Faculty Research Seminar Series

Melbourne Law School's Faculty Research Seminar Series is a place to present and discuss work-in-progress, promising arguments and early drafts to interested staff, graduate researchers and visitors.

  • 2023 seminars are convened and hosted by Dr Alice Palmer and Dr Kathryn James.
  • The seminars are held weekly on Mondays during semester from 1.00pm - 2.00pm in Room 920 unless specified.
  • The presenter will speak for about 30-40 minutes, followed by time for questions.

Semester 1 Program

  • 27 February 2023 - Ajay Mehrotra

    The VAT Laggard: A Comparative History of US Resistance to the Value Added Tax
    Discussant: Kathryn James
    Venue: Room 920

    Why is the United States the only advanced, industrialized country without a broad-based, national consumption tax such as a VAT or GST?  And what does the absence of such a levy tell us about the peculiar historical development of the modern American fiscal and social welfare state?  This project explores these research questions from a historical and comparative perspective by investigating three key periods in U.S. and global history when many other modern nation-states – including Canada, Australia, and Japan – began to experiment with national consumption taxes, but the United States continued to reject such levies.

  • 6 March 2023 - Tatiana Cutts

    Artificial Justice
    Discussant: Lulu Weiss 
    Venue: Room 920

    Tatiana will be talking about her book Artificial Justice (forthcoming with OUP), manuscript due at the end of March. In the book, she unpacks the different sorts of reasons that we might draw upon when we object to policies of decision-making on the grounds of “algorithmic injustice”. Tatiana argues that these reasons extend beyond equality and other comparative considerations, and cannot be addressed by eliminating unacceptable differences between people. Importantly, they encompass the value of individual choice – of having meaningful opportunities to avoid significant burdens by making appropriate choices, and of giving people the benefit of the doubt about their ability to choose well.

  • 20 March 2023 - Kristen Rundle and Karen Dunwoodie

    Reflections on a 'study tour': Israel and the Palestinian Territories, January 2023
    Venue: Room 920

    In this Faculty Research Seminar, Professor Kristen Rundle (MLS) and Dr Karen Dunwoodie (Deakin) will discuss their recent experience as participants in a 9-day organised academic 'study tour' of Israel and the Palestinian Territories. To prompt thinking around the idea of a 'study tour' per se, and one in relation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories in particular, Kristen and Karen will reflect on such questions as what and who they were 'studying', who decided what they were 'studying', and how they were 'studying'.

  • 27 March 2023 - Lauren Nishimura

    Climate Change, Human Rights, and Adaptive Mobility
    Discussant:  Margaret Young
    Venue: Room 317

    Predictions that climate change will contribute to vast human movement are generating significant attention from scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. Much of this focuses on forced movement and envisions protections that rely on a category of migrant or provide legal status only after people have moved. Lauren’s research aims to offer a new approach. She will argue that obligations related to adaptation in the climate regime require States to enable ‘adaptive mobility’: an anticipatory, proactive approach rooted in human rights that can help avoid forced, precarious migration. To accomplish this, she uses case studies and the tools of treaty interpretation. Her presentation will focus on the latter and draws on her book manuscript, which is not yet ready to circulate.

  • 24 April 2023 - Rebekkah Markey-Towler

    The intersection of climate, banking and financial law
    Discussant: Dr Arjuna Dibley (Research Fellow, Melbourne Climate Futures)
    Venue: Room 920

    While climate change law and banking and finance law are separately two well-developed fields, they have remained relatively siloed over time. But as climate change has growing implications for banking and finance generally, and for mortgages in particular, research is needed to bring these two fields together. This paper therefore reviews the nascent body of literature developing at the intersection climate, banking and finance law. Topics discussed include the adaptation of corporate and financial tools to manage climate risks, the role of the private sector and central banks and financial regulators in addressing climate change, and climate litigation.

  • 1 May 2023 - Anna Dziedzic, Cheryl Saunders, Tom Daly, Jayani Nadarajalingam

    An introduction to the Constitution Transformation Network: Constitution-making and governance in a globalised world
    Venue: Room 920 and Zoom (hybrid)

  • 8 May 2023 - Lulu Weis

    Excise and Victoria's low-emission vehicle tax: Vanderstock in the High Court
    Venue: Room 920

  • 15 May 2023 - Matthew Harding and Jane Norton

    Charities and Politics: Where did we go wrong?
    Venue: Room 920

  • 22 May 2023 - David Wood

    Voluntary Assisted Dying: Eligibility Criteria
    Venue: Room 920

    There are, what will be called here, dying- or terminal illness-based assisted dying eligibility regimes (American jurisdictions, Baroness Meacher’s House of Lords Bill). There are, what will be called here, suffering-based assisted dying eligibility regimes (Benelux jurisdictions). And there are combined dying or terminal illness and suffering-based assisted dying regimes (Australian jurisdictions, Canada, New Zealand). But there are no alternative dying or terminal illness-, or suffering-based assisted dying regimes. The paper asks: why not? The ACT is currently considering introducing assisted dying legislation. It has the chance to get right what all other jurisdictions to date have got wrong.