Milestone Presentation Day Program

Melbourne Law School's Milestone Presentation Day provides a valuable opportunity for graduate researchers to present their work to an audience of faculty members and fellow graduate researchers.

Thursday 23 February 2023

Law Building - