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.

Selim V Lele and the Civil (Industrial) Conscription Prohibition: Constitutional Protection Against Federal Legislation Controlling or Privatising Australian Public Hospitals

Author(s):

Selim v Lele (2008) 167 FCR 61; [2008] FCAFC 13 was a decision of the Federal Court (later upheld on appeal to the Australian High Court) which interpreted s 51(xxiiiA) of the Australian Constitution. This section accords the federal government, among other things, power to make laws with respect to the provision of “medical and dental services (but not so as to authorise any form of civil conscription)”. The Federal Court decided that the phrase “civil conscription” was analogous to “industrial conscription”. In that sense the Federal Court held that the prohibition was designed to preserve the employment autonomy of Australian medical practitioners or dentists, preventing federal laws that required them, either expressly or by practical compulsion, to work for the federal government or any industrial employer nominated or permitted by the federal government.

The specific question in Selim v Lele was whether the imposition of standards and prohibition of “inappropriate practice” under the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Cth), ss 10, 20, 20A and Pt VAA, amounted to civil conscription. The court held they did not. The Federal Court also discussed in that context the sufficiency of “practical compulsion” in relation to the s 51(xxxiiiA) prohibition.

The constitutional prohibition on “any form” of civil conscription provides one of the few rights protections in the Australian Constitution and may have an important role to play in shaping the limits of health care system privatisation in Australia.

The civil conscription prohibition in s 51(xxiiiA) of the federal Constitution provides a guarantee that Australian medical and dental practitioners will retain the practical choice of being either independent business people or salaried servants of the community. In this sense the guarantee in s 51(xxiiiA) operates like the “just terms” guarantee in s 51(xxxi). Neither can be circumvented by attempts to base federal legislation nominally on other heads of power unless the constitutional expression of that latter power expressly exempts it from the operation of the guarantee.

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Medical Professionals Convicted of Accessing Child Pornography - Presumptive Lifetime Prohibition on Paediatric Practice?

Author(s):

Health Care Complaints Commission v Wingate [2007] NSWCA 326 concerns an appeal from the New South Wales Medical Tribunal regarding its findings on professional misconduct outside the practice of medicine in relation to a doctor convicted of possessing child pornography. The latest in a number of cases on this issue in Australia, it highlights the complexity of such decisions before medical tribunals and boards, as well as the diversity of approaches taken. Considering both this case and the recent Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria case of Re Stephanopoulos [2006] MPBV 12, this article argues that Australian tribunals and medical boards may not yet have achieved the right balance here in terms of protecting public safety and the reputation of the profession as a whole. It makes the case for a position statement from Australian professional bodies to create a presumption of a lifetime prohibition on paediatric practice after a medical professional has been convicted of accessing child pornography.

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University of Western Australia v Gray: An Academic Duty to Commercialise Research?

Author(s):

In an era of tightening university budgets and pressure to commercialise academic knowledge, many higher education institutions see the exploitation of new inventions and discoveries, through the use of patents, as an additional revenue stream. To that end, many such organisations have in place policies and by-laws which regulate “ownership” and disclosure of inventions created by employees. This can be seen as a continuation of an ongoing process of shifting universities from institutes of “pure research” to commercial operations, seeking to maximise financial gains from the efforts of their researchers. However, new opportunities present new risks. One of the last Federal Court decisions by the High Court of Australia’s new Chief Justice, Justice French, in University of Western Australia v Gray [2008] FCA 498 explores some of the challenges which Australian university administrators and policy developers will need to overcome if an appropriate balance between private interests and public good is to be maintained in this context.

If their movement into commercial patenting is to be reconciled with the time-honoured position of universities as centres of learning, support for public goods and open access research, then government intervention, through an expansion of the “fair use” provisions in the Copyright Act and Patents Act to include academic research, may need to be considered. At the very least, patenting should be seen against its historical background: as an authorised, but limited, monopoly privilege granted temporarily and primarily in the public interest, to encourage innovation and to assist in the dissemination of knowledge.

