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.

Committing to human rights in Australia’s corporate sector

Committing to human rights in Australia’s corporate sector

Author(s): Sally Wheeler

This paper draws on data collected from ASX 50 listed corporations. As the UNGP makes clear a visible and accessible policy commitment is the most basic form of recognition that corporations can afford to human rights under the schema it offers. The paper takes the position that this policy commitment gives corporations a chance to declare a positive relationship with human rights. The presence or not of a policy statement, and the form that the statement takes, tells us much about the relationship between the corporate sector in Australia and human rights. The data reveals a low prevalence of policy commitment across the largest publically listed corporations in Australia. The paper selects a range of variables against which to examine whether commitment occurs or not.

The most significant factor that supports policy commitment is membership of human rights engaged global Business and Industry Non-Governmental Organisations (BINGOs). We might expect a rather stronger public commitment to human rights reflecting the position apparently taken by Australian corporations on other ESG standards. However this expectation has to be set against the absence of human rights discourse as a political and cultural artefact at the domestic level.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy

committing_to_human_rights_in_australias_corporate_sector.jpg

Committing to Human Rights in Australia's Corporate Sector

Author(s): Sally Wheeler

This paper draws on data collected from the ASX 50 with a focus on policy commitment to human rights. As the UNGP makes clear a visible and accessible policy commitment is the most basic form of recognition that corporations should afford to human rights. The paper takes the position that this policy commitment offers corporations a chance to declare a positive relationship with human rights. Therefore the presence or not of a policy statement, and the form that the statement takes, tells us much about the relationship between the corporate sector and human rights. The data reveals that there is generally a low compliance with the policy commitment requirement. The most significant factor amongst a range of variables examined for predicting whether compliance will occur or not is membership of human rights engaged Business and Industry Non-Governmental Organisations (BINGOs). We might expect a rather stronger public commitment to human rights reflecting the position taken by Australian corporations on other ESG standards. The paper suggests that the absence of human rights discourse as a political and cultural artifact at the domestic nation state level is a possible explanation for this.

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Centre:

Research theme: Law and Technology

Modelling the Contracts of the Future

"Modelling the contracts of the future" Griffith Law Review - Law Theory Society

Author(s): Sally Wheeler

his article examines contract as a focal point of modern society both in terms of the way that it is used to classify relationships and the way in which it is used to order relationships. I look at how contractual structures and relationships across a variety of speciman scenarios (private sector supply contracts and public service delivery contracts) can be explained using the work of Ian Macneil. He gives us an account of how the socialising contexts of contract relationships evolve and change. Smart contracts offer a new way of constructing relationships. Their advocates suggest that they have the potential to revolutionise the practice of exchange. I consider smart contracts from Macneil’s perspective and work through whether his account of relationality will be able to encompass this new practise.

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Research theme: Law and Technology

Visions of Contract

"Visions of Contract" Journal of Law and Society

Author(s): Sally Wheeler

Stewart Macaulay and Ian Macneil were the prime movers in creating a model of contractual relations that went beyond the confines of the formal legal model that defined contract enforceability. The work of both of them has been influential even though it has suffered from many misdescriptions along the way. In this article I map their respective contributions and explain the differences between their visions of contract. I then add a third dimension: the possibilities for a new vision of contract and contractual relations raised by blockchain.

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Research theme: Law and Technology

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