Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis

Melbourne Law School graduate Dr Wendy Ng has won the University of Melbourne Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis 2015 in the Humanities, Creative Arts and Social Sciences category for her thesis The Political Economy of China's Anti-Monopoly Law. This is the fifth consecutive year in which a Melbourne Law School graduate has won the Chancellor's Prize.

Under the supervision of Professor Caron Beaton-Wells and Professor Sean Cooney, Dr Ng wrote an outstanding thesis that draws on the fields of competition law and Chinese law from a political economy perspective. Dr Ng's theoretical framework for investigating China's Anti-Monopoly Law is a clear advance on previous studies in the area. Building on the work of eminent comparative law scholars, Dr Ng was able to construct an analysis that located the text and operation of the law within a wider political and economic context.

This enabled her thesis to reveal how the contrasting interests and objectives of influential stakeholder and legal actors shaped both the drafting and implementation of her reform. Her findings were informed and enriched by extensive primary documentary research and a series of stakeholder interviews, facilitated by Dr Ng's Mandarin skills, which she honed specifically for this purpose, and by the sensitivity of her approach to recruiting prospective interviewees.

Dr Ng's research has had, and continues to have, a considerable impact both within and beyond academic circles.  Dr Ng has established an international reputation due to the outstanding quality of her doctoral work, as evidenced by the invitations she has received to present her research at conferences and to co-author papers. She is now a Lecturer in Law at The University of Adelaide, a consultant for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on issues relating to competition law and development, and an editor of the China Competition Bulletin, a leading bimonthly publication on the latest developments in Chinese competition law and policy.The Chancellor's Prize is the only University-wide award for a PhD thesis, as detailed here.

The awards are clustered into three faculty groupings: Humanities, Creative Arts and Social Sciences; Science and Engineering; and Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. Six PhD graduates have been awarded this distinguished prize: two in each faculty grouping of the 579 candidates who successfully completed the PhD in 2014.