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.

Civil Procedure: Commentary and Materials 4th Edition Alternative Dispute Resolution

Author(s): Molly Townes O'Brien, Kath Hall

This chapter provides an overview of the theory and practice of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It discusses the growing need for methods other than litigation to resolve disputes, and focuses upon the growth of mediation, and to a lesser extent arbitration, in Australia. Other methods of dispute resolution are also discussed.

In the context of mediation, the structure of the mediation process is outlined, and the nature of consensual dispute resolution is explained. Four of the key features of mediation, namely accessibility, voluntariness, confidentiality and facilitation are analysed. Other issues such as power imbalance, enforceability of agreements to mediate and evaluation of mediation are also discussed.

The process of arbitration is then introduced, and the requirements of the Commercial Arbitration Acts are outlined. Finally, court-annexed mediation and arbitration, and the role of the legal profession in ADR practice are discussed.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Criminal Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Psychology, Law and Social Justice, Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

Civil Procedure: Commentary and Materials 4th Edition Alternative Dispute Resolution

Author(s): Molly Townes O'Brien, Kath Hall

This chapter provides an overview of the theory and practice of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It discusses the growing need for methods other than litigation to resolve disputes, and focuses upon the growth of mediation, and to a lesser extent arbitration, in Australia. Other methods of dispute resolution are also discussed.

In the context of mediation, the structure of the mediation process is outlined, and the nature of consensual dispute resolution is explained. Four of the key features of mediation, namely accessibility, voluntariness, confidentiality and facilitation are analysed. Other issues such as power imbalance, enforceability of agreements to mediate and evaluation of mediation are also discussed.

The process of arbitration is then introduced, and the requirements of the Commercial Arbitration Acts are outlined. Finally, court-annexed mediation and arbitration, and the role of the legal profession in ADR practice are discussed.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Criminal Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law and Psychology, Law and Social Justice, Legal Education, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, The Legal Profession

The Idea of the University and the Contemporary Legal Academy

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

In light of the contemporary moves to transform the Australian university by subjecting it to the values of the market, the traditional idea of the university is in jeopardy. Freedom to teach, the unity of teaching and research, and academic selfgovernance are key factors associated with this idea. With its primarily professional and vocational focus, law has tended to be somewhat more ambivalent than the humanities about the freedoms associated with teaching and the pursuit of knowledge. Nevertheless, a liberal legal education is an ideal to which law schools have aspired over the last two or three decades. This article argues that, after a brief flirtation with a more humanistic legal education, the market is causing a swing back to a technocratic and doctrinal approach. The article draws on key proponents of the 'idea of the university', namely, Newman, Humboldt and Jaspers to consider what light these theorists might shed on the dilemma posed by the market imperative. It is suggested that a disregard for the presuppositions of the market could be disastrous for the future of the university law school.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

Law, History, and the Idea of the High Court

Author(s):

I want to bring a slightly different perspective to those you have heard to this point: a legal perspective, with special reference to the High Court.

Reading through the program, what really struck me was how so many of the issues of history and historiography manifest themselves in the High Court, whether through the way they shape the issues that arise for decision, or in relation to how we see the role and impact of the Court itself as one of our institutions of national government. Just think of these themes in your program: colonialism, federation, national unity, democracy, environmental history, military history, indigenous history, gender issues. I could tell you the story of the High Court (and I must say that I think of history essentially as stories) from any or all of these perspectives: how these issues assume legal form and are pronounced upon by the Court, and how the currents of history themselves sweep through the Court and affect our assessment of it as an institution.

Moreover, the High Court’s own decision-making processes raise all of the familiar questions of historiography: questions of evidence and proof, of fact selection, of interpretation of texts, and so on. Former High Court Chief Justice Sir Anthony Mason will touch on that in the next session – let me first go back a step and say a bit about the some of the differences between law and history.

