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Lili Song 2019 image

LLB(Shanghai UFE) LLM(East China UPL) PhD(Well)




  • LAWS 403 Immigration and Refugee Law (course convenor, coordinator and lecturer)
  • LAWS 353 Law in the South Pacific (course convenor, coordinator and lecturer)
  • LAWS 202 Law of Contract (course lecturer)

Research interests

Lili's research interests include refugee law, Chinese law, Pacific law, law of the sea, and public international law issues relating to China or South Pacific island states. She has gratefully received research fellowships/awards from institutions in New Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu, the US, China, and South Korea, including an Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship, a Michigan Grotius Fellowship, a New Zealand Law Foundation research grant, a Human Rights in Asia fellowship and a Victoria University of Wellington Postgraduate Research Excellence Award, and has conducted fieldwork in Myanmar, South Korea, China, India, and Cook Islands. She is the author of Chinese Refugee Law and Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Lili's Google Scholar webpage
Lili on Twitter: @SongLili2


Prior to joining the Faculty, Lili taught at the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu for about three years. She has held research or visiting positions at Oxford University, Melbourne University, the Michigan Law School, the Australian National University, the Humanities Institute in Myanmar, and Northwestern University in the US. Before entering academia, she worked as a lawyer at an international law firm and then as an in-house counsel at an international commercial bank, both in Shanghai, China. In 2012, she completed an internship with the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs in New York.

Lili serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Refugee Law and Climate Law and Policy, as secretary of the New Zealand Asian Studies Society, and on the advisory board of (an e-journal launched by the Michigan Law School), and regularly provides Country of Origin Information and expert reports to asylum courts and tribunals. From 2016 to 2019, she served on the editorial board of the Journal of South Pacific Law. She is a member of the Centre for Global Migrations (University of Otago) and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.


Song, L. (2023, May). Republic of China and refugee protection. Verbal presentation at the BEYOND workshop: Charting a research agenda on non-signatory states, [Online].

Song, L., Mosses, M., & Giraudeau, G. (2023). The ambiguous history of Matthew and Hunter Islands: Tracing the roots of Vanuatu and French claims. Journal of Pacific History. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00223344.2022.2146577

Song, L. (2022, October). The Tongan box historic claim: Potential legal issues. Verbal presentation at the MFAT Beeby Exchange on International Law Dunedin: International/Transnational Legal Issues Relating to the Pacific, [Hybrid].

Song, L. (2022). Exit regulation in the People's Republic of China: Law, policy and practice. International Migration. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/imig.13058

Song, L. (2022, January). Maritime boundary disputes in the South Pacific. East West Centre Insights: Asia-Pacific Political Transitions. Retrieved from

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