Associate Professor Vivien Holmes

Associate Professor
BA /LLB(Hons.); Grad.Dip.Public.Admin; M Soc.Sci (Int'l Developt.) Barrister & Solicitor Vic, NT & ACT; Snr Fellow, Higher Education Academy
+61 2 6125 8270
Room 144

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Research Theme

Biography

Vivien teaches and researches in the fields of legal ethics, legal education and the legal profession.

Prior to joining ANU, Vivien worked as a litigation solicitor in private and government practice, a government legal policy officer, the Registrar of the NT Supreme Court, the NT Registrar of Probates, the NT Deputy Coroner and a Judicial Registrar of the NT Magistrates' Court. She has been a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

Vivien is the Associate Director of Research for the ANU PEARL Centre (Profession, Education and Regulation in Law). She is a member of the ACT Law Society’s Complaint Committee.

Appointments

  • Associate Professor, ANU College of Law
  • Senior Fellow, HIgher Education Academy
  • Associate Director, PEARL (Profession, Education and Regulation in Law)
  • Member, ACT Law Society Complaints Committee

Awards

Year Title
2014 ANU College of Law Education Awards: Award for Program or Service that enhances learning

Significant research publications

  • 'Giving Voice to Values: Enhancing Students' Capactiy to cope with Ethical Challenges in Legal Practice' (2015)18  Legal Ethics 2
  • 'Compounding the Abuse'   Lawyers for the Catholic Church in the Ellis Case’ 17 Legal Ethics 3, 433 (2014)
  • ‘'Practising Professionalism: Observations from an Empirical Study of New Australian Lawyers' Legal Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012
  • 'The Power of Rationalisation to Influence Lawyers' Decisions to Act Unethically' 11  Legal Ethics 2; 137
  • "Our Common Future: The Imperative for Contextual Ethics in a Connected World'; F. Bartlett, R. Mortensen. K Tranter (ed) Alternative Perspectives on Lawyers and Legal Ethics.  Reimagining the Profession; Routledge (Research in Legal Ethics series) (2011)

Recent news

04
Jan
2017
Yangon Downtown
Thirteen ANU College of Law students will have the chance to experience the teaching and operation of the law in a developing country, as they set off for the College’s inaugural Myanmar Clinical Program this week.
21
Dec
2016
Vivien Holmes
Being Well in the Law is about wellbeing. This newly published guide discusses the things that help us thrive as lawyers and as people.
22
Sep
2015
Helping junior lawyers thrive
The transition from law student to newly-admitted lawyer is a critical time, not only for the mental health and wellbeing of these lawyers but for the future of the profession.
19
Dec
2012
ANU College of Law

Eight ANU College of Law staff members were awarded for their excellent contribution to teaching in 2012.

In the Media

19
Dec
2016
Vivien Holmes speaks to Lawyers Weekly
3
Apr
2014
Vivien Holmes writes in The Conversation

Past events

08
Aug
2017
Event image
1.00PM to 2.00PM Teaching and Learning Forum

Ideas and discussion, and how a Teaching Enhancement Grant might help.

11
Oct
2016
Teaching and Learning Forum
1.00PM to 2.00PM Teaching and Learning Forum

The forum will start with some statistics about failure rates and then move to a discussion about the following issues. 

20
Sep
2016
Teaching and Learning Forum
1.00PM to 2.00PM Teaching and Learning Forum
  • Meg Wootten

In this forum, ANU law student Meg Wootten will discuss the findings of her LLB Honours thesis. 

05
Aug
2016
Grazia Scotellaro, Digital Learning Advisor, College of Asia and the Pacific
1.00PM to 2.00PM Teaching and Learning Forum
  • Grazia Scotellaro

Grazia Scotellaro ( ANU)  will be joining us for a Teaching and Learning forum on Friday 5 August ( 1-2pm)  to share her experiences of developing e- publications.  Her presentation will be relevant to academic staff teaching in any of the COL programs.

Grazia works with the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, and is one of the leading pioneers in e-text use in language teaching.  She  began her epub journey  in 2013 with the production of CAPs first ePub ‘The Joy of Sanskrit’. 

 

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

Research biography

Vivien's research focuses on the legal profession, legal education and legal ethics. She is leading a research project (with colleagues Anneka Ferguson and Stephen Tang) which investigates the effectiveness of the Giving Voice to Values curriculum in law, a curriculum that focuses on building skills for ethical action. Vivien has presented on this research at national and international fora including at the International Legal Ethics Conference, London, 2014.

Another of Vivien’s research projects (with Tony Foley, Stephen Tang and Margie Rowe) explores the transition of law graduates to legal practitioners. Building on a qualitative pilot study, the current quantitative project investigates the experience and professional development of new lawyers.

Vivien’s other research seeks to critically appraise current ethical practice in the profession, including the behaviour of lawyers acting for the Catholic Church to defend sexual abuse cases.

Vivien is the Associate Director of Research for the new PEARL Centre (Profession, Education and Regulation in Law), responsible with Professor Paul Maharg for the Centre’s research direction and strategy.

