Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books, book chapters, journal articles and working papers. The ANU College of Law also publishes a Research Paper Series on SSRN.

Genesis

Genesis

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

This chapter forms the introductory essay to a collection of new essays on the relationship between the ethical philosphy of Levinas and the law, with a particular focus on delimiting the range and implications of Levinas' ambitious ethical agenda. Issues of responsibility and hospitality, self and other, ethics and politics, law and justice, are outlined with reference to the implications for law and to their further elaboration in the rest of the essays contained in this collection.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Should the United Nations Security Council Leave It To the Experts

Should the United Nations Security Council Leave It To the Experts? The Governance and Accountability of UN Sanctions Monitoring

Author(s): Jeremy Farrall

Introduction: The chapters in this collection use the example of United Nations sanctions as a means to explore the questions of accountability and governance that arise when legal norms are applied with cross-boundary effect. The boundaries in question are both physical, in the sense of clearly delineated national borders, as well as conceptual, as with the traditional distinctions that are drawn between the domains of public and private law, and between international and domestic law.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Citizenship and Identity in Diverse Societies

Citizenship and Identity in Diverse Societies

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein, Mark Nolan

This article examines the relationship between the legal status of citizenship and psychological research about blended identity in diverse societies such as Australia. A blended identity could include Australian national identity as well as other identities relevant to a person's self-definition. Analysing the link between citizenship law and the psychological enjoyment of blended identity is important after the reforms to Australian citizenship law in 2007. As discussed below, the former Liberal-National Government introduced a new citizenship knowledge test for citizenship-by-conferral applicants. In doing so, that government expressed strong beliefs about the power of a shared, unitary, national identity. It also supported calls for citizenship applicants to sign a statement of Australian values (different to the citizenship pledge) and to complete an English language test. In light of the reforms and political debate, we attack the suggestion that blended identification (for example, as a Greek Australian) is somehow inconsistent with true Australian national identification and citizenship, and moreover we argue that a single national identification sits uneasily with the legal acceptance of dual and multiple citizenship in current Australian legislation.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, LGDI

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Criminal Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Law and Psychology, Law and Social Justice, Law, Governance and Development, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples, Military & Security Law

What is the Right Thing to Do

What is the Right Thing to Do?: Reflections on the AWB Scandal and Legal Ethics

Author(s): Vivien Holmes

The Cole Inquiry resulted in a five volume report that extensively details the history of AWB Ltd’s dealings with Iraq under the Oil-for-Food Programme (OFFP). In this chapter, I reflect on the role AWB in-house lawyers played in the AWB-Iraq story, exploring how lawyers who are too closely identified with the perceived interests of the client can step over the ethical (even if not the criminal) line, and work against both the client’s best interests and the public interest. I reflect also on the AWB lawyers’ role as counsel for a corporation whose actions had global ramifications. Legal practice today has global reach and I discuss the implications of this for our professional ethical horizons.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Legal Education, The Legal Profession

At the Intersection of International and Municipal Law

At the Intersection of International and Municipal Law: The Case of Commissioner Cole and the Wheat Export Authority

Author(s): Anne McNaughton

The global economy is becoming increasingly integrated thanks to developments in technology, the reduction of trade barriers and the increase in direct foreign investment, particularly in developing states. Law, in the broadest sense of that term, has not integrated in the same way. This is, in our view, demonstrated starkly by the Oil-for-Food scandal. The transference of obligation from international to domestic legal systems has been settled for a long time. Ascertaining at what level responsibility attaches for monitoring compliance, investigating cases of apparent non-compliance and, where necessary, imposing sanctions remains unsettled, as this case study demonstrates.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL

Research theme: Law, Governance and Development

Academic Un-Freedom in the New Knowledge Economy

Academic Un-Freedom in the New Knowledge Economy

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This chapter considers the impact on research of the neoliberal turn, a world-wide phenomenon. Instead of the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, research is now expected to have use value in the market. What is privileged is its status and income-generating capacity, together with its value to end users. Drawing on the notion of governmentality, the chapter shows how the market ideology came to be quickly accepted through mechanisms of control that emerged at the supranational, the national, the university and the individual levels. The chapter considers how public goods, such as academic freedom, are being eroded as a result of the commodification and privatisation of knowledge.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Who’s Responsible