This paper was presented at the Australian Government Summer School For Teachers Of Australian History Conference, Canberra, Australia, 14-23 January 2008.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: The Legal Profession

German Law Journal

Contemporary Research and the Ambiguity of Critique

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

Within the marketised context of higher education, research is valued less for its contribution to scholarship than for its income-generating capacity and value to end users. Commodification has significant ramifications for academic freedom as can be seen by the example of research consultancies. Academic freedom is also being affected by the direct interference of neoliberal governments in research policy. While terror censorship is a dramatic manifestation of interference, critical research is also affected by the everyday practices of the contemporary academy. All these factors contribute to the production of de-politicised knowledge.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

German Law Journal

The Law School, the Market and the New Knowledge Economy

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper considers how recent changes in higher education are impacting on the discipline of law, causing the critical scholarly space to contract in favour of that which is market-based and applied. The charging of high fees has transformed the delicate relationship between student and teacher into one of "customer" and "service provider". Changes in pedagogy, modes of delivery and assessment have all contributed to the narrowing of the curriculum in a way that supports the market. The paper will briefly illustrate the way the transformation has occurred and consider its effect on legal education and the legal academy.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

'Otherness' on the Bench: How Merit is Gendered

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper focuses on the construction of merit as the key selection criterion for judging. It will show how merit has been masculinised within the social script so as to militate against the acceptance of women as judges. The social construction of the feminine in terms of disorder in the public sphere fans doubts that women are appointable - certainly not in significant numbers to the most senior levels of the bench. It is argued that merit, far from being an objective criterion, operates as a rhetorical device shaped by power. The paper will draw on media representations of women judges in three recent Australian scenarios: an appointment to the High Court; the appointment of almost 50 percent women to Victorian benches; and the scapegoating of a female chief magistrate (resulting in imprisonment) in Queensland.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

The Gender Trap: Flexible Work in Corporate Legal Practice

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

Despite the fact that women comprise well over 50 per cent of law graduates in many parts of the world, women lawyers continue to be clustered disproportionately in the lower echelons of the profession. This paper considers the role of flexible work as a gender equity strategy and is illuminated by interviews with lawyers in élite corporate firms in Australia. It is argued that far from being a panacea, flexible work is being invoked to confine women to subordinate roles and to restrict access to partnerships. Not only is there a residual suspicion of the feminine in positions of authority and resistance to the idea of bodily absence from the workplace, the contemporary market discourse has erased a commitment to social justice and equality.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

The Demise of Diversity in Legal Education

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper explores the contradictions arising from the simultaneous commitment to globalisation and diversity. The backdrop to the study is the marked shift to the right that has occurred in State and federal politics, emulating the global trend that has resulted in neo-liberalism supplanting social liberalism as the dominant ideology.

Neo-liberalism, or market liberalism, necessarily locates its subjects within the market where they are expected to vie with one another for survival and success.

Globalisation is one manifestation of neo-liberal competition policy which, along with corporatisation and privatisation, displays little interest in diversity politices, other than as a means of enhancing market image. Indeed, the feminine is constructed as incompatible with corporatisation and competition. Just as the political shift to the right has witnessed a dilution, if not a complete disbandonment, of formal social justice measures. there has been a tendency to dismantle feminist legal studies subjects, as well as to contract critical and theoretical content of all kinds. The paper considesr how neo-liberal and globalising imperatives are impacting on legal education in (1) the appointment of academic staff; (2) the shaping of the curriculum; (3) the profile of the 'consumers' of legal education; (4) the cartography of legal knowledge.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

