Oral History, Gender and Law
Author(s): Kim Rubenstein
This article considers the relationship between law and gender by sharing information about an oral history project analysing the experience of women lawyers in the public, civic space and women’s experience of lawyering in Australia and of Australian lawyers working in the international context.
Soft Law and Public Liability: Beyond the Separation of Powers?
Author(s): Greg Weeks
Soft law refers to domestic, non-legislative instruments which are designed to influence, modify or otherwise affect conduct. It relies for this result on the fact that people generally assume that soft law requires them to act and has immediate legal effect. Where this assumption is mistaken, individuals have a limited capacity to obtain remedies where public authorities fail to adhere to the terms of their published soft law. This paper examines reliance on soft law and considers a selection of the diverse forms in which it appears. It considers which remedies are available where an individual suffers loss as a result of relying on soft law and asks whether and how the separation of powers doctrine can be updated to attach legal significance to the proliferation of soft law. Soft law is a topic about which little has been written. Given its importance as a regulatory tool, a fuller analysis of its place within the separation of powers model is both timely and original.
Research theme: Administrative Law
Here and Now: From Aestheticizing Politics to Politicizing Art
Author(s): Desmond Manderson
The nation is not a natural construction. It is mediated through representations and particularly through representations with a sensory component. Images therefore are primary means through which a collection identity is established. They serve to constitute myths of belonging; to distinguish friend from enemy, as Schmitt put it. They tell stories; they create models and examples that frame our social existence. But they also generate the icons and symbols whose repetition and familiarity - flags, monuments, even colour combinations - etch habits of feeling and mental associations deep into our psyche.
Research theme: Legal Theory
Shotgun Referendums: Popular Deliberation and Constitutional Settlement in Conflict Societies
Author(s): Ron Levy
Referendums are now common in ‘conflict societies’ — societies where widespread armed engagement recently occurred, is occurring or is liable to occur. If well designed, a referendum might improve the prospects of achieving a conflict settlement. The referendum’s relative democratic legitimacy may also help to ensure against subsequent breach, once a settlement is reached. However, in practice the utility of referendums for conflict settlement has been inconsistent. Some past referendums faltered (e.g. a ‘no’ vote delayed settlement) as a result of neglect of careful institutional design. In particular, a number of past referendums proceeded as simple majoritarian exercises with little in the way of support for voters’ deliberation about issues at stake. By contrast, a handful of authors have described ‘Deliberative Referendums’ purpose-designed to generate more rational and informed referendum campaigns. Nearly all past work on Deliberative Referendums has focused on peaceful societies. Building on this past work, the present article introduces the term ‘Shotgun Referendum’ to refer to a Deliberative Referendum held under conditions of ongoing or apprehended violence. The article explains why such a referendum might incrementally improve the prospects for conflict settlement. It proposes the use of deliberative design features — some novel, others well known — and places these within a distinctive frame drawing on constitutional and deliberative theory. The article thus serves as a scoping study of the aspirations and boundaries of Shotgun Referendums. This can offer more careful direction when, as seems inevitable, in future more conflict societies hold referendums.
Monetary Awards for Public Law Wrongs: Australia's Resistant Legal Landscape
Author(s): Greg Weeks
The idea of introducing a monetary remedy for harm arising out of the misdirected exercise of public power has waxed and waned in popularity in Australia over the years. Though few would dispute the intuitive appeal of the sentiment that ‘wrongs should not go unremedied’, the question of why this is so and how harm arising from maladministration could, or should, be repaired remains unresolved. This article canvasses a number of the potential justifications for the creation of such a remedy, before noting the various avenues the Australian courts have considered, and closed down, which might otherwise have led in that direction. These rejected opportunities have included the expansion of existing tort actions (eg misfeasance in public office and breach of statutory duty), the creation of new causes of action in tort (eg the Beaudesert tort and constitutional torts), and the interpretation of statutory remedial powers (eg the power to ‘do justice between the parties’ pursuant to the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth)). Whatever the virtue of a remedy on this front, it is clear that it will need to be a matter of legislative, rather than judicial, intervention.
