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Professor Sharon Christensen

Faculty of Law,
Law School


Professor Sharon Christensen
Gadens Professor in Property Law
Faculty of Law,
Law School
Faculty of Law,
Law School
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 5204
+61 7 3138 1775
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Identifiers and profiles

LLM (Queensland University of Technology), LLB(Hons) (Queensland Inst. of Technology)


Consumer protection law, Contract law, Electronic conveyancing, Electronic, digital and smart contracts, Resource entitlements and carbon, Consumer protection and digital disruption

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008



Sharon Christensen is currently the Gadens Professor in Property Law and teaches in the Law School. Prior to joining the Faculty in 1991 she worked in the national firm, Clayton Utz in the areas of property and commercial law and for the last 8 years has been a consultant to Gadens Lawyers in their property and commercial services area. She was the Assistant Dean Teaching and Learning within the Faculty from 1999-2001 and was appointed the Deputy Director (Law) in the Information Security Institute at QUT in September 2004.

Professor Christensen has a national reputation in the field of property law specialising in transactional property law (sales and leases), property law reform for emerging areas and property obligations. She has published articles in Australia and the UK and United States on conveyancing, land titles law, electronic contracting and conveyancing, and commercial and consumer transactions.  Her recent books are Land Contracts in Queensland (2011); Sale of Businesses in Australia (2009) and Contract Law (2009).

Since 1999, Sharon has attracted competitive and commercial research funding in excess of $1,300,000 and led research teams investigating and proposing changes to property law regimes for the integration of sustainability regulation within traditional property frameworks (ARC Discovery Grant) and reform of policies for an integrated regime to regulate carbon products connected to land (ARC Discovery Grant).  Sharon is also a leader in the field of new property frameworks for electronic land registration in Australia widely disseminated through national and international refereed publications.

Sharon has been appointed to a number of law reform reviews and government advisory panels including:

  • Advisory panel for drafting and later review of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act in 1994-1996 and in 1999 for Department of Natural Resources;
  • member of Registrar of Titles reference group for electronic conveyancing (2004 – 2011);
  • member of the Ministerial advisory panel for the Land Sales Act 1984 (2010-2011);
  • Ministerial Advisory Panel for the Department of Education overseeing approval of private tertiary institution courses.

Sharon has significant professional experience in property sales, leases and other commercial transactions through a consultancy with Gadens Lawyers and as an author and ongoing reviewer of the Queensland Conveyancing Protocol.  She is also an active member of a number of state and national professional bodies, contributing to government submissions and law reform agendas.


Significant Publications


  • Conveyancing Manual Queensland LBC Information Services (looseleaf) 1996 – 2011.
  • Land Contracts in Queensland, Federation Press, 2nd ed 2011 (co-authors WD Duncan, W Dixon, S Jones)
  • Sale of Businesses in Australia, Federation Press, 2nd ed 2009 (Co-author with WD Duncan).
  • Land Titles Law and Practice, LBC Information Services, 1997 -2001. (Co-author with A Wallace and W Dixon)
  • Contract Law, Oxford University Press 3rd ed 2009 (Co-authors Dr D Butler and L. Willmott)
  • Professional Liability and Property Transactions, Federation Press, 2004 (co-author WD Duncan).


  •  Moving Queensland Property Transactions to the Digital Age: Can writing and signature requirements be fulfilled electronically? 2002 (co-authored with Prof WD Duncan and R Low) 96 pages
  • Regulating for Sustainability: Property issues 2011 (co-authors Bill Duncan and Pamela O’Connor) 
  • Report for the Australian Productivity Commission about harmonisation of consumer protection provisions within the Trade Practices Act and State Fair Trading Acts. Report published at http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiry/consumer/consultancyreports/consumerprotectionlegislation . The report formed part of the Productivity Commission’s Report “Review of Australia’s Consumer Policy Framework” Inquiry Report No 40, 30 April 2008.



Technology and Law

  • “Electronic Title in the Next Millenium” (2000) Flinders Journal of Law Reform 209-234 (with A Stickley)
  • “Overcoming the Problems of Showing and Making Cyber Title” (2000) Aust Property Law Journal 38-48.(with Prof WD Duncan)
  • “Formation of Contracts by Email: Is it just the same as the post?” (2001) Vol 1 Queensland University of Technology Law and Justice Journal 22-38
  • “The Requirements of Writing for Electronic Land Contracts – The Queensland Experience Compared with Other Jurisdictions” – (2003) E-law Journal, Murdoch University (September 2003) (with Prof WD Duncan and R Low)
  • “The Statute of Frauds in the Digital Age – Maintaining the Integrity of Signatures” – (2003) E-law Journal, Murdoch University (December 2003) (with Prof WD Duncan and R Low)
  • “Electronic Land Dealings in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom: Lessons for Australia” (2004) E-Law Journal, Murdoch University (electronic journal)
  • “Electronic Signatures and PKI Frameworks in Australia” (2004) 1(2) E-Signature Law Journal 56-59 (with R Low)
  • “Is It Time For A National Review Of The Torrens’ System- The Eccentric Position of Private Restrictive Covenants in Queensland” (2005) Australian Property Law Journal 104-125 (with WD Duncan)
  • “Maintaining the Integrity of Electronic Tendering – Reflections on the Capacity of the Australian Legal Framework to Meet this Challenge” (submitted to E-Law Journal Murdoch University) (with WD Duncan)
  •  “Electronic Signatures” (2006) Communications Law Journal  (with Mason and O’Shea)
  • “An Achilles Heel: Denial of Service Attacks on Australian Critical Information Infrastructures”, CICT: Information & Communications Technology Law, Taylor and Francis UK (in press) (with Caelli W , Duncan WD, and Georgiades E) (2010)

