MLS researchers successful in ARC funding for 2019

New research projects to be conducted by Melbourne Law School academics have been awarded major funding in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants.

Researching in the library

Discovery Projects 2019

Property as habitat: reintegrating place, people, and law
Professor Lee Godden, Professor Margaret Davies (Flinders) and Associate Professor Nicole Graham (Sydney)

This project aims to produce an original account of property law that will connect it to place and human relationships. Property is at the centre of contemporary social life and law, yet it is often separate in legal scholarship from the human and natural worlds it structures. Using innovative analytical techniques and a grounded consideration of the functions and effects of property, the objective of the project is to produce an understanding of property as habitat that is both sensitive to place and adapted to social conditions. Expected benefits include a responsive understanding of property that is better able to address the challenges of Australian society into the future.

Regulatory power and corporate misconduct
Professor Ian Ramsay and Professor Justin O’Brien (Monash)

This project aims to map and critically analyse the shift towards negotiated enforcement in response to corporate misconduct in the financial sector. There is growing concern within the community, consumer advocates, elected representatives and the finance industry itself about the increasing use by regulators of negotiated enforcement mechanisms rather than litigation to counter serious corporate misconduct in the financial sector. There is concern that these practices may lack transparency, be inefficient, fail to deter corporate misbehaviour, and operate to subvert individual justice and the rule of law. This project aims to address these concerns by developing detailed recommendations for reform based on an examination of the theory and practices of Australian and United States of America financial regulators.

The regulation of labour disputes in Southeast Asia
Associate Professor Carolyn Sutherland (Monash), Professor Richard Mitchell (Monash), Dr Petra Mahy (Monash), Ms Ingrid Landau (Monash) and Professor John Howe (University of Melbourne) [administered by Monash]

This project aims to investigate the complex regulation of labour disputes in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Effective rules and institutions for the resolution of collective labour disputes are integral features of a sound industrial relations system. Yet in many developing countries, formal channels for the resolution of such disputes are largely ineffective. This heightens the risk of industrial disruption and encourages reliance on informal modes of regulation. The project will provide an empirical analysis of existing models of labour regulation, and inform policy development and the activities of agencies involved in labour dispute resolution in the region. It will better equip researchers, legal practitioners, policy makers and NGOs engaging transnationally in the Asia Pacific region.

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards 2019

Restoring public trust in charities – reforming governance and enforcement
Associate Professor Rosemary Langford

The charitable sector is an essential part of the social fabric and economy in Australia. Public trust in the sector has been damaged by governance failures (particularly in religious contexts), exacerbated by the sector’s complex and incoherent governance system. As yet, there has been limited academic consideration or empirical analysis of the effectiveness of the governance and regulatory framework of the sector or concrete reform proposals. The aim of this project is to undertake crucial comparative analysis and empirical research of these aspects, and to develop proposals for effective law and policy reform in order to strengthen and maximise the sector’s capacity to contribute to the social and economic life in Australia.

Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities 2019

MLS Professors Lee Godden and Jackie Peel are part of a successful team led by UTS for a Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant.

The Australian environmental and planning law library
Professor Andrew Mowbray (UTS), Professor Lee Godden, Professor Jackie Peel and others [administered by UTS]

This project aims to provide comprehensive and free access to relevant Australian Environmental and Planning legal research resources, in all Australian jurisdictions not currently available online. A subject-specific ‘Australian Environmental and Planning Law Library’ will improve the ability of all researchers in the field to conduct the highest quality research. The project will build a comprehensive resource of materials including case law, legislation, Impact Statements, Planning Approvals, Plans and similar resources. Expected outcomes include support of the highest quality research relating to the array of issues arising from the protection of natural resources, the prevention of pollution, and the planning of urban development and infrastructure. This database will support the development of improved public policy and better outcomes for the natural and built environments.

Melbourne Law School congratulates these staff on their success and acknowledges the hard work of all staff involved in putting forward applications for Australian Research Council funding.

Find out more about Research at MLS