Radhika Chaudhri

PhD Candidate
LLB (Hons)/BA (International Relations), LLM

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Research Themes

Biography

Radhika Chaudhri is a University Medalist and a PhD candidate at the ANU College of Law. Her research relates to economic forms of domestic violence. In particular, the project investigates the role that equitable doctrines play in responding to transactions entered into through financial abuse. Radhika's academic interests include private law (especially equity, contracts and property), and feminist legal theory. Radhika has presented her work at national conferences.

Radhika is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with a wealth of teaching experience across a wide variety of law subjects, including course design, convening, lecturing, and tutoring. Radhika also sits on the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Women, where she advises on legal responses to domestic violence.

Radhika has worked as an associate to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia. She has also worked as a community lawyer specialising in tenancy and social security law. This work involved advocacy and legal representation for victims of domestic violence, which partly inspired her doctoral research.

Awards

Year Title
2011 University Medal

Significant research publications

  • Chaudhri, R, 'Sir Owen Dixon and Yerkey v Jones: Considering the Feminist Implications of Strict and Complete Legalism' in Eldridge, J, and Pilkington, T, Sir Owen Dixon's Legacy (Federation Press, 2019)
  • Chaudhri, R, (2014) ‘Animal Welfare and the WTO: The Legality and Implications of Live Export Restrictions Under International Trade Law’ 42(2) Federal Law Review 279

Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

Research projects & collaborations

  • PhD Candidate, 'Recognising and Responding to Economic Forms of Domestic Violence in Private Law'
    (funded by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship)

Book chapters

  • Chaudhri, R, 'Sir Owen Dixon and Yerkey v Jones: Considering the Feminist Implications of Strict and Complete Legalism' in Eldridge, J, and Pilkington, T, Sir Owen Dixon's Legacy (Federation Press, 2019)

Refereed journal articles

  • Chaudhri, R, (2014) ‘Animal Welfare and the WTO: The Legality and Implications of Live Export Restrictions Under International Trade Law’ 42(2) Federal Law Review 279
  • Chaudhri, R, (2010) ‘Is Citizenship an Effective Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Plight?’ 2 ANU Undergraduate Research Journal 37

Conference papers & presentations

  • 'Tackling economic forms of domestic violence using the doctrine of undue influence' presented at the Melbourne Obligations Group Conference (5-6 December 2019, University of Melbourne)

Committees

Internal ANU Committees

  • HDR Student Consultative Committee, College of Law Representative

 

External Committees

    • ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Women

    Current courses

    Year Course code Course name
    2020 LAWS4268
    Class #9171
    Community Law Clinic
    2020 LAWS6268
    Class #4177
    Community Law Clinic

    Philosophy & approach

    I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2018, and consistently receive outstanding student evaluations. Inclusivity is a core principle that inspires my teaching. As a student, my most rewarding experiences were when I felt that a lecturer was genuinely interested and invested in my learning and I felt included in the learning process. To achieve this as a teacher, I try to create an environment that gives students the confidence to take risks and be vulnerable. I also place a very high premium on treating my students with respect and warmth. I hope that this allows the students to take more risks with their learning, and I believe that giving students a safe environment encourages them to explore ideas and ask questions knowing that they will be respected and valued.

    Past courses

    Course Design

    • Corporations and Equity and Trusts A (JD Online Program)
    • Corporations and Equity and Trusts B (JD Online Program)

    Convenor:

    • Corporations and Equity and Trusts A
    • Clinical Legal Program

    Lecturer

    • Property
    • Foundations of Australian Law

    Tutor

    • Equity and Trusts
    • Property
    • Foundations of Australian Law
    • Contracts
    • Australian Public Law
    • Legal Theory
    • Administrative Law
    • Commonwealth Constitutional Law

    Marking and teaching support

    • International Trade Law
    • Succession
    • Law and Sexualities

    How my works connects with public policy

    Economic abuse is now widely acknowledged as a form of domestic violence, notably reflected in recent changes to domestic violence personal protection legislation in Australian states and territories.[1] Most studies agree that anywhere between one in three[2] and one in six women experience physical or sexual domestic violence,[3] and initial survey data indicates that around 98% of women who experienced physical and sexual violence report that they were subjected to economic abuse.[4] Other studies put the lifetime prevalence figure for economic abuse at around 16% of women in the general population.[5]

    My research examines how equitable doctrines are used by courts to determine whether to set aside transactions that have been procured in abusive contexts. It involves consideration of the conceptual suitability of the equitable doctrines as well as an empirical study of how the doctrines have been applied in Australian courts. This research will help inform law reform efforts to address financial abuse and domestic violence more generally.

     


    [1] Family Violence Act 2016 (ACT), s 8; Family Violence Act 2004 (Tas), s 7; Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Act 2012 (Qld), s 8; Domestic and Family Violence Act 2007 (NT) s 5; Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA); Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2008 (NSW), s 11; Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 (SA), s 8; Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic), s 6.

    [2] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety: Key Findings, (Catalogue No 4906.0, 8 November 2017), (https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4906.0).

    [3] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia 2018, (Catalogue No FDV 2, 2018).

    [4] Adams, A. E., (2011) ‘Measuring the Effects of Domestic Violence on Women’s Financial Wellbeing’ Centre for Financial Security, Research Brief 5.6.

    [5] Jozica Kutin, Roslyn Russell and Mike Reid, ‘Economic Abuse between Intimate Partners in Australia: Prevalence, Health Status, Disability and Financial Stress’ (2017) 41(3) Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 269.

    Topic

    'Recognising and Responding to Economic Forms of Domestic Violence in Private Law'
    (funded by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship)

    Program

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    Further information

    This project explores the role of vitiating doctrines in identifying and responding to economic forms of domestic violence against women. Economic (or financial) abuse is a broad term that captures a wide range of behaviours, from restricting access to bank accounts, taking income, identity theft, refusing to contribute to household expenses, and the phenomenon of ‘emotionally transmitted debt,’ besides many others. It occurs when one partner controls, manipulates or exploits the other partner’s ability to deal with their financial circumstances.

    This project is particularly concerned with transactions procured in abusive and exploitative circumstances. Such transactions will remain valid unless a vitiating factor is identified. The equitable doctrines that make up the framework for this identification are, therefore, of great importance in assessing whether the legal response to economic forms of domestic violence is effective. Equity has developed concepts to identify which cases require intervention, such as duress (insofar as it is argued as a basis for equitable relief), unconscionable conduct, the special wives’ equity, and undue influence. However, the new understanding of economic abuse as a form of domestic violence justifies a doctrinal and empirical re-examination of a  framework that was developed without this type of violence in mind.

    This project aims to understand the role of these doctrines in three ways. First, it will examine the jurisprudence using traditional doctrinal analysis. Second, it will systematically analyse judgments in cases where a current or former partner seeks equitable intervention to determine how and why courts decide whether to apply a vitiating doctrine. Finally, both the doctrinal and empirical analysis will be critically evaluated using feminist legal theory, and domestic violence sociological discourses (especially feminist strands, including coercive control theory).

    Primary supervisor

    Associate supervisor

    Associate Supervisor

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