Property Law

  • Christensen S, Duncan WD and Stickley A, (2007) “Evaluating Mandatory Information Disclosure to Buyers of Real Estate – Effective Consumer Protection or Costly Red Tape?”  7(2) Queensland University of Technology Law and Justice Journal 148-177
  • Christensen S, Dixon W and Duncan WD, (2007) “Cooling Off Rights in Residential Land Transactions – Too Much from, Too Little Substance? 15(2) Competition and Consumer Law Journal 217 – 242
  • Christensen S, Duncan WD, Stickley A, (2009) “Behavioural Biases and Information Disclosure Laws Relating to Residential Property Sales: Narrowing the Gap between Existing laws and Calls for Future Reforms” Queensland University of Technology Law and Justice Journal 251 – 279
  • O’Connor P, Duncan WD, Christensen S, (2009) “Legislating for Sustainability: A Framework for Managing Statutory Rights Obligations and Restrictions Affecting Private Land” 35 Monash Law Review 233- 261
  • Bell J and Christensen S (2009) “Use of property rights registers for sustainability — A Queensland case study” 17 Australian Property Law Journal 86
  • Backstrom M and Christensen S (2011) “Qualified Indefeasibility and the Careless Mortgagee” (2011) 19 APLJ 109-129.
  • *Christensen S, Durrant N, O’Connor P, Phillips A, (2011) Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Coal Mining Activities in the Context of Climate Change (accepted for publication in Environment and Planning Law Journal)


Chief Investigator “An Integrated Legal Regime for a Sustainable Carbon Cycle”, ARC Discovery Grant (2010-2012)

Chief Investigator: “An Institutional Framework to Facilitate Sustainable and Integrated Natural, Cultural and Built Resources Governance” ARC Discovery Grant (2008-2010) 

Project Leader Law – Denial of Service Attacks on Critical Information Infrastructure: Australia India Strategic Grant (2009 – 2010)

Project Leader Law: Legal and Technical Security Framework Across Multi-agency Information Repositories (2006/7) Collaborative Research Centre for the Smart Internet

Project Leader: Electronic Contract Administration – Legal and Security Issues (2005/2006) CRC for Construction Innovation

Project Leader Law – E-Business – Security and Legal Issues:: 2004/2005 Collaborative Research Centre for Construction Innovation


Government Appointments

  • Sessional member Property Agents and Motor Dealers Tribunal from July 2001 – June 2003
  • Sessional member Commercial and Consumer Tribunal from July 2003 – June 2004
  • Sessional member Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (2010 – 2011)
  • Ministerial Reference Group: Review of Land Sales Act 1984 (2010-2011)


Professional Bodies       

  • Property Law Committee, Queensland Law Society member since 1996.
  • Property Law Specialist Accreditation Committee, Queensland Law Society member 2001-current
  • Property Law Committee sub-committee  - REIQ contracts for the Sale of Houses and Land and the Sale of Lots in a Community Titles Scheme.
  • Law Council of Australia Electronic Conveyancing Working Party 2006 – 2010 (Member)
  • Law Council of Australia Electronic Conveyancing Working Party, Chair (2010- 2011)


Units currently taught:

Research interests:

  • Property Law, including sales and leasing
  • Consumer Protection
  • Community Title
  • Electronic contracting
  • Technology and Property



This information has been contributed by Professor Sharon Christensen.


This information has been contributed by Professor Sharon Christensen.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

A legal framework for specifying and defining carbon property rights
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Carbon Trading; Property rights in carbot; Commercial Transactions
An Integrated Legal Regime for a Sustainable Carbon Cycle
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Sustainable Development; Property Rights; Natural Resources Law; Climate Change Regulation; Environmental Law
An Institutional Framework to Facilitate Sustainable and Integrated Natural, Cultural and Built Resources Governance
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
land ownership; land use; sustainable development; natural and cultural resources; property rights; governance;
International Practice in Planning for Affordable Housing: Lessons for Australia
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year