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.

Yearbook on international investment law policy

The Promises and Pitfalls of Investor-State Mediation

Author(s): Esme Shirlow

This chapter analyses how mediation interacts with investment treaty arbitration, and explores the benefits and risks associated with this form of dispute settlement. It begins by introducing mediation as a non-arbitral means of settling investor-state disputes at the international level, examining uses of investor-state mediation, and references to its use, under investment treaties to date. The chapter then considers the relative strengths of mediation vis-à-vis arbitration. This includes the potential for the mediation of investment disputes to produce a quicker, more cost-effective, flexible, and holistic dispute settlement procedure with different outcomes than are available through investor-state arbitration.

The chapter also looks at three key disadvantages potentially associated with investor-state mediation: issues of confidentiality, issues of authority, and issues of enforcement. It argues that these disadvantages may weaken the efficacy and legitimacy of mediation as a dispute settlement option for investor-state disputes, while also undermining the improvements to investor-state arbitration procedures secured through recent reform efforts. Finally, the chapter looks at how mediation could be leveraged alongside arbitration to improve both procedures for the settlement of investment disputes.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Private Law

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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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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.

Read on SSRN

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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Corporate Law, Complexity and Cartography

Author(s):

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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Backlash against a Rules-based International Human Rights Order? An Australian Perspective

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

This article engages with the question of whether we can identify a recent populist political ‘backlash’ within some Western democracies against the institutions, instruments and even the ideas of the multilateral (United Nations and treaty-based) human rights system. An associated question concerns what the implications of any such phenomenon might be for the universalist human rights system (or at least Australia’s participation therein), and perhaps the implications for the wider global legal order of which the human rights project has, for decades now, been such an important part. A second question-bundle is whether we can discern signs recently that Australia may be one of those ‘backlash’ states, and what systemic implications this may have for Australia’s oft-repeated fidelity to, and reliance upon, the international rules-based order. Sitting above or behind these questions is the broader issue of whether the concept of ‘backlash’ is useful at all in explaining or analysing recent developments, and/or what modifications or qualifiers it might need. This article attempts to address these questions, focussing first on exploring ways to approach, unpack refine or re-frame the ‘backlash’ concept. It then takes the resulting frame(s) to provide a general overview of recent Australian practice and rhetoric. This is so as to advance a useful characterisation of Australia’s conduct, even if it does not in a ‘Yes/No sense’ meet Sunstein’s definition of systemic-level ‘backlash’ intended to reject a legal order and remove its legal force.

Read on SSRN

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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Navigating the Backlash against Global Law and Institutions

Author(s): Jeremy Farrall, Jolyon Ford, Imogen Saunders

This article considers the recent ‘Backlash’ against global norms and institutions fuelled by various contemporary political developments within and between states. Understanding the shape, significance and drivers of this phenomenon better is a pre-requisite to developing and analysing possible responses by Australia and other states. The recent rise of populism and ‘illiberal democracy’ especially within major Western democracies has challenged the longstanding and widespread commitment of those states to the rules-based order. These phenomena have also eroded the traditional global leadership, in multilateral forums, of key powers including UN permanent members the United States and the United Kingdom. The populations of these and other states have responded to perceptions of economic and political disempowerment by pressuring political representatives to focus their energies domestically. In order both to appeal and respond to domestic political forces, leaders in these states have sought to target or sometimes scapegoat the international institutions that have hitherto been so useful to their foreign policy agenda. This article examines the consequences of understanding the current populist moment as part of a Backlash against global law and institutions and the ramifications of the Backlash frame for international peace and security. It also considers the implications of the Backlash frame for the international human rights system, the impact of the turn inward for global trade and finance and the Backlash against environmental norms.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

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

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When Is the Advancement of Religion Not a Charitable Purpose?

Author(s): Pauline Ridge

This article addresses the question of why religious groups receive charitable status in relation to religious activities by considering when the current law does not grant charitable status to purposes that advance religion. The jurisdictional focus is upon Australian law, with some reference to other jurisdictions whose law also derives from the English common law of charity. After an overview of the charity law landscape in Australia, the article explains and critically evaluates the grounds upon which charitable status may be refused to purposes that advance religion. The article then considers two considerations that have emerged in twenty first century charity law and that are relevant to the charitable status of religious groups. These concern human rights, particularly the right to freedom of religion, and the use of charity law to regulate religious activity.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Religion, Legal History and Ethnology, Private Law

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Rethinking the Law on Shareholder-Initiated Resolutions at Company General Meetings

Author(s): Stephen Bottomley

Recent concerns about the need for improved corporate accountability raise questions about the role of shareholders in corporate governance. One aspect of these discussions is the capacity of shareholders in general meetings to propose non-binding advisory resolutions concerning governance or social matters. Since Automatic Self-Cleansing Filter Syndicate Co Ltd v Cuninghame in 1906, courts have held that if a company’s constitution gives directors the power of company management, shareholders cannot interfere with the exercise of that power. The Federal Court affirmed this in Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility v Commonwealth Bank of Australia. This paper re-examines the case law, particularly in its application to advisory resolutions, and recommends the introduction of a broad statutory authority for non-binding advisory resolutions. The paper argues that this is an important step towards improved corporate accountability and responsible shareholder engagement.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

