Slater. Ann Arbor, MI, United States: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2022). Australia. The Annual Register: World Events 2021. (pp. 348-350) Ann Arbor, MI, United States: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2022). Qualifications to be an elected representative. Comparative election law. (pp. 305-321) edited by James A. Gardner. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing . doi: 10.4337/9781788119023.00028

  • Orr, Graeme (2021). Australia. The Annual Register: World Events. (pp. 344-346) edited by DS Lewis and Wendy Slater. Cambridge, United Kingdom: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2021). ‘Choice of the manner in which thou wilt die’: the Australian courts on compulsory voting. A century of compulsory voting in Australia. (pp. 141-164) edited by Matteo Bonotti and Paul Strangio. Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-33-4025-1_8

  • Orr, Graeme (2020). Australia. The 2020 Annual Register: world events 2019. (pp. 334-336) edited by D. S. Lewis and Wendy Slater. Cambridge, England and Ann Arbor, Michigan: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2020). The law of electoral democracy: theory and purpose. The constitution of social democracy: essays in honour of Keith Ewing. (pp. 161-177) edited by Alan Bogg, Jacob Rowbottom and Alison L. Young. Oxford, England: Hart Publishing.

  • Orr, Graeme (2019). Australia. The 2019 Annual Register: a record of world events and developments in 2018. (pp. 331-333) Cambridge, England and Ann Arbor, Michigan: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2018). Australia. The 2018 annual register: a record of world events 2017. (pp. 334-336) edited by D. S. Lewis and Wendy Slater. Cambridge, United Kingdom: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2018). Full public funding: cleaning up parties or parties cleaning up?. Handbook of political party funding. (pp. 84-102) edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau. Northampton, MA, United States: Edward Elgar. doi: 10.4337/9781785367977.00011

  • Orr, Graeme (2017). Australia. The Annual Register: World Events (258th Edition). (pp. 334-336) edited by D.S. Lewis and Wendy Slater. Cambridge, United Kingdom: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2017). Voluntary voting for referendums in Australia: old wine, new bottle. New directions for law in Australia: essays in contemporary law reform. (pp. 359-368) edited by Ron Levy, Molly O'Brien, Simon Rice, Pauline Ridge and Margaret Thornton. Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU Press. doi: 10.22459/NDLA.09.2017

  • Orr, Graeme (2016). Australia. The 2016 Annual Register: A Record of World Events (257th Edition, Covering 2015). (pp. 338-340) edited by D. S. Lewis and Wendy Slater. United Kingdom: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2016). Putting the cartel before the house? Public funding of parties in Queensland. Party rules? Dilemmas of political party regulation in Australia. (pp. 123-145) edited by Anika Gauja and Marian Sawer. Acton, ACT, Australia: ANU Press.

  • Orr, Graeme (2015). Private association and public brand: the dualistic conception of political parties in the common law world. Parties, partisanship and political theory. (pp. 80-97) edited by Matteo Bonotti and Veit Bader. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Orr, Graeme (2015). The Law Governing Australian Political Parties. Contemporary Australian Political Party Organisations. (pp. 212-224) edited by Narelle Miragliotta, Anika Gauja and Rodney Smith. Melbourne, VIC Australia: Monash University Press.

  • Orr, Graeme (2014). Ritual in the law of electoral democracy. Law and democracy: contemporary questions. (pp. 115-129) edited by Glenn Patmore and Kim Rubenstein. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

  • Orr, Graeme and Ewing, K. D. (2012). ¿AV o no AV? Lecciones de Australia. Mesa I. Sistemas electorales y principios constitucionales. VIII Congreso Mundial de la Asociación Internacional de Derecho Constitucional. (pp. 241-266) Mexico City, Mexico: Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federacion.

  • Tham, Joo-Cheong, Costar, Brian and Orr, Graeme (2011). Electoral Democracy: Australian Prospects. Electoral Democracy: Australian Prospects. (pp. xi-xvii) edited by Tham, Joo Cheong, Costar, Brian and Orr, Graeme. Australia: Melbourne University Press.

  • Orr, Graeme (2011). Justifications for regulating party affairs: Competition not public funding. The funding of political parties: Where now?. (pp. 245-260) edited by Keith Ewing, Jacob Rowbottom and Joo-Cheong Tham. Abingdon, England, U.K.: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203802939-23

  • Orr, Graeme (2011). Legal conceptions of political parties: through the lens of anti-discrimination law. Electoral Democracy: Australian Prospects. (pp. 120-139) edited by Joo-Cheong Costar, Tham Brian and Graeme Orr. Carlton, Vic., Australia: Melbourne University Press.

  • Orr, Graeme and Dale, Gregory (2009). The political system. Appealing to the Future: Michael Kirby and His Legacy. (pp. 661-683) edited by Ian Freckleton and Hugh Selby. Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Law Book Company.

  • Orr, G. (2008). Citizenship, interests, community and expression: Expatriate voting rights in Australian elections. Citizenship in a post-national world: Australia and Europe compared. (pp. 24-37) edited by Simon Bronitt and Kim Rubenstein. Annandale, Sydney: The Federation Press.

  • Orr, G. (2007). American democracy and anti-Americanism since 2000. Anti-Americanism: History, Causes, and Themes. (pp. 163-186) edited by B. O'Connor. Oxford, England: Greenwood World Publishing.

  • Orr, G. (2007). Government communication and the law. Government Communication in Australia. (pp. 19-35) edited by Young, S.. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

  • Orr, Graeme (2006). Government advertising: Parliament and political equality. Images, Colours and Reflections: Lectures in the Senate Occasional Lecture Series 2005–2006. (pp. 1-20) edited by Kay Walsh. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Senate.

  • Orr, Graeme (2006). Political Finance Law in Australia. Party Funding and Campaign Financing in International Perspective. (pp. 99-122) edited by Keith Ewing and Samuel Issacharoff. Oxford: Hart Publishing.

  • Orr, Graeme (2006). Unauthorised Workers: Labouring Beneath the Law?. Labour Law and Labour Market Regulation: Essays on the construction, constitution and regulation of labour markets. (pp. 677-695) edited by C. Arup, P. Gahan, J. Howe, R. Johnstone, R. Mitchell and A. O'Donnell. Annandale, NSW, Australia: The Federation Press.

  • Orr, Graeme (2005). Australia. Lobbying, Government Relations, and Campaign Finance: Navigating the Laws, Regulations and Practices of National Regimes. (pp. 1-14) edited by D. Grant Thomas. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana / Oxford University Press.

  • Orr, Graeme (2005). Public administration: Elections. Halsbury's Laws of Australia. (pp. 521-645-521-723) edited by Harry Gibbs. Sydney, Australia: Butterworths.

  • Orr, Graeme (2003). Dealing in Votes: Regulating Electoral Bribery. Realising Democracy: Electoral law in Australia. (pp. 130-142) edited by Graeme Orr, Bryan Mercurio and George Williams. Annandale, NSW Australia: Federation Press.

  • Orr, Graeme, Mercurio, Bryan and Williams, George (2003). The Australian Electoral Tradition (Introduction). Realising Democracy: Electoral law in Australia. (pp. 1-6) edited by G. Orr, B. Mercurio and G. Williams. Annandale, NSW, Australia: Federation Press.

  • Graeme Orr (1999). Local Government: Council Elections and Polls. Halsbury's Laws of Australia (vol17). (pp. 1-1) Australia: Butterworths.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision