Harold Luntz Graduate Research Thesis Prize

The Harold Luntz Graduate Research Thesis Prize is awarded annually to the Melbourne Law School graduate research student judged to have presented the best thesis in the previous year, provided that the nominee meets an overall level of excellence required for the award. It is named for Emeritus Professor Harold Luntz, a world expert on torts law and a former dean and professor at Melbourne Law School.


Prize Winners

  • Dr Hannah Robert (2018)

    Title - Truth or 'collateral damage'? Legal parentage, bio-genetic parentage and children's perspectives

    Supervisors - Professors Jenny Morgan and Helen Rhoades

    Year - 2018

    Dr Hannah Robert
    Dr Hannah Robert

    Dr Robert was supervised by Professors Jenny Morgan and Helen Rhoades.

    Dr Robert has conducted a wide-ranging and innovative study that draws on a vast array of literature from inside and outside law, including sociological and philosophical work.

    The selection committee found that the thesis, Truth or 'collateral damage'? Legal parentage, bio-genetic parentage and children's perspectives was extremely impressed with Dr Robert’s pioneering thesis. Not only is it an outstanding example of interdisciplinary research that draws on a vast array of literature from within and outside law, but it also deftly weaves theoretical material into an exposition of legal problem. Dr Robert’s thesis is the first to addresses a complex issue of growing social significance and does so with a unique and innovative approach.

    Dr Hannah Robert is a Lecturer at La Trobe Law School, Melbourne.

  • Dr Cait Storr (2017)

    Title - Nauru: International Status, Imperial Form, and the Histories of International Law

    Supervisors - Professor Sundhya Pahuja and Associate Professor Shaun McVeigh

    Year - 2017

    Dr Cait Storr
    Dr Cait Storr

    Dr Storr was supervised by Professor Sundhya Pahuja and Associate Professor Shaun McVeigh.

    Dr Storr has conducted a wide-ranging and innovative study that engages with the history and theory of international law.

    The selection committee found that the thesis, Nauru: International Status, Imperial Form, and the Histories of International Law, was meticulously researched, ambitious in its scope, and highly original. Perhaps its most noteworthy feature was its reversal of traditional methodology, which is likely to have great impact on the discipline in the future. The standard of the thesis’s scholarship was also outstanding.

    Dr Cait Storr is a Lecturer in English Property Law at the University of Glasgow Law School.

  • Dr Julia Dehm (2016)

    Title - Reconsidering REDD+: Law, life, limits and growth in crisis

    Supervisors - Associate Professor Maureen Tehan, Associate Professor Margaret Young and Professor Lee Godden

    Year - 2016

    Dr Julia Dehm
    Dr Julia Dehm

    Dr Dehm was supervised by Associate Professors Maureen Tehan, Margaret Young and Professor Lee Godden.

    Dr Dehm has written an outstanding thesis investigating philosophical foundations of law and markets in the context of attempts to 'reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation' (REDD).

    The selection committee found that the thesis, Reconsidering REDD+: Law, life, limits and growth in crisis, was meticulously researched and of a very high standard. In addition to theoretical critique, Dr Dehm engaged empirically with her subject matter, spending time in Indonesia and communities affected by climate mitigation strategies, and developing strong links with civil society.

    Dr Julia Dehm is a Lecturer at La Trobe University Law School.

  • Dr Stewart Fenwick (2015)

    Title - Is Rawlsian liberalism compatible with Islam? A case study of post-Soeharto Indonesia

    Supervisors - Professor Tim Lindsey, Professor Carolyn Evans and Professor Abdullah Saeed

    Year - 2015

    Dr Stewart Fenwick
    Dr Stewart Fenwick

    Dr Fenwick was supervised by Professors Tim Lindsey, Carolyn Evans and Abdullah Saeed.

    Dr Fenwick has written an outstanding thesis drawing on a particular focus on the management of deviant Islamic religious thought. His research has had, and continues to have, a considerable impact both within and beyond academic circles.

    The selection committee found that the thesis, Is Rawlsian liberalism compatible with Islam? A case study of post-Soeharto Indonesia, was meticulously researched and of a very high standard. It is based on extensive and extremely difficult fieldwork conducted in Indonesia, in a second language, on blasphemy, a topic of high social and political sensitivity in that country.

    Dr Stewart Fenwick is the Director of Administration in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. In 2015, Dr Fenwick was appointed Honorary Professor in the newly established Institute for Religion, Politics and Society, Australian Catholic University, in recognition of his research and publishing record, including in particular his thesis.

  • Dr Wendy Ng (2014)

    Title - The Political Economy of China's Anti-Monopoly Law

    Supervisors - Professor Caron Beaton-Wells and Professor Sean Cooney

    Year - 2014

    Dr Wendy Ng Profile Picture
    Dr Wendy Ng

    Dr Ng was supervised by Professors Caron Beaton-Wells and Sean Cooney.

    Dr Ng has written an outstanding thesis that draws on the fields of competition law and Chinese law from a political economy perspective. Her research has had, and continues to have, a considerable impact both within and beyond academic circles.

    The selection committee found that the thesis, The Political Economy of China's Anti-Monopoly Law, was meticulously researched and of a very high standard. By drawing on comparative law scholarship, extensive primary documentary research, as well as a series of stakeholder interviews in China, the thesis has made a highly original and valuable contribution to the literature in this area of study.

    Dr Wendy Ng is a Lecturer in Law at The University of Adelaide. She is also 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.

  • Dr Luis Eslava (2013)

    Title - Local Space, Global Life: The Everyday Operation of International Law and Development

    Supervisors - Professor Anne Orford and Associate Professor Shaun McVeigh

    Year - 2013

    Dr Luis Eslava Profile Picture
    Dr Luis Eslava

    Dr Eslava was supervised by Professor Anne Orford and Associate Professor Shaun McVeigh.

    Dr Eslava's PhD thesis engages with the ground-level operation of international law and the development project by discussing the current international attention to local jurisdictions. Through an ethnographic study of Bogota's recent development experience, the thesis interrogates the rationale and exposes some of the contradictions involved in this turn to the local. Advancing these reflections, the thesis argues for closer critical attention to the multiple ways in which international law and the development project come into being in the everyday life of the Third World. His research has made, and continues to make, an impact in an area of growing international importance.

    The Selection Committee for the Prize said that the thesis exemplifies research excellence at Melbourne Law School. Evidence of Luis's international reputation arising from his thesis is found in the wide range of invitations he has received to present and work at esteemed institutions around the world including the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy.

    Dr Eslava is a Lecturer in Law at Kent Law School and a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School. He is also an International Professor at Universidad Externado de Colombia and a Docent at the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School.

  • Dr Emily Hudson (2012)

    Title - Copyright Exceptions: The Experiences of Cultural Institutions in the United States, Canada and Australia

    Supervisors - Professor Andrew Kenyon and Associate Professor David Brennan

    Year - 2012

    Dr Emily Hudson Profile Picture
    Dr Emily Hudson

    Dr Hudson was supervised by Professor Andrew Kenyon and Associate Professor David Brennan.

    Dr Hudson has written an outstanding PhD thesis with high significance for copyright law and its reform. Her research has made, and continues to make, a considerable impact both within and beyond academic circles.

    The Selection Committee for the Prize said that Dr Hudson's thesis 'draws on theoretical, comparative and empirical research methods to examine the practical operation of copyright exceptions in Australia, Canada and the United States for libraries, archives and museums in their dealings with copyright material. The thesis has made a lasting and significant contribution to the field of copyright law and practice with relevance to both law reform and academic debate. The quality of her associated publications, presentations and professional roles reflects the international esteem in which she is rightly held based on her research in this field.

    Dr Hudson has been Career Development Fellow in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Oxford, associated with St Peter's College, since January 2012. She is also a member of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre. In addition to her work in intellectual property law, Dr Hudson researches in personal property law and law as it relates to cultural institutions and the arts.

  • Dr Takele Bulto (2011)

    Title - Rights, Wrongs and the River Between: Extraterritorial Application of the Human Right to Water in Africa

    Supervisors - Professor Carolyn Evans and Associate Professor Jacqueline Peel

    Year - 2011

    Dr Takele Bulto Profile Picture
    Dr Takele Bulto

    Dr Bulto was supervised by Professor Carolyn Evans and Associate Professor Jacqueline Peel.

    Dr Bulto's PhD thesis brings together international environmental law and human rights law to examine the legal obligations States owe to other States with which they share water (particularly rivers). It is an excellent thesis that has made a real contribution to thinking about the difficult problem of water-sharing and access to water between States. His research has made, and continues to make, an impact in an area of growing international importance.

    The Selection Committee for the Prize said that 'Both examiners' reports are particularly and consistently strong, emphasizing the quality and important contribution of the thesis. The principal supervisor's recommendation was also particularly strong, commending Dr Bulto on an excellent and important piece of scholarship that will make a very significant contribution to the progressive development of international human rights law. Both examiners passed Dr Bulto without requiring any changes and the first examiner recommended Dr Bulto for the Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis ranking the thesis as 'near or at the very top of this scholarship'.

    Dr Takele Bulto is an Assistant Professor in International Studies, Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. He is also a Visiting Fellow, Centre for International Governance and Justice, Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), ANU.

  • Dr Jothie Saunthararajah (2010)

    Title - Legislating Illiberalism: Law, Discourse & Legitimacy in Singapore

    Supervisors - Professor Pip Nicholson, Professor Abdullah Saaed and Professor Li-Ann Thio

    Year - 2010

    Dr Jothie Saunthararajah Profile Picture
    Dr Jothie Saunthararajah

    Dr Saunthararajah was supervised by Professor Pip Nicholson, Professor Abdullah Saeed and Professor Li-Ann Thio.

    Dr Saunthararajah's thesis analysed a wide range of Singaporean statutes in order to show how law and a narrative of territorial and economic vulnerability has muted critique and augmented state power while strategically sustaining state legitimacy. She presented a template for such 'illiberal legitimacy', warning that this new legality risks becoming entrenched in Singapore and adopted by other states.

    The Selection Committee for the Prize said that 'Dr Saunthararajah's thesis is brilliantly argued and elegantly written. It reflects the determination and creativity Dr Saunthararajah took to her scholarship, producing an intellectual contribution that is well beyond that expected of a doctoral student. The thesis received unreserved acclaim from the two examiners and both recommended Dr Saunthararajah for the Chancellors' Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis.'

    Dr Jothie Saunthararajah is currently working as a Visiting Scholar at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago before taking up the appointment as a Research Professor. She also holds a Visiting Affiliate position with the Asia Institute at the National University of Singapore and a Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore.

  • Dr Michelle Welsh (2009)

    Title - Civil Penalties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Enforcement Role of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

    Supervisor - Professor Ian Ramsay

    Year - 2009

  • Dr Elizabeth Brophy (2008)

    Title - The Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine into Health Care: Regulating for Consumer Choice, Autonomy and Responsibility

    Supervisors - Associate Professor Christine Parker and Emeritus Professor Harold Luntz, and co-supervised by medical practitioners Dr Marie Pirotta and Dr Vicki Kotsirilos

    Year - 2008

  • Dr Simon Butt (2007)

    Title - Judicial Review in Indonesia: Between Civil Law and Accountability? A Study of Constitutional Court Decisions 2003 - 2005

    Supervisor - Professor Tim Lindsey

    Year - 2007