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) and then Associate Director at 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 law and injury matters. She is a trusted advisor to government, especially on matters relating to health, mental health and disability law, executive power, statutory interpretation 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), and for Senator Mehreen Faruqi in her action against Senator Pauline Hanson under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth).  She has a flourishing common law & personal injury practice (with a particular interest in abuse law and medical negligence).

Jessie has been a lecturer in the LLB, JD and LLM programs at Monash University since 2015, in subjects including Evidence, Ethics, Public law and Statutory Interpretation, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Non Adversarial Justice, and Legal Reasoning and Methods.

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 advisory and legislative projects.
  • Disciplinary and regulatory matters including the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.
  • Suppression, pseudonym and confidentiality orders arising uder the Open Courts Act 2013, the Witness Protection Act 1991 and in the inherent jurisdiction.
  • Appeals including merits review and judicial review.
  • Matters under the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2014.
  • Human rights & matters involving the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
  • Discrimination & matters under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
  • Health law including mental health & compulsory treatment, disability & mental impairment (including matters under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022, 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.
  • Matters in the parens patriae jurisdictions.

Injury Law

  • Common law including medical negligence, institutional abuse, police torts.
  • Personal injury matters including statutory benefits and public liability.
  • Novel duties.
  • Occupational Health & Safety.
  • Advice on prosecutions.
  • Dispute resolution (Jessie is on the Worksafe Panel of counsel).
  • 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 former Director of Donkey Wheel (2018-2024), 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.

In her spare time, Jessie wrangles three young sons and a commensurate number of stray Lego pieces and orphaned football socks, and always has multiple books on the go. She is the proud Inaugural Chair of the Fitzroy Lions Soccer Club.

Jessie is a 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.

Selected cases

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.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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