Author(s): Margaret Thornton
The discourse around student wellness is a marked feature of the 21st century Australian legal academy. It has resulted in various initiatives on the part of law schools, including the development of a national forum. The phenomenon relates to psychological distress experienced by students ascertained through surveys they themselves have completed. Proposed remedies tend to focus on improving the law school pedagogical experience. This article argues that the neoliberalisation of higher education is invariably overlooked in the literature as a primary cause of stress, even though it is responsible for the high fees, large classes and an increasingly competitive job market. The ratcheting up of fees places pressure on students to vie with one another for highly remunerated employment in the corporate world. In this way, law graduates productively serve the new knowledge economy and the individualisation of their psychological distress effectively deflects attention away from the neoliberal agenda.
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
Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
This report documents the reasons for health justice partnerships, the literature, the methodology, the field research which used a participatory action research approach with a continuous learning and development framework. This Draft Working Paper sets out the summary of qualitative and quantitative data, the findings, conclusions lessons and recommendation emerging from this longitudinal study on the Bendigo Health Justice Partnership, in advance of the Full Final Research and Evaluation Report which will be released in 2017.
ARC Justice (specifically one of its programs, the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre (LCCLC)) and the Bendigo Community Health Service formed a partnership in 2013 to commence a Health Justice Partnership (HJP) in January 2014 to better reach those clients experiencing disadvantage.
ANU (through the author Dr Liz Curran) was commissioned to conduct empirical research and an evaluation of the pilot project's impact on the social determinants of health, its outcomes and the effectiveness of Health Justice Partnerships in reaching clients who would otherwise not gain legal help with a range of problems capable of a legal solution.
This Draft Working Paper is released, in advance of the Full Final Report, so that agencies, researchers and funders and policy makers developing or working in Health Justice Partnerships or multi-disciplinary practices can benefit and be informed by the research and evaluation given the wide range of issues emerging from the research canvasses while the Full Final Report is finalised.
The Full Final Research & Evaluation Report will be released in 2017 but, in the interim, people using SSRN can utilise the research for their work. This responds to the numerous requests to share the research at the earliest opportunity so as to inform service delivery and funding applications which may occur before the release of the Final Report.
Author(s): Moeen Cheema
The Supreme Court of Pakistan underwent a remarkable transformation in its institutional role and constitutional position during the tenure of the former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iflikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (2005-2013). This era in Pakistan's judicial history was also marked by great controversy as the court faced charges that it had engaged in "judicial activism," acted politically, and violated the constitutionally mandated separation of powers between institutions of the state. This article presents an in-depth analysis of the judicial review actions of the Chaudhry Court and argues that the charge of judicial activism is theoretically unsound and analytically obfuscating. The notion of judicial activism is premised on the existence of artificial distinctions between law, politics and policy and fails to provide a framework for adequately analyzing or evaluating the kind of judicial politics Pakistan has recently experienced. The Supreme Court's role, like that of any apex court with constitutional and administrative law jurisdiction, has always been deeply and structurally political and will continue to be so in the future. As such, this article focuses on the nature and consequences of the Chaudhry Court's judicial politics rather than addressing the issue of whether it indulged in politics at all. It analyzes the underlying causes that enabled the court to exercise an expanded judicial function and in doing so engages with the literature on the "judicialization of politics" around the world.
Author(s): Darryn Jensen
The High Court of Australia, in pursuing coherence between common law and statute law, has limited itself to ensuring that the rules of common law and statute law should be free of contradiction. The Court does not appear to have embraced the idea, which lies at the core of some major theories of private law, that a set of rules is coherent only if the set can be explained as the outworking of a single principle. Applying that idea to the relationship between common law and statute law is confronted by some serious challenges. In the past, coherence as non-contradiction (combined with the idea of parliamentary supremacy) has worked well as a means of reconciling common law with statute law, but the proliferation of legislation in recent years and the character of much modern legislation has drawn attention to the limitations of such an approach to the question. A more exacting approach to coherence of common law and statute law, on the other hand, would require the revision of some widely-held assumptions about the nature of law, such as the core assumption of legal positivism that the ultimate criterion of the authority of the law is its pronouncement by an authoritative institution.
Author(s): Margaret Thornton
Neoliberalism is the dominant ideology of our time and shows no sign of abating. The undue deference accorded the economy and capital accumulation means that comparatively little attention is paid to the pressures this involves for workers. Although conventionally viewed as privileged professionals, lawyers in corporate law firms have been profoundly affected by the neoliberal turn as firms have expanded from local to national, to global entities, with the aim of maximising profits and making themselves competitive on the world stage. Although corporate clients may be located in a different hemisphere they still expect 24/7 availability of lawyers in contrast to what they normally expect of other professionals, such as accountants. A corollary of global competition is the ratcheting up of billable hours, which has engendered stress and depression. The pressure for firms to be more productive has resulted in increased levels of incivility, including bullying. Despite a plethora of reports attesting to the deleterious effects of stress, scant attention is paid to the neoliberalisation of legal practice. This article argues that the tendency to individualise and pathologise the adverse effects of stress and uncivil behaviours deflects attention away from the political factors that animate them.
Cloud computing has facilitated a revolution in genome sequencing. As big data and personalized medicine increase in popularity in Australia, are the legal and regulatory regimes surrounding this nascent area of scientific research and clinical practice able to protect this private information? An examination of the current regulatory regime in Australia, including the Privacy Act 1988 (CTH) and medical research laws that govern cloud-based genomics research highlights that the key challenge of such research is to protect the interests of participants while also promoting collaborative research processes. This examination also highlights the potential effect that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement’s Electronic Commerce Chapter may have had on using the cloud for genomics and what the consequences may have been for researchers, clinicians and individuals. Lessons learnt here will be relevant to studying similar impacts from other trade and investment agreements such as the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
In recent times, Australia’s national security concerns have had controversial impacts on regulation of Australian medical practitioners in areas related to immigration detention. This column explores three recent case studies relevant to this issue. The first involves the enactment of the Australian Border Force Act 2015 (Cth), which has a significant impact on the regulation of medical professionals who work with people in immigration detention. The second involves the decision of the High Court of Australia in Plaintiff M68/2015 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  HCA 1 that an amendment to Australian federal legislation justified sending children back to immigration detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. This legislation was previously heavily criticised by the Australian Human Rights Commissioner. As a response to that decision, application of the principle of loyalty to the relief of individual patient suffering has guided the decision-making of health professionals who have refused to discharge children from hospitals if that means returning them to offshore immigration detention centres. This legislation was previously heavily criticised by the Australian Human Rights Commissioner. The third case study concerns the deregistration of Tareq Kamleh, an Australian doctor of German-Palestinian heritage who came to public attention on ANZAC Day 2015 with his appearance online in a propaganda video for the Islamic State terrorist organisation al-Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa'al Sham, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh. Dr Tareq Kamleh, an Australian, travelled to Syria and joined the Islamic State (IS) a terrorist organisation whose targeted killing of innocent civilians typifies the terror that has contributed to the influx of refugees into Australian and other immigration detention centres. Australia’s Our professional regulatory system should presumptively respect professional virtues, such as loyalty to the relief of individual patient suffering, when dealing with doctors (whether in Australia or ISIS-occupied Syria or Australia) working under regimes whose principles appear inconsistent with those of ethics and human rights.
Nucoal Resources Ltd v NSW: the Mining Industry and Potential Health Impacts of Investor State Dispute Settlement in Australia
Author(s): David Letts
The Climate Council recently detailed the adverse health impacts of coal on Australian citizens and their environment. Such reports confirm established evidence that coal mining not only releases atmospheric toxins but destroys prime farming land and rivers. This column examines how the revocation of coal mining leases, after proven corruption by disgraced New South Wales politicians was upheld by the High Court (NuCoal Resources Ltd v New South Wales  HCA 13) was challenged using mechanisms in the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement and potentially the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. It is likely that foreign investors in the Australian coal mining and fracking industries will circumvent imprecise exceptions and use investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses in the TPP to initiate claims for damages before panels of conflicted investment arbitrators, alleging appropriation of their investments as a result of Australian legislation or policy taken against the coal industry on public health grounds. This issue is explored through analysis drawn from an extant investor-state dispute involving the mining industry in North America.
Note: This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in the Journal of Law and Medicine and should be cited as ‘TA Faunce and S Parikh, NuCoal Resources Ltd v New South Wales: The Mining Industry and Potential Health Impacts of Investor State Dispute Settlement in Australia, 2016, 23, JLM, 801’.
