The Commercial Law Program has three primary objectives. The first objective is to support and develop the commercial law focus within the law school curriculum as it relates to Asian jurisdictions. This focus is particularly strong in the Melbourne Law Masters, which offers a range of subjects in this area. The second objective is to undertake and support research on the development of commercial law in Asia, both by scholars at Melbourne Law School and visiting scholars. The third objective is to provide a basis on which the Asian Law Centre can engage with the profession and the broader community in the area of commercial law. As part of its engagement objective, the Asian Law Centre has adopted an initiative called the Professional Development Strategy for maintaining and developing its relationship with the legal profession and providing specialist training in Asian commercial law and legal practice in a cross-border context.
Associate Professor Andrew Godwin is responsible for the Commercial Law Program.
The evolution of company law in China, as part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project entitled "Legal Origins:
The Impact of Different Legal Systems on the Regulation of the Business Enterprise in the Asia-Pacific Region"
Financial Products and Short-form Disclosure Documents – Challenges and Trends, supported with funding from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation and Melbourne Law School (with Professor Ian Ramsay); See http://www.cifr.edu.au/project/Financial_Products_and_Short-form_Disclosure_Documents.aspx
The Relevance of Traditional Proprietary Rights to the Reform of Rural Land Rights in China (PhD in progress)
Conference paper: "The Growing Struggle between Politics and Law in China and its Impact on Business", presented at the Chinese Studies Association of Australia (CSAA) China Conference at ANU on 13-15 July 2011 (co-delivered with Dr Pradeep Taneja, Melbourne University, School of Social and Political Sciences).
Conference paper: 'The Tenacious Dian (?) and its Role in the Ongoing Debate about Traditional Property Rights in China', presented at the 2009 Melbourne Conference on China: 60 Years of the People's Republic – Transformations and Challenges, 13 & 14 July, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne.
Professional and Community Engagement
Skadden Arps Hong Kong: MLS Alumni presentation on "Deal Negotiations: differences between East and West" (28 March 2012).
Speaker at Melbourne Chinese Law Society Seminar at the Asia Institute with Dr Pradeep Taneja and Rowan Callick (Chief Asian Correspondent for The Australian Newspaper) on "The Relationship between Politics and Business in China" (14 September 2011).
Presentation hosted by European Chamber of Commerce in China, Shanghai, on "Liberalization of legal services in Asia and Market Access in China" (29 April 2011).
Presentation hosted by European Chamber of Commerce in China, Australian Chamber of Commerce in China, The American Chamber of Commerce in China and The British Chamber of Commerce in China: "International Developments in the Regulation and Structure of Law Firms (including the introduction of limited liability partnerships in Hong Kong and alternative business structures in Australia and Hong Kong)" (26 April 2011).
Freshfields Beijing: MLS Alumni presentation on "Update on the Proposed National System for the Regulation of the Legal Profession in Australia (including international developments)" (21 April 2011).
Mallesons Hong Kong: MLS Alumni presentation on "Update on the Proposed National System for the Regulation of the Legal Profession in Australia (including international developments)" (19 April 2011).
Presentation on 'Property, Finance & Investment Issues in the Mining Sector in Australia' as part of a two-day workshop hosted by the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (CREEL) and Melbourne Law School for The Government of Mongolia Study Tour to Australia – an AusAid funded Study Tour by Mongolian Members of Parliament, President's Office, Senior Civil Servants and lawyers (27 October 2010).
Speaker at inaugural Supreme Court conference on Asia: "Engaging the Asian Economies – Law & Practice", hosted by the Chief Justice and the commercial judges of the Supreme Court of Victoria (13 October 2010).
Speaker at "Building a genuine bond - Australia and China in the 21st Century", hosted by the Australia China Youth Association (ACYA) as the Closing Ceremony for the Third Annual Chinese Cultural Festival (14 October 2010).
Panelist at a seminar entitled 'Doing Business in China: Using Cultural Understanding to Build Collaborative Business Relations", organised by the Graduate School of Business & Economics as part of its Diversity Week
Seminars (12 August 2010).
Thomas Philip (Malaysian Law Firm): Presentation to MLS Alumni on "The Liberalisation of Legal Services in Asia – Implications for China", co-presented by Secretary of the Malaysian Bar Council (20 July 2010).
Consul-General's Residence in Shanghai: briefing to visiting delegation from Australia, including Secretary, AG's Department, Solicitor-General, Director, Secretariat, ILSAC and others to discuss the regulation of foreign lawyers in China and to share personal experience (15 July 2010).
Shanghai Bar Association: Presentation as part of its professional seminar program: "Conflicts of Interest and International Trends" (12 July 2010).
Presentation hosted by European Chamber of Commerce in China, Australian Chamber of Commerce in China, The American Chamber of Commerce in China and The British Chamber of Commerce in China: "The Liberalisation of Legal Services in Asia – Implications for China' (7 July 2010).
Mallesons Hong Kong: MLS Alumni presentation on "The Liberalisation of Legal Services in Asia – Implications for China" (30 June 2010).
Member of the Confucius Institute Focus Group (at the request of Asialink) as part of the review of the Confucius Institute by the University of Melbourne (2010).
Panelist at the Asialink Leaders Program Projects Presentation 2009 (24 November 2009).
Presentation at the Confucius Institute: 'Negotiating with Asian Counterparties with a Specific Focus on China' (19 November 2009).
Chaired Q&A session at a public forum hosted by Asialink and sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, at which the guest speakers were Professor Li Cheng of the Brookings Institute and Dr Pradeep Taneja of Melbourne University. The topic was 'Next Generation of the Chinese Leadership: What does the Future Hold? (15 July 2009).
Presentation on 'Foreign Lawyers in Asia: Developments in Market Access with a Specific Focus on China', Melbourne Law School, (4 March 2009): Professional Development Strategy Seminar Series.pdf
Media commentary and appearances
29 July 2011 - interviewed for feature article on the liberalisation of the legal services market in South Korea for Lawyers Weekly, 29 July 2011.
15 July 2009 – op-ed in the Higher Education Supplement of The Australian entitled 'The dynamic of need' about Asian language learning.
9 July 2009 – interviewed by ABC TV for in relation to the Rio Tinto story for Lateline Program (9 July 2009) and ABC Breakfast program 10 July 2009.
22 July 2009 – interviewed for article, "Two systems, one global interest – understanding China" (Australia's relationship with China), The New Straits Times (Malaysia), 19 July 2009.
18 November 2009 - interviewed by Asia Legal Business for article about legal billing: 'Alternative billing – a GFC phenomenon or here to stay?'.
9 November 2008 – interviewed for article "Back to basic values" (impact of financial crisis on China), The New Straits Times (Malaysia).
2 October 2008 – interviewed for article, "China holds aces as US loses face" (impact of financial crisis on China), The Age (Melbourne).