Dr Piers Gooding is a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. He is a socio-legal researcher with a background in law and humanities. He focuses on disability-related law, policy and practice, and has worked at the local, national and international levels. Particular interests include legal capacity, decision-making, mental health policy, access to justice, social inclusion, theories of justice and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Dr Gooding is working specifically on projects related to social inclusion, mental health law, unfitness to plead laws, and access to justice for people with cognitive disabilities.
Prior to joining the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, Dr Gooding was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He undertook research on European Commission research projects focusing on legal capacity-related law and policy reform. Within Ireland, he worked on the introduction of assisted decision-making law and policy for older persons, mental health service users and people with cognitive disabilities. He assisted the Centre in supporting the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to draft its General Comment 1 on Article 12 of the UNCRPD.
Dr Gooding completed his PhD candidature at the Centre for the Advancement of Law and Mental Health, Monash University, School of Law. During his candidature, he held a visiting research fellowship at Kings College London on a Menzies Australian Bicentennial Fellowship. His PhD thesis considered the implications of the UNCRPD for mental health law, policy and practice. Dr Gooding has worked with a range of organisations and research institutes, including the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, People with Disabilities Australia, and the Australian Mental Health Commission.