What's been happening

The Cartel Project is at the end of its formal Australian Research Council funding period covering 2009-2011. While much of the research associated with Project will be ongoing, this website will not be updated. The information on the website is current to December 2011.

The website serves as an archive of the Cartel Project and the list below records the main activities of the team over the formal term of the Project.

  • In December 2011 the Project team published The Cartel Project Bulletin recording the major activities, outputs and findings of the Project. You can access the Bulletin here.
  • In December 2011 the Project team published the Report on Interviews With Civil Respondents in Cartel Cases.
  • In November 2011 presentations on the results from the Cartel Project Survey will be given by members of the Project team to the ACCC and the Federal Court.
  • Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells is presenting on a panel addressing the topic 'Cartel Leniency and Private Actions' at the ICN Cartels Workshop in Bruges, 10-13 October 2011.
  • Associate Professor Fiona Haines gave presentations based on the paper "Ambiguities in Criminalising Business Conduct: Cartels as a Case Study" (2011), co-authored with with Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells. Associate Professor Haines presented to the Criminalization Conference organised by the Criminalization Project, University of Stirling, September 7-9th and to the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Four Points by Sheraton, Geelong organised by Deakin University, 28-30th September.
  • The Conversation, an online media source supporting independant academic commentary, has featured an opinion piece by Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells commenting on the tough new approach of recently appointed ACCC Chairman Rod Sims to litigation. You can read the piece here.
  • Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells gave a presentation - 'Cartel Criminalisation: Testing the Rhetoric' - to the Mallesons Stephen Jaques Competition Law Group as part of its CLE Seminar Series on 14 September 2011, Melbourne.
  • Associate Professor Fiona Haines launched her new book The Paradox of Regulation, published by Edward Elgar Publishing. Associate Professor Haines uses theoretical analysis and empirical research into the aftermath of industrial disasters, terrorist attacks and financial collapse to analyse the complex nexus between risk and regulation. The analysis shows how successful regulation must manage three fundamentally different risks: actuarial, socio-cultural and political. A book launch was held at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. For more information or to order a copy of the book click here.
  • The Conversation, a new online media source supporting independant academic commentary, has featured an opinion piece by Associate Professor Fiona Haines, A Recipe for Making the Carbon Tax a Success, in which Associate Professor Haines outlines the challenges facing the tax. You can read Associate Professor Haines' opinion piece, and also comment on the issues, here.
  • Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells participated on a panel concerning the cartel criminalisation reforms in New Zealand at the Competition Law & Policy Institute of New Zealand annual workshop in Wellington on 5 August 2011. Her slides are here.
  • Professor Christine Parker has taken up a new position at the Centre for Regulatory Studies within the Law faculty at Monash University. Professor Parker will maintain her role in and contribution to the Cartel Project from the Centre. On Friday 22 July 2011 Professor Parker presented a seminar at the Centre entitled The War on Cartels: An Evaluation of the Impact of Criminalisation on Deterrence and Compliance.
  • The Cartel Project research team organised and led a stream at the Socio-Legal Studies Conference, Socio-legal Approaches to International Economic Law: Text, Subtext, Context, 12-14 April 2011, held at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. The theme of the conference was the various effects of international economic activity and the regulation of that activity on society and social interactions. The theme of the stream of panels organised by the research team was Criminalising Commerce? and featured a range of international scholars. The theme concerned the use of criminal and regulatory law to attempt to regulate business conduct. It critically examined the impetuses and justifications for criminalisation of business conduct and the consequences of criminalisation vis-a-vis other modalities of business regulation and also examines compliance and deterrence in business regulation more generally. The convenors of the theme also presented some of their own research on cartel criminalisation.
  • The Conversation, a new online media source supporting independant academic commentary, has featured an opinion piece by Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells commenting on the "cartel crackdown" in Australia following the recent settlement of a class action against Visy and Amcor. You can read the piece here.
  • In February 2011 two major books were published.
    For more information and to order a copy of Australian Cartel Regulation: Law, Policy and Practice in an International Context, by Caron Beaton-Wells and Brent Fisse (Cambridge University Press), click here. A launch of this book was held at the Melbourne Law School on 22 February 2011.
    For more information and to order a copy of Criminalising Cartels: Critical Studies of an International Regulatory Movement, co-edited by Caron Beaton-Wells and Ariel Ezrachi (Hart Publishing), click here.
  • On 14 January 2011 Caron Beaton-Wells and Brent Fisse made a submission to Treasury in relation to the government's Exposure Draft Competition and Consumer Amendment (No. 1) Bill. The submission can be viewed here.
