Melbourne based, Dr Liz Curran’s research focuses on access to justice; effective legal practice; domestic human rights of people in disadvantage; building legal and advocacy capacity of community; impact and effectiveness of service delivery. She has published research reports (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015) on outcomes, quality and effectiveness and on a ‘Strategic Approaches to Problem Solving’ (March 2013). Between 2014 and 2017 Liz is commissioned to conduct research evaluations of Health Justice Partnerships (HJP). She evaluated a family violence prevention program in May 2015 which informed the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Liz is a regular media commentator and has participated in government and statutory advisory bodies.Liz has been cited heavily by the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Access to Justice and the Allen Review of legal services.
Her recent research aims to better reach clients in most need of legal help, who currently have no access, through multi-disciplinary practice. Liz’s research on effective legal and community service practice, impact and positive client outcomes examining what improves the social determinants of health has led to considerable interest domestically and overseas. Liz is advising the Legal Services Board Victoria (LSB) on evaluation to support and guide eight LSB funded services. Her research uses empirical study to find what works and why and gives a voice to people who are often invisible.
- Associate Director, ANU Centre of the Profession, Education & Regulation in Law
- Senior Research Fellow, Nottingham Trent University (2017- 2022)
- Appointed February 2017 as 'expert adviser' to the Law Council of Australia's 'Justice Project'. The Law Council of Australia is undertaking a comprehensive national review into the impediments to justice in Australia, focussing on those facing significant social and economic disadvantage in community. The work will culminate in a Final Report at the end of November 2017 following a literature review and consultation process.
- Adaptive Leadership Training program for the Federation of Community Legal Centres to assist them in the recruitment and retention and fostering of leadership skills in lawyers in community legal centres which service people experiencing disadvantage in the community.
- Immediate past Co-Convener and current member, Federation of Community Legal Centre’s (Victoria) Human Rights Working Group.
- Editorial Committee of the 'Legal Practive Manual Victoria'
- ANU College of Law's Law Reform and Social Justice Advisory.
Significant research publications
Scholarly Academic Refereed:
- ‘Enabling Marginalised Voices to Be Heard: The Challenge to LawReform Bodies’, New Directions for Law in Australia:Essays in Contemporary Law Reform, edited by Ron Levy, Molly O’Brien,Simon Rice, Pauline Ridge and Margaret Thornton, published 2017by ANU Press, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Chapter 48, 517 - 527. dx.doi.org/10.22459/NDLA.09.2017.48
- ‘Multi-disciplinary Practice Health Justice Partnerships–Working ethically to ensure reach to the most in need’, 26 Nottingham Law Journal (2017) 11 -36.
- ‘Lawyer Secondary Consultations: improving access to justice and human rights: reaching clients otherwise excluded through professional support in a multi-disciplinary practice’ 8(1) Journal of Social Inclusion (2017) https://josi.journals.griffith.edu.au/index.php/inclusion/article/view/817
- ‘Reflecting on community development practice: Working with communities for effective change by enabling access to justice’ with P Taylor Barnett and A Vernon, 19 (1) Flinders Law Journal, (July, 2017).
- 'Measuring Legal Services: A Practical methodology for measuring quality and outcomes of legal assistance services' Vol 32, 1 University of Tasmania Law Review, (2013) 70-95.
‘Measuring the impact, quality and effectiveness of legal assistance services in a climate of reduced funding and increased government expectations: The Australian experience’ (with Andrew Crockett) Vol 22, No 3 (2016), European Journal of Current Legal Issues http://webjcli.org/article/view/468 (pages 27)
- ‘Integrating Two Measures of Quality Practice into Clinical and Practical Legal Education Assessment: Good client interviewing and effective community legal education’, International Journal of Clinical Legal Education 21(1) 2014 with Tony Foley.
- ‘Legal Review: Not all in the Statistics’ Law Institute Journal, July 2013, 36 – 39.
