ALLA 3rd Biennial Conference 2006
ALLA's third biennial conference, 'The Challenge of Contemporary Labour Law: New Directions and Disciplines' was held on 22-23 September 2006 at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Brisbane.
This was another extremely succesful conference for ALLA, with over 100 delegates enjoying 37 papers presented by academics, students and practitioners.
Highlights of the Conference included:
- The Keynote Address by Professor Takashi Araki, Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo, entitled 'Changing employment practice, corporate governance and role of labour law in Japan'.
- The Dinner Address by Mr Tony Lawrence, Victoria's Workplace Rights Advocate.
- Presentations by Judge Geoffrey Guidice, President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and Mr David Rushton, Senior Manager Legal of the Offi ce of the Employment Advocate.
- The launch of the Charter of Employment Rights for Australia by Mordy Bromberg, Anthony Forsyth and Jill Murray.
- The launch, by Ron McCallum, of Joellen Riley's book, 'Employee Protection at Common Law' (Federation Press).
The conference examined the limits and challenges to the traditional discipline of labour law brought about by changing labour market practices, new economic and political theories, and changes in the organisation of business and work and societal structures. Themes included:
- Work Choices: new institutions, new powers, new standards, new rights and obligations
- The labour law system under Work Choices: regulating for cooperation or conflict?
- Corporate governance and labour law: employee rights, participation, and new forms of employee representation
- Contracting and the corporation: restructuring, corporate groups, supply chains, franchises, independent contracting
- The common law of labour law: promoting fairness and fair dealing in the work relationship
The challenge to re-define the purpose of labour law, and to re-formulate the discipline beyond the traditional framework of regulation of the work relationship in a way that might provide some coherence, took on a special importance in light of the Work Choices amendments to the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth). All of these changes led to a greater diversity in approaches to the study of labour law and a broadening of focus in the study, teaching and practice of labour law.
Labour Law Teaching Workshop: 23 September 2006
Following the conclusion of the ALLA Conference and AGM, teachers of labour law participated in the inaugural Labour Law Teachers' Workshop, held at the same venue as the Conference. The Workshop consisted of a Book Symposium and a Discussion Forum on Teaching Labour Law, with the Discussion Forum covering topics such as the labour law syllabus post-Work Choices; course materials; and assessment.