Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books and working papers. Other papers and publications can be found on SSRN and the ANU Researchers database.

Court of Conscience

Court of Conscience ‘Rights and Representation: Children and the Law’

Author(s): Faith Gordon

The Court of Conscience is UNSW Law Society's premier social justice publication. As a multi-award-winning journal, run by a voluntary student editorial board, the publication aims to inspire interest in social justice in the UNSW community and beyond. Dr Gordon's chapter focuses on children's rights in the digital age. 

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy

Data Protection and Consumer Protection

Data Protection and Consumer Protection: The Empowerment of the Citizen Consumer

Author(s): Damian Clifford

This chapter explores the alignment of the EU data protection and consumer protection policy agendas through a discussion of the reference to the Unfair Contract Terms Directive in Recital 42 of the General Data Protection Regulation. This non-binding provision refers to the need to assess the (un)fairness of pre-formulated declarations of data subject consent to personal data processing. Through this lens the introduction of the Directive on Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content and its relationship to the data protection and privacy framework is also explored. The protections provided by both the data protection and privacy and consumer protection frameworks aim to bolster the decision-making capacity of individuals. However, as this chapter outlines, there are potential conflicts when the respective frameworks are assessed together.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Technology

Using Travaux to Interpret Treaties: A Proposed Sliding Scale

Author(s): Esme Shirlow

Materials produced during the negotiation of treaties, commonly called travaux préparatoires, are given formal significance as a ‘supplementary means’ of treaty interpretation under article 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (‘VCLT’). Travaux present both risks and opportunities for treaty interpretation, and international adjudicators have differed in how they define the rationale for referring to travaux; how they use these materials, and even more fundamentally, what materials they classify as travaux. This article proposes a methodology to guide the more structured identification and use of travaux. The article uses the interpretation of investment treaties in investor-state arbitration as a case study to illustrate the proposed approach and its utility. The discussion, including the proposed sliding scale approach, is nonetheless equally relevant for interpreting all manner of treaties. Section I illustrates three practical challenges associated with the use of travaux in investment treaty disputes to highlight the advantages and pitfalls associated with using travaux. Section II considers what may constitute ‘travaux’. Based on an extensive review of arbitral practice, Section II argues in favour of a sliding scale approach to travaux, whereby treaty interpreters assess the utility of a given material by reference to its precise qualitative features and the context of interpretation. Section III considers how arbitral tribunals have used – and should use – travaux by reference to the interpretive framework established by the VCLT. Section IV considers how investment tribunals have regulated access to and use of travaux through their powers to order document production.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Regulating transparency on human rights and modern slavery in corporate supply chains

Regulating transparency on human rights and modern slavery in corporate supply chains: the discrepancy between human rights due diligence and the social audit

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

This article examines some of the limits of reporting schemes as a tool for addressing business-related human rights risks and for engaging business in a collaborative effort to improve human rights. Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (MSA) is the latest example globally of a legislative scheme intended to foster corporate action on such risks within businesses’ operations and supply chains. Some such schemes require firms to implement human rights due diligence (HRDD) measures, as envisaged by the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. However, the MSA’s model is best described as a disclosure or reporting regime. Such regimes do not require businesses to take HRDD measures; rather, they only require businesses to report on any such measures that they have taken during the relevant reporting period. In this article, we analyse some of the assumptions underlying the design of reporting-based schemes. We then consider one practice used by firms facing supply chain scrutiny: social auditing. We caution against an over-reliance on this practice, which is not synonymous with HRDD. It does not necessarily promote fulsome, non-cosmetic reporting compliance or foster corporate action on underlying human rights risks. We finally offer some alternative approaches that could improve the effectiveness of measures to address human rights risks in supply chains.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy

War and Peace in Outer Space

War and Peace in Outer Space

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

This book delves into legal and ethical concerns over the increased weaponization of outer space and the potential for space-based conflict in the very near future. Unique to this collection is the emphasis on questions of ethical conduct and legal standards applicable to military uses of outer space. No other existing publication takes this perspective, nor includes such a range of interdisciplinary expertise.

The essays included in this volume explore the moral and legal issues of space security in four sections. Part I provides a general legal framework for the law of war and peace in space. Part II tackles ethical issues. Part III looks at specific threats to space security. Part IV proposes possible legal and diplomatic solutions. With an expert author team from North American and Europe, the volume brings together academics, military lawyers, military space operators, aerospace industry representatives, diplomats, and national security and policy experts. The experience of this team provides a collection unmatched in any academic publication broaching even some of these issues and will be required reading for anyone interested in war and peace in outer space.

