Doctor Sonia Allan

Doctor Sonia Allan

School of Law


Sonia Allan has over 20 years multi-disciplinary training and experience in psychology, public health and the law. She holds a PhD(Law) Melbourne University; LLM (Global Health)(w/ Distinction) Georgetown University; MPH (w/ Merit) Sydney, and undergraduate LLB(Hons) and BA(Hons)(Psych). In addition Sonia holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice the NSW College of law; and graduate certificates in teaching from Deakin (GCHE) and Harvard Universities (HETC); regulation (London School of Economics) and leadership from Cambridge University. Sonia is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator. 

Sonia's research focuses upon the regulation of contentious areas of health research and practice, existing and emerging health technologies, and public and global health law. She has published widely across these areas. 

Sonia has also led major legislative reviews on assisted reproduction and surrogacy, having been appointed by the South Australian Health Minister to lead the review of SA laws on assisted reproduction in 2015; and the Western Australian Health Minister in 2018 to lead the review of WA laws on assisted reproduction and surrogacy. She has contributed to law reform and policy on issues related to donor-conception, assisted reproduction, and surrogacy across Australia and internationally. She has presented in the United Nations and the Hague on matters relevant to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and health and human rights.

Sonia is a Churchill Fellow, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). In 2011/12 she was a Global Health Law Fellow at Georgetown University, Washington DC where she received the CALI Award for Health and Human Rights Law. In 2014 she was an inaugural AMP 'Tommorrow Fund Award' recipient which enabled her to develop the 'Health Law Central' website (

In 2019 Sonia was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the law, and to tertiary education.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Allan.


  • MPH University of Sydney
  • PhD University of Melbourne

Professional Memberships

  • Order of Australia Association (2019)
  • Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (2010)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2019)
  • Public Health Association of Australia (2014)


  • Medal of the Order of Australia 2019-01-26


  • Health Law
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Law and Medicine
  • Public Health Law
  • Regulatory theory
  • Social Determinants of Health

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • School of Law



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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 200008 Torts Law, 2020
  • 200982 Mental Health Law, 2020



  • Allan, S. (2020), 'Law and Ethics for Health Practitioners', : Elsevier 9780729543033.
  • Allan, S. and Blake, M. (2018), 'Australian Health Law', : LexisNexis Buttorworths 9780409348491.
  • Allan, S. (2017), 'Donor Conception and the Search for Information: From Secrecy and Anonymity to Openness', : Routledge 9781409446392.

Chapters in Books

  • Allan, S. (2020), 'Family building and the regulation of embryo donation, donor insemination and surrogacy in Australia', Assistierte Reproduktion mit Hilfe Dritter, Springer 9783662602973.
  • Allan, S. (2017), 'Public health law', Tensions and Traumas in Health Law, The Federation Press 9781760021498.
  • Allan, S. (2017), 'Assisted reproduction : emerging technologies, ethics, regulation and practice', Tensions and Trauma in Health Law, The Federation Press 9781760021498.
  • Allan, S. (2016), 'Public health law and public health policy', International Encyclopedia of Public Health, Academic Press 9780128036785.
  • Allan, S. (2015), 'The surrogate in commercial surrogacy : legal and ethical considerations', Surrogacy, Law and Human Rights, Ashgate Publishing 9781472451248.
  • Allan, S. (2013), 'Screening applicants for assisted reproduction : complexities and issues', Ethics, Law and Society. Volume V, Ashgate Publishing 9781409419167.

