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Melissa   Demian

Senior Lecturer
Department of Social Anthropology
University of St Andrews (United Kingdom)
[ ]

Member of
European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)
Geographic administrative areas
Papua New Guinea
Milne Bay (Papua New Guinea)
Geographic places
Historical periods
The Colonial time
20th century
21st century
Indigenous languages
  • Field Research (2008 to 2008)
    Custom as a Legal Resource in Papua New Guinea Courts — British Academy (funding body)
    This project investigated the 'customary law' concept as it is used – or avoided – by legal professionals in Papua New Guinea, and the perceived obstacles to its integration into the wider legal system. The research for this project was conducted in Port Moresby and Alotau, and included work with District Court magistrates, National Court judges, lawyers from the offices of the Public Prosecutor and Public Solicitor, instructors at the University of Papua New Guinea School of Law, and law officers in various government offices.
  • Applied Research (2012 to 2015)
    Legal Innovation in Papua New Guinea — UK Economic and Social Research Council (funding body)
    This ongoing project includes the participation of researchers in Australia, the UK and PNG. The project examines irregularities in the practices of Village Courts in PNG, such as excesses of jurisdiction, involvement of 'bush lawyers,' and convening of 'courts' that are not properly gazetted. The aim of the project is to reconcile elite discourses of the failure of these courts as institutions, with local pragmatic developments in legal and quasi-legal practice that more closely serve local concepts of justice and equity.
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    Some figures...

    The database of experts counts today 1241 profiles, of which 596 are publicly accessible, while 645 have chosen to remain private.

    These persons have defined 750 unique keywords in which they situate their research interests and expertise.

    They have also defined and described 650 'experiences' (research and teaching activities, consulting work, or applied projects) in which they have contributed.