Feminism and the Changing State: The Case of Sex Discrimination

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper examines the ambiguous relationship between feminism and the state through the lens of sex discrimination legislation. Particular attention will be paid to the changing nature of the state as manifested by its political trajectory from social liberalism to neoliberalism over the last few decades. As a creature of social liberalism, the passage of sex discrimination legislation was animated by notions of collective good and redistributive justice, but now that neoliberalism is in the ascendancy, we see a resiling from these values in favour of private good and promotion of the self through the market. This cluster of values associated with neoliberalism not only serves to reify the socially dominant strands of masculinity, it also goes hand-in-glove with neoconservatism, which is intent on restricting the inchoate freedoms of women. The erosion of social liberal measures has caused many feminists to feel more kindly disposed towards the liberal state. Some attempt to unravel the contradictions relating to feminism and the state with particular regard to the key discourses of equality of opportunity.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

Corrosive Leadership (or Bullying by Another Name): A Corollary of the Corporatised Academy?

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

The literature reveals that the incidence of bullying is increasing in corporate workplaces everywhere. While the data is scant, it suggests that bullying in universities is also on the increase. Interviews with Australian academics support this finding. It is argued that the trend has to be understood in light of the pathology of corporatisation, which is designed to make academics do more with less. The focus on productivity parallels the harassment to which workers in the private sector may be subjected in the hope that they will work harder and maximise profits. Avenues of redress are considered which show that dignitary harms remain inchoate as legal harms. While common law and anti-discrimination legislation regimes may occasionally offer a remedy to targeted individuals, it is averred that these avenues are incapable of addressing the causative political factors that induce corrosive leadership.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

The Retreat from the Critical: Social Science Research in the Corporatised University

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper considers how the contemporary environment is inducing a less critical approach towards research and impacting on academic freedom. It argues that it is not only the interventionist acts of Ministers and terror censorship that academics need to worry about, for the need to satisfy funding bodies is more insidiously exercising a depoliticising effect on research.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

The Evisceration of Equal Employment Opportunity in Higher Education

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper considers the way in which neoliberalism has impacted on equal employment opportunity (EEO) within the academy. Instead of a focus on the common good, there has been a shift to promotion of the self within the market. Higher education has not been immune from the contemporary imperative to commodify and privatise. Corporatisation has resulted in top-down managerialism, perennial auditing and the production of academics as neoliberal subjects. Within this context, identity politics have either moved to the periphery or disappeared altogether.

Against the background of the ramifications of the socio-political shift and the transformation of the university, the paper considers the rise and fall of EEO and the emergence of new discourses, such as that of diversity, which better suit the market metanarrative. The market has also induced a shift away from staff to students, inviting the question is to whether EEO is now passé.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

Sex Discrimination, Courts and Corporate Power

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

It is notable that in more than thirty years of anti-discrimination legislation in Australia, the High Court has heard only three cases dealing with sex discrimination. Even in the case of appeals to State appellate courts, complainants are rarely successful. Drawing on Robert Cover's idea of the nomos, or normative universe, which informs modes of adjudication, this paper will consider the role of appellate courts in the production of conventionally gendered subjects. It will be argued that a homologous relationship exists between juridical, legislative and corporate power which is cemented through the techniques of legal formalism.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

Sex Discrimination, Courts and Corporate Power

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

It is notable that in more than thirty years of anti-discrimination legislation in Australia, the High Court has heard only three cases dealing with sex discrimination. Even in the case of appeals to State appellate courts, complainants are rarely successful. Drawing on Robert Cover's idea of the nomos, or normative universe, which informs modes of adjudication, this paper will consider the role of appellate courts in the production of conventionally gendered subjects. It will be argued that a homologous relationship exists between juridical, legislative and corporate power which is cemented through the techniques of legal formalism.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

Feminism and the Changing State: The Case of Sex Discrimination

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper examines the ambiguous relationship between feminism and the state through the lens of sex discrimination legislation. Particular attention will be paid to the changing nature of the state as manifested by its political trajectory from social liberalism to neoliberalism over the last few decades. As a creature of social liberalism, the passage of sex discrimination legislation was animated by notions of collective good and redistributive justice, but now that neoliberalism is in the ascendancy, we see a resiling from these values in favour of private good and promotion of the self through the market. This cluster of values associated with neoliberalism not only serves to reify the socially dominant strands of masculinity, it also goes hand-in-glove with neoconservatism, which is intent on restricting the inchoate freedoms of women. The erosion of social liberal measures has caused many feminists to feel more kindly disposed towards the liberal state. Some attempt to unravel the contradictions relating to feminism and the state with particular regard to the key discourses of equality of opportunity.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