  • On 1 December 2010, Associate Professors Caron Beaton-Wells and Christine Parker participated in a seminar held at the ACCC where they presented key results from the Cartel Project survey to the senior managers of the ACCC's Compliance and Enforcement branch. A copy of the presentation is available here.
  • Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells was invited by the ACCC to participate as a Non-Governmental Advisor to the International Competition Network and to present on the Cartels Project's findings from its survey of public opinion at the ICN Cartels Workshop in October in Yokohama, Japan. The slides from the presentation are available here. A detailed report of the findings will be available on the Project website by the end of the year.
  • Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells and Chris Platania-Phung presented the preliminary findings of the Cartel Project's survey of public opinion on cartel criminalisation at the Law Council of Australia's Annual Trade Practices Workshop on 20-22 August 2010. The slides from the presentation are available here. A detailed report of the findings will be available on the Project website by the end of the year.
  • On 20 May 2010 the Australian Financial Review featured an opinion piece by Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells regarding the recent collapse of the first trial to be brought under the UK cartel offence (involving four British Airways executives in connection with price fixing of fuel surcharges). The text of her piece can be read here.
  • Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells has been included in the list of Top Female Antitrust Economics and Law Professors compiled by the Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog. The list is described as representing "an All Star Team that spanned people across the globe based on scholarly impact in the field of antitrust law and economics". You can review the complete list here.
  • We are delighted to announce that Associate Professor Christine Parker, along with her co-author Associate Professor Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen, has been awarded a prize for the best article published in 2009 in the journal Regulation and Governance for their article "Testing responsive regulation in regulatory enforcement". This is a prestigious prize, considering the high impact, in terms of academic citations, that this new journal has. The article is part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Enforcement and Compliance Project and you can read more about that Project by following the link on our Homepage under the Related Projects heading. Nielsen and Parker's article sets out the theories of responsive regulation. They then test the theories in the context of ACCC investigation and enforcement actions using survey data from firms alleged to have violated the Trade Practices Act. You can read the article here.
  • The New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development is currently consulting on whether cartel conduct should be criminalised in New Zealand and Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells and Brent Fisse have made a submission to the Department. You can read their submission here.
  • Associate Professor Beaton-Wells has given presentations on cartel criminalisation and global trends in design and enforcement, including in relation to the new Australian regime, at the Irish Society of European Law on 6 October, at University College London on 21 October, and at the Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy on 12 November 2009.
  • Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells was recently in the UK, based at Oxford University as a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Competition Law and Policy. For the purposes of the comparative component of the Cartel Project focusing on the UK cartel offence, Associate Professor Beaton-Wells conducted interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, including current and former members of the Office of Fair Trading, Treasury, legal profession, business sector, consumer movement and academia. A detailed working paper setting out her findings and analysis will be posted on the Project website at the end of the interview process.
  • We have begun interviews with people in Australia who have been subject to enforcement proceedings in the past in relation to cartel conduct. The interviews cover a range of different cases. We expect to interview 20 to 50 people who have been involved in cartel cases before the middle of 2010. Once we have completed these interviews we will produce a working paper setting out our findings.
  • Professor David Round has been appointed as a Lay Member of the High Court of New Zealand for a five year term. Professor Round will hear cases relating to competition and regulation under the New Zealand Commerce Act.
  • On 25 June 2009 Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells gave a seminar to members of the Victorian Bar on Australia's cartel law reforms, discussing the impetuses for the reforms, outlining the main features of the new statutory regime and predicting some of the key implications.
  • The Federal Court of Australia, in conjunction with the Law Council of Australia, held a workshop on the criminalisation of serious cartel conduct. Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells was a member of the organising committee for the workshop and delivered a major paper, with Brent Fisse, on the elements of the cartel offences, 3-4 April 2009.
  • Thomson Reuters Inaugral Competition &Trade Practices Summit 11th - 13th March 2009 - Sydney - Cartel Reform, The Impact of Criminal Sanctions, TPA Compliance, Interacting with the ACCC. Featured Australian experts, including Associate Professor Caron Beaton-Wells.