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.

Being Well in the Law

Being Well in the Law

Author(s): Tony Foley, Vivien Holmes, Stephen Tang, Colin James, Ian Hickey

When it comes to wellbeing, NSW Young Lawyers, the Australian National University and the Law Society of New South Wales are keen to lead. Being Well in the Law is a toolkit for lawyers. It draws on expert and multidisciplinary knowledge about the breadth of mental health problems and offers ideas to help everybody, young and old, deal with depression, anxiety and stress and learn to better manage the business and pressures of work and life. We all share a responsibility to continue the conversation about mental health. In the legal profession this is especially important as lawyers have a heightened pre disposition to depression and mental illness. 

This small but important book, with its varied suggestions and personal stories from people who have been touched by mental illness, is a solid first step towards a happier and healthier world.

View the guide online, order a free copy online, or pick up a free copy in person

Centre: PEARL

Research theme: Law and Psychology, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Being Well in the Law: A Guide for Lawyers

Author(s): Stephen Tang, Tony Foley, Vivien Holmes, Colin James

Being Well in the Law is a toolkit for lawyers. It has been well informed by the input of experts from the Australian National University and Sydney University, as well as a range of other experts. It draws heavily on multidisciplinary knowledge embracing mindfulness and meditation, and evokes ideas to help us switch off from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate anxiety.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Health, Law and Bioethics, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Law and Psychology, Legal Education, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

The Practice of Law and the Intolerance of Certainty

Author(s): Stephen Tang, Tony Foley

This paper seeks to challenge a lingering view that law is and should be intolerant of uncertainty and must strive for certainty. Although inconsistent with the embedded uncertainty and ambiguity of law as a system, there is still an implicitly accepted view that the practice of law, and the role of lawyers, is to make determinate the indeterminate, to use legal rules to remove the uncertainty from human existence. This paper provides a preliminary sketch of an alternative and humanising epistemology of law in practice, one that embraces and makes adaptive use of uncertainty at the level of psychological experience, rather than just at a conceptual or institutional level. It focuses its attention on the preparation for practice of new lawyers and their lived experience of uncertainty as one of the defining aspects of their transition from law student. In the process, the paper challenges the conventional perceptions that thinking like a lawyer involves an additive set of skills sitting above and beyond those of ordinary thinking. Learning to think like a lawyer is more often subtractive, leaving out the messy world and in the process leaving out the messiness of uncertainty. As an alternative, the paper examines what many good lawyers have taught themselves: the importance of embracing uncertainty, complexity and acquiring a healthy intolerance of certainty. It suggests these skills and habits would be better taught and learned in advance of practice.

Read on SSRN

Centre: PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Health, Law and Bioethics, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Law and Psychology, Legal Education, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Developing Restorative Justice Jurisprudence: Rethinking Reponses to Criminal Wrongdoing

Developing Restorative Justice Jurisprudence Rethinking Responses to Criminal Wrongdoing

Author(s): Tony Foley

What are the requirements for a just response to criminal wrongdoing? Drawing on comparative and empirical analysis of existing models of global practice, this book offers an approach aimed at restricting the current limitations of criminal justice process and addressing the current deficiencies. Putting restoration squarely alongside other aims of justice responses, the author argues that only when restorative questions are taken into account can institutional responses be truly said to be just. Using the three primary jurisdictions of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the book presents the leading examples of restorative justice practices incorporated in mainstream criminal justice systems from around the world. The work provides a fresh insight into how today’s criminal law might develop in order to bring restoration directly into the mix for tomorrow.

Order your copy online

Centre: PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, The Legal Profession

Teaching Professionalism in Legal Clinic – What New Practitioners Say is Important

Author(s): Tony Foley, Vivien Holmes, Stephen Tang

Anecdotal evidence suggests new lawyers may struggle as they begin legal practice. Little is known empirically about their actual experiences. This paper provides some insights into what occurs in this transition. It reports on a qualitative study currently underway tracking new lawyers through their first year of practice. Preliminary analysis of data from interviews and from workplace observations suggests clinical legal education can play a significant role in smoothing the transition and helping new lawyers develop their sense of professionalism.

This project builds on similar UK research which followed law graduates into their vocational training year. The authors tracked new lawyers in the context of their post-admission practice with a small cohort of recently admitted lawyers interviewed and observed in their day to day practice. This paper describes what these new lawyers say is important to an effective transition – developing autonomy, learning to deal with uncertainty and finding an accommodation between their developing professional values and those modelled by their firm and colleagues. Clinical programs offer opportunities for an early reflective exposure to these experiences.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Health, Law and Bioethics, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Law and Psychology, Legal Education, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Teaching Professionalism in Legal Clinic – What New Practitioners Say is Important

Author(s): Tony Foley, Vivien Holmes, Stephen Tang

Anecdotal evidence suggests new lawyers may struggle as they begin legal practice. Little is known empirically about their actual experiences. This paper provides some insights into what occurs in this transition. It reports on a qualitative study currently underway tracking new lawyers through their first year of practice. Preliminary analysis of data from interviews and from workplace observations suggests clinical legal education can play a significant role in smoothing the transition and helping new lawyers develop their sense of professionalism.

