Emily Howie - Legal Director


Emily Howie has worked with the HRLC since 2009 promoting human rights in Australian foreign policy, defending democratic freedoms, advancing women’s rights, contributing to anti-racism and minority rights initiatives and pushing for accountability for Australia’s military cooperation – including Australia’s involvement in the US drone program.

Emily has substantial human rights litigation experience, including as a lead lawyer in Roach v Cth [2007] HCA 43, which established constitutional protection of the right to vote and Brown v Tasmania [2017] HCA 43 in which the High Court overruled Tasmania’s excessive anti-protest laws.

Emily also led the HRLC’s work to secure landmark legislation in several states to create ‘safe access zones’ to ensure women can safely and privately access abortion clinics without having to run the gauntlet of harassment and intimidation.

Emily has a masters in law from Columbia University in New York. In 2012 she was awarded Columbia’s Leebron Human Rights Fellowship to conduct research on asylum seekers in Sri Lanka. Prior to joining the HRLC, Emily worked as a Senior Associate with Allens Arthur Robinson, a legal adviser to the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and in the Trial Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.



Australia: how Bob Brown challenged Tasmania's anti-protest laws
Open Democracy December 17 2017

Queensland MPs must seize the moment on abortion
Brisbane Times February 26 2017

We Must Protest Restrictions On Our Right To Protest
Huffington Post January 25 2017

We know how to prevent another Bali 9 case, but the blueprint is gathering dust
The Sydney Morning Herald  January 12 2017

Safe access to abortion clinics must be guaranteed by law
The Age  November 10 2015

Emily Howie features on the #QandA panel
ABC TV  October 22 2015

Australia’s collateral damage in the US drone program
Just Security  August 28 2014

Sri Lanka is a refugee-producing country. Here's why
The Guardian July 8 2014

Australia may be complicit in killing its own citizens and many others
The Age  June 3 2014

Australia dangerously close to the abuse of fleeing Sri Lankans
The Conversation  January 15 2014

Craven for Tony Abbott to attend CHOGM without raising Sri Lanka's human rights concerns
The Age  November 13 2013

Australia Needs to Be Transparent on Drones
The Diplomat  April 30 2015

New ID laws threaten to leave voters behind
The Brisbane Times  May 23 2014

Voter ID laws politically motivated
The Brisbane Times  October 21 2013

I’ve lost all hope that I can have a life here
Inside Story  September 30 2013

'Enhanced screening' is jeopardising Sri Lankan asylum claims
The Guardian Australia  June 17 2013

(Interview) Rule of law in Sri Lanka
The Law Report, Radio National  November 12 2013

Lure of drone technology must not blind Defence to its faults
The Sydney Morning Herald  October 1 2012

Admitting our racism problem is first step to a solution
The Age  September 7 2010

More will die unless Taser use restricted
The Sydney Morning Herald  October 9 2010

When the police are the wrong people to investigate
The Age  

Lethal, yet poorly regulated
The Drum  September 29 2010

Strip searching the community
The Drum  September 29 2010