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Centre: CMSL

Research theme: Military & Security Law

Experiencing Asylum Appeals

Experiencing Asylum Appeals: 34 Ways to Improve Access to Justice at the First-tier Tribunal

Author(s): Jessica Hambly

There is ongoing concern that Britain’s courts are places that are overwhelming, disorientating and confusing for court users. Asylum seekers are some of the most marginalised people in society and existing research highlights the difficulties they face in disclosing evidence throughout the legal process. Without an accessible process, appellants may be unable or unwilling to speak and participate in their appeal, and therefore important pieces of evidence may not be considered and justice may not be served. Although a lot of attention has been paid to asylum law by academics and policy makers alike, its day to day implementation often escapes critical academic scrutiny. This is arguably because relatively few non-legal scholars study the law, meaning that most analysis is focussed on substantive and doctrinal legal issues rather than questions of process, implementation and experience. It is also extremely time consuming to observe a sufficient number of hearings to be able to draw general conclusions about day to day issues.

Our project adopts an inter-disciplinary perspective on the day to day workings of asylum law within the UK’s asylum appeal hearings. In the following sections we report on a project which examined what happens during asylum appeals by closely observing them from the public areas of hearing rooms. Our observations ran from 2013 to 2019. We complement the perspective our observations offer with interview evidence from appellants as well as others involved in the process.

Co-authors: Nick Gill, Jennifer Allsopp, Andrew Burridge, Daniel Fisher, Melanie Griffiths, Jessica Hambly, Jo Hynes, Natalia Paszkiewicz, Rebecca Rotter and Amanda Schmid-Scott.

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Centre: LRSJ

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Social Justice

AIAL Forum

Government schemes for extrajudicial compensation: an assessment

Author(s): Greg Weeks, Sarah Lim, Nathalie Ng

Providing redress where loss has been suffered is not the sole preserve of the judiciary. At least in part, this is because loss can be suffered by individuals in the absence of legal liability. While this is not the exclusive province of public entities, it is more commonly the case that ‘moral liability’ justifying the payment of compensation is borne by public entities. For one thing, public entities generally have a much greater capacity to cause individuals — even relatively sophisticated or commercially adept parties — to act in a way that they otherwise might not. Government and other public figures come cloaked in authority, with the consequence that people are more likely to comply with requests or instructions. Such compliance will frequently not create a legal obligation if the individual suffers loss. Compensation schemes are premised on the belief that the action might nonetheless create moral obligations and that these can be a sufficient basis for compensation to issue.

This article considers the provision of compensation outside the legal system, usually paid on the basis of ‘moral liability’ rather than a claim founded in law. There are a number of different schemes in place which may achieve this end, across every Australian jurisdiction and they are both statutory and executive.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

Book Review: Martin Jarrett, Contributory Fault and Investor Misconduct in Investment Arbitration

Author(s): Esme Shirlow

Investment treaties and investor-State arbitration have both been subject to sustained criticism and calls for reform in recent years. Critics have called, inter alia, for a ‘rebalancing’ of treaties to address perceived asymmetries between States and investors, and for a reconnection of investment law to other bodies of law. As reform discussions have matured, analysis of how to address these asymmetries and fragmentations in investment law have become increasingly nuanced. Contributing to this line of scholarship, Martin Jarrett‘s book tackles difficult questions associated with when an investor’s ‘faultworthy’ conduct should impact the analysis of a host State’s responsibility for internationally wrongful conduct under an investment treaty. Jarrett’s book introduces and examines three defences to investor-State arbitration claims, which are each based on an investor’s contribution to investment damage and/or an investor’s misconduct in connection with a protected investment. Jarrett’s analysis holds important implications for the apportionment of liability between States and investors for their contribution to the injury at issue in an investor-State arbitration claim.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Law Teachers Speak Out

Law Teachers Speak Out: What do Law Schools Need to Change

Author(s): Colin James

This Chapter presents the results of national surveys of UK and Australian legal academics conducted in 2017 and explores law teachers’ perceptions of their well-being and of their experience of stress at work. First, we consider the neo-liberal landscape of higher education in the 21st Century, a landscape that provides the context and framework for how law teachers experience law school as a work environment. Second, we explain the methodology and results of the studies conducted in the UK and Australia in 2017. Third, we discuss the themes presenting from the law teachers’ responses to the open question: please explain what you think your university could do to improve staff quality of working life? The Chapter concludes with a suggested to-do list for law school leaders to provide a work environment that better supports the well-being of their academics and in turn enhances their capacity to support law student well-being.