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Integrated Research into the Nanoparticle-Protein Corona: A New Focus for Safe, Sustainable and Equitable Development of Nanomedicines

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Much contemporary nanotoxicology, nanotherapeutic and nanoregulatory research has been characterized by a focus on investigating how delivery of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) to cells is dictated primarily by components of the ENP surface. An alternative model, some implications of which are discussed here, begins with fundamental physiochemical research into the interaction of a dynamic nanoparticle-protein corona (NPC) with biological systems. The proposed new model also requires, however, that any such NPC physiochemical research approach should involve integration and targeted collaboration from the earliest stages with nanotoxicology, nanotherapeutical and nanoregulatory expertise. The justification for this integrated approach, we argue, relates not just to efficiency and promotion of innovation but to an acknowledgement that public-funded basic physiochemical research in particular should now be accepted to incorporate strong higher-order public goods elements from its inception, not merely after product development at the technology-transfer stage. Issues, such as university research cooperation, commercialization and intellectual property protection, safety and cost- effectiveness regulatory assessment, as well as technology transfer should not be viewed as second-tier considerations, even in a 'blue sky' NPC basic research agenda.

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The Expanding Role of Process in Judicial Review

Author(s): Greg Weeks

This article examines the state of the law of procedural fairness and procedural error, demonstrating that inadequacy of process is now central to findings that decisions of the Executive are so lacking in quality as to manifest an error of law. The article argues that fairness of outcome and legitimacy of review need not be defined only in relation to the faultlessness of process.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law

Governor Arthur’s Proclamation: Aboriginal People and the Deferral of the Rule of Law

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

2007 was a tumultuous year in Australian politics, culminating on November 24 with Federal elections in which the highly conservative Liberal Party government led by Mr. John Howard was, after eleven years in government, decisively defeated at the polls. Of particular note in that result was the defeat of the Prime Minister in his own electorate, and the dramatic and unexpected defeat of the Minister for Families and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, in his. Both have now left politics for good. But their legacy lives on, and it is my contention that the most significant aspect of that legacy is legislation which, enacted with unseemly haste and in the dying days of the Parliament, profoundly alters the legal treatment of Australian Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, a self-governing but sparsely populated region the size of France, Italy, and Spain combined. One-third of the Territory’s population is Aboriginal, far and away the most proportionally significant Indigenous population in the country. Yet very little serious analysis of the sweeping and complex laws proclaimed in August 2007 has been attempted. Such an analysis remains crucial not just because of the relationship between Indigenous and other people which it reflects but because the Labor Party, albeit reluctantly, voted in favor of the legislation when it was enacted. Now in government it has shown a marked reluctance to re-open the issue. Indeed at times Jenny Macklin, the new Minister for Indigenous Affairs, has talked about extending the laws to other Australian jurisdictions. Furthermore, to the extent that the new government has mooted changes to aspects of the legislation, the Labor Party does not have a majority in the Senate and will consequently face considerable difficulty in getting its amendments through the Parliament. Given the wave of emotion on which the legislative package was carried, and with which criticisms to its provisions are still fiercely met, they may feel disinclined to try very hard. Unless a serious critique is mounted which demonstrates as clearly as possible the ways in which these laws undermine basic principles of the Australian legal system, the opportunity to amend them will soon be lost and the fate of many Aboriginal communities as soon sealed. In bringing readers’ attention to the implications of the laws pertaining to the ‘intervention in the Northern Territory’, and which ought to concern all who have an interest in upholding the traditions of common law legality, I propose in this essay to set the contemporary issues against a broader theoretical debate, and with the assistance of two distinct perspectives.

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Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