Journal Articles

  • Borsellino, G., Foong, C. and Allan, S. (2021), 'The regulation and governance of clinical trials : past and present considerations to ensure ethical treatment of human participants', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol 28 , pp 421 - 438.
  • Macmillan, C., Allan, S., Johnstone, M. and Stokes, M. (2021), 'The motivations of donor-conceived adults for seeking information about, and contact with, sperm donors', Reproductive Biomedicine Online, vol 43, no 1 , pp 149 - 158.
  • McReery, A. and Allan, S. (2021), 'Donor gamete and surrogacy regulations', O & G Magazine, vol 23, no 1 .
  • Hibino, Y. and Allan, S. (2020), 'Absence of laws regarding sperm and oocyte donation in Japan and the impacts on donors, parents, and the people born as a result', Reproductive Medicine and Biology, vol 19, no 3 , pp 295 - 298.
  • Reddy, S., Allan, S., Coghlan, S. and Cooper, P. (2020), 'A governance model for the application of AI in health care', Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, vol 27, no 3 , pp 491 - 497.
  • Allan, S., Balaban, B., Banker, M., Buster, J., Horton, M., Miller, K., Mocanu, E., Ory, S., Pai, H., Poel, S. and Zegers-Hochschild, F. (2019), 'International Federation of Fertility Societies' Surveillance (IFFS) 2019: Global Trends in Reproductive Policy and Practice, 8th Edition', Global Reproductive Health, vol 4, no 1 , pp 1 - 138.
  • Allan, S., Gook, D. and Jayasinghe, Y. (2018), 'The impact of the law in helping or hindering fertility preservation for children with cancer facing gonadotoxic therapies', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol 26, no 2 , pp 322 - 333.
  • Allan, S. (2016), 'Donor identification : Victorian legislation gives rights to all donor-conceived people', Family Matters, vol 98 , pp 43 - 55.
  • Ory, S., Miller, K., Horton, M., Allan, S., Balaban, B., Banker, M., Brinsden, P., Buster, J., Mocanu, E., Pai, H. and Le Roux, P. (2016), 'IFFS Surveillance 2016: 7th Edition', Global Reproductive Health, vol 1, no e1 , pp 1 - 143.
  • Allan, S. (2015), 'Report on Macquarie University workshop on ethical, legal and social issues raised by synthetic biology (10 December 2014)', Macquarie Law Journal, vol 15, no 5 , pp 5 - 26.
  • Allan, S. (2013), 'Access to information about donors by donor-conceived individuals : a human rights analysis', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol 20, no 3 , pp 655 - 670.
  • Adams, D. and Allan, S. (2013), 'Building a family tree : donor-conceived people, DNA tracing and donor 'anonymity'', Australian Journal of Adoption, vol 7, no 2 , pp 1 - 16.
  • Allan, S. (2012), 'Gatekeeping parenthood : should the state play a role in determining eligibility criteria for assisted reproductive treatment?', Family Law Review, vol 2, no 3 , pp 149 - 163.
  • Allan, S. (2012), 'Donor conception, secrecy and the search for information', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol 19, no 4 , pp 631 - 650.
  • Allan, S. (2012), 'Law reform : deciding on access to donor-conception information', Alternative Law Journal, vol 37, no 4 , pp 272 - 273.
  • Allan, S. (2012), 'Donor identification 'kills gamete donation'? : a response', Human Reproduction, vol 27, no 12 , pp 3380 - 3384.
  • Allan, S. (2011), 'Psycho-social, ethical and legal arguments for and against the retrospective release of information about donors to donor-conceived individuals in Australia', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol 19, no 2 , pp 354 - 376.
  • Allan, S. (2011), 'Same-sex relationships in Australia', Legaldate, vol 23, no 4 , pp 5 - 7.
  • Allan, S. (2010), 'Regulatory design strategies and enforcement approaches for research involving human embryos and cloning in Australia and the United Kingdom : time for a change', Sydney Law Review, vol 32, no 4 , pp 617 - 644.
  • Allan, S. (2010), 'Recognition of same-sex parenting in Australia : South Australia the final frontier?', Sydney Law Review, vol 35, no 4 , pp 227 - 231.
  • Allan, S. and Jackson, G. (2010), 'The what, whys and wherefores of home education and its regulation in Australia', International Journal of Law and Education, vol 15, no 1 , pp 55 - 77.
  • Jackson, G. and Allan, S. (2010), 'Fundamental elements in examining a child's right to education : a study of home education research and regulation in Australia', International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, vol 2, no 3 , pp 349 - 364.
  • Allan, S. and Jackson, G. (2010), 'Home education and policy', Directions in Education, vol 19, no 4 , pp 4 - 4.
  • Boneh, A., Allan, S., Mendelson, D., Spriggs, M., Gillam, L. and Korman, S. (2008), 'Clinical, ethical and legal considerations in the treatment of newborns with non-ketotic hyperglycinaemia', Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, vol 94, no 2 , pp 143 - 147.
  • Allan, S. (2005), 'Research on human embryos and cloning : difficulties of legislating in a changing environment and model approaches to regulation', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol 12, no 4 , pp 483 - 493.
  • Allan, S. (2003), 'Research on human embryos, stem cells and cloning : one year since the passing of Australian Federal Legislation : Australia, around the world, and back again', eLaw Journal: Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, vol 10, no 4 .

Other Publications

  • 2019, 'Mental Health Services and Shared Care: What Should Safe, Quality and Coordinated Care Look Like?: The Tragedy of Sabrina Di Lembo, Lessons Learnt, and Actions Needed', Report
  • 2019, 'The Review of the Western Australian Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and the Surrogacy Act 2008 (Report: Part 2)', Report
  • 2019, 'The Review of the Western Australian Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and the Surrogacy Act 2008 (Report: Part 1)', Report
  • 2017, 'Report on the Review of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 (SA)', Report
  • 2012, 'A Cross-Jurisdictional Study of Regulatory Requirements and Practice Regarding the Recording of Donor Information and its Release to Donor Conceived People: A Report Prepared for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia', Report
  • 2004, 'A.R.T., Surrogacy and Legal Parentage: A Comparative Legislative Review', Report


Sonia’s research includes examination of the regulation of health practice and research, existing and emerging technologies, public and global health law, and health and human rights. 

She is particularly interested in how the law can be used as a tool to improve health and well-being, and reform of laws that have negative impacts on individual and/or population health.  

Fields of Research

  • Comparative Law (180106)
  • Human Rights Law (180114)
  • Law and Society (180119)
  • Law (180199)
  • Bioethics (human and animal) (220101)
  • Community Child Health (111704)
  • Ethical Use of New Technology (e.g. Nanotechnology, Biotechnology) (220103)
  • Genomics (060408)
  • Health Care Administration (111709)
  • Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
  • Health Policy (160508)
  • Health Promotion (111712)
  • Human Rights and Justice Issues (220104)
  • Medical Ethics (220106)
  • Mental Health (111714)
  • Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine (111499)
  • Public Health and Health Services (111799)
  • Reproduction (111404)
  • Synthetic Biology (060113)

Socio-Economic Objectives

  • Bioethics (950401)
  • Child Health (920501)
  • Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) (920199)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies (970118)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Technology (970110)
  • Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society (970116)
  • Health (929999)
  • Health Education and Promotion (920205)
  • Health and Support Services (920299)
  • Health Inequalities (920206)
  • Health Policy Evaluation (920208)
  • Health Protection and/or Disaster Response (920407)
  • Health Related to Ageing (920502)
  • Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) (920408)
  • Justice and the Law (940499)
  • Law Reform (940405)
  • Legislation, Civil and Criminal Codes (940407)
  • Men's Health (920504)
  • Public Health (920499)
  • Social Structure and Health (920413)
  • Technological Ethics (950408)
  • Women's Health (920507)

This information has been contributed by Doctor Allan.

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