Graeme Austin

Prof Graeme Austin profile picture

Chair in Private Law Faculty of Law


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Copyright, artists’ rights, intellectual property




A born and bred Wellingtonian, Graeme rejoined the law faculty of Victoria University of Wellington in 2010, after serving for nearly ten years as a tenured professor at the University of Arizona, most recently as the J Byron McCormick Professor of Law. At Victoria, he has taught Company Law; Torts; Equity, Trusts and Succession; Copyright; Intellectual Property; and Human Rights and Intellectual Property. At U Arizona, he co-convened the IP programme, teaching a variety of IP courses, including US Copyright Law, and International IP. He also taught US Constitutional Law. He taught Family Property Law at the University of Auckland, where he held a Senior Lectureship. With first degrees from Victoria (BA(Hons), LLB, LLM(with distinction)), he graduated LLM and JSD (PhD equivalent) from Columbia University, where he held the Burton Fellowship in IP. Prior to his Arizona appointment, he was a senior solicitor at Chapman Tripp. Graeme is Victoria’s first out gay law professor. His scholarship has been published in the LQR, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, the International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, the UNSW Law Journal, and the NZ Universities Law Review, amongst other places. He has made presentations and delivered lectures for the World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva), the Australian Copyright Council, the Colegio Público de Abogados de la Capital Federal (Buenos Aires), Columbia University Law School, NYU Law School, Cambridge, and Oxford. In 2010, Graeme was invited by Cambridge University to deliver the 5th Annual Hercel Smith Lecture on International IP, and, in 2017, he gave the Hong Kong University Annual IP lecture. He has been a visiting professor at leading academic institutions, including the University of WuHan School of Law (China) and the National University of Singapore, where he was appointed the 2014 Yong Shook Lin Professor of Intellectual Property, and in 2017, as the Lionel Sheridan Visiting Professor. He was a 2017 visiting fellow at the Oxford IP Research Centre. Graeme is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and an Associate of the NZ Centre for Public Law. He holds a fractional appointment at Melbourne University Law School. In 2013 he was the recipient of a Victoria Teaching Excellence Award, and he was a 2018 winner of Victoria's Equity and Diversity Excellence Team Award.

Areas of supervision

Current research

Current research includes: a project on the relationship between privacy and copyright; dignitary interests in copyright law; copyright exceptions and the citizen journalist.

Selection of publications

"Trademarks and Private Environmental Governance" (2017) 93 Notre Dame Law Review pp 709-56 (with David Adelman) SSRN.

Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface (co-author with Laurence Helfer) (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011) pp 568 SSRN.

"EU and US Perspectives on Fair Dealing for the Purpose of Parody or Satire" (2016) 39(2) UNSW Law Journal pp 684-714 SSRN.

View all publications


Teaching in 2019