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Recent UTS Law graduate Ashleigh Barnes has won a Rhodes Scholarship, making her the university’s first Rhodes Scholar. 

A UTS Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Studies (French) graduate, Barnes is one of nine outstanding Australian students selected to undertake postgraduate studies at Oxford University in the UK. The Sydney-based law graduate will use her scholarship to study a Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL).

Imbued with a strong sense of service, Barnes developed an interest in law after watching the San Jose copper mine collapse on national television and learning about the mine’s long history of safety violations.

Today her legal interests lie in the intersection between corporate law and human rights law. Propelled by a desire to advance Australia’s efforts in the fight against modern slavery, she hopes to use her time at Oxford to deepen her understanding of the ways they overlap.

“Ashleigh will be an excellent ambassador for UTS and UTS Law,” says Professor Lesley Hitchens, Dean of UTS Law.

Barnes is conducting research into Indigenous deaths in custody for the UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research and is spending January to March working as an intern at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the hybrid tribunal hearing the Khmer Rouge Trials.

After her studies at Oxford she has ambitions to lead an Australian “Think-and-do tank” for human rights and business.