Jessie Taylor

Jessie Taylor

  • Admitted: 2009
  • Bar: 2011


Level 2, 550 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000


Jessie Taylor BA(Hons) LLB(Hons) MSc(HA) first signed the roll of counsel in 2011, winning the Daniel Pollak Readers’ Pro Bono Award for pro bono work in her first six months at the Bar. Jessie enjoyed a broad and thriving practice in public, civil and criminal law before stepping away in 2016 to take up a role as Public Defender (Civil Justice) at Victoria Legal Aid Chambers, and subsequently Associate Director of VLA Chambers. She returned to the Bar in March 2021 from an Executive role in the COVID-19 Legal Directions, Advisory and Strategy team in the Department of Health (Victoria).

Jessie advises and appears led, unled and as leader in an array of public and administrative lawpersonal injury and human rights matters. She is a trusted advisor to government, especially on matters relating to Health Law and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.  Jessie has advised government on a number of major legislative reform projects (including the design and development of the so called ‘Pandemic Management’ Bill 2021, and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 which was enacted in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System).

Jessie currently acts for the Plaintiffs in Krakouer v Australian Football League (racism class action). She is counsel for Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi in her action against Pauline Hanson under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), and for the Applicant under the Anti Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) in Australian Muslim Advocacy Network Ltd v Twitter Australia & X Corp.

She has a flourishing common law & personal injury practice (with a particular interest in abuse law and medical negligence).

Jessie accepts briefs to advise and appear across a range of matters, including:

Public Law

  • Public and administrative law generally
  • Commissions & Inquiries
  • Coronial matters
  • Government and legislative projects
  • Human rights & matters involving the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
  • Discrimination & matters under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • Matters in the parens patriae jurisdiction
  • Health law including mental health & compulsory treatment, disability & mental impairment (including matters under the Mental Health Act 2014, the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019, and the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997).
  • Supervision and detention order proceedings under the Serious Offenders Act 2018
  • Appeals including merits review and judicial review
  • Disciplinary and professional Tribunals
  • Suppression, pseudonym and confidentiality orders arising uder the Open Courts Act, the Witness Protection Act and in the inherent jurisdiction.

Injury Law

  • Common law & personal injury matters including statutory benefits
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Class actions

Jessie is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law (ANZAPPL),  the Australian Institute of Administrative Law (AIAL), the Australian Lawyers’ Alliance (ALA) and the Australian-Hazara Legal Network.

Jessie’s approach to her work is trauma-informed.  

Jessie is a Director of Donkey Wheel, and a former President of the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty Victoria) (2016-2019). In 2018 she participated in the Justice & Society Symposium at the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership. She is co-creator of the documentary Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. She speaks Hazaragi and French.

Jessie holds Honours degrees in Law and Arts (Monash University), and a Master of Science (Humanitarian Action) (University College Dublin & Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III through the EU’s Network On Humanitarian Action) with specialisations in Public Health & Epidemiology, Social Anthropology, Geopolitics, International Humanitarian Law and Management of Non-Government Organisations.

Jessie is a proud Foundation Member of Parnell’s Barristers. She read with Bill Gillies, and her senior mentor is Julian W K Burnside AO KC.

If you would like to discuss briefing Jessie in a type of matter that is not listed above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jessie or her clerk. 

Counsel in significant cases:

  • Re GB; An application under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 [2019] VSC 4 
  • PBU & NJE v Mental Health Tribunal [2018] VSC 564 (with Emrys Nekvapil)

  • Re X Y [2018] VSC 456 

  • Re M P (No 2) [2018] VSC 299

  • PQR v Secretary, Dept of Justice and Regulation (No 1) [2017] VSC 513 (with (Her Honour) Kristen Walker QC)

  • PQR v Secretary, Dept of Justice and Regulation (No 2) [2017] VSC 514 (with (Her Honour) Kristen Walker QC)

  • Isbester v Knox City Council [2014] VSC 286 (unsuccessful on trial and on appeal to COA, successful in High Court [2015] HCA 20) (with Richard Kendall QC)

  • The Queen v Hudson [2013] VSC 184 (with (Her Honour) Jane Dixon QC)

  • Victoria Police v Anderson & Ors (2012) Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (23 July 2012) (the Max Brenner protest case)

  • MZYYR v Secretary, Department of Immigration and Citizenship [2012] FCA 694

Further information

  • In 2009 Jessie was contracted by the Federal Attorney-General’s Department as a researcher and writer on the National Human Rights Consultation.
  • Prior to being called to the Bar in 2011, Jessie was Associate to Justice Bromberg in the Federal Court of Australia

  • Jessie was Chair of the LIV Refugee Law Reform Committee and sat on the Executive Committee of the LIV Administrative and Human Rights Law section (2009 & 2010). She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Human Rights Centre & an Honorary Research Fellow at the Monash Asia Institute. She has worked as a researcher in the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, and as a tutor in the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme.

  • In 2005 Jessie attended the closing session of the UN Commission on Human Rights with the Australian delegation. She has worked in community development at Springvale Monash Legal Service, and participated in the general law clinic at SMLS, as well as the joint clinical legal service with the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault, assisting victims of sexual assault to obtain Victims of Crime compensation.

  • In her spare time, Jessie wrangles three sons and two very forgiving budgies, and always has multiple books on the go. She is the proud Inaugural Chair of the Fitzroy Lions Soccer Club. 

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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