Professor Julia Rowena Tolmie

LLB (Hons), The University of Auckland; LLM, The University of Harvard. Admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and a solicitor in NSW, Australia.

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Professor Julia Tolmie currently teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Law and Policy and Women and the Law at The University of Auckland. She served as chair of the Family Violence Death Review Committee from December 2011-2015 and served as a member of the New Zealand Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Family Violence in 2013. She was the editor of the Law School’s alumni magazine – Eden Crescent – from 2003 to 2014 and has served on the editorial board of the Sydney Law Review and Current Issues in Criminal Justice in the past. Prior to her appointment at the University of Auckland she lectured in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney for ten years. She has published and delivered conference papers around the world on a wide range of subjects within the general areas of criminal law and family law, with a particular focus on the impact of the law on women’s lives. She has spent brief periods of time as a visiting scholar at the University of Ottawa, Golden Gate University and Berkley University. Associate Professor Julia Tolmie also has an interest in the fine arts and a desultory practice as a painter and sculptor. Although she is New Zealand born of English/Scottish heritage, her extended family closely links her to the island of Samoa.

Research | Current


Teaching | Current

At The University of Auckland: Criminal Law, Advanced Criminal Law, Criminal Law and Policy, Women and the Law, and Intellectual Property.


At The University of Sydney: Criminal Law, Company Law, Evidence, Criminology and Family Law.

Areas of expertise

Professor Julia Tolmie’s main research interests are in criminal law, family law and women and the law. Particular research topics within these general areas have included: the defence of battered women on homicide charges, party liability, the criminal defences of intoxication, provocation and self-defence, the criminal duty to protect, the concealment of birth, care and contact arrangements in the context of family law, police negligence in family violence cases and civil action, fathers rights groups in Australia, and corporate social responsibility.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Sheehy, E., Stubbs, J., & Tolmie, J. R. (2012). Defences to Homicide for Battered Women: A comparative analysis of laws in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Sydney Law Review, 34 (3), 467-492. Related URL.
  • Tolmie, J. R. (2012). Consent to harmful assaults: The case for moving away from category based decision making. Criminal Law Review (9), 656-671.
  • Tolmie, J. R. (2010). The "duty to protect" in New Zealand Criminal Law: Making it up as we go along?. New Zealand Law Review, 2010, 725-760.
  • Tolmie, J. R., Elizabeth, V. B., & Gavey, N. (2010). Is 50:50 Shared Care a Desirable Norm Following Family Separation? Raising Questions about Current Family Law Practices in New Zealand. New Zealand Universities Law Review, 24 (1), 136-166.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicola Gavey
  • Tolmie, J. R., Gavey, N. J., & Elizabeth, V. B. (2009). Raising Questions About the Importance of Father Contact Within Current Family Law Practises. New Zealand Law Review, 4, 659-694.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicola Gavey

Contact details

Primary office location

1-11 SHORT STREET - Bldg 810
New Zealand