‘As If’ - the Court of Shakespeare and the Relationships of Law and Literature

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

The Shakespeare Moot Court is a form of serious play that inspires participating legal and literary students and professors to think about interdisciplinary in a new way - by doing it. Members of the Court apply their analytical and argumentative skills to the task of creating the law of Shakespeare, tackling matters of public concern such as same-sex marriage, crimes against humanity, and freedom of religion. In the course, senior Law students and graduate students from English team up to argue cases in the “Court of Shakespeare” (where the sole Institutes, Codex, and Digest are comprised by the plays of William Shakespeare). The Court involves students (as counsel) and Shakespeareans and legal scholars (as judges) in a competitive and collaborative form of play whose object is to engage with Shakespeare’s plays in order to render judgments concerning particular contemporary legal problems. In the first part, this essay reflects on critical practice in Shakespeare studies and the argues that the legal model of the moot court offers this practice dimensions of accountability, corrigibility, and temporality which are essential to the future of the critical practice of literary studies. Above all the Shakespeare Moot Court provides a new and necessary way of restoring Shakespeare criticism, or some significant part of it, to the public realm. In the second part, the argument is reversed. The literary conceit of the Shakespeare Moot Project serves to dramatize that literature’s very different orientation offers to the world of law a vital reminder that the question of judgment is always imbricated in the character, experiences, and subjectivity of the judge. This perspective, which was indeed universally understood as integral to the exercise of judgment, whether literary or legal, in Shakespeare’s time, seems in many ways to have been forgotten or sidelined in most modern understandings of law. For the literary theorist, the “privatization” of literature from the late eighteenth century on has obscured its role in public discourse, as the first part argues. For the legal theorist, as the second part argues, the “publicization” of law from the late eighteenth century on has obscured its connection to personal responsibility. The two arguments together demonstrate that the Enlightenment’s project of defining and dividing disciplines - allocating the realm of public action to law and that of private feeling to literature - has come at the cost of the relevance of one and the humanity of the other.

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Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Australian Legal Procedures and the Protection of Secret Aboriginal Spiritual Beliefs: A Fundamental Conflict

Author(s): Ernst Willheim

The essays in this book explore the intersections between law and religion. When Australian law intersects with Aboriginal religion the outcome is a massive collision. This essay explores that collision, a collision between core legal values of the dominant legal system and core religious values of a small minority group, Aboriginal Australians. That collision, or conflict, arises because Aboriginal religions are fundamentally different from mainstream religions. That difference is legally significant. But the dominant legal system has failed to accommodate the difference. In this essay I contend that Australian law has failed to resolve a fundamental conflict between, on the one hand, basic common law values including openness and transparency in public administration, open administration of justice, a legal culture that gives special weight to the protection of private property interests and, on the other hand, Aboriginal religious values, in particular, the secret nature of much Aboriginal religious belief. I further contend that, because Australian law has failed adequately to recognize and to adapt to the secret nature of much Aboriginal religious belief, because common law values particularly principles directed at protection of private property interests prevail, laws enacted for the purpose of protecting Aboriginal religious beliefs have failed to achieve their purpose. The final part of the essay offers suggestions for reform, including mechanisms for protecting the confidentiality of secret spiritual beliefs.

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Law, History, and the Idea of the High Court

Author(s):

I want to bring a slightly different perspective to those you have heard to this point: a legal perspective, with special reference to the High Court.

Reading through the program, what really struck me was how so many of the issues of history and historiography manifest themselves in the High Court, whether through the way they shape the issues that arise for decision, or in relation to how we see the role and impact of the Court itself as one of our institutions of national government. Just think of these themes in your program: colonialism, federation, national unity, democracy, environmental history, military history, indigenous history, gender issues. I could tell you the story of the High Court (and I must say that I think of history essentially as stories) from any or all of these perspectives: how these issues assume legal form and are pronounced upon by the Court, and how the currents of history themselves sweep through the Court and affect our assessment of it as an institution.

Moreover, the High Court’s own decision-making processes raise all of the familiar questions of historiography: questions of evidence and proof, of fact selection, of interpretation of texts, and so on. Former High Court Chief Justice Sir Anthony Mason will touch on that in the next session – let me first go back a step and say a bit about the some of the differences between law and history.

This paper was presented at the Australian Government Summer School For Teachers Of Australian History Conference, Canberra, Australia, 14-23 January 2008.

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Creating the Conditions for Cross-Cultural Sensitivity: An Australian Law Dean's Perspective

Author(s):

I do not know how many Law Deans are able successfully to combine the demands of 'deaning' with a regular role in the classroom; I am not one of them. In my first year as a Dean, in the first full flush of optimism and naivety, I did continue to teach: half a compulsory course in Australian constitutional law, a whole elective course on the High Court of Australia, and one-to-one supervision of four honours theses. But it nearly killed me. And I am sure that neither the students nor the law school benefited much from my over-ambitious attempt to be all things to all people. So I resolved to focus on deaning, confining my classroom appearances to occasional celebrity guest spots or emergency rescues.