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Privacy at the Intersection of Public Law and Private Law

Author(s): Jelena Gligorijevic

To demonstrate that any common law system can adequately and legitimately protect informational privacy through a private law action influenced by public law, this paper argues that: tort law can accommodate privacy protection, and the English action is appropriately labelled a ‘tort’; the English tort does not depend upon the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), allowing other common law jurisdictions to choose to adopt aspects of that tort; and the public law tool of proportionality can determine privacy tort outcomes in a way that ensures credible legal protection of the fundamental right to privacy in the private sphere, without unjustifiably encroaching upon other rights.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Private Law

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Getting Out of Debt: The Road to Recovery for Victim/Survivors of Family Violence

Author(s): Elizabeth Curran

This research and evaluation report undertaken by Dr Liz Curran of the Australian National University (pro bono) looks at research over the two years of the life of a family violence project (with base line data collected in a First Phase Report in November 217) examining a Secondary Consultation (SC) service integrated with Training and Outreach program as well as capacity for strategic advocacy.

The Consumer Action Law Centre project (with part funding from the Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation) aims to overcome barriers for people experiencing family violence identified in previous studies. The research findings (detailed in this report) are that legal assistance services, such as this one of the Consumer Action Law Centre, working with trusted community professionals (to whom people experiencing family violence are likely to turn) if done in a holistic, integrated and seamless, respectful way can enable credit & debt legal issues to be addressed in a timely, creative and effective way. It does this by breaking down barriers that exist to those needing legal help. The report provides some universal insights into the plight and impacts of family violence and ways for effective service delivery without ignoring the challenges for both individuals and a variety of services in providing critical support for victim/survivors of family violence and their family.

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Centre:

Research theme: Health, Law and Bioethics, Human Rights Law and Policy, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Law and Social Justice, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

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Maladministration: the Particular Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman

Author(s): Greg Weeks

The office of the ombudsman is much misunderstood. Is it better viewed as part of the executive or the judiciary? Is it a fragile institution, unprotected with security of tenure? Is it a ‘toothless tiger’? The one constant in the face of such inquiries is that ombudsmen don’t seem to care, or at least carry on with great effectiveness as though they don’t. I would argue in any case that such queries are beside the point and that the one thing that must be understood about the ombudsman is that it is an office with a particular purpose.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

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Why Outer Space Matters for National and International Security

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

Despite the fact that outer space may only be used for peaceful purposes under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, most technologically advanced States today have a high military dependence on space. In other words, space is “militarized,” but not yet “weaponized.” At the same time, a space arms race has been underway for some time, and appears to be accelerating in recent years. In 2019, India joined what it proudly dubbed the “elite club” of States with the capability to launch direct ascent anti-satellite weapons, replicating earlier tests by China, Russia and the U.S., all of whom have also demonstrated more covert forms of anti-satellite or “counterspace” technologies. The establishment of the U.S. Space Force at the end of 2019 and the response of allies and adversaries alike is emblematic of the escalatory cycle that appears to be in place. Today nearly every country is dependent in some way on space-enabled capabilities, many of which are supplied not by States but by commercial entities. This report outlines the historical and legal context, and argues for increased cooperation and transparency to improve the stability and security of outer space for national and international security.

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Centre: CIPL, CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Law and Technology, Military & Security Law

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Data Protection and Consumer Protection: The Empowerment of the Citizen Consumer

Author(s): Damian Clifford

This chapter explores the alignment of the EU data protection and consumer protection policy agendas through a discussion of the reference to the Unfair Contract Terms Directive in Recital 42 of the General Data Protection Regulation. This non-binding provision refers to the need to assess the (un)fairness of pre-formulated declarations of data subject consent to personal data processing. Through this lens the introduction of the Directive on Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content and its relationship to the data protection and privacy framework is also explored. The protections provided by both the data protection and privacy and consumer protection frameworks aim to bolster the decision-making capacity of individuals. However, as this chapter outlines, there are potential conflicts when the respective frameworks are assessed together.

