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ExEC awarded two prestigious scholarships

Jason Pobjoy, Class of 2000, has been awarded two scholarships worth nearly $200 000 for PhD study at University of Cambridge starting in October this year. One is the Poynton Cambridge Australia Scholarship awarded by the Cambridge Australia Trust and the other is the W M Tapp Studentship in Law awarded by Gonville and Caius College.

Jason will research international, regional and domestic legal frameworks currently in place to assist children seeking international protection. His research will look at the approach adopted in both developed and developing jurisdictions and will take him to USA, Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda and Egypt and back home to Australia. It is hoped that the outcome of the research will provide a practical tool for advocates and decision-makers and will ultimately assist in enhancing the protection afforded to children in the asylum context.

Jason was awarded his first scholarship by Eltham College. He said, “A lack of academic support in my later secondary years saw me apply for and receive a scholarship for tuition at Eltham College.” He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts and a First Class Honours degree in Law and joined Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Australia’s leading law firm.

While with Mallesons, Jason played a key role in a number of high-profile human rights cases including a Communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Jason also developed a substantial refugee practice, representing refugee applicants from Thailand, Albania, Afghanistan and Nigeria in the Federal Magistrates Court, Federal Court and Full Federal Court of Australia. “My greatest satisfaction has been the manner in which, through the practice of law, I have been able to apply international human rights law in a practical way to help individuals and groups who are particularly vulnerable,” he said.

While at Mallesons Jason undertook a Masters in Law part-time at the University of Melbourne focusing on international human rights law and international refugee law. A Commonwealth Scholarship in 2008 allowed Jason to undertake the Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford. Previous Commonwealth Scholars include Germaine Greer and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

We will be lucky enough to be able to catch up with Jason in May as he returns home just ion time for his 10 year reunion!