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.

Professor Orr is beginning a new project on 'horizontal censorship' - the ability of employers, social media and others to restrain 'free speech' by using their contractual and property law power, to defend their own 'brand' or right to dissociate themselves from a speaker.

Graeme has also published extensively in labour law, the law of negligence and on issues of language and law.

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.

In 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

Research Interests

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


  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Griffith University
  • Bachelor of Laws, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Laws, University of London
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2016) Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Orr, Graeme (2019). Australia. In The 2019 Annual Register: a record of world events and developments in 2018 260th ed. (pp. 331-333) Cambridge, England and Ann Arbor, Michigan: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2018). Australia. In D. S. Lewis and Wendy Slater (Ed.), The annual register: a record of world events 2017 259th ed. (pp. 334-336) Cambridge, United Kingdom and Ann Arbor, Michigan: ProQuest.

  • Orr, Graeme (2018). Full public funding: cleaning up parties or parties cleaning up?. In Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau (Ed.), Handbook of political party funding (pp. 84-102) Northampton, MA, United States: Edward Elgar. doi:10.4337/9781785367977

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

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

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

  • Orr, Graeme (2016). Elections As Rituals: Private, Communal, Public. In Paula Waring and Michael Sloane (Ed.), Papers on Parliament No. 66 (pp. 1-20) Canberra, Australia: Department of the Senate.

  • Orr, Graeme (2016). Private association and public brand: the dualistic conception of political parties in the common law world. In Matteo Bonotti and Veit Bader (Ed.), Parties, partisanship and political theory (pp. 80-97) London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

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

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

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

  • Orr, Graeme and Ewing, K. D. (2012). ¿AV o no AV? Lecciones de Australia. In 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. In Tham, Joo Cheong, Costar, Brian and Orr, Graeme (Ed.), Electoral Democracy: Australian Prospects (pp. xi-xvii) Australia: Melbourne University Press.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Graeme Orr (1999). Local Government: Council Elections and Polls. In 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

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors: