Imelda researches on the relationship between law and politics and has conducted studies on the Philippines and ASEAN in such areas as rule of law, hybrid justice, violence against women and peacebuilding in Mindanao, and judicial politics. She is the author of a new book, The Development of the Rule of Law in ASEAN, published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. She is the inaugural Director of the ANU Philippines Project, which is a collaboration between Australian National University and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to foster research and policy exchanges between the Philippines and Australia.
Imelda has also worked for many years as a corporate and litigation lawyer practising in various courts in the Philippines. She has been involved in research, advocacy, and litigation involving violence against women and children.