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.

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Modern Equity: Revolution or Renewal from Within?

Author(s): Pauline Ridge

Peter Birks spearheaded a revolution in thinking about Equity. This paper questions how successful that revolution has been. Two narratives of modern Equity are identified: the revolutionary narrative commenced by Birks and one counter-narrative that is apparent in contemporary case law. Three particular strands of these narratives are then discussed. They concern the integration of the Common Law and Equity; conscience-based reasoning; and judicial method. Illustrations are taken largely from the law governing third party ancillary liabilities that protect equitable rights. Claims against recipients of property protected by Equity, particularly the claim for unconscionable retention of benefit following receipt of misappropriated trust property, are used to illustrate the integration of the Common Law and Equity and the use of conscience-based reasoning. Judicial method is discussed in the context of equitable accessory and recipient liability. Reference is also made to the doctrine of undue influence, the change of position defence, mistaken gifts and private law claims tainted by illegality.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Law and Religion, Private Law

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The Boundary between 'Not-for-Profits' and Government

Author(s): Darryn Jensen

This chapter attempts to trace the development of a concept of voluntariness. This cannot be done by reference to a category of 'not-for-profit', for that category is a recent invention. Instead, the history of voluntariness is to be found in the history of two other concepts which might be seen to be distinguishable from government - charity and civil society. These concepts are neither wholly distinct from, nor coterminous with, 'not-for-profit'. Once the histories of these concepts have been considered, the normative determinacy of the concept of voluntariness will be considered in the light of some contemporary intersections of government and not-for-profit activity.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Legal Theory, Private Law

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Constructive Trusteeship: The Perils of Statutory Formulae

Author(s): Darryn Jensen

This paper evaluates the provisions concerning constructive trusteeship in Trusts Act 1994 (Marshall Islands) and makes more general observations about the roles of constructive trusts in litigation involving trustees' breaches of duty, the roles of statute law and the risk inherent in attempts to express complex and multi-faceted private law concepts in statutory formulae.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Legal Theory, Private Law

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Lawyers in the Shadow of the Regulatory State: Transnational Governance on Business and Human Rights

Author(s): Kath Hall

This paper examines the growth of transnational governance, and what it means for business lawyers advising multinational corporate clients. The term “governance” incorporates the network of actors, instruments and mechanisms that now govern transnational corporations, separate from the nation state. It is reasonable to expect that lawyers play an important role in advising business clients on how to effectively operate within this system. Indeed, many transnational legal instruments are intended to enhance clients’ business goals by enabling them to engage more efficiently in cross-border commerce. Other forms of regulation, such as human rights regulation, purports to impose requirements on companies that go beyond what is necessary to enhance cross-border commerce.

In this paper we discuss the transnational governance regime that has arisen to address the adverse human rights impacts of business activities. We focus in particular on the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. We ask what if any role is there for lawyers in fostering acknowledgment and fulfilment of these responsibilities among clients? Is the duty to respect human rights a “legal” obligation in any sense? If a lawyer does provide advice, should it encompass only legal risks to the company that fall within the lawyer’s traditionally defined specialized expertise? Or should it go beyond that to include other concerns?

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Coherence in the Age of Statutes

Author(s): Darryn Jensen

The High Court of Australia, in pursuing coherence between common law and statute law, has limited itself to ensuring that the rules of common law and statute law should be free of contradiction. The Court does not appear to have embraced the idea, which lies at the core of some major theories of private law, that a set of rules is coherent only if the set can be explained as the outworking of a single principle. Applying that idea to the relationship between common law and statute law is confronted by some serious challenges. In the past, coherence as non-contradiction (combined with the idea of parliamentary supremacy) has worked well as a means of reconciling common law with statute law, but the proliferation of legislation in recent years and the character of much modern legislation has drawn attention to the limitations of such an approach to the question. A more exacting approach to coherence of common law and statute law, on the other hand, would require the revision of some widely-held assumptions about the nature of law, such as the core assumption of legal positivism that the ultimate criterion of the authority of the law is its pronouncement by an authoritative institution.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Legal Theory, Private Law

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Telling a History of Australian Women Judges Through Courts' Ceremonial Archives

Author(s): Heather Roberts

Swearing-in ceremonies are held to mark the investiture of a new judge on the bench. Transcribed and stored within courts’ public records, these proceedings form a rich ‘ceremonial archive’. This paper showcases the value of this archive for the (re)telling of Australian legal history and, particularly, a history of Australian women lawyers. Using a case study drawn from the swearing-in ceremonies of women judges of the High Court, Federal Court, and Family Courts of Australia between 1993 and 2013, the paper explores what this archive reveals about the Australian legal community’s attitudes towards women in the law. It argues that despite the regional and jurisdictional differences between these courts, recurring themes emerge. Notably, while feminising discourse dominates the earlier ceremonies, stories of the judges’ personal and judicial identity come to display a more overt feminist consciousness by the end of the Labor Governments in power in Australia between 2007 and 2013.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Law and Gender, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law

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The Food and Agricultural Organization and Food Security in the Context of International Intellectual Property Rights Protection

Author(s):

This chapter identifies the causes of chronic food insecurity as a form of market failure facilitated by the rules of international intellectual property law, as primarily embodied in the Agreement on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). While acknowledging that food insecurity is not a problem solely created by the post-TRIPS legal environment, this chapter argues that the legal rules on intellectual property play a significant role in supporting and encouraging those market forces that adversely impact upon the access, availability and affordability of food, and in causing significant disruptions to the traditional farming practices of farmers in the Global South. International responses, orchestrated by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), to the food security problem in the context of agriculture, comprising the movement towards farmer’s rights and the right to food, have offered some useful solutions to the crisis. After examining the legal frameworks relevant to food security, this chapter provides three critiques of FAO’s response to the problem of food security with the finding that the regime conflict deprives FAO of a useful role in norm creation, effective administration of food security, and reconciliation of ‘norm collision’ to overcome a property-type policy response.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: International Law, Law and Technology, 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

Accessories in Private Law

Accessories in private law

Author(s): Pauline Ridge, Joachim Dietrich

Accessory liability is an often neglected but very important topic across all areas of private law. By providing a principled analytical framework for the law of accessories and identifying common themes and problems that arise in the law, this book provides much-needed clarity. It explains the fundamental concepts that are used to impose liability on accessories, particularly the conduct and mental elements of liability: 'involvement' in the primary wrong and (generally) knowledge. It also sets out in detail the specific rules and principles of liability as these operate in different areas of common law, equity and statute. A comparative study across common law and criminal law jurisdictions, including the United States, also sheds new light on what is and what is not accessory liability.

Order your copy online

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Criminal Law, International Law, Private Law

Laying Down the Law

Laying Down the Law

Author(s): Robin Creyke, Catriona Cook, Robert Stanley Geddes, David Hamer, Tristan S Taylor

Fully revised and expanded, this ninth edition of Laying Down the Law provides an invaluable introduction to the study of law. It includes clear and engaging explanations of essential foundation topics include Australia’s legal system and sources of law while discussion of current issues assists readers to understand the context in which our legal system operates. The comprehensive coverage of precedent and statutory interpretation provides a solid basis for legal study and practice, and the margin glossary identifies, explains and demystifies legal terms. Practical examples and exercises support learning and the development of key skills. New to this edition is a chapter on the legal profession and professional legal practice and ethics.

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Centre: CCL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Hambly, Torts

Torts: Cases and Commentary (7th ed)

Author(s): David Hambly, Harold Luntz, Kylie Burns, Joachim Dietrich, Neil Foster

Torts: Cases and Commentary delivers a critical and analytical approach to the law of torts presented through extensive commentary and selected materials from case decisions, legislation and academic writings. Detailed notes assist students and practitioners to understand the significance of the key cases while questions stimulate critical thinking and learning. This 7th edition includes discussion of and some excerpts from many cases that have interpreted the Civil Liability statutes enacted in the early years of this century. Current and emerging issues in tort law reform are widely discussed and many additional references to the academic literature are provided.

