Asher completed her doctoral thesis, Secret Deals and Bargained Justice: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy Surrounding Plea Bargaining in Victoria at Monash University in 2010 under the supervision of Professor Jude McCulloch and Dr Dean Wilson (now at Plymouth University, UK). From December 2009, Asher worked as a lecturer in Legal Studies at La Trobe University, Bundoora (Victoria, Australia). In October 2011, Asher commenced as a lecturer in Criminology at Monash University and was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in January 2015.
In recognition of her contributions to socio-legal scholarship, Asher has been awarded five research fellowships (three internationally-based), including most recently being appointed a three-year Research Fellow in Law at the University of Warwick (UK), and a Lifetime Research Fellow in Social Sciences at Mannix College (Monash University, AUS). Other fellowships include a one-month Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Criminal Justice (University of Warwick, UK); a one-month Research Fellowship in Law at the University of Manchester (Research Fellow in Law, UK); a one-year Research Fellow in Social Sciences Mannix College (Monash University, AUS); and a one-year Emerging Research Fellow in the Faculty of Arts (Monash University, AUS).
Asher has also been an invited keynote speaker at academic and government conferences and symposiums held in the United Kingdom, the United States, Queensland and Victoria. Asher was also invited to engage in a lively debate with Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr John Champion SC, on the importance of external transparency of the plea negotiation process; Asher arguing in favour of this proposition, and the Director arguing against external reform at the 14th International Criminal Law Congress held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in October 2014. Over two hundred delegates from around Australia and New Zealand attended the Congress.
Asher’s research initiates and develops collaborations with expertise from industry and diverse disciplines, to deliver outcomes with relevance and impact. Her research involves in-depth consultation with those directly affected by, and those working within, the law, thus the findings translate into applied research that facilitates policy change and impact.
Asher contributes in advisory roles to a range of peak legal and government bodies in Australia, and her work is regularly cited in government reports and inquiries. Asher’s research has also led to changes in law reform, including most recently, her work on image-based sexual abuse with Drs Nicola Henry and Anastasia Powell, which shaped the introduction of the Crimes Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill (NSW). Asher and Dr Henry were invited to NSW Parliament by NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman to observe the reading of the bill and to attend and speak at a function at Parliament House in honour of those who had contributed to the development of this important legislative change.
Asher also assisted the Victorian State Office of Public Prosecutions in implementing and developing policies for the Evidence Act 2009 (Vic) and Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic), which constituted the largest legal reforms to the criminal justice system in 50 years. Her industry impact was recognised in a 2015 Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council report, Guilty Pleas in the Higher Courts: Rates, Timing and Discounts which acknowledged her work and expertise on plea negotiations.
Outside academia, Asher’s research informs public debate through an ongoing, sustained engagement with the media, across television (including Channel 10’s The Project; Channel 9’s The Morning Show; the ABC’s Breakfast Show); radio (including The Conversation Hour with Jon Faine; The Radio National Breakfast Show; The Law Report), newspapers, opinion pieces (The Age) and The Conversation.