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.

Excellence, Innovation and Courtesy: Federal Court Procedure and Modernity

Excellence, Innovation and Courtesy: Federal Court Procedure and Modernity

Author(s): Peta Spender

Four decades after its formation, the Federal Court has clearly established itself as a Court of high standing which fosters excellence, innovation and courtesy. The lifespan of the Federal Court has seen the rise of statutory rights and remedies, the conferral of collective redress, as well as the emergence of the modern regulator and the managerial judge. This contribution will focus on significant challenges that have arisen during that time and the adaptation of civil procedure in response. It will use the Federal Court’s ethos of excellence, innovation and courtesy as a framework to illustrate how the Court has responded procedurally to the challenges before it.

Access here

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Legal Theory

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. 

Order your copy online

Centre: CCL

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

Spender Civil procedure commentary

Civil Procedure - Commentary and Materials (6th edition)

Author(s): Peta Spender, Molly Townes O'Brien, S Colbran, R Douglas, S Jackson, T Penovic.

Civil Procedure — Commentary and Materials provides students and practitioners with a comprehensive analysis of the practical and theoretical issues encountered in Australian civil procedure, including alternative dispute resolution. This text combines a wealth of primary and secondary materials from all jurisdictions. The common law is clearly set out, together with extensive practical commentary. Each chapter features in-depth questions and notes together with lists of further reading to aid and extend understanding of the issue. It also examines and discusses each substantive and procedural step in the trial and appeal process.

This sixth edition contains completely revised and updated legislation, Rules of Court, cases and articles.

Order your copy online

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Private Law

Gender Quotas on Boards -- Is it Time for Australia to Lean in?

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.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Spender, Civil Procedure

Civil Procedure - Commentary and Materials (5th edition)

Author(s): Peta Spender, Stephen Colbran, Sheryl Jackson, Roger Douglas, Tania Penovic

Civil Procedure Commentary & Materials provides students and practitioners with a comprehensive analysis of the practical and theoretical issues encountered in Australian civil procedure, including alternative dispute resolution. Civil Procedure Commentary & Materials combines a wealth of primary and secondary materials from all jurisdictions. The common law is clearly set out, together with extensive practical commentary. Each chapter features in-depth questions and notes together with lists of further reading to aid and extend understanding. Civil Procedure Commentary & Materials examines and discusses each substantive and procedural step in the trial process.

Order your copy online

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Private Law

Adventures on the Barbary Coast

Adventures on the Barbary Coast: Morrison and Enforcement in a Globalised Securities Market

Author(s): Peta Spender

Although efforts have been made to develop international or harmonised regimes for the enforcement of securities law, the global architecture of securities regulation is underdeveloped. In particular, the harmonisation project may be sidelined by nations enforcing their securities laws extraterritorially. Notwithstanding issues of comity, the extraterritorial operation of the anti-fraud provisions in United States securities law has been expansively interpreted by US courts, particularly in multinational securities class actions, and the US has accordingly been portrayed as a securities policeman or, more disparagingly, a legal imperialist. This ended abruptly with the US Supreme Court decision in Morrison v National Australia Bank Ltd, where it was held that the anti-fraud provisions did not apply in an action brought by an Australian investor against an Australian company listed on an Australian exchange. This case note will examine the context and consequences of Morrison, including the legislation passed by Congress in its wake, the tensions caused if US citizens lose the ‘protective shield’ of US law and the centrifugal effect of the decision that may lead to more securities class actions being commenced in Australia.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Adventures on the Barbary Coast

Adventures on the Barbary Coast: Morrison and Enforcement in a Globalised Securities Market

Author(s): Peta Spender

Although efforts have been made to develop international or harmonised regimes for the enforcement of securities law, the global architecture of securities regulation is underdeveloped. In particular, the harmonisation project may be sidelined by nations enforcing their securities laws extraterritorially. Notwithstanding issues of comity, the extraterritorial operation of the anti-fraud provisions in United States securities law has been expansively interpreted by US courts, particularly in multinational securities class actions, and the US has accordingly been portrayed as a securities policeman or, more disparagingly, a legal imperialist. This ended abruptly with the US Supreme Court decision in Morrison v National Australia Bank Ltd, where it was held that the anti-fraud provisions did not apply in an action brought by an Australian investor against an Australian company listed on an Australian exchange. This case note will examine the context and consequences of Morrison, including the legislation passed by Congress in its wake, the tensions caused if US citizens lose the ‘protective shield’ of US law and the centrifugal effect of the decision that may lead to more securities class actions being commenced in Australia.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Corporate Constitutionalism