Who’s Responsible? Justiciability of Private and Political Decisions

Author(s): Daniel Stewart

This chapter considers two themes running through this collection: the public/private divide and the national/international divide in the context of the Cole Inquiry. Both the private nature of Australian Wheat Board Limited (‘AWB’) and the international nature of the UN sanctions regime and the Oil-for-Food Programme could be argued to have reduced the Australian Government’s responsibility for the circumstances leading to that inquiry. The Australian government was able to claim that it was not responsible for ensuring the veracity of the information provided by AWB. The Ministers whose portfolios were directly related claimed that the activities of AWB, as a private company, were outside of their control, that they did not know about the payments before they took action, and that other bodies under the UN sanctions regime had the obligation to do more in relation to checking the information provided. The distinctions between public and private, national and international, therefore, were used to deflect responsibility – at least at the political level – away from any deficiencies in the establishment of appropriate governance structures.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Law and Technology, Regulatory Law and Policy

Liar's Fall a Lesson for Us All

Liar's Fall a Lesson for Us All

Author(s): Kath Hall

Former Federal Court Judge Marcus Einfeld was taken from the NSW Supreme Court into custody last Friday, after being sentenced by Justice Bruce James to a two-year non-parol period for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Whilst clearly these charges and the court's sentence are very serious, the circumstances that led up to them are almost too crazy for many of us to believe. As the facts now show, throughout 2006 and 2007, Einfeld lied about driving a car that was caught speeding on camera.

The lies were contradictory, childlike and often hard to believe. Yet isn't one of the first lessons all children learn thou shalt not lie? If so, then why did this experienced, well regarded, former Australian judge lie to avoid a small speeding fine? Why did he not realise that adding one lie upon another and another would end up burying him in a deep and hopeless hole such as the one he is now in?

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

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

Filling or Falling between the Cracks

Introduction: Filling or Falling between the Cracks? Law’s Potential

Author(s): Kim Rubenstein, Jeremy Farrall

This is the introduction to the first volume of the new Cambridge University Press series Connecting International law with Public law.

The first volume is titled Sanctions, Accountability and Governance in a Globalised World and is edited by the authors of this introduction and explores fascinating questions that arise when legal regimes collide. Until now, international and public law have mainly overlapped in discussions on how international law is implemented domestically. While there is some scholarship developing in the area of global administrative law, and some scholars have touched upon the principles relevant to both disciplines, the publications to date contain only a subset of the concept underpinning this book. This first book aims to broaden understanding of how public and international law intersect. It is unique in consciously bringing together public and international lawyers to consider and engage in each other’s scholarship. What can public lawyers bring to international law and what can international lawyers bring to public law? What are the common interests? Which legal principles cross the international law/domestic public law divide and which principles are not transferable? What tensions emerge from bringing the disciplines together? Are these tensions inherent in law as a discipline as a whole or are they peculiar to law’s sub disciplines? Can we ultimately only fill in or fall between the cracks, or is there some greater potential for law in the engagement?

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Gender, Legal History and Ethnology, Migration and Movement of Peoples

The Wages of Sin

The Wages of Sin: Compensation for Indigenous Workers

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

After two centuries of exploitation, Indigenous people in Australia are now engaged in a struggle to recover what has come to be known as ‘stolen wages’, although there is uncertainty as to the best legal avenue. This article overviews the course of the struggle, which began in the industrial arena but moved to the discrimination arena, where modest damages have been awarded, although academic commentary favours breach of fiduciary duty or breach of trust. Drawing on the Kantian binary of active and passive citizens, the authors argue that the initiation of civil action represents an important site of active citizenship. Viewed in this light, it is argued that breach of fiduciary duty should be rejected, if the time of the misappropriation allows it, as it instantiates the passivity and inequality associated with the colonial era, while breach of trust entails monumental problems of proof. Further recourse to anti-discrimination legislation is advocated because its theoretical framework is based on equality - a foundational premise of citizenship.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