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Centre:

Research theme: Private Law

Tough Love

Tough Love: Professional Regulation of Lawyer Dishonesty

Author(s): Kath Hall

Regulating lawyer dishonesty is a key focus of professional misconduct cases in most jurisdictions. And rightly so. In any legal system aimed at the just resolution of disputes between citizens, it is essential that lawyers’ words and behaviour can be relied upon by the courts, clients, other lawyers and the public. Yet research into seven years of disciplinary cases in New South Wales (NSW), Australia suggests that only a narrow range of dishonest conduct is actioned, often with harsh results for the practitioners involved. Research outlined in this article shows that 65% of the cases decided in this jurisdiction between 2004-2010 involved findings of practitioner dishonesty, 80% of the practitioners involved in those cases were disbarred and 89% of the total number of lawyers disciplined worked as solo and small firm practitioners.

The Australian research reported in this article may be emblematic of similar issues that occur in the regulation of lawyer dishonesty in both the United States and Canada. It is therefore argued that, for disciplinary cases to be seen as legitimate and just, it is important for the profession and regulators to consider the way dishonesty is being characterized and the harshness of the penalties imposed. When these questions are asked in the Australian context, the research suggests there is a tendency to treat small and sole firm practitioners particularly harshly even where small instances of dishonesty are involved. In addition, the dominant regulatory approach is still to link dishonesty with poor character, a connection that is unsupported by empirical research in psychology. Finally, there appears to be limited appreciation by regulatory authorities of the links between dishonesty, stress and psychological conditions.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Strategic Privatisation

Strategic Privatisation of Transnational Anti-Corruption Regulation

Author(s): Kath Hall

This article discusses the privatisation of transnational anti-corruption regulation. Increasing global non-state rules, guidelines and standards have become a visible and legitimate form of corruption regulation and a key influence on the development and implementation of state-based anti-corruption laws. These private regulatory instruments are created by multilateral development banks, bi-lateral and multi-lateral development agencies, NGOs, industry groups, private corporations and technical experts. The result is that state-based transnational anti-corruption regulation is now increasingly privatised, harmonised and globalised. This not only affects developments in national anti-corruption regulation, but also the direction of corporate governance more generally. Whilst the interaction between public national and private global regulation is clearly of strategic benefit to governments, it is also creating a multi-level framework of incentives and pressures on global corporations to improve the integrity of their activities and reduce the incidence of corruption.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

The Expansion of Global Law Firms in Australia and Asia

The Expansion of Global Law Firms in Australia and Asia

Author(s): Kath Hall

Over the last 18 months the legal profession has seen unprecedented growth in the operations of global law firms in Australia. Recent mergers between top-tier and leading Australian law firms demonstrate the importance of Asian markets and the shifts in economic power from the West to the East. For such firms there are clear market and competitive drivers for expansion into Australia including proximity to rapidly developing Asian economies and increased opportunity to expand the firm’s global brand. Yet understanding the role played by Australian law firms in these developments can be tricky. For some newly merged global firms, the Australian operations are central to the firm’s regional and global expansion, allowing the firm to draw upon the strong performance and reputational capital of the Australian offices. For other global firms their alliances with Australia firms provide a strategic foundation for their expansion into Asia. And for third group of firms Australia remains a destination in its own right, sitting within the firm’s overall global network of international offices.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Collins, Intellectual Property

LexisNexis Study Guide: Intellectual Property Law, 2nd Edition

Author(s): Craig Collins, Heather Forrest

The LexisNexis Study Guide series is designed to assist students with the foundations for effective, systematic exam preparation and revision. Written by Craig Collins and Heather Forrest, the Intellectual Property study guide clearly identifies and explains the often difficult topics that are relevant to intellectual property law. The most important and recent cases are summarised to consolidate practical understanding of the theoretical concepts. 

Order your copy online

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Private Law

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Women Judges, 'Maiden Speeches,' and the High Court of Australia

Author(s): Heather Roberts

Since the Australian High Court was established in 1903, ceremonies have been held to mark the swearing-in of a new Justice. This chapter utilizes the speeches made at the swearing-in ceremonies of Gaudron, Crennan, Kiefel, and Bell as a prism to explore the representation of women judges in the Australian legal community, and in particular, the Australian High Court.