Read on SSRN

Centre:

Research theme: Law and Technology

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The Populist Challenge and the Future of the United Nations Security Council

Author(s): Jeremy Farrall

This article examines the potential impact of the populist challenge to International Law on the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council is often criticized as ineffective, unprincipled, and an anachronistic mechanism that reflects a power balance from the past, rather than the realities of today. The article argues that the rise of populism is likely to further erode the Security Council’s legitimacy and efficacy. At the same time, however, it emphasizes the need for greater nuance in the way that both the phenomenon of populism, as well as the relationship between national and international concerns, are understood and framed. Taking these complexities into account, the Article explores three scenarios that could result from an escalating crisis of Security Council legitimacy. The first involves reform and renewal. The second comprises retreat and realignment. The third encompasses reimagining the international peace and security architecture and creating something new.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

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Populism, Backlash and the Ongoing Use of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement System: State Responses to the Appellate Body Crisis

Author(s): Imogen Saunders

Since 2017, World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) Member States have been unable to reach a consensus on Appellate Body (‘AB’) appointments and reappointments. The United States is spearheading a populist backlash against procedural and substantive aspects of the dispute settlement system of the WTO. As a consequence of this, the AB is now facing an unprecedented crisis. The jewel in the crown of the WTO dispute settlement system will be missing: yet countries are still bringing complaints. This paper considers US actions through the framing of populism and backlash, and assesses responses from other countries.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law, Legal History and Ethnology

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The Multilateral Human Rights System: Systemic Challenge or Healthy Contestation?

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

This essay explores some of the parameters and merits of a putative argument that the announcement of June 19, 2018 that the United States would withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council might most properly be understood as but one manifestation of a wider political backlash within the US (and indeed other Western democracies) against the multilateral human rights system epitomized by the Council. There are two prongs to this argument. First, populist-nationalist political sentiment at home simultaneously fuels and is fanned by strident high-profile diplomatic critiques (or even rejections) of global bodies such as the Council. Second, the nature and force of this backlash constitutes a systemic threat to the future of the post-1945 rules-based international order, especially since it comes mostly from the superpower whose values-based rhetoric and leadership has perhaps done most to advance the global human rights agenda in the modern era.

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Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Technology, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

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Deliberative Constitutional Referendums in Deeply Divided Societies

Author(s): Ron Levy

If referendums are not carefully designed and conducted so as to promote moderation, they may undermine deliberation and hence undermine one of the necessary or principal conditions of their own success. Naturally, there is no suggestion here chat referendums can solve all the ills that deeply divided societies face or that democracy can be reduced to referendums. Yet, if skilfully and sensitively designed, they can play a crucial role, so long, that is, as ordinary people are made to feel that their views count for something in the process.

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Centre: CIPL, DGAL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law, Governance and Development

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The Essendon Football Club Supplements Saga: Exploring Natural Justice for Team Sanctions within Anti-Doping Regulations

Author(s):

10 October 2016, the Essendon Football Club (EFC) performance enhancing drugs regulatory saga concluded with the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) deciding not to ‘entertain’ Essendon’s appeal of the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS)’s guilty finding, thus supporting the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA). The EFC CAS appeal is a unique case as it is the first time a team (34 players from the one team) have been subject to CAS’s jurisdiction for allegations of doping contrary to the World Anti-Doping Code. One significant concern throughout this regulatory sage was that the team-based nature of the infraction denied individual players natural justice. Central to these concerns is the fact that the players were advised by EFC to take part in the program and that its chief architect, sports scientist Stephen Dank, never gave sworn evidence that was tested in cross-examination. This column investigates whether there are important lessons for team-based anti-doping infractions from the EFC saga.

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Corporate Law, Complexity and Cartography

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The relationship between corporate law and corporate practice is complex. So too is the relationship between the different types of corporate law rules — from primary and delegated legislation, through listing rules and ASIC orders to corporate constitutions. Corporate lawyers tend to respond to this complexity and diversity by implicit understanding than by conceptual framework. This article offers one way of conceptualising the complexity of corporate law rules and their relationship to corporate practice. Drawing on Boaventura de Sousa Santos’ influential 1987 article ‘Law: A Map of Misreading. Toward a Postmodern Conception of Law’, the article looks to cartography as an unexpected source of ideas to assist in understanding the shape of modern corporate law rules.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

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