Review Essay: Corporate Constitutionalism

Author(s): Peta Spender

The challenge for critical corporate law scholars is to provide an account of corporate law that accommodates responsiveness to the public interest. This involves defining a space for debate about both the public policy goals of corporate law and the regulatory mechanisms for achieving those goals. This task is a complex one because it involves recognising the insights of law and economics scholars, in particular, that corporations are at once important components of markets and constituted by those markets. A recent book and winner of the 2008 Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize, The Constitutional Corporation by Stephen Bottomley, provides just such an account of corporate law. This book provides a pragmatic account of corporate law which opens up corporate law to political concerns while acknowledging that corporate law is private in its orientation. This review of The Constitutional Corporation provides an overview of Bottomley’s analysis, locates his approach in broader theoretical debates about corporate law and examines the potential of the approach to develop systems of corporate social responsibility in order to meet impending global challenges such as climate change.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Corporate Constitutionalism

Review Essay: Corporate Constitutionalism

Author(s): Peta Spender

The challenge for critical corporate law scholars is to provide an account of corporate law that accommodates responsiveness to the public interest. This involves defining a space for debate about both the public policy goals of corporate law and the regulatory mechanisms for achieving those goals. This task is a complex one because it involves recognising the insights of law and economics scholars, in particular, that corporations are at once important components of markets and constituted by those markets. A recent book and winner of the 2008 Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize, The Constitutional Corporation by Stephen Bottomley, provides just such an account of corporate law. This book provides a pragmatic account of corporate law which opens up corporate law to political concerns while acknowledging that corporate law is private in its orientation. This review of The Constitutional Corporation provides an overview of Bottomley’s analysis, locates his approach in broader theoretical debates about corporate law and examines the potential of the approach to develop systems of corporate social responsibility in order to meet impending global challenges such as climate change.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

The Class Action as Sheriff: Private Law Enforcement and Remedial Roulette

Author(s): Peta Spender

This essay will explore the effect of developments in class action law and practice upon remedial law, and investigate the state of health of the compensation principle.

The compensation principle requires that plaintiffs should as nearly as possible be awarded a sum of money that will place them in the same position as if they had not suffered a wrong. The principle has occupied a central position in modern private law to provide standing to plaintiffs and to limit the powers of courts. Yet commentators such as Berryman argue that the compensation principle is in decline and suffering a death by a thousand cuts. Some of the deepest cuts have been inflicted by the modern class action.

This argument will be examined by reference to class actions in Australia, Canada, and the US, using the vitamins antitrust litigation in those jurisdictions as a case study.

The overall hypothesis is that whilst the compensatory principle is being assailed by the calls for the class action to deter corporate misconduct, the principle still acts as a moral compass. Corrective justice has not entirely yielded to instrumentalism, but the current autonomous, individualistic, and substantive law model of corrective justice under private law needs to adjust to group procedural justice as practised in law firms and in the courts.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Weapons of Mass Dispassion: James Hardie and Corporate Law

Author(s): Peta Spender

This lecture honours Michael Whincop's work by examining the controversy surrounding attempts by the James Hardie Group in 2004 to isolate its liability in tort to sufferers of asbestos disease. The lecture explores the absence of passion and compassion in corporate law, explains how it deflects moral claims and scrutinises the James Hardie imbroglio in a wider institutional and philosophical context.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Blue Asbestos and Golden Eggs: Evaluating Bankruptcy and Class Actions as Just Responses to Mass Tort Liability

Author(s): Peta Spender

Mass torts give rise to complex legal questions and invidious moral choices. The asbestos litigation has shown that corporations manufactured asbestos decades after its dangers had been publicly recognised. Later, when faced with spiralling claims, firms in the US such as Johns-Manville were permitted to use bankruptcy procedures without proving insolvency thereby forcing tort claimants into a limited fund. In the late 1990s asbestos defendants sought wider powers to collectivise the claims through class actions although this attempt was ultimately unsuccessful. This article provides case studies of US firms and shows that similar strategies are now being adopted in Australia and the UK.

Certain privileges flow from bankruptcy such as the moratorium on claims and the right to distribute entitlements pro rata. However, in the context of mass torts these privileges have frequently led to under-compensation of tort victims, wealth transfers to shareholders and bewilderment about how to protect future claims. The article will explore these problems and consider how they may be ameliorated by effective monitoring.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team