All human research carried out by staff and students at the University of Melbourne requires ethics approval. In law this includes, but is not restricted to, gathering information about human beings (and organisations) through interviewing, surveying, questionnaires, observation of human behaviour and audio/video taping.
Law Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG)
The Law Human Ethics Advisory Group (Law HEAG) conducts technical and ethical reviews of all projects emanating from the Law School; provides feedback to researchers on their research; approves Minimal Risk applications; and provides advice to the Human Ethics Sub Committee (HESC) on (higher risk) Project applications.
It is recommended researchers allow sufficient time for the review of your application as your research cannot commence until you have received ethics approval. For graduate research students it is important to plan your fieldwork and the ethics application early in your candidature - at the Confirmation meeting is a good time. Most applications require a two-stage review process, and this should be accounted for when considering your project commencement date.
In essence, the Law Human Ethics Advisory Group (Law HEAG) is responsible for approving 'low risk' research projects, but must also make a recommendation to the central ethics committee regarding 'high risk' projects. As a result, all applications for human research ethics approval are now made to the Law HEAG.
For all projects, the Law HEAG can grant ethics approval, either by using the expedited review process if the project is 'low risk' or if it is a 'Project-within-Program' that is part of an existing University of Melbourne ethics application that has been approved. If a project is considered by the Law HEAG to be 'high risk', it must still consider and make a recommendation to the central ethics committee regarding that project. The central ethics committee remains responsible for the clearance of all 'high risk' projects.
Law HEAG Membership 2017
Dr Amanda Whiting (Chair)
Associate Professor Mark Burton
Dr Rain Liivoja
Professor Tim McCormack
Associate Professor Andy Roberts (semester 2)
Associate Professor Joo-Cheong Tham
Professor Tania Voon
Professor Julian Webb (semester 1)
Ms Angela Hendley-Boys (Secretary)
Human Research Ethics
Want to know more about Human Research Ethics?
The Law HEAG meets once a month. It is recommended researchers allow sufficient time for the review of their application as the research cannot commence until ethics approval has been received. View our 2016 submission deadlines.
How to Apply
All human ethics applications are created using the Human Ethics module in Themis. Most researchers should have automatic access but some students may need to phone the Themis Service Desk on 8344 0888. The module allows researchers to submit and track their applications electronically, from drafting through to the completion of research. Appropriately signed hard copies of applications are also required.