'Otherness' on the Bench: How Merit is Gendered

Author(s): Margaret Thornton

This paper focuses on the construction of merit as the key selection criterion for judging. It will show how merit has been masculinised within the social script so as to militate against the acceptance of women as judges. The social construction of the feminine in terms of disorder in the public sphere fans doubts that women are appointable - certainly not in significant numbers to the most senior levels of the bench. It is argued that merit, far from being an objective criterion, operates as a rhetorical device shaped by power. The paper will draw on media representations of women judges in three recent Australian scenarios: an appointment to the High Court; the appointment of almost 50 percent women to Victorian benches; and the scapegoating of a female chief magistrate (resulting in imprisonment) in Queensland.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH

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

Three Good Things and Three Not-so-Good Things about the Australian Legal System

Author(s):

It is often thought that, as a former British colony, Australia must have a legal system that mirrors that of its colonial parent. To an extent this is true. Australia inherited that weird and wonderful body of judicial doctrine, and law-making process, called the 'common law', that uniquely melds and simultaneously produces constancy and change.

Moreover, in addition to this slow and accidental accretion of judge-made law that combines fidelity to precedent with incremental growth through the adaptation of precedent, Australia inherited many of the underlying and fundamental values and principles of the English common law, such as the rule of law, equality before the law, the presumption of innocence, the imperative of a fair trial, and an independent judiciary – all in the context of the achievement of finality (not necessarily of truth) through adversarial rather than inquisitorial processes.

This paper was presented at the International Association of Law Schools Conference, Learning from Each Other: Enriching the Law School Curriculum in an Interrelated World, Kenneth Wang School of Law, Soochow University, Suzhou, China, 17-19 October 2007.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: The Legal Profession

Three Good Things and Three Not-so-Good Things about the Australian Legal System

Author(s):

It is often thought that, as a former British colony, Australia must have a legal system that mirrors that of its colonial parent. To an extent this is true. Australia inherited that weird and wonderful body of judicial doctrine, and law-making process, called the 'common law', that uniquely melds and simultaneously produces constancy and change.

Moreover, in addition to this slow and accidental accretion of judge-made law that combines fidelity to precedent with incremental growth through the adaptation of precedent, Australia inherited many of the underlying and fundamental values and principles of the English common law, such as the rule of law, equality before the law, the presumption of innocence, the imperative of a fair trial, and an independent judiciary – all in the context of the achievement of finality (not necessarily of truth) through adversarial rather than inquisitorial processes.

This paper was presented at the International Association of Law Schools Conference, Learning from Each Other: Enriching the Law School Curriculum in an Interrelated World, Kenneth Wang School of Law, Soochow University, Suzhou, China, 17-19 October 2007.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: The Legal Profession

'In the Service of Society…': Lawyers and the Idea of a Profession

Author(s):

A profession, as we know, is essentially a group of people with specialised knowledge and specialised skills (and certified as such), who then enjoy an exclusive or monopoly right to engage in the practice of those skills, and, moreover, enjoy a large degree of self-regulation in doing so. Why these privileges? What is the quid pro quo?

Put simply, the answer is that those monopoly rights are to be exercised not merely for personal reward but also in the service of society.

This paper was presented at the Fragmentation or Consolidation? Fostering a Coherent Professional Identity for Lawyers, Australian Academy of Law Launch Symposium, Government House, Brisbane, Australia, 17 July 2007.

Read on SSRN

Centre:

Research theme: The Legal Profession

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