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Research theme: Military & Security Law
Author(s): Heather Roberts
Swearing-in ceremonies are held to mark the investiture of a new judge on the bench. Transcribed and stored within courts’ public records, these proceedings form a rich ‘ceremonial archive’. This paper showcases the value of this archive for the (re)telling of Australian legal history and, particularly, a history of Australian women lawyers. Using a case study drawn from the swearing-in ceremonies of women judges of the High Court, Federal Court, and Family Courts of Australia between 1993 and 2013, the paper explores what this archive reveals about the Australian legal community’s attitudes towards women in the law. It argues that despite the regional and jurisdictional differences between these courts, recurring themes emerge. Notably, while feminising discourse dominates the earlier ceremonies, stories of the judges’ personal and judicial identity come to display a more overt feminist consciousness by the end of the Labor Governments in power in Australia between 2007 and 2013.
This paper introduces a theme issue of Interface Focus derived from papers presented at the Royal Society supported meeting ‘Do we need a global project on artificial photosynthesis?’ held at Chicheley Hall in July 2014. At that meeting, leaders of national solar fuels and chemicals projects and research presented ‘state of the art’ on artificial photosynthesis (AP) in the context of the policy challenges for globalizing a practical technology to address climate change and energy and food security concerns. The discussions included contributions from many experts with legal and policy skills and uniquely focused on producing principles for prioritizing and specializing work while enhancing the funding and attendant public policy profile. To this end, representatives of major public, philanthropic and private potential stakeholders in such a project (such as the Wellcome Trust, the Moore Foundation, Shell, the Leighty Foundation, the EPSRC and Deutsche Alternative Asset Management) were invited to provide feedback at various points in the meeting. For this Interface Focus issue, speakers at the Chicheley Hall meeting were required to present a snapshot of their cutting edge research related to AP and then draw upon the Chicheley Hall discussions to innovatively analyse how their research could best be advanced by a global AP project. Such multidisciplinary policy analysis was not a skill many of these researchers were experienced or trained in. Nonetheless their efforts here represent one of the first published collections to attempt such a significant task. This introduction contains a brief summary of those papers, focusing particularly on their policy aspects. It then summarizes the core discussions that took place at the Chicheley Hall meeting and sets out some of the central ethical principles that were considered during those discussions.
Author(s): James Stellios
This paper considers the constitutional obstacles in Australia to the effective operation of a UK-style dialogue model of human rights protection. In Momcilovic v The Queen, the High Court of Australia relied upon separation of judicial power principles to frustrate the operation of dialogue models in Australia: whether enacted at the federal or State level. As a consequence, constitutionalism Australian-style – specifically, separation of powers implications – presents impenetrable obstacles to the effective operation of a UK-style dialogue model, and has locked in a limited role for the judiciary in the protection of rights.
The Food and Agricultural Organization and Food Security in the Context of International Intellectual Property Rights Protection
Author(s): Dilan Thampapillai
This chapter identifies the causes of chronic food insecurity as a form of market failure facilitated by the rules of international intellectual property law, as primarily embodied in the Agreement on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). While acknowledging that food insecurity is not a problem solely created by the post-TRIPS legal environment, this chapter argues that the legal rules on intellectual property play a significant role in supporting and encouraging those market forces that adversely impact upon the access, availability and affordability of food, and in causing significant disruptions to the traditional farming practices of farmers in the Global South. International responses, orchestrated by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), to the food security problem in the context of agriculture, comprising the movement towards farmer’s rights and the right to food, have offered some useful solutions to the crisis. After examining the legal frameworks relevant to food security, this chapter provides three critiques of FAO’s response to the problem of food security with the finding that the regime conflict deprives FAO of a useful role in norm creation, effective administration of food security, and reconciliation of ‘norm collision’ to overcome a property-type policy response.
Author(s): James Stellios
This article considers the patterns of centralisation within the federal judicial system. While centralisation of legislative, executive and fiscal power within the federal system has been well documented, the architecture of judicial federalism has been the subject of less attention. The article, first, seeks to show that principles derived from Chapter III of the Constitution have, on the whole, exhibited broadly similar centralising characteristics and exerted centralising effects, and, secondly, offers explanations for this centralisation.
Advisory Opinion on Responsibility and Liability for International Seabed Mining (ITLOS Case No. 17): International Environmental Law in the Seabed Disputes Chamber
Author(s): Donald Anton
On 1 February 2011, the Seabed Disputes Chamber (“the Chamber”) delivered its first Advisory Opinion. The Opinion provides useful guidance to the international community concerned with the deep seabed. First and foremost, the Chamber accomplished its task to assist the ISA with independent and impartial judicial interpretation of the Convention and related instruments. States that intend to extract valuable resources now know that they must evaluate their legal codes, administrative capacity, and their judicial enforcement mechanisms to determine where they fall short of the standards that the Chamber has identified. For most states it will be necessary to introduce new laws to provide the requisite rules, regulations and procedures. Entities seeking sponsorship will likely wish to work with these governments to develop a workable regime. Other entities, such as those interested in scientific research, other economic uses, and protection of the ocean and seabed resources, will want to assist with this process to ensure that their interests are respected and that developing states are given assistance to develop appropriate laws and enforcement capacity. Finally, the limitations and gaps in the Convention’s liability scheme have now been identified and await the international legal community’s attention.