Book chapters

  • 'Values, Ethics and Wellbeing' in Being Well in the Law (2016) NSW Law Society : 

 http://lawsociety.com.au/ForSolictors/professionalsupport/supportingyou/BeingWellintheLaw/index.htm

  • 'Applied Ethics for Lawyers' in P. Bowden (ed) Applied Ethics.Strengthening Ethical Practices (2012) with Tom Campbell
  • "Our Common Future: The Imperative for Contextual Ethics in a Connected World'; F. Bartlett, R. Mortensen. K Tranter (ed) Alternative Perspectives on Lawyers and Legal Ethics.  Reimagining the Profession; Routledge (Research in Legal Ethics series) (2011) with Simon Rice
  • 'What is the right thing to do? Reflections on the AWB scandal and legal ethics.' in Jeremy Farrall & Kim Rubenstein; Sanctions; Accountability and Governance in a Globalised World; Cambridge (2009)

Refereed journal articles

  •  ‘Giving Voice To Values:’ Enhancing Students' Capacity to cope with Ethical Challenges in Legal Practice' (2015) 18 (2) Legal Ethics 115
  • ‘What makes for a happy, healthy, ethical lawyer? How do we help our junior lawyers thrive?’  Law institute Journal September 2015
  • ‘'Practising Professionalism: Observations from an Empirical Study of New Australian Lawyers'  (2012) 15 (1)  Legal Ethics  29
  • 'Teaching Professionalism in Legal Clinic – What New Practitioners Say is Important'  (2012) 17 International Journal of Clinical Legal Education
  • 'The Power of Rationalisation to Influence Lawyers' Decisions to Act Unethically' 11(2)  Legal Ethics 137

Conference papers & presentations

  • ' The behaviour of the lawyers acting for the church in the Ellis case / ‘Melbourne response’ matters’ as part of a panel on 'Lawyers and Moral Conversations' at the Australia New Zealand Legal Ethics Colloquium, Melbourne, 3-4 December 2015.
  • 'Pre Admission Training: Developing Students’ Capacity to Cope with Ethical Dilemmas in Legal Practice' at BABSEA CLE Pro Bono Conference and Legal Ethics Forum, Mandalay, Myanmar,  September 2015
  • ‘Ethical Issues for Government Lawyers’ (with Lauren Honcope, ANU) ACT Law Society Government Law CPD session, March 2015
  • ‘Enhancing wellbeing AND one’s capacity to deal effectively with ethical dilemmas in legal practice’ (with Liz Curran and Anneka Ferguson) at the National Wellness for Law Forum – ANU 5-6 February 2015
  • Wellbeing, Professional Identity and Satisfying the Human Need for Striving: Preliminary Evidence from Newly-Admitted Australian Lawyers’ (with Tony Foley, Stephen Tang and Margie Rowe) at the National Wellness for Law Forum – ANU 5-6 February 2015

Committees

External Organisations

  • ACT Law Society Complaints Committee

 

Case notes & book reviews

  • 'Pro bono and Ethics Build a Noble Profession: Asia Pro Bono Conference & Legal Ethics Forum, Mandalay, Myanmar, September 2015' Report  18 Legal Ethics

     

LLM Masters thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  • Legal Ethics,
  • Professional Responsibility
  • the Legal Profession

Honours thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  • Legal Ethics,
  • Professional Responsibility
  • the Legal Profession

I have previously supervised:

  • Coroners and Therapeutic Jurisprudence
  • Behavioural Legal Ethics

 

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2017 LAWS4301
Class #1831
Myanmar Law Clinical Program

Previous courses

Year Course code Course name
2016 LAWS1202
Class #7559
Lawyers Justice and Ethics
2016 LAWS6102
Class #9032
Lawyers, Justice and Ethics

Philosophy & approach

My philosophy of teaching is being heavily influenced by recent research in neuroscience and in particular the place of emotion in learning.    My own research into behavioural ethics (or moral psychology) has deepened my understanding of the many non-rational influences on human behavior.  In relation to learning, I am realizing just how important it is to engage students’ emotions, if they are to learn anything of consequence and then use what they have learned in wise decision making.  I believe teachers should provide a challenging, but safe place for students to try things out: as Damasio has noted that ‘not enough emotion is detrimental to learning and so is too much’. So my aim is that students will get emotionally involved  (engaged, interested, perhaps even a bit nervous at times) in their learning.

I am conscious of the importance of providing students with opportunities to learn not just technical legal skills, but generic life skills (communicating in plain English; how to act on your values; the importance of knowing yourself and looking after yourself; team work) that will stand them in good stead whatever their career path.

I am a strong believer in problem based learning - allowing students to work through a real world problem while grappling with the knowledge and skills they need to resolve it.

Teaching awards

Year Title
2014 ANU College of Law Education Awards: Award for Program or Service that enhances learning

Past courses

  • 2011 - 2015:  Professional Practice Core (GDLP) Legal Ethics

How my works connects with public policy

My work informs policy in the areas of legal ethics education and professional regulation.  in 2015, I was the lead author ( with Professors Adrian Evans, Reid Mortensen, Jeff Giddings, Dr Justine Rogers  and Francesca Bartlett) on a submission to the  Law Admissions Consultative Committee on Academic Requirements on Admission to practice.  Our submission argued that  Ethics and Professional Responsibility should remain an academic requirements for admission.

Books

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team