In thinking, therefore, about effective techniques for teaching about other cultures and legal systems, I want to take a peculiarly decanal perspective. At first sight, this might seem odd; if he does not teach, let alone teach comparative law, what would he know (I hear you say) about effective teaching techniques? Well, in this now familiar International Association of Law Schools (IALS) '3-5 page' format, I thought I would take the opportunity to try to articulate the kind of contribution that might be made to effective teaching about other cultures and legal systems through the leadership role of the Dean, especially in relation to creating the conditions in which this kind of teaching might flourish.

This paper was presented at the International Association of Law Schools, General Assembly and Academic Program, Montreal, Canada, 29-30 May 2008: Effective Techniques for Teaching about Other Cultures and Legal Systems.

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International Aviation Emissions to 2025: Can Emissions Be Stabilised Without Restricting Demand?

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh

International aviation is growing rapidly, resulting in rising aviation greenhouse gas emissions. Concerns about the growth trajectory of the industry and emissions have led to calls for market measures such as emissions trading and carbon levies to be introduced to restrict demand and prompt innovation. This paper provides an overview of the science on aviation's contribution to climate change, analyses the emission intensity improvements that are necessary to offset rising international demand. The findings suggest international aviation carbon dioxide emissions will increase by more than 110 per cent between 2005 and 2025 (from 416 Mt to between 876 and 1013 Mt) and that it is unlikely emissions could be stabilised at levels consistent with risk averse climate targets without restricting demand.

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Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Law, Governance and Development

Law Reform and Legal Education: Uniting Separate Worlds

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I begin with a confronting proposition. Law reform and legal education have traditionally been separate worlds, rarely in danger of collision or even constructive combination. This separation is not good for either law reform or legal education, or for the legal profession, the discipline of law, or the advancement of society. These two separate worlds can and should be brought together, so that legal education has a conscious and deliberate law reform ethos and focus.

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Fresh Perspectives on the ‘War on Terror’

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On 20 September 2001, in an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American people, President George W. Bush declared a ‘war on terror’. The concept of the ‘war on terror’ has proven to be both an attractive and a potent rhetorical device. It has been adopted and elaborated upon by political leaders around the world, particularly in the context of military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. But use of the rhetoric has not been confined to the military context. The ‘war on terror’ is a domestic one, also, and the phrase has been used to account for broad criminal legislation, sweeping agency powers and potential human rights abuses throughout much of the world.

This collection seeks both to draw on and to engage critically with the metaphor of war in the context of terrorism. It brings together a group of experts from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany who write about terrorism from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including international law and international relations, public and constitutional law, criminal law and criminology, legal theory, and psychology and law.

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Response: ‘And it Really Was a Kitten, after All.’

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

This essay is the author response to a symposium on Proximity, Levinas and the Soul of Law published in the Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy in 2008.

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Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Desert Island Disks (Ten Reveries on Pedagogy in Law and the Humanities)

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

Novel in form and content, this essay makes a case for interdisciplinary pedagogy in legal education and research by focusing on cultural representations of law - on the meanings of and about law to be found in literature, art, music, and other social and daily forms. The essay develops a theory of law as found in the everyday, on the distinction between legal and non-legal forms of representation and discourse, and on the ethical responsibility of connection law students experiences of the world to their classroom learning.

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Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Legal Theory in Wonderland

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

Forms part of the symposium issue of Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy to discuss Desmond Manderson's Proximity, Levinas and the Soul of Law. Here the author presents a critique of his own work on responsibility, tort law, and the philosophy of Levinas

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Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Sex Discrimination, Courts and Corporate Power

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

It is notable that in more than thirty years of anti-discrimination legislation in Australia, the High Court has heard only three cases dealing with sex discrimination. Even in the case of appeals to State appellate courts, complainants are rarely successful. Drawing on Robert Cover's idea of the nomos, or normative universe, which informs modes of adjudication, this paper will consider the role of appellate courts in the production of conventionally gendered subjects. It will be argued that a homologous relationship exists between juridical, legislative and corporate power which is cemented through the techniques of legal formalism.

