Faculty of Law

Margaret Otlowski

Margaret Otlowski

Prof Margaret Otlowski

Dean and Head of School

Contact Details

Contact Campus Sandy Bay Campus
Building Faculty of Law Building
Room Reference 2.03
Telephone +61 3 6226 7569
Fax +61 3 6226 7623
Email Margaret.Otlowski@utas.edu.au


Margaret graduated in 1985 with First Class Honours in Law. After completing the Legal Practice Course, she did her articles with Page Seager solicitors in Hobart and was admitted to practice as Barrister and Solicitor in 1986. After some part-time lecturing involvements, she was appointed in a full-time academic role at UTAS in 1987. Since then, she has pursued her career through the University of Tasmania culminating in her appointment to a Personal Chair in 2003. In 1992, she completed a PhD which was published in the UK by Oxford University Press (Voluntary Euthanasia and the Common Law). The bulk of Margaret's research has been in the health law area. She has published on a range of subjects in this field, however, her principal areas of expertise are in relation to end-of-life issues and aspects of law and genetics, especially genetic discrimination, privacy and regulatory issues. As part of the team at the Faculty's Centre for Law and Genetics, she has been involved in various research projects funded by the Australian Research Council including a biobanking project and the Centre's current personalised medicine project.

Margaret has served in various senior administrative roles within the University. She was Associate Dean for Research 2003-2004 and served as Deputy Head of School from 2005-2009. In 2011, she took up the role of Dean and Head of School. She has also been a member of the Research College Board (now the University Research Committee), Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee (Social Sciences) and currently member of the Senior Management Team. She has participated extensively in community activities and is currently member of the Royal Hobart Hospital Clinical Ethics Committee and Honorary Consul for Switzerland. Margaret has maintained strong links with practice through quasi-judicial tribunal work and is currently member of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. She serves on various state and national boards and committees including as member of two of the National Health and Medical Research Council's principal committees for the 2012-2015 triennium: the Australian Health Ethics Committee and the Human Genetics Advisory Committee. She has had a fulfilling teaching career, having received recognition for excellence in teaching through a Teaching Excellence Award and various Teaching Merit Certificates. Margaret has been responsible for the supervision/co-supervision of a number of successful postgraduate students (both PhD and LLM candidates) as well as being involved as consultant supervisor for quite a number of other candidates.

View Margaret's detailed research profile.


  • Voluntary Euthanasia and the Common Law (1997) Oxford University Press (UK)
  • 'Re Evelyn - Reflections on Australia's First Litigated Surrogacy Case' (1999) 7 Medical Law Review 38-57
  • 'An Exploration of the Legal and Socio-Ethical Implications of Predictive Genetic Testing of Children' (2004)18 Australian Journal of Family Law 147-169
  • 'Exploring the Concept of Genetic Discrimination' (2005) 2 Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 165-176
  • 'Donor Perspectives on Issues Associated with Donation of Genetic Samples and Information: An Australian Viewpoint' (2007) 4 Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 135-150
  • 'Investigating Genetic Discrimination In The Australian Life Insurance Sector: Use Of Genetic Test Results In Underwriting 1999-2003' (2007) 14 Journal of Law and Medicine 367-395 (with K. Barlow-Stewart, S. Taylor, M. Stranger and S. Treloar)
  • 'The Use of Legal Remedies in Australia for Pursuing Allegations of Genetic Discrimination: Findings from an Empirical Study' (with S Taylor, K Barlow-Stewart, M Stranger and S Treloar (2007) 9 International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 3-35
  • 'Practices and Attitudes of Australian Employers in Relation to the Use of Genetic Information: Report on a National Study' (2010) 31 Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 637-691 (with M. Stranger, S. Taylor, K. Barlow-Stewart and S. Treloar)
  • 'Tackling Legal Challenges Posed by Population Biobanks: Reconceptualising Consent Requirements' Med Law Rev (2012) doi: 10.1093/medlaw/fwr035

Full Publication list