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

The 'Legitimate Interest in Performance' in the Law on Penalties

Author(s): Solene Rowan

The article focuses on the “legitimate interest in performance” requirement which is now at the heart of the new test on penalty clauses but which has been left undefined by the Supreme Court in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi and Parking Eye Ltd v Beavis [2016]. It seeks to bring clarity to what is meant by “legitimate interest in performance” by examining other areas of the law of remedies for breach of contract where concepts of legitimate interest have featured in the court’s reasoning. It also makes suggestions as to what considerations are or might be relevant in determining whether a contracting party has a legitimate interest in performance, in particular a legitimate interest that goes beyond compensation.

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Centre:

Research theme: Private Law

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Women Judges, Private Lives: (In)Visibilities in Fact and Fiction

Author(s): Margaret Thornton, Heather Roberts

Once unseen, women are now visible in increasing proportions on the bench in common law courts, although this reality has generally not percolated into fictional worlds, where ‘the judge’ is invariably male. Fiona, cast by Ian McEwan as the protagonist, in The Children Act, is a notable exception. In the novel, McEwan directs our gaze beyond the traditional separation of judicial identity into public/private (visible/invisible) facets of life and raises questions regarding the impact of life on law, and law on life. This article draws on McEwan’s work to illuminate a study of how judicial swearing-in ceremonies tell the stories of Australian women judges. At first glance, this may seem an unusual pairing: The Children Act is an international best-selling work of fiction whereas the official records of court ceremonial sittings are a somewhat obscure body of work largely overlooked by scholars. However, the speeches made in welcome in open court on these occasions by members of the legal profession and by the new judge in reply, offer glimpses of the attributes of women judges not discernible in formal judgments. These ‘minor jurisprudences’ challenge the familiar gendered stereotypes found in the sovereign body of law.

Read on SSRN

Centre: PEARL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Law, Governance and Development, Legal Education, Legal History and Ethnology, Private Law, The Legal Profession

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Defining 'Supply Chain' for Reporting Under a Modern Slavery Act for Australia

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

Australia proposed a Modern Slavery Act based on the UK's 2015 model, requiring larger firms to report annually on steps taken to address the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. This working paper has two main arguments. First, the approach to defining (or not) ‘supply chain’ is not a mere technical drafting issue, but instead can be seen as going to the overall purpose of this regulation and as a metaphor for more general design philosophies or approaches in this sphere. Second, an Australian statute should refrain from any attempt at a statutory definition of ‘supply chains’ or any definition in ancillary regulations; however, authorities should offer reporting entities far more extensive policy guidance than the UK model has done. Aside from the generic drafting difficulty of finding a stable, commercially sensible definition, the paper explains at least three reasons why the statutory scheme should not seek to define ‘supply chains.’

Read on SSRN

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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Not-for-Profit Law and Freedom of Religion

Author(s): Pauline Ridge

The discussion in this chapter of particular intersections between English not-for-profit law and the right to freedom of religion highlights some problems in the existing law. The following suggestions for reform merit further attention. First, ‘religion’ should be defined as widely as possible in order to protect freedom of religion and to promote clarity in legal reasoning. Secondly, in relation to Article 14’s application to religious groups a conceptual framework is needed to determine when it is legitimate for the State to discriminate between religious groups by way of fiscal policy and to more clearly delineate the margin of appreciation afforded to the State when doing so.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Religion, Legal History and Ethnology, Private Law

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Empty Rituals or Workable Models? Towards a Business and Human Rights Treaty

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

In this article, we do not seek to engage directly with ongoing discussions regarding the potential merits, and conversely the risks, of seeking to conclude a Business and Human Rights (BHR) treaty at all. Instead, our aim is to promote a greater focus, in the context of the BHR treaty debate, on regulatory effectiveness. That is, we believe that proposals for a BHR treaty should be assessed in terms of their likely efficacy, relative to other available forms of regulatory intervention, in advancing effective enjoyment of human rights in the business context. Whereas many contributions to the BHR treaty debate so far have explicitly or implicitly advocated one or other treaty model they have side-stepped the difficult question of how practically effective these models might be in influencing the conduct of duty bearers.