Author(s): Peta Spender
This article examines whether Australia should introduce a gender quota on ASX 200 boards. Although existing institutional arrangements favour voluntary initiatives, Australia may be at a critical juncture where two factors — the public, pragmatic nature of the statutory regulation of corporations in Australia and the current salience of gender as a political issue — may favour the introduction of a quota. In particular, Australian policy-makers may be amenable to change by observing initiatives from other jurisdictions. It is argued that we should maintain a healthy scepticism about functionalist arguments such as the business case for women on boards. Rather, we should invoke enduring justifications such as equality, parity and democratic legitimacy to support a quota. The optimal design of an Australian gender board quota will be also be explored.
The ANU College of Law, Migration Law Program is pleased to introduce a text in administrative decision-making in Australian migration law. Over the past eight years we have assembled a team of some of Australia’s most highly qualified migration agents and migration law specialists to deliver the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law & Practice, and the Master of Laws in Migration Law. Through personal recollections and a comprehensive analysis of administrative decision-making, Alan Freckelton brings his professional expertise and experience in this complex field of law to the fore. The examination of High Court decisions, parliamentary speeches and public opinion bring a contentious area of law and policy to life, enabling the reader to consider the impact that legislation and decision-making has upon the individual and society as a whole.
Author(s): James Stellios
It has been seven years since the last edition of Professor Zines’s classic book, The High Court and the Constitution. In that time the High Court has handed down a range of important decisions transforming, extending and developing existing constitutional law principles. In this 6th edition of the book, by Dr James Stellios, analyses and critiques the High Court’s jurisprudence over that period. Changes have been made to all chapters to update the existing law. The most significant updates relate to: the reformulation of the Commonwealth’s executive power to contract and spend following the High Court’s decisions in Pape and the two Williams cases; the High Court’s continuing development of Chapter III principles, particularly its renewed interest in the Kable limitation on State Parliaments; the uncertainties appearing in recent High Court cases on the implied freedom of political communication; and the High Court’s application of s 92 to national markets in the internet-based new economy.
Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory
Editor(s): Kim Rubenstein
Due to the continuing expansion of the notion of security, various national, regional and international institutions now find themselves addressing contemporary security issues. While institutions may evolve by adjusting themselves to new challenges, they can also fundamentally alter the intricate balance between security and current legal frameworks. This volume explores the tensions that occur when institutions address contemporary security threats, in both public and international law contexts. As part of the Connecting International with Public Law series, it provides important and valuable insights into the legal issues and perspectives which surround the institutional responses to contemporary security challenges. It is essential reading for scholars, practitioners and policy makers seeking to understand the legal significance of security institutions and the implications of their evolution on the rule of law and legitimacy.
Author(s): Jolyon Ford
This book addresses gaps in thinking and practice on how the private sector can both help and hinder the process of building peace after armed conflict. It argues that weak governance in fragile and conflict-affected societies creates a need for international authorities to regulate the social impact of business activity in these places as a special interim duty. Policymaking should seek appropriate opportunities to engage with business while harnessing its positive contributions to sustainable peace. However, scholars have not offered frameworks for what is considered 'appropriate' engagement or properly theorised techniques for how best to influence responsible business conduct. United Nations peace operations are peak symbols of international regulatory responsibilities in conflict settings, and debate continues to grow around the private sector's role in development generally. This book is the first to study how peace operations have engaged with business to influence its peace-building impact.
Author(s): Pauline Ridge, Joachim Dietrich
Accessory liability is an often neglected but very important topic across all areas of private law. By providing a principled analytical framework for the law of accessories and identifying common themes and problems that arise in the law, this book provides much-needed clarity. It explains the fundamental concepts that are used to impose liability on accessories, particularly the conduct and mental elements of liability: 'involvement' in the primary wrong and (generally) knowledge. It also sets out in detail the specific rules and principles of liability as these operate in different areas of common law, equity and statute. A comparative study across common law and criminal law jurisdictions, including the United States, also sheds new light on what is and what is not accessory liability.