These ceremonies are a rich resource by virtue of the two kinds of speeches made on these occasions. First, leaders of the Australian legal community make speeches welcoming the new High Court judge to the bench. In a legal system where federal judges are chosen behind closed doors, the welcome speeches have performed a key role in introducing the new judges to the public, and attesting to their skills as lawyer and judge. Importantly, the litany of a new judge’s accomplishments on these occasions contextualizes the concept of “merit” in a High Court appointment. Furthermore, the speech by the Commonwealth Attorney-General has provided a measure of public justification of his decision to appoint a particular judge. This chapter explores how the welcome speakers have grappled with the novelty of the feminine in the stories about the four female High Court judges. I argue that gender too often dominated this narrative, to a discriminatory and feminizing effect. In this regard, however, Bell’s ceremony may signal a new direction in the Australian legal community’s attitude toward female judges.

The second element of the swearing-in ceremony is the judge’s response to the welcome speeches. As his or her inaugural speech as a member of the High Court, this speech is the judicial equivalent of the “maiden speech” by members of parliament. The judge’s speech is delivered in a setting rich with contradiction: a statement from the bench, yet of no judicial force; liberated in content and style from the boundaries of a legal dispute and yet constrained by the weight of convention regarding the “appropriate” remarks for an incoming judge; and, a statement of individual identity, values, and principles made from the “identity-less” judge of the common law tradition. For present purposes, the critical feature of the inaugural speeches of Australia’s four female High Court judges is how they tell their stories and the place of gender in that narrative. I argue that these speeches reflect a continuing pressure faced by women judges to distance themselves from the perception of their “otherness” on the bench. This pressure manifested first in Gaudron’s speech, Women Judges, “Maiden Speeches,” and the High Court of Australia when she tempered her bold acknowledgment of her identity as the first woman to join the High Court with affirmations of her sameness with her brother judges. Significantly, twenty years later, Bell’s swearing-in speech continued to display both a self-conscious silencing of her feminine voice and statements affirming her distance from outsiders on the bench.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Law and Gender, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law

The Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis

The Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis and Union Strategies in the Australian Public Service

Author(s): Cameron Roles

The Australian Labor government’s recognition of collective bargaining under its Fair Work Act 2009, and its efficiency drive from late 2011 across the Australian Public Service (APS), presented the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) with an opportunity to explore means of union renewal following a decade of conservative governments focused on union exclusion. An expanding budget deficit in 2011 placed considerable financial constraints on Australian government revenue. The Labor government increased the annual “efficiency dividend”, or across the board cuts in funding, from 1.5 per cent in May 2011 to 4 per cent in November 2011 as it attempted to achieve a budget surplus. This placed considerable pressure on agency management to remain within tight constraints on wage increases and to find budget savings, resulting in growing job losses from 2011. There was also considerable central oversight over bargaining outcomes throughout this bargaining round, with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) involved at all stages of the agreement-making process, to the frustration of many agencies and the CPSU. Nevertheless, throughout the 2011-12 bargaining round, the CPSU worked with its members to develop creative forms of industrial action, such as one minute stoppages in the Defence department. The union also mobilized an overwhelming majority of APS employees to vote “no” in response to initial offers put by agency managements. In addition, the CPSU focused on winning bargaining concessions in politically sensitive government agencies and then flowing these concessions to other agencies. Typical of this approach were the agreements reached in the Immigration department and Customs agency. Union recruitment activities over 2011 resulted in a substantial rise in membership and enhanced communications with members through workplace meetings, telephone and internet communications, and emails. Such union initiatives highlight the potential for enhanced union capacities and mobilization during a time of growing austerity.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL

Research theme: Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance: The Catholic Church and International Human Rights Law Discourse

Author(s): Alex Bruce

On 10 December 2008, the world celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (‘the UDHR’). A formative influence on the UDHR was the Catholic social justice tradition and during his long pontificate, John Paul II described the UDHR as ‘one of the highest expressions of the human conscience of our time.’ John Paul II was repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his emphasis on the importance of human rights.

However, after his death in April 2005, commentators began a concerted attack on the human rights record of the Church generally and John Paul II particularly. John Paul II had allegedly ‘waged a ceaseless war against human rights’, and had done ‘more to spread AIDS in Africa than prostitution and the trucking industry combined’. These attacks were deeply ironic given John Paul II’s consistently expressed fear that the liberal western democracies of North America and Western Europe were incubating a ‘culture of death’.

