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 returns to the Bar directly from a contract as Director, COVID-19 Legal Team in the Victorian Department of Health (Regulatory, Risk, Integrity and Legal Division), where she has worked in the Directions, Advisory and Strategy team, with a particular emphasis on and interest in interpretation and application of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, and the operation of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 in Victoria’s pandemic response.
Jessie accepts briefs to advise and appear across a range of matters, including:
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  VSC 4
PBU & NJE v Mental Health Tribunal  VSC 564 (with Emrys Nekvapil)
Re X Y  VSC 456
Re M P (No 2)  VSC 299
PQR v Secretary, Dept of Justice and Regulation (No 1)  VSC 513 (with Kris Walker QC)
PQR v Secretary, Dept of Justice and Regulation (No 2)  VSC 514 (with Kris Walker QC)
Isbester v Knox City Council  VSC 286 (unsuccessful on trial and on appeal to COA, successful in High Court  HCA 20) (with Richard Kendall QC)
The Queen v Hudson  VSC 184 (with (Her Honour) Jane Dixon QC)
Victoria Police v Anderson & Ors (2012) Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (23 July 2012)
MZYYR v Secretary, Department of Immigration and Citizenship  FCA 694
Jessie Taylor BA(Hons) LLB(Hons) MSc(HA) is a lawyer, advocate and commentator. She was President of Liberty Victoria from 2016-2019. In April 2018, Jessie was appointed a Director of Donkey Wheel Ltd. She sat on the Board of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in 2015-2016.
In 2020-2021, Jessie was Director of the COVID19 Legal Unit at the Victorian Department of Health, on contract from her role as Associate Director of Victoria Legal Aid Chambers. Jessie has been a sessional lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University since 2015, teaching in both the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
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 Epidemiology, Social Anthropology, International Law and Management of Non-Government Organisations. In 2018 she participated in the Justice & Society Symposium at the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.
She speaks French and Hazaragi (Dari).
Prior to being called to the Bar in 2011, Jessie was Associate to Justice Bromberg in the Federal Court of Australia.
In 2009 Jessie was contracted by the Federal Attorney-General's Department as a researcher and writer on the National Human Rights Consultation.
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.
Jessie is a sought after speaker and educator on human rights, public policy and leadership. She is the author of the report 'Behind Australian Doors: Examining the Conditions of Detention of Asylum Seekers in Indonesia'. She is co-writer and producer of the films 'We Will Be Remembered For This' (2007) and 'Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' (2011).