Jocelynne Annette Scutt was born in Perth in June 1947. She graduated in law from the University of Western Australia in 1969 and undertook postgraduate studies in law at the University of Sydney, Southern Methodist University and the University of Michigan in the United States, and Cambridge University in England. She spent twelve months at the Max-Planck Institut in Freiburg im Bressau, West Germany before taking up a position with the Australian Law Reform Commission. Subsequently Jocelynne Scutt has worked with the Australian Institute of Criminology, as associate to a High Court judge (Lionel Murphy), and as director of research with the Legal and Constitutional Committee of the parliament of Victoria. She spent some time at the Sydney Bar in 1981-82, and before returning to private practice in 1986 in Melbourne was Deputy Chairperson of the Law Reform Commission, Victoria. She has written many scholarly publications, as well as detective fiction featuring feminist detective heroine Francesca Miles, under the pseudonym Melissa Chan.