Read on SSRN

Centre: 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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The Proper Role of Policy in Private Law Adjudication

Author(s): Darryn Jensen

The re-emergence in recent years of interest in the private law in and of itself, rather than as an instrument of extrinsic, regulatory goals, has called into focus the appropriateness of ‘policy-based’ reasoning in private law adjudication and rule formulation. While many have become accustomed to the idea that the courts both can and must resolve disputes in terms of community welfare or socio-economic considerations, more recent formalist, corrective justice-based accounts of the private law simply have no room for any policy or instrumental considerations; the private law is concerned only with the balance of justice between the parties to the dispute. To a large extent, the opposing views rest on deeper philosophical premises about the proper role of law and of the courts in society and have arisen in opposition to each other. The opposing camps thus tend to talk past one another in restating their respective views. In seeking to contribute to, and hopefully advance, this debate, we defend the thesis that direct recourse to considerations of the social, moral, or economic impact on society of a particular rule or ruling, as distinct from the policy of a legal rule or policy as the deeper values of society, is inconsistent with the fundamental characteristics and methodology of the private law and that this is not contradicted by the necessary role of final appellate courts in reformulating the law or by the inherently political and instrumental underpinnings of statutory private law.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Legal Theory, Private Law

Torts cases and commentary

Torts: Cases and Commentary, 8th edition

Author(s): David Hambly, Harold Luntz, Kylie Burns, Joachim Dietrich, Neil Foster, Sirko Harder, Genevieve Grant

Torts: Cases and Commentary delivers a critical and analytical approach to the law of torts presented through extensive commentary and selected materials from cases, legislation and academic writings. Detailed notes explain the significance of the key cases while questions stimulate critical thinking and learning.

This edition provides extended coverage of statutory defences to negligence, while doctrines relating to the scope of liability are now discussed together with factual causation in one chapter. Current issues in tort law reform are examined and additional references to academic writings are provided.

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Centre:

Research theme: Private Law

Contemporary Australian Corporate Law

Contemporary Australian Corporate Law

Author(s): Peta Spender, Stephen Bottomley, Kath Hall, Beth Nosworthy

Contemporary Australian Corporate Law provides an authoritative, contextual and critical analysis of Australian corporate and financial markets law, designed to engage today's LLB and JD students. Written by leading corporate law scholars, the text provides a number of features including: a well-structured presentation of topics for Australian corporate law courses, consistent application of theory with discussion of corporate law principles (both theoretical and historical), comprehensive discussion of case law with modern examples, and integration of corporate law and corporate governance, all with clarity, insight and technical excellence. 

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Legal Education, Private Law, The Legal Profession

Peer Review and the Global Anti-Corruption Conventions: Context, Theory and Practice

Author(s): Kath Hall

This article analyses the international anti-corruption framework and the peer review monitoring process. Peer review is described as the “systematic examination and assessment of the performance of a state by other states, with the ultimate goal of helping the reviewed state … comply with established standards and principles.” However, despite its growing importance as a regulatory process, peer review has not been comprehensively analysed, resulting in a “literature famine” on its nature and operations. Indeed, to date, there has been very limited academic discussion on peer review. As a result, one aim of this article is to contribute to a stronger understanding of its process. While our focus is on peer review in the anti-corruption context, where possible, universal characteristics of the process are discussed. The second objective of this article is to consider the merits of the peer review process in incentivising states to take action against corruption. Peer review is the mechanism for evaluation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) under its Anti-bribery Convention and the African Union’s (AU) good governance objectives under good governance objectives under the Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Whilst acknowledging the criticisms of peer review, this article argues that peer review has been successful in particular contexts in increasing state compliance with these international instruments. In particular, peer review has contributed to the acceptance of anti-corruption norms and focused on the need for all countries to regulate corruption at the national level.

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Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Administrative Law, Law and Psychology, Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

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Modern Equity: Revolution or Renewal from Within?

Author(s): Pauline Ridge

Peter Birks spearheaded a revolution in thinking about Equity. This paper questions how successful that revolution has been. Two narratives of modern Equity are identified: the revolutionary narrative commenced by Birks and one counter-narrative that is apparent in contemporary case law. Three particular strands of these narratives are then discussed. They concern the integration of the Common Law and Equity; conscience-based reasoning; and judicial method. Illustrations are taken largely from the law governing third party ancillary liabilities that protect equitable rights. Claims against recipients of property protected by Equity, particularly the claim for unconscionable retention of benefit following receipt of misappropriated trust property, are used to illustrate the integration of the Common Law and Equity and the use of conscience-based reasoning. Judicial method is discussed in the context of equitable accessory and recipient liability. Reference is also made to the doctrine of undue influence, the change of position defence, mistaken gifts and private law claims tainted by illegality.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Religion, Legal History and Ethnology, Private Law

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The Boundary between 'Not-for-Profits' and Government

Author(s): Darryn Jensen

This chapter attempts to trace the development of a concept of voluntariness. This cannot be done by reference to a category of 'not-for-profit', for that category is a recent invention. Instead, the history of voluntariness is to be found in the history of two other concepts which might be seen to be distinguishable from government - charity and civil society. These concepts are neither wholly distinct from, nor coterminous with, 'not-for-profit'. Once the histories of these concepts have been considered, the normative determinacy of the concept of voluntariness will be considered in the light of some contemporary intersections of government and not-for-profit activity.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Legal Theory, Private Law

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Constructive Trusteeship: The Perils of Statutory Formulae

Author(s): Darryn Jensen

This paper evaluates the provisions concerning constructive trusteeship in Trusts Act 1994 (Marshall Islands) and makes more general observations about the roles of constructive trusts in litigation involving trustees' breaches of duty, the roles of statute law and the risk inherent in attempts to express complex and multi-faceted private law concepts in statutory formulae.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Legal Theory, Private Law

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