‘Delivery of Advice to Vulnerable and Marginalised Groups: The Need for Innovative Approaches’ (with Alexy Buck, Legal Services Research Centre, London), Public Space, The Journal of Law and Social Justice, 2009, Vol 3 (0n-line Journal http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php(publicspace/article/view/1232/1239.
‘Access to Justice: A new approach using human rights standards’ (with M Noone) International Journal of the Legal Profession, 2008, Vol 15 (3) pp 195-229.
‘Human Rights: making them relevant to the vulnerable and marginalised in Australia,’ June 2008, Vol 33 (2), Alternative Law Journal, pp 70 -75.
‘Relieving Some of the Legal Burdens on Clients: legal Aid services working alongside Psychologists and other health and social service professionals’, Australian Community Psychologist, August 2008, Vol 20 (1), pp 47-56.
‘The Challenge of Defining Legal Need’, Journal of Law and Social Policy, 2007, Vol 21 Spring, Ontario Canada, pp63 -89.
- ‘Pushing the boundaries or preserving the status quo? Designing Clinical Programs to Teach Law Students a Deep Understanding of Ethical Practice’, (with J Dickson & M Noone) International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, UK, December 2005, pp 104-122.
Draft Working Paper for a Research and Evaluation Report for the Bendigo Health–Justice Partnership: A Partnership between ARC Justice Ltd and Bendigo Community Health Services December 2016 by Dr Liz Curran, Australian National University (December 20, 2016, 217 pages). Available at SSRN:
(released in advance as a ‘Working Paper’ on SSRN to share methodology, data analysis, findings, conclusions internationally due to requests, Final Report due to be released early 2017 – with designers).
Health-Justice Partnerships Development Report 2016 report compiled by Susan Ball and Cindy Wong, Victorian Legal Services Board and Dr Liz Curran, Adviser and Facilitator for HJP Quarterly Focus Groups, Australian National University, July 28, 2016 http://www.lsbc.vic.gov.au/documents/Report-Health_Justice_Partnership_Development-2016.PDF and https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/107085
Willcox, Tom and Williams, Jillian and Curran, Liz, Evaluating Consumer Action’s Worker Advice Service, June 2016 (June 30, 2016). (23 pages). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2835377 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2835377 and at http://consumeraction.org.au/evaluating-consumer-actions-worker-advice-service/
- Final Evaluation Report on the ‘Why Didn’t You Ask?’ – Project of the Family Violence Project of Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Community Legal Centre, ANU, May 2015.
- ‘Encouraging Good Practice in Measuring Effectiveness in the Legal Service Sector’, May 2013
- ’Solving Legal Problems: A strategic approach’, March, 2013.
- ‘A Literature Review: examining the literature on how to measure the ‘successful outcomes’: quality, effectiveness and efficiency of Legal Assistance Services, Attorney General’s Department, 2012. http://www.ag.gov.au/Legalaid/.../Lit%20review%20%20FINAL.DOC
- ‘I Can See Now there’s Light at the End of the Tunnel’ Legal Aid ACT: Demonstrating and Ensuring Quality Service to Clients, Legal Aid ACT, 2012 http://www.legalaidact.org.au/pdf/Light_at_the_end_of_the_Tunnel_Legal_A....
- Making the Legal System More Responsive to Community: A Report on the Impact of Victorian Community Legal Centre Law Reform Initiatives. Research and Report (2007) funded by the Reichstein Foundation ($6,800). ISBN 978 – 0-646-47603-2
- Ensuring Justice and Enhancing Justice: A Report on Improving Legal Aid Service Delivery to Reach Vulnerable and Disadvantaged People. Research and report funded partly by the Victorian Law Foundation (2007) (Small Grant $3000) ISBN 978-1-86446-585-3
Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection
In the Media
Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.
Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection
Melbourne based, Dr Liz Curran’s research focusses on access to justice; the rule of law; effective legal practice, domestic human rights of people in disadvantage; building legal and advocacy capacity of community; impact and effectiveness of service delivery. She has published research reports (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015) on outcomes, quality and effectiveness and on a ‘Strategic Approaches to Problem Solving’ (March 2013).
Between 2014 and 2017 Liz is commissioned to conduct research evaluations of Health Justice Partnerships (HJP). She evaluated a family violence prevention program in May 2015 which informed the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Liz is a regular media commentator and has participated in government and statutory advisory bodies.
Her recent research on HJP’s aims to better reach clients in most need of legal help, who currently have no access, through multi-disciplinary practice. Liz’s research on effective legal and community service practice, impact and positive client outcomes examining what improves the social determinants of health has led to considerable interest domestically and overseas. Liz is advising the Legal Services Board Victoria (LSB) on evaluation to support and guide eight LSB funded services. Her research uses empirical study to find what works and why and gives a voice to people who are often invisible.
I am willing to supervise
I am willing to supervise
LLM Masters thesis supervision
Evaluation Fellow, Supervision, Masters Thesis in Evaluation, Student of the University of Melbourne (Letter appointing Dr Curran February 2017)
Honours thesis supervision
I am willing to supervise
I am willing to supervise
Philosophy & approach
- Practice can inform theory and education and vice versa.
- Ethical and Legal Professional awareness leads to better lawyers in training and good legal practioners.
- Raising students awareness of how the law works in reality and how it impacts upon people and society and the role they play as legal practitionersin ensuring the intergrity of the legal system and its administration.
- Convener & Teacher of the ‘Becoming a Practitioner’ Week long face-to face Intensive courses in the Masters in Legal Practice (MLP) specifically in the Graduate Diploma of Legal Education component , ANU
- Convener &Teacher in the ‘Consumer Law in Practice’- Elective, ANU
- Teaching in the ‘Professionalism in Practice’ (18 weeks) subject 'Giving Voice to Values' in ANU Legal Workshop
- Teacher Ethics and Legal Professionalism in the Professional Practice Core in ANU Legal Workshop
- ‘Lawyers, Justice and Ethics’, Undergraduate Law Degree, 2011
- Clinical Legal Education Supervising Solicitor 2001- 2008, Latrobe University
Liz currently convenes and teaches in the ANU School of Legal Practice as follows:
- a number of the interstate intensive ‘Becoming a Practitioner’ (BAP) courses most recently in late December 2016 (Tasmania) January and July 2017 (Melbourne).
- ‘Giving Voice to Values’, Advanced Skills and Portfolio in the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) capstone subject, ‘Ready for Practice’ x 6 annualy.
- GDLP Mentor in the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) x 4 annually,
She has been involved in course and curriculum design which have incorporated her empirical research that examines what makes a good and effective practitioner.
How my works connects with public policy
Law Reform leads to better and informed policy. The real impact of the law on human beings can be seen through legal practice and used to inform better policy.
Research can also deliver empirical information about how the system works in practice and what works well and why and what does not work so well and why.
Recent research on the effectiveness and quality legal services and what works well with youth offenders to prevent the cycle of crime are examples.
'Expert Advisor', Law Council of Australia's 'Justice Project' (February 2017 - December 2017)
This work can be used to provide a voice for those who otherwise would not have one and to make an array of well targetted submissions to Parliament and Statutory and Regulatory bodies.
Liz has been referred to and cited heavily with some recommendations adopted in recent reports on access to justice and human rights including but not limited to:
The Final Report of the Government Review of the Human Rights Charter in Victoria (September 2015 -17 Times).
The Productivity Commission Full Final Report (Vol 1 & 2) on Access to Justice Arrangements (September 2014 - at least 30 times)
The Allen Consulting Review for the Commonwealth Attorney Ceneral's Department (July 2014 - at least seven times in each of the draft, interim and final reports)
ANU Report Winter 2017 Volume 48 Number 2 http://reporter.anu.edu.au/how-lawyers-improve-health-care