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Harry Hobbs

University of Technology Sydney


Dr Harry Hobbs is an experienced constitutional and human rights lawyer working at the forefront of academic research and legal and political debate about Indigenous-State treaty making.

Harry is committed to understanding how Indigenous sovereignty can be better recognised by and in national and international legal systems. Drawing on both doctrinal and critical theories of constitutional, international and human rights law, Harry has published 40 academic papers on subjects ranging from native title and Australia’s first treaty, the Noongar settlement, to hybrid international criminal tribunals.

Harry has particular expertise and interest in the treaty debate in Australia. With UNSW’s Professor George Williams, he co-authored Treaty (Federation Press, 2nd edition, 2020), the leading book on this topic, in which the two academics take a fresh look at modern treaty-making between Indigenous peoples and governments in Australia. Harry is also the author of Indigenous Aspirations and Structural Reform in Australia (Hart Publishing, 2021) and co-editor of Treaty-Making Two Hundred and Fifty Years Later (Federation Press, 2021, with Alison Whittaker and Lindon Coombes). He is active in public developments in constitutional recognition, a First Nations Voice, and treaty-making. 

Harry is active in the international community of scholars and activists concerned with protecting the rights of Indigenous people. In 2020, he was elected co-chair of the American Society of International Law’s Rights of Indigenous Peoples Interest Group. The group examines the rights and status of Indigenous peoples in international law, helping to bring together scholars and activists to participate in transnational information sharing and cooperation. In this capacity he has contributed to amicus submissions to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 

In examining notions of sovereignty, Harry has also examined the phenomenon of micronations and the ways in which those aspiring to statehood assert claims to sovereignty. He has authored two books on this topic: Micronations and the Search for Sovereignty (Cambridge University Press, 2022, with George Williams) provides a world-first, comprehensive legal and political account of micronations and micronationalism, while How To Rule Your Own Country (NewSouth, 2022, with George Williams) takes an in depth look at the people and stories behind the most prominent micronations. 

Prior to joining UTS, Harry worked in the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Human Rights, the ACT Human Rights Commission, and as the Legal Research Officer at the High Court of Australia.

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