Aparna Rao


Aparna Rao

2009 Law Scholar

Scholarship biography (at time of award)

Aparna Rao graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Science. Aparna earned several awards including a University Medal. After graduation, Aparna worked as Associate to the Hon Justice J D Heydon AC.

Aparna was awarded the Scholarship to complete a BCL/MPhil at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.

Studied at: University of Oxford

Current Biography

Aparna has a DPhil in Law from Oxford University and was called to the Bar in 2013.

Aparna completed undergraduate degrees in Law and Science at the Australian National University, Canberra, where she graduated with a first-class degree in Law and the University Medal. She was active in the University community and became President of the Student Union in 2005.

She then worked as a Judicial Assistant to the Hon Justice J D Heydon AC QC at Australia's final court of appeal, the High Court of Australia, from 2008 to 2009.

In 2009, having been awarded the prestigious Sir Robert Menzies Scholarship in Law, Aparna came to Oxford University to study aspects of English law including evidence, crime, conflict of laws and civil procedure. Her doctoral thesis (supervised by Professor Colin Tapper (author of Cross & Tapper on Evidence) and Mr Peter Mirfield (editor of the Law Quarterly Review)) examined over 500 Court of Appeal cases interpreting the bad character provisions of s.101 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Aparna completed her pupillage at 6KBW College Hill in 2014. She prosecutes and defends in the Magistrates Court, and appears in the Crown Court on matters ranging from case management to sentencing of serious offences (most recently on a charge of grievous bodily harm).

She has also worked extensively with senior barristers. As a noting junior she has assisted with much of the work normally undertaken by a junior in the conduct and management of a trial. She has also worked on the trials of Rolf Harris (historic sex offences), Ellias Preko (charged with laundering the proceeds of crime of former Nigerian state governor James Ibori), and Mobile Sweepers Ltd (one of the few cases of corporate manslaughter brought in the UK).

She enjoys movies, historical books and travelling.

Scholarship Year: 2009

Fields of Interest

Law, Civil Law