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Associate Professor Linda Steele

About the Researcher

Truth Justice Repair is led by Associate Professor Linda Steele, a socio-legal scholar at University of Technology Sydney Law Faculty. She is working at the intersections of disability, law and social justice.

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Associate Professor Linda Steele (she/her) has been researching disability law and social issues for over a decade, having previously been a solicitor with the Intellectual Disability Rights Service. Her research focuses on the role of law, human rights and transitional justice in perpetration, redress and repair of violence and other injustices experienced by disabled and older people.


Dr Steele explores how to engage with legal methods (such as litigation, redress schemes, truth commissions and law reform) to work with disabled and older people to achieve social justice. She explores these concerns in a range of contexts including institutionalisation, sterilisation, criminal justice incarceration, restrictive practices, and segregated employment.

One of Dr Steele's key scholarly contributions has been to develop the concept of ‘disability-specific lawful violence’ to understand as legally sanctioned violence a wide variety of non-consensual interventions in the bodies and lives of disabled people which are permitted pursuant to laws such as civil mental health law and guardianship. She explores these ideas in her book Disability, Criminal Justice and Law (2020 Routledge).

Dr Steele's research has been cited by law reform commissions, parliamentary committees and Royal Commissions. She is a co-author of research reports commissioned by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Dr Steele is currently leading a program of research titled 'Truth Justice Repair'. She is researching the role of specialised individual redress schemes, truth commissions and reparations in responding to injustices against disabled people and older people.

Dr Steele teaches civil court procedure law and mental health and disability law. She is currently exploring reparative pedagogies through her own teaching methods. In 2021 Dr Steele was the inaugural recipient of the Australian Legal Education Award (ALEA) for Excellence in Teaching (Engagement) for ‘transforming students’ understanding of disability and mental health law and empowering them to become agents of disability justice through engaging with communities’.


In 2020 she was awarded the UTS Teaching and Learning Citation for ‘empowering law students to be agents of disability justice’.


Truth Justice Repair involves collaborations with scholars and disability civil society organisations on aspects of the project.


Click below to discover more about the important work of current and recent collaborators:

Council for Intellectual Disability

People with Disability Australia

Dementia Alliance International

Phillippa Carnemolla

Kate Swaffer

Justine Lloyd

Elisabeth Punzi

Nicole Matthews

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