The Spectral Ground

The Spectral Ground: Religious Belief Discrimination

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper considers the ground of religious belief under anti-discrimination law and argues that it is a spectral ground. While discrimination is proscribed in the same way as other grounds, religious belief is never defined; it merely has to be ‘lawful’, which is also not defined. While the proscription emerged from an official commitment to state secularism, in addition to tolerance and diversity, its permeable character allows mainstream Christianity, neoconservative fundamentalism and other variables to seep into it. An analysis of discrimination complaints shows how this occurs metonymically through proscribed grounds, such as sex, sexuality, ethnicity and race. The phenomenon is most marked post-9/11 through what has come to be known as ‘Islamophobia’. The proscription of religious vilification and incitement to religious hatred, which takes discrimination on the ground of religious belief to a new plane, further reveals the tendency of the spectral ground to absorb prevailing political influences.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Disabling Discrimination Legislation

Disabling Discrimination Legislation: The High Court and Judicial Activism

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This article takes issue with detractors of judicial activism, such as Australian High Court judge, Dyson Heydon, who claim that it undermines the rule of law. It is argued that all judging necessarily involves an activist element because of the choices that judges make. Their reliance on values is starkly illustrated in the area of discrimination law where there may be no precedents and judges are perennially faced with interpretative crossroads. The neoliberal turn and a change in the political composition of the Australian High Court post-Wik underscore the activist role. With particular reference to the disability discrimination decisions handed down by the Court in the last two decades, it is argued that it is not so much the progressive judges as the conservatives who are the rogue activists engaged in corroding the rule of law; because of the way they consistently subvert legislative intent.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Gender, Legal Education, The Legal Profession

Desegregation and the Struggle for Equal Schooling

Desegregation and the Struggle for Equal Schooling: Rolling the Rock of Sisyphus

Author(s): Molly Townes O'Brien

Economic integration and citizen equality have been core ideals of American public schooling since its founding. The egalitarian ideals of free schooling, however, have never matched public school reality. Closing the gap between the idealistic rhetoric and the discriminatory reality of public schooling has been the target of school reform for decades and a major goal of the Civil Rights movement. This chapter recounts the effort to achieve equal educational opportunity for African Americans through school desegregation. Beginning with 19th century cases and continuing through Brown v. Board of Education to Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District, this chapter provides an overview of the litigation and court decisions dealing with school segregation and desegregation, and creates a picture of advancement toward and retrenchment from the goals of equal educational opportunity. It compares school reformers to Sisyphus, struggling mightily to push schools toward the ideals of equal opportunity and equal access, only to see progress roll back, time and again.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Criminal Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Social Justice, Legal Education

Two Turns of the Screw

Two Turns of the Screw: The Hart-Fuller Debate

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

Henry James’ short novel The Turn of the Screw appeared in 1898. It is a ghost story, uncanny both in content and in form. It relates such uneventful events that the reader is left turning from interpretation to interpretation, trying to determine just what is going on. Yet like the ghosts themselves, wherever we look, there is nothing to see. Until the very last sentence of the book, which hits one like a fist, nothing happens, nothing is proved, and yet a palpable feeling of tension and anxiety builds. It is therefore not fanciful to suggest that the real power of the story lies not in its narrative but in its rhetoric. The book creates a mood of anxiety that infects the reader’s reading. This is what one might call the ‘performative’ dimension of the story. James’ tale constitutes a reader, alert but confused, who thereby experiences the feeling of being part of a ghost story rather than merely reading about one.