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Centre: CIPL, CLAH, PEARL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Exploring the Group-Identity Function of Criminal Law

Author(s): Molly Townes O'Brien

In every country where the question has been studied, incarceration rates for members of some minority groups greatly exceed those for the majority population. The problem of disproportionate incarceration is not therefore a problem of one ethnic group or one set of historical circumstances. It is a human problem that is fundamentally connected to social group identity. This essay conducts a preliminary exploration of the role that criminal law serves in group-identity formation. It suggests that building a common or super-group identity may be necessary to achieve greater justice in increasingly multi-ethnic and mobile societies.

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Centre: CIPL, PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Social Justice, Legal Education

Governor Arthur’s Proclamation: Aboriginal People and the Deferral of the Rule of Law

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

2007 was a tumultuous year in Australian politics, culminating on November 24 with Federal elections in which the highly conservative Liberal Party government led by Mr. John Howard was, after eleven years in government, decisively defeated at the polls. Of particular note in that result was the defeat of the Prime Minister in his own electorate, and the dramatic and unexpected defeat of the Minister for Families and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, in his. Both have now left politics for good. But their legacy lives on, and it is my contention that the most significant aspect of that legacy is legislation which, enacted with unseemly haste and in the dying days of the Parliament, profoundly alters the legal treatment of Australian Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, a self-governing but sparsely populated region the size of France, Italy, and Spain combined. One-third of the Territory’s population is Aboriginal, far and away the most proportionally significant Indigenous population in the country. Yet very little serious analysis of the sweeping and complex laws proclaimed in August 2007 has been attempted. Such an analysis remains crucial not just because of the relationship between Indigenous and other people which it reflects but because the Labor Party, albeit reluctantly, voted in favor of the legislation when it was enacted. Now in government it has shown a marked reluctance to re-open the issue. Indeed at times Jenny Macklin, the new Minister for Indigenous Affairs, has talked about extending the laws to other Australian jurisdictions. Furthermore, to the extent that the new government has mooted changes to aspects of the legislation, the Labor Party does not have a majority in the Senate and will consequently face considerable difficulty in getting its amendments through the Parliament. Given the wave of emotion on which the legislative package was carried, and with which criticisms to its provisions are still fiercely met, they may feel disinclined to try very hard. Unless a serious critique is mounted which demonstrates as clearly as possible the ways in which these laws undermine basic principles of the Australian legal system, the opportunity to amend them will soon be lost and the fate of many Aboriginal communities as soon sealed. In bringing readers’ attention to the implications of the laws pertaining to the ‘intervention in the Northern Territory’, and which ought to concern all who have an interest in upholding the traditions of common law legality, I propose in this essay to set the contemporary issues against a broader theoretical debate, and with the assistance of two distinct perspectives.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

University of Western Australia v Gray: An Academic Duty to Commercialise Research?

Author(s):

In an era of tightening university budgets and pressure to commercialise academic knowledge, many higher education institutions see the exploitation of new inventions and discoveries, through the use of patents, as an additional revenue stream. To that end, many such organisations have in place policies and by-laws which regulate “ownership” and disclosure of inventions created by employees. This can be seen as a continuation of an ongoing process of shifting universities from institutes of “pure research” to commercial operations, seeking to maximise financial gains from the efforts of their researchers. However, new opportunities present new risks. One of the last Federal Court decisions by the High Court of Australia’s new Chief Justice, Justice French, in University of Western Australia v Gray [2008] FCA 498 explores some of the challenges which Australian university administrators and policy developers will need to overcome if an appropriate balance between private interests and public good is to be maintained in this context.

If their movement into commercial patenting is to be reconciled with the time-honoured position of universities as centres of learning, support for public goods and open access research, then government intervention, through an expansion of the “fair use” provisions in the Copyright Act and Patents Act to include academic research, may need to be considered. At the very least, patenting should be seen against its historical background: as an authorised, but limited, monopoly privilege granted temporarily and primarily in the public interest, to encourage innovation and to assist in the dissemination of knowledge.

Read on SSRN

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Research theme:

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