This article investigates the immense gap between these two positions by demonstrating how extreme cognitive dissonance has developed in characterising the contribution of the Church generally and John Paul II particularly to international human rights discourse. It will examine how critics are attempting to resolve this dissonance in their favour through their attacks on both the Church’s status in international law and on its teachings on particular human rights issues such as contraception and arresting the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This article will argue that these criticisms are characterised more by rhetoric than reason and as such, fail to understand the foundations of the Church’s views. As a result, the Church’s concerns about the ethical and philosophical underpinnings of various human rights initiatives of contemporary liberal democracies remain caricatured, misunderstood and ridiculed.

Given the prophetic nature of John Paul II’s warnings against a flourishing culture of death, the paper concludes that the ability of stakeholders, governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (‘NGOs’) to engage seriously with the Church in its continued presence in international law and in its approach to the philosophical foundations of international human rights discourse remains seriously flawed.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL

Research theme: Law and Religion, Private Law

Women Judges

Women Judges, 'Maiden Speeches,' and the High Court of Australia

Author(s): Heather Roberts

Since the Australian High Court was established in 1903, ceremonies have been held to mark the swearing-in of a new Justice. This chapter utilizes the speeches made at the swearing-in ceremonies of Gaudron, Crennan, Kiefel, and Bell as a prism to explore the representation of women judges in the Australian legal community, and in particular, the Australian High Court.

These ceremonies are a rich resource by virtue of the two kinds of speeches made on these occasions. First, leaders of the Australian legal community make speeches welcoming the new High Court judge to the bench. In a legal system where federal judges are chosen behind closed doors, the welcome speeches have performed a key role in introducing the new judges to the public, and attesting to their skills as lawyer and judge. Importantly, the litany of a new judge’s accomplishments on these occasions contextualizes the concept of “merit” in a High Court appointment. Furthermore, the speech by the Commonwealth Attorney-General has provided a measure of public justification of his decision to appoint a particular judge. This chapter explores how the welcome speakers have grappled with the novelty of the feminine in the stories about the four female High Court judges. I argue that gender too often dominated this narrative, to a discriminatory and feminizing effect. In this regard, however, Bell’s ceremony may signal a new direction in the Australian legal community’s attitude toward female judges.

The second element of the swearing-in ceremony is the judge’s response to the welcome speeches. As his or her inaugural speech as a member of the High Court, this speech is the judicial equivalent of the “maiden speech” by members of parliament. The judge’s speech is delivered in a setting rich with contradiction: a statement from the bench, yet of no judicial force; liberated in content and style from the boundaries of a legal dispute and yet constrained by the weight of convention regarding the “appropriate” remarks for an incoming judge; and, a statement of individual identity, values, and principles made from the “identity-less” judge of the common law tradition. For present purposes, the critical feature of the inaugural speeches of Australia’s four female High Court judges is how they tell their stories and the place of gender in that narrative. I argue that these speeches reflect a continuing pressure faced by women judges to distance themselves from the perception of their “otherness” on the bench. This pressure manifested first in Gaudron’s speech, Women Judges, “Maiden Speeches,” and the High Court of Australia when she tempered her bold acknowledgment of her identity as the first woman to join the High Court with affirmations of her sameness with her brother judges. Significantly, twenty years later, Bell’s swearing-in speech continued to display both a self-conscious silencing of her feminine voice and statements affirming her distance from outsiders on the bench.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Law and Gender, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law

‘Swearing Mary’: The Significance of the Speeches Made at Mary Gaudron's Swearing-in as a Justice of the High Court of Australia

Author(s): Heather Roberts

During the High Court of Australia’s first century, Mary Gaudron served as the first and only female member of its bench. This paper commemorates the 25th anniversary of Gaudron’s appointment to the High Court by examining the speeches made at her swearing-in ceremony, in February 1987. Largely ignored by scholars, swearing-in ceremonies provide unique insights into the history of courts and the personality and philosophy of their judges. Through the prism of Gaudron’s swearing-in ceremony, this paper showcases the significance of these occasions as a commentary on the institutional and intellectual life of the Court. In particular, Gaudron’s swearing-in ceremony tells a fascinating story of institutional and gender politics in the High Court: the legal community’s varied response to the novelty of a woman High Court Justice; Gaudron’s intricate balancing between her distinctive vision of her obligations as a mentor to women lawyers and her role as ‘one of seven’ on a collegiate bench; and the perennial tension between innovation and tradition in legal method.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Law and Gender, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law

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