Sixty years later, HLA Hart and Lon Fuller likewise do not merely describe two different approaches to legal interpretation: in their style, rhetoric and structure they perform these approaches. This essay similarly wishes to connect its argument with its form and for this reason I have chosen to devote considerable space to discussing a work of literature. The Turn of the Screw illuminates certain essential features of the Hart/Fuller debate. Both are tales about law, interpretation, and ghosts. Through James, this essay argues that the debate between Hart and Fuller epitomizes legal interpretation as haunted. Rhetorically, they present two largely incommensurable visions of law. Yet their efforts to exclude the other’s approach fails. But instead of choosing between Hart and Fuller we can gain a richer understanding of legal interpretation if we treat their performance as mutual and interactive. I do not mean that Hart and Fuller can in any way be reconciled through compromise or synthesis. I mean rather that each remains ‘haunted’, and therefore productively unsettled, by the perspective of the other. To be haunted is never to be comfortable with one’s judgment or knowledge, never at peace. This may be ‘a horror’ in a story, but necessary in a legal system.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Trust US Justice

Trust US Justice: '24', Popular Culture and the Law

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

The television series ‘24’ has been a television phenomenon which over seven series has spawned a mass following and innumerable spin-offs including webisodes, prequels, games, and action figures. More significantly it has been enormously influential in the construction of the relationship between rule of law and security issues, particularly in relation to terrorism. Jack Bauer’s actions, and specifically his use of torture in the common good, have been important influences in the development of the US debate. Nonetheless, to situate ‘24’ as a purely contemporary phenomenon – a child of 9/11 – is to miss the larger point.

On the one hand ‘24’ frames law against questions of singularity which appeal to a longstanding tradition of vigilante justice evident in familiar archetypes of cowboys and superheroes. At the same time such a tradition reaches back to much older Christological models of justice and subjectivity which modernism has deflected but never defeated. In ‘24’ and elsewhere, popular culture does not merely keep these memories of law alive: it actively realizes and advances them, and needs to be understood not only as a depiction of law but as a law-making force in its own right. A pluralist theory of law ties contemporary technological manifestations of popular culture back to law’s enduring social and discursive roots as we see, for example, in EP Thompson’s Cultures in Common. One might even characterize popular culture as a defence of some sort of ‘moral legality’ against the ‘market legality’ of modernity.

On the other hand, ‘24’ frames law against questions of urgency and emotion. While popular culture has for centuries reflected an older form of law and justice, its capacity to undermine the very pluralist and discursive openness which are its well-spring, demonstrates the dangers to which the rhetoric of urgency and the emotional power of medium and message are prone. In a world shorn of its faith in the traditional structures which sustained the moral economy and the moral legality, the appeal to simply trust in an inarticulable justice sustained by an emotional pitch which is in ‘24’ at every moment apparent, opens the prospect of legal terrorism.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Shakespeare and Judgment

Shakespeare and Judgment: The Renewal of Law and Literature

Author(s): Desmond Manderson

Legal theorist Desmond Manderson and Shakespearean Paul Yachnin develop parallel arguments that seek to restore a public dimension of responsibility to literary studies and a private dimension of responsibility to law. Their arguments issue from their work as the creators of the Shakespeare Moot Court at McGill University, a course in which graduate English students team up with senior Law students to argue cases in “Court of Shakespeare,” where the sole Institutes, Codex, and Digest are comprised by the plays of Shakespeare. Yachnin argues that modern literary studies suffers from impermanence and isolation from real-world concerns and that it can redress these limitations — developing attributes of corrigibility, temporality, judgment, and publicity — by learning from law. Manderson finds modern legal judgment bereft of affective engagement with the subjects of law and wedded to an ideal of objectivity, regulation, and impersonality. Literature can restore to legal judgment the elements of narrative, character, context, and self-reflection. Together, the essays argue that the question of judgment, so integral to the disciplines of law and of literature, needs the renewal that an inter-disciplinary engagement provides.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

Why Good Intentions are Often Not Enough

Why Good Intentions are Often Not Enough: The Potential for Ethical Blindness in Legal Decision-Making

Author(s): Kath Hall

This chapter takes as its starting point the question of how otherwise experienced and principled lawyers can make blatantly unethical decisions. As recent research has shown, lawyers can become involved in legitimizing inhuman conduct just as they can in perpetuating accounting fraud or hiding client scandal. To an outsider looking at these circumstances, it invariably appears that the lawyers involved consciously acted immorally. Within the common framework of deliberative action, we tend to see unethical behaviour as the result of conscious and controlled mental processes.

Whilst awareness is always part of our actions, this chapter challenges the pervasiveness of assumptions about the power of conscious processes in ethical decision making. Drawing on a range of psychological research, it focuses on two important findings: first, that automatic mental processes are far more dominant in our thinking than most of us are aware; and second, that because we do not generally have introspective access to these processes, we infer from their results what the important factors in our decision making must be. These findings challenge the notion that individuals can be fully aware of what influences them to act ethically or unethically. It also suggests that we need to concentrate upon those conscious processes that we do know influence decision making in deepening our understanding of how to improve ethical awareness.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

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

Do We Really Want to Know

Do We Really Want to Know?: Recognizing the Importance of Student Psychological Well-Being in Australian Law Schools

Author(s): Kath Hall

Recent research in Australia has suggested that law students are four times more likely than students in other degrees to suffer from anxiety and depression. The Brain and Mind Research Institute’s (BMRI) 2008 survey of lawyers and law students found that over 35% of the law students studied suffered from high to very high levels of psychological distress, and that almost 40% reported distress severe enough to warrant clinical or medical intervention. This contrasted with just over 17% of medical students and 13% of the general population. Similarly, a significant portion of the lawyers surveyed were found to suffer from elevated levels of anxiety and depression, with 31% falling in the high to very high levels of psychological distress.

With research on student well-being now becoming available in Australia, this article takes up the point of how Australian law schools will respond to these findings. It suggests that even before we start to consider the question of what we should do about the problem of student well-being, we must recognize that there are common psychological processes which can undermine our response to these issues. In particular, research in cognitive dissonance and rationalization suggest that even as we become aware of negative information on law student distress, we can unconsciously ignore it or rationalize it away on the basis that it is not relevant to us. Furthermore, these same cognitive processes can affect our students, such that they can fail to appreciate the significant implications of this research for them.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

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

Australian Professional Practice Bodies and the Tort of Negligent Investigation

Australian Professional Practice Bodies and the Tort of Negligent Investigation

Author(s): Esme Shirlow

The New South Wales Supreme Court has examined the statutory and common law duties of the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission and the New South Wales Medical Board in the recent case of Attorney General (NSW) v Bar-Mordecai [2008] NSWSC 774. The judgment establishes that a professional practice body investigating the alleged misconduct of a doctor will rarely be liable under Australian statutory or common law duties to compensate that doctor for harm arising as a result of negligent investigatory practices. In particular, it establishes that such a body owes no duty to take reasonable care to avoid psychiatric injury to a medical practitioner against whom a complaint has been lodged that is being investigated by it. It is argued that the differing relevant approaches to the tort of negligent investigation in Canada and Australia stem from differences not only in policy values but in the legal frameworks used in each jurisdiction to determine the existence of duties of care at common law.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Commonwealth Power Over Infrastructure

Commonwealth Power Over Infrastructure: Constitutional Tools for National Economic Regulation

Author(s): Fiona Wheeler

This paper considers the extent of the Commonwealth’s power under the Australian Constitution to make laws regulating economic infrastructure such as transport, communications and energy. In this context, the external affairs power in s 51(xxix) of the Constitution, the communications power in s 51(v), the corporations power in s 51(xx) and the interstate and overseas trade and commerce power in s 51(i) are all addressed. The High Court’s strongly nationalist approach to constitutional construction, most recently affirmed in 2006 in its expansive reading of the corporations power in the Work Choices Case, means that the Commonwealth has very substantial, though not unlimited, authority to deal with infrastructure regulation. While the prospect of a wider reading of the interstate and overseas trade and commerce power may further augment Commonwealth authority in this area, gaps in Commonwealth regulatory power are still likely to remain.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory

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