This project builds on similar UK research which followed law graduates into their vocational training year. The authors tracked new lawyers in the context of their post-admission practice with a small cohort of recently admitted lawyers interviewed and observed in their day to day practice. This paper describes what these new lawyers say is important to an effective transition – developing autonomy, learning to deal with uncertainty and finding an accommodation between their developing professional values and those modelled by their firm and colleagues. Clinical programs offer opportunities for an early reflective exposure to these experiences.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Health, Law and Bioethics, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Law and Psychology, Legal Education, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

A Puppy Lawyer is Not Just for Christmas: Helping New Lawyers Successfully Make the Transition to Professional Practice

Author(s): Tony Foley, Vivien Holmes, Stephen Tang

The research reported here is a pilot project which investigated the transitionary period from study to work for entry-level lawyers. The research was designed to identify factors which may assist new lawyers in making this a successful transition.

This is crucial research. There is no similar empirical work in Australia focusing on the transition towards a legal professional. The support and endorsement of the Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory ensured that the pilot could provide some valuable preliminary data.

The design of the study consisted in tracking a small sample of newly admitted lawyers who volunteered to be followed through their first year. The sample consisted of eleven participants (4 male and 7 female) employed variously in private and public practice in the territory. Their median age was 25 years. They worked in a range of different practices – small, medium and large private firms, and government legal practices, legal aid and community legal centres.

Data was collected between 2009 and early 2011. The study used a multi-method qualitative research approach to gather information through interviews, participant observation and self-recording of daily work activity.

Data analysis showed the crucial importance of appropriate supervision and mentoring to new lawyers’ capacity to gain autonomy and competence. Also notable was new lawyers’ need to see their work as intrinsically worthwhile, either when it provided a direct public service or more indirectly. Pro bono work was important to them. New lawyers were also keenly alert to the real ethical climate of the practice in which they worked. The way a practice treated its staff (both professional and support) was seen as a reliable indicator of its ethical culture.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Health, Law and Bioethics, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Law and Psychology, Legal Education, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Curriculum (Re)Development ‘On the Job’ in Higher Education: Benefits of a Collaborative and Iterative Framework Supporting Educational Innovation

Author(s): Tony Foley

This paper concerns curriculum development for online learning in a commercial law course using a process of sustained action-research. We identify and discuss four main characteristics in this process: a need to respond to an external requirement for change (i.e. going online): one or two key guiding teaching and learning principles; an incremental, flexible timeline over three consecutive iterations; a collaborative, supportive partnership between educators and educational consultants . There were two levels of action: learning what was required for curriculum redevelopment and learning about the process of supporting educational development itself. Substantive outcomes included the: sustained adoption of the practices of active learning and curriculum alignment; conceptual development of discussion as a learning tool; acceptance of the fundamental value and practical role in developing purposeful reflection provided by a ‘critical friend.’

Read on SSRN

Centre: PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Curriculum (Re)Development ‘On the Job’ in Higher Education: Benefits of a Collaborative and Iterative Framework Supporting Educational Innovation

Author(s): Tony Foley

This paper concerns curriculum development for online learning in a commercial law course using a process of sustained action-research. We identify and discuss four main characteristics in this process: a need to respond to an external requirement for change (i.e. going online): one or two key guiding teaching and learning principles; an incremental, flexible timeline over three consecutive iterations; a collaborative, supportive partnership between educators and educational consultants . There were two levels of action: learning what was required for curriculum redevelopment and learning about the process of supporting educational development itself. Substantive outcomes included the: sustained adoption of the practices of active learning and curriculum alignment; conceptual development of discussion as a learning tool; acceptance of the fundamental value and practical role in developing purposeful reflection provided by a ‘critical friend.’

Read on SSRN

Centre: PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Environmental Conflict Resolution: Relational and Environmental Attentiveness as Measures of Success

Author(s): Tony Foley

When evaluating the success of environmental conflict resolution (ECR), the use of traditional measures of success, such as agreement counting and participant satisfaction surveys provide an incomplete picture. This article proposes two measures to evaluate ECR in terms of both process and outcome: Is the process transformative of the participants? Is the process designed to be attentive to environmental outcomes?

Read on SSRN

Centre: PEARL

Research theme:

Environmental Conflict Resolution: Relational and Environmental Attentiveness as Measures of Success

Author(s): Tony Foley

When evaluating the success of environmental conflict resolution (ECR), the use of traditional measures of success, such as agreement counting and participant satisfaction surveys provide an incomplete picture. This article proposes two measures to evaluate ECR in terms of both process and outcome: Is the process transformative of the participants? Is the process designed to be attentive to environmental outcomes?

Read on SSRN

Centre: PEARL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

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