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Dr John Whitehead



PhD Monash University
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Monash University


Before joining ACAP as a lecturer, John completed his PhD at Monash University (titled Restorative justice in the South Pacific: Responding to Sexual Violence in Fiji). This research highlighted the benefits and challenges surrounding legal pluralism in Fiji, and how culture shapes conceptualisations of, and responses to, sexual violence. Moreover, to complete his PhD, John created a unique theoretical framework and methodology for criminological research in the South Pacific, a topic that he now lectures on through units such as Theoretical Criminology.

John has further been part of a funded project to foster greater cultural awareness in Victorian government institutions such as Youth Justice, and is currently working alongside an inter-university team to create innovative global responses to cybercrime.

Research Interests

John has numerous research interests including sexual violence, cybercrime, cultural penology, cultural and comparative criminology, theoretical criminology, methodological design, and restorative and Indigenous justice.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • RIM1004 Theoretical Criminology.
  • CRIM2034 Issues in Criminal Justice.
  • CRIM3914 International Criminal Justice.
  • JALE1014 Drugs and Crime.
Expert Comment Topics
Sexual Violence (Risk Factors and Responses).
Intra-Familial Sexual Abuse.
Problem Solving Courts and Other Innovative Justice Systems.
Indigenous Justice.
Sexual Violence Law in Fiji.
Human Rights


Whitehead J. & Roffee J., 2019, ‘Restoring Customary Justice in Fiji: Modifying Traditional Responses to Sexual Violence in Light of Cultural Practices’. In Chang, L. Development, Implication and Implementation of Restorative Justice: Theory and Practice in Asia Pacific Region, [In Press].

Whitehead J. & Roffee J., 2016, Child Sexual Abuse in Fiji: Authority, Risk Factors and Responses, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 27(3) 323-334.

Conference Papers

Whitehead J., 2017 “Conflicts between Colonial and Customary Law: What Forms an Appropriate Response to Sexual Violence in Fiji?”. Paper Presented at Crime and Justice in the Global South: 9th annual conference for the Asian Criminological Society, 4th biennial international conference for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, Cairns, QLD.

Whitehead J., 2016, ‘Responding to sexual violence in Fiji: Colonial law and customary justice’, Paper Presented at the 29th Annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology conference, Hobart, TAS.

Whitehead J., 2016, ‘The Globalisation of Justice and Responses to Serious Offending Within Fiji’. Paper Presented at the Oceanic Conference in International Studies, Brisbane, QLD.

Whitehead J., 2015, ‘Restorative Justice in the South Pacific: Fijian Customary and Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Violence’. Paper Presented at the 9th Annual ANZSOC Postgraduate & Early Career Researcher Conference, Adelaide, SA.

Whitehead J., 2014, ‘Incest within Fiji: A Review of the Prevalence, Risk Factors and Policing of Inter-Familial Sexual Abuse’. Paper Presented at the 8th Annual Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, Melbourne, VIC. 


Whitehead, J., 2018 ‘Decolonising Knowledge: Experiences at Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South Conference 2017 in Cairns’, PacifiCrim: the Newsletter of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.

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