Professor Isabel Karpin researches on the bioethical implications of laws governing reproductive technologies, genetic testing and disability. She explores the challenge posed by new biotechnological developments on legal  understandings of normality, disability, individuality, and family.

isabelShe has a BA and LLB from Sydney University, a Masters of Law from Harvard University and a Doctorate (JSD) from Columbia University.  Professor Karpin joined the UTS Law faculty in February 2009 having previously worked at the University of Sydney from 1994 to 2008.

Professor Karpin is the author and co-author of  articles, book chapters and books including recently Perfecting Pregnancy: Law Disability and the Future of Reproduction 2012 (with K Savell) published by Cambridge University Press and edited collections such as Nisker, Bayliss, Karpin, McLeod and Mykitiuk “The Healthy Embryo” (Cambridge 2010). She is currently involved in two major ARC projects, one exploring the regulation of behaviour as a disability and the other examining family formation using reproductive technology both inside and outside law and across borders.


Dr Karen O’Connell is an expert in discrimination law, particularly sex and disability discrimination, and biotechnologies ofthebody, neuroscience and genetics. She is experienced in law reform, policy development and managing large research projects. With Professor Isabel Karpin she holds an Australia Research Council grant on “The Legal Regulation of Behaviour as a Disability” (2015-2018).

Prior to joining UTS as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow she worked in human rights law and policy at the Australian Human Rights Commission. In a number of senior roles, she worked on national inquires and major reports into pregnancy discrimination, immigration detention, paid maternity leave, family responsibilities discrimination and age discrimination. She co-wrote submissions on key human rights cases and law reforms and produced national guidelines on sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Dr O’Connell completed her masters and doctoral degrees at Columbia University in New York.
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