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Alumni Impact Highlight - Dr Camille Goodman

12 April 2021
Dr Camille Goodman’s PhD focused on the nature and extent of coastal state jurisdiction over living resources in exclusive economic zones.

Camille’s research explores international fisheries law and State maritime jurisdiction in the Pacific region. Her work is internationally acclaimed by academics and practitioners alike, and has been cited at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Camille is regularly called upon to provide guidance to governments, academics and practitioners on legal rights in fisheries actions, and to conduct capacity building activities around the region.

Camille Goodman has worked at the Attorney-General’s Department across a wide range of public international law issues as a litigator and legal adviser since 2005.

Specifically, Camille has worked directly on Australia’s legal response to international fisheries and maritime law and as a practitioner has constantly sought to understand maritime jurisdiction in a systemic way.

Camille’s research journey began unofficially in 2011 when, in traditional 21st century scholarly fashion, Camille etched a simple question in the Notes in her iPhone:

What can coastal states do with their jurisdiction?

In the years to come, Camille would see this question develop into internationally acclaimed research that would spark a new conversation about how to appropriately conceptualise international fisheries law and State maritime jurisdictions in the Pacific region.

“Pacific nations, when faced with the pressure of powerful States like China or Japan wanting access to rich fishing grounds, collaborate and collectively set their jurisdictions so as to prevent said countries playing them against each other for better yields”.

This achieves better results for every country, and demonstrated to me that the legal context for these arrangements needed further exploration in order for international fisheries law to reflect the current state of affairs.”

In discussing her inspiration for actually taking on a PhD, Camille found herself revisiting similarly unanswered questions arising in other work meetings, like 

  • how can coastal States regulate foreign fishing vessels?
  • and what are the jurisdictional sources to regulate off-shore fishing?

To consolidate these questions, Camille drew inspiration from analysis of the way States exert their power when utilising their jurisdictional boundaries in a coordinated and
collective manner.

Situated at the forefront of Australia’s engagement with cases in international negotiations, tribunals and courts, Camille’s experience as a practitioner lent her great insight
into State maritime operations, and helped her reimagine the conventional Law of the Sea. 

“At all times throughout my PhD I was thinking about what advice courts and tribunals require in order to accurately interpret a case or dispute. My research was an opportunity to provide this advice on a larger scale.”

The practical utility of Camille’s research garnered attention from a variety of sectors both during and after the completion of her scholarship.

Notably, Camille’s work was cited in the Federal Republic of Somalia’s written submission to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on a matter relating to the
cooperative relationship between flag States and fishing vessels under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea.

Camille received a variety of queries from international academics and governments seeking guidance on legal rights in fisheries actions, as well as requests to run policy
oriented seminars with the AGD, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, and the Diplomatic Academy in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Additionally, Camille gave guest lectures at ANU during her PhD and has continued to do so after her return to service, in an effort to maintain the currency of her research. 

I see myself as a ‘Pracademic’ - someone who can speak the languages of both government and academia.

For every year back in the APS after my PhD I aimed to publish or present at least one paper – articles that might explain what happened during a treaty negotiation and would make these processes more accessible and digestible to people who don’t understand it.”

Camille’s ‘Pracademia’ has been recognised across Australia, culminating in her position as a researcher and lecturer at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCHORS) at the University of Wollongong, Australia’s only multidisciplinary university-based centre dedicated to research, education, and training in maritime security and ocean law. ANCHORS projects operate around the region, and Camille is excited by the prospect of bolstering her research beyond 
her PhD.

“There are more questions coming out of the PhD that I’d like to explore. I want to get really good at teaching the Law of the Sea, especially to those in government. I feel like I can bring unique value in teaching government employees from an academic perspective, as I already have an understanding of what their 
job is like.”

Camille is currently working on turning her research into a book that will be published in the Oxford Monographs on International Law series under Oxford University Press, a series highlighting areas of interest to the academic lawyer that also have important bearing on issues which touch the actual conduct of international relations.

Camille pointed out that for Australia, as a Pacific nation, the Law of the Sea is of extreme importance to Australian interests, and to our region as a whole.

“It is a huge space to contribute to. Australia has always been actively engaged, but it is more than just an area of law. It’s a security asset and a diplomatic and economic tool that significantly impacts Australia’s relationships within the region. I’m looking forward to focussing on teaching and capacity building around the region, and to being able to consult across government with old and new colleagues to help build a research program that can fill some of the gaps.”

The Law of the Sea is more than just an area of law. It’s a security asset and a diplomatic and economic tool that significantly impacts Australia’s relationships within the region.


Dr Camille Goodman, PhD '19 - Attorney-General's Department

International Fisheries Law and Law of the Sea

Camille’s research examined the jurisdiction of coastal States over living resources in the 200 mile exclusive economic zone adjacent to the coast. Inspired by innovative and cooperative approaches to fisheries in the Pacific, her research clarified how States can maximise the effectiveness of this jurisdiction consistently with contemporary international law, and is being published as a book with Oxford University Press.

After returning to the APS, Camille served in a range of corporate and governance roles, while continuing her academic engagement through publications and presentations building on her research, and as a visiting fellow at the ANU College of Law.

In March 2021, she commenced as a Senior Lecturer at the Australian Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, drawing on both her policy and academic expertise to contribute to the Centre’s research, teaching, policy development advice and capacity building work in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.

The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation is a partnership between The Australian National University, Charles Darwin University and the Australian Public Service.