- PhD Confirmation Seminar - Chui Ling Goh
Thesis Title - The Social Contract and International Sports
Supervisors - Professors Jack Anderson and John Tobin
Abstract - The social contract theory, one of the world’s oldest and illustrious socio-legal and political theory, shall be used as a framework to understand and evaluate the political order in international sports. By the assessment of the said theory by prominent political philosophers to understand the role of the governor, the citizens, and the law in the international political order, this work will also highlight the element of consent in the appointment of the governor in society, and the analogous operation within the organisation of international sports.
- PhD Completion Seminar - Sophie Lamond
Thesis Title - Campus foodscapes as sites of transformation: mapping policy and projects in US universities envisioning just, sustainable and healthy food systems
Supervisors - Professors Christine Parker and John Howe
Abstract - Globally universities have expanded their mission beyond teaching and research: recognising their broader responsibilities to their students, communities and civic neighbours, and to sustainable operations and infrastructure. This research considers the emergence of policies and projects to envision and enact more just, sustainable and healthy campus foodscapes. Over the past decade there has been a ‘thickening’ of action in campus foodscapes, however, little research exists to fully understand the activities, stakeholders, communities of practice and processes underlying these developments. This research draws on extensive content analysis, fieldwork and in-depth interviews to define, map and better understand how campus communities are modelling food system transformations for themselves and for the benefit of broader society.
- PhD Confirmation Seminar - Hui Chia
Thesis Title - ‘Great Power But No Responsibility’: Who is Responsible for Harm Caused by Artificially Intelligent Systems Delivering Healthcare?
Supervisors - Professors Jeannie Paterson and Julian Savulescu
Abstract - Artificial intelligence technology has been called ‘the new electricity’ – like the invention of electricity which revolutionised every area of our lives, AI is predicted to have a similarly transformational impact. The AI revolution has already begun in healthcare. From AI systems that use computer vision to identify cancers, to apps that predict kidney injury, the delivery of healthcare is being reinvented. This technology offers tremendous potential for improving healthcare, but when things go wrong AI also has the potential to cause grave harm. Whilst AI technological development is racing ahead, many of the legal and ethical implications of AI remain unanswered. A crucial question to be addressed is: who is responsible when people are harmed by AI?
- PhD Completion Seminar - Nina Araneta-Alana
Thesis Title - ‘Climate Finance’ and the Philippines: Law, Practice, and Meaning
Supervisors - Professors Margaret Young and Sundhya Pahuja
Abstract - Under international treaties including the Paris Agreement, ‘climate finance’ has gained prominence as a key component of global climate action. However, the meaning of climate finance is unfixed, both legally and practically, and contested. Using a critical, historical and doctrinal approach to examine the Philippine experience of accessing climate finance, the thesis argues that a certain form of climate finance has emerged in the Philippines – one that prioritizes mitigation over adaptation, and centralises debt, trade liberalisation and private capital. It then draws connections between climate finance and the development project. The thesis has implications for discussions of differentiation, historical responsibility, legal interpretation and accountability within the climate regime.
- PhD Confirmation Seminar - John Sebastian
Thesis Title - A Theory of Linguistic and Religious Minority Rights in the Indian Constitution
Supervisors - Professors Farrah Ahmed and Tarun Khaitan
Abstract - The constitutional recognition of linguistic and religious minorities in India has always been deeply contentious. Values such as liberty, equality, diversity, national unity and national identity have been utilized by both defenders and detractors of minority rights. Court jurisprudence on the subject is inconsistent, reflecting uncertainty over the normative underpinnings of minority rights. This thesis seeks to explore the relationship between, and meanings given to, these values in constitutional structure and discourse. This will contribute to a clearer explanation and justification of minority rights at a time when cultural nationalism in India increasingly threatens their very existence.
- PhD Confirmation Seminar - Faiza Rahman
Thesis Title - National Security, Constitutionalism and the Modern Indian State
Supervisors - Professors Cheryl Saunders and Jeremy Gans
Abstract - The national security exception has been used to attenuate India’s constitutional principles from time to time. This thesis examines the purposes towards which the concept of security has been directed during the course of colonial and post-independence India. It assesses the fitness of these purposes against theoretical frameworks that understand what the content of the term “security” is and ought to be, as well as key democratic principles embedded within the Indian Constitution.
- PhD Confirmation Seminar - Roanna McClelland
Thesis Title - Rights to Water or Rights of Water? Examining the use of the Human Right to Water and Rights for Rivers at the local level
Supervisors - Professor Lee Godden and Associate Professor Rebecca Nelson
Abstract - As the world grapples with a global water crisis, two markedly different legal approaches to water are gaining momentum internationally: the human right to water, and legal rights for rivers. Despite international attention, many countries have not formally legalised either approach. Where legal frameworks do exist, the form, implementation and practice vary considerably. There are also indications that local actors are using both approaches regardless of the presence or absence of formal legislation. By treating the human right to water and rights for rivers as transnational laws or norms, and by connecting socio-legal research to theories of “institutional work”, this thesis examines the extent to which these transnational legal concepts influence the work of actors at local river sites.
- PhD Confirmation Seminar - Caitlin Murphy
Thesis Title - International Law and the Energy Transition Through the Lithium Supply Chain
Supervisors - Professors Sundhya Pahuja and Shaun McVeigh
Abstract - ‘Green’ energy commodities such as lithium are widely embraced as promising a way to leave the fossil fuel economy behind. But despite, or perhaps because of this promise, the dark side of such commodities is only beginning to be examined. This thesis inquires into the circumstances of lithium’s extraction and movement from within the earth, to the land, to an energy storage facility. The project is guided by an intuition that international law may be central to understanding the possible trajectories of the ‘energy transition’ away from fossil fuels. Specifically, I am concerned with what legal forms may be carried along with the promise – and extraction and use – of lithium.
- MPhil Confirmation Seminar - Kate Jama
Thesis Title - The Indian Ocean and Mapping Relationships of Law
Supervisors - Professor Shaun McVeigh and Associate Professor Peter Rush
Abstract - The Indian Ocean is often presented as an empty space in opposition to land. In my thesis, I will examine how the law shapes relationships to the Indian ocean. My project builds on the growing legal scholarship on the ocean as a contested legal space by paying particular attention to how maps, as a legal mode, shape how the law, and lawyers, see the Indian Ocean. An interdisciplinary methodology centred on mapping and art making will make visible otherwise invisible histories associated with this oceanic space.
- PhD Confirmation Seminar - Sanam Amin
Thesis Title - Regulating torture: The effect of the UN Convention Against Torture on global practices
Supervisors - Professors Sundhya Pahuja and Shaun McVeigh
Abstract - The UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) is an international legal instrument that articulates an absolute prohibition on torture, as a norm of jus cogens, or a peremptory norm in international law. Three decades since it came into force, it has been ratified by 171 states. Yet, torture remains a global phenomenon. This might seem to be a failure of prohibition or lack of law. There is a more complex possibility: that the CAT has changed rather than eliminated the practice of torture. This thesis examines this possibility, using archival analysis of the CAT and other legal documents that regulate torture.