Research theme: Administrative Law
Equal Consideration and Informed Imagining: Recognising and Responding to the Lived Experiences of Abused Women Who Kill
Author(s): Anthony Hopkins
Equality is a fundamental concern of human existence. Expressed in the principle of equality before the law it requires that those who come before the law are entitled to be treated as being of equal value and to be given ‘equal consideration’. In circumstances where those who come before the law are marked by their differences, giving of equal consideration requires that difference be understood and taken into account. The identification of difference does not of itself determine the question of whether different treatment is warranted in the interests of equality. However, this article argues that understanding difference is a precondition for the promotion of true equality and that, in pursuit of understanding difference, it is necessary for us to acknowledge the limitations of our capacity to understand the lived experience of ‘others’ and to actively work to engage with these experiences. In the context of the criminal justice system, we over abused women who kill as illustrative of this need, focusing upon the availability and operation of self-defence in England/Wales, Queensland and Victoria. In doing so, we consider the capacity of the law, legal process and legal actors to engage with the lived experiences of these women, highlighting the im portance of ‘informed imagining’.
Women Judges, Private Lives: (In)Visibilities in Fact and Fiction
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.
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
Artificial Islands and Territory in International Law
Author(s): Imogen Saunders
Artificially created islands are a contemporary reality, created and used for military and non-military purposes. Analysis of such islands has largely been limited to their status under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) regime. Their position under general international law, however, remains unclear. In particular, the question of whether artificial islands can constitute sovereign territory remains unanswered. This article analyses the concept of territory in international law in the context of artificial islands, arguing that both the doctrine of territory and the strictures of UNCLOS do not prevent artificial islands as constituting territory, capable of sovereign appropriation: albeit territory not generating a territorial sea. Indeed, understanding artificial islands as potentially constituting territory allows for a more comprehensive positioning of such islands in regards to other general international law doctrines including the unlawful acquisition of territory.
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.’
Rights in the Australian Federation
Author(s): James Stellios
The Australian Constitution is unique among constitutional instruments. It was primarily designed to federate self-governing British colonies within the British constitutional tradition and to establish institutions of federal government. As such, the constitutional instrument does not contain an entrenched Bill of Rights. Yet, Australia has been a stable federal democracy since its establishment in 1901 and, by international standards, it is consistently assessed as maintaining high levels of personal freedom, political rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. This article considers the place of rights in the Australian federation against Australian constitutional history and its constitutional context.
Law and the Visual: Representations, Technologies, and Critique
Editor(s): Desmond Manderson
In Law and the Visual, leading legal theorists, art historians, and critics come together to present new work examining the intersection between legal and visual discourses. Proceeding chronologically, the volume offers leading analyses of the juncture between legal and visual culture as witnessed from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Editor Desmond Manderson provides a contextual introduction that draws out and articulates three central themes: visual representations of the law, visual technologies in the law, and aesthetic critiques of law. A ground breaking contribution to an increasingly vibrant field of inquiry, Law and the Visual will inform the debate on the relationship between legal and visual culture for years to come.
The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism
Editor(s): Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, McGill University, Montréal, Graeme Orr, University of Queensland, Jeff King, University College London
Deliberative democratic theory emphasises the importance of informed and reflective discussion and persuasion in political decision-making. The theory has important implications for constitutionalism - and vice versa - as constitutional laws increasingly shape and constrain political decisions. The full range of these implications has not been explored in the political and constitutional literatures to date. This unique Handbook establishes the parameters of the field of deliberative constitutionalism, which bridges deliberative democracy with constitutional theory and practice. Drawing on contributions from world-leading authors, this volume will serve as the international reference point on deliberation as a foundational value in constitutional law, and will be an indispensable resource for scholars, students and practitioners interested in the vital and complex links between democratic deliberation and constitutionalism.
Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory
Power, Control and Citizenship: The Uluru Statement from the Heart as Active Citizenship
Author(s): Kim Rubenstein
Who governs and how they govern is central to the questions of power, control and citizenship that are at the core of a democratic society. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is the outcome of the 12 First Nations Regional Dialogues culminating in the National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in May 2017. There the First Peoples from across the country formed a consensus position on the form constitutional recognition should take. This article argues that the Uluru Statement from the Heart affirms a commitment to ‘active citizenship’ that draws from a belief in the equal power of the governors and the governed. This understanding of the Uluru Statement from the Heart enables it to be promoted as a document for all Australians, both in the spirit of reconciliation and in its affirmation of a commitment to an equality underpinning Australian citizenship in the 21st century. By examining how citizenship in Australia has evolved as a legal concept and by reflecting on how law is a fundamental tool for providing a ‘meaningful limitation of the lawgiver’s power in favour of the agency of the legal subject’, this article examines the Uluru Statement from the Heart as a commitment to the importance of recognising the nature of the proper relationship between the law giver and those subject to the law — the citizenry. To exercise power within a democratic framework, as opposed to brute force or sheer will over the subject, involves recognising the agency of the citizenry. This idea not only enables reconciliation to be a meaningful and restorative act but one that recalibrates the exercise of power in Australia to benefit all Australians by affirming a commitment to all Australians equal citizenship as active agents.
Challenging the Legal Profession A Century On: The Case of Edith Haynes
Author(s): Margaret Thornton
This article focuses on Edith Haynes' unsuccessful attempt to enter the legal profession in Western Australia. Although admitted to articles as a law student in 1900, she was denied permission to sit her intermediate examination by the Supreme Court of WA (In re Edith Haynes (1904) 6 WAR 209). Edith Haynes is of particular interest for two reasons. First, the decision denying her permission to sit the exam was an example of a 'persons' case', which was typical of an array of cases in the English common law world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in which courts determined that women were not persons for the purpose of entering the professions or holding public office. Secondly, as all (white) women had been enfranchised in Australia at the time, the decision of the Supreme Court begs the question as to the meaning of active citizenship. The article concludes by hypothesising a different outcome for Edith Haynes by imagining an appeal to the newly established High Court of Australia.
The Deliberative Case for Constitutional Referenda
Author(s): Ron Levy
In this article I examine controversies over the use of referenda and plebiscites for constitutional reform. My chief example is a recent development toward plebiscitary democracy in Australia. Although there is no legal requirement in Australia for a popular vote to legalize same-sex marriage, the federal government considered holding such a vote. Marriage rights provide a key example in which the normative case for direct democratic constitutional reform remains unsettled, and indeed controversial. I rely on deliberative democratic theory to conclude that referenda and plebiscites generally should be part of constitutional reform processes. I nuance this conclusion by outlining categories of legal norms raising distinctive considerations as to whether and when public voting should precede constitutional reform.
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.
High Court of Australia and HIV/AIDS Disease Criminalisation: Aubrey V the Queen and Zaburoni V the Queen
In 2017, the High Court of Australia in Aubrey v The Queen (2017) 91 ALJR 601;  HCA 18 considered the term “inflict” grievous bodily harm, under common law, and expanded its interpretation to incorporate nonviolent and non-immediate infection of a disease, overturning a 120 year authority in R v Clarence (1888) 22 QBD 23. In the previous case of Zaburoni v The Queen (2016) 256 CLR 482;  HCA 12, the High Court allowed an appeal from the Qld Supreme Court finding that repeated acts of unprotected sexual intercourse by a man who knew he was infected with HIV/AIDS, though callous and reckless, did not constitute intention to infect his female partner; consequently, he could be found guilty of a lesser offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm which carried a maximum 14-year prison sentence rather than life imprisonment. These decisions illustrate a court intersecting with an emerging trend to use legislation creating criminal offences to deter those who intentionally or recklessly infect others with life-shortening diseases.
Research theme: Health, Law and Bioethics
Recent Developments in Social Security Law
This Paper was presented to a Roundtable of the National Social Security Rights Network in Canberra on 5 August 2017.
The Paper reports on recent developments in social security law in Australia, particularly with reference to recent decisions of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Federal Court of Australia.
Research theme: Military & Security Law
Public Health Legislation Prohibiting Sports-Embedded Gambling Advertisting
Australian Federal Labor, Green and Independent politicians have recently called for a blanket ban on sports-embedded gambling advertising (SEGA), and the Prime Minister has announced that such advertising would be banned during live sporting telecasts before 8.30pm. A considerable body of research establishes the adverse public health impacts of such gambling. The decision of the Australian High Court in Betfair Pty Ltd v Western Australia (2008) 234 CLR 418 paved the way, however, for an expansive online Australian sports-betting market for both interstate operators and internationally located gambling companies. The combination of widespread internet access and smart phone usage has resulted in an environment where placing a bet is more likely to occur in the home in front of children, hence the concern about its “normalisation”. Elite sports people have made public pronouncements that SEGA is now excessive, inconsistent with blanket prohibitions on gambling by elite sports people and damaging to public health. This column critically examines the regulatory landscape governing the advertisement, sponsorship and promotion of SEGA within Australian sport and why the current Bills on this topic do not go far enough.
Research theme: Health, Law and Bioethics
An Interdisciplinary Student Clinic at University of Portsmouth (UoP): Future Practitioners Working Collaboratively to Improve Health and Wellbeing of Clients (Presentation Slides)
Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
Our paper fits into all the themes ● The clinician and community needs ● The clinician and research into the impact of clinic ● The clinician and academic identity ● The clinician and curriculum and student learning
This paper examines the value in students, academics and clinical supervisors learning and working together across different disciplines through an interdisciplinary student clinic (IDSC) to deliver legal and public health education to people who experience social exclusion by reason of vulnerability or disadvantage (including poverty)– the ‘Health Justice Partnership Student Clinic’.
This paper situates the discussion firstly within the context of author one’s research on multi-disciplinary practices (MDP) including Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) which have led to this decision at University of Portsmouth to set up a IDSC. MDP in this context is where a number of professionals work together in a practice to assist the client using their different skills but in the one place and setting. One subset of an MDP is the HJP which sees lawyers working alongside nursing and allied health professionals to reach clients with a range of problems capable of legal solutions e.g. debt, family violence, poor housing, consumer issues, care and protection, human rights, access to services. It is about going to where people in need of help are likely to turn.
This paper firstly identifies the evidence-based research that has led the authors to see the need, not just for multi-disciplinary practices in a service context but also interdisciplinary practice and teaching opportunities through clinical learning that brings greater collaboration for students, supervisors and academics across the professional divide to improve outcomes for clients. The authors see a critical need in universities to better prepare the emerging professionals to learn about collaboration with other disciplines and demonstrate influence and impact in the wider community. Author one’s empirical research into effective practice also suggests that such collaboration leads to better outcomes for clients and patients especially those experience some form of vulnerability or disadvantage.
Secondly, as there is some literature on IDP and IDSC, (mainly from the United States and Australia) this paper will explore other models, the reasons and rationales for their emergence and the benefits and challenges and how this has informed the development other new pilot IDSC at the University of Portsmouth. The paper then discusses why the IDSC has emerged as an important way of building better and more responsive future practitioners in nursing, law and allied health disciplines.
The paper also discusses aims of the three-year University of Portsmouth pilot IDSC and the joint learning opportunities for students of different disciplines, their supervisors and across departments which are envisioned so as to break down barriers between professionals, enable future practitioners to collaborate across different fields and thereby improve social justice and health outcomes for clients and community. These include fostering and increasing understanding and respect for different professional roles and approaches, breaking down stereotypes, enhancing student employability and working together to better reach and meet client/patient needs by being more responsive to legal and public health needs.
The proposed trial IDSC HJP student clinic course will teach new approaches to students studying nursing, dentistry and law in a joint learning environment that includes problem solving, relationship-building, communication and collaboration skills in a clinic which will provide live client legal and public health advice. It will discuss how this is being undertaken and the challenges and approach of the course and its curriculum.
The paper finally discusses the embedded evaluation of the pilot study. It is embedded as the authors are keen to enable good practice, share lessons learned and inform replicable models in other university settings. The embedded evaluation being undertaken will inform as to the projects impact on students, academic staff, partner agencies and clients.