Researcher biography

Amanda is a PhD student at the University of Queensland. She completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Criminology in 2012, and a Bachelor of Arts/Laws in 2011. She was awarded a summer research scholarship by the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security in 2011. In 2010, she was awarded a summer research scholarship by the Centre for the Government of Queensland, to specifically work on the Queensland Speaks oral history project. Amanda commenced her PhD in July 2013, working on Project ABILITY, a Life Course Centre affiliated project. Her PhD thesis investigates the impact of perceptions of the legitimacy of the law (from the perspective of those responsible for articulation/enforcement) on the exercise of discretion around decisions to activate/escalate legal processes.  Her research specifically explores law legitimacy and its translation in the context of Queensland’s truancy legislation, which authorises prosecution and fines for parents of truant children. She aims to gain an understanding of how schools implement Education Queensland’s truancy policies, (or not) and the impact of the perceived legitimacy of truancy laws on implementation decisions.

PhD topic: 

Law as written Versus Law in Action: An Exploration of Street-Level Perceptions and Interpretations of Laws and Policies


  • Professor Lorraine Mazerolle
  • Dr Sarah Bennett
  • Dr Emma Antrobus

Research Interests

  • Legal/legislative approaches to crime prevention;
  • Street-level decision-making practices;
  • Policy implementation;
  • Law in action;
  • Perceptions of the legitimacy of legal authorities. 


Acutt, A., ‘Bjelke-Petersen: Villain or Martyr?’ Centre for the Government of Queensland Summer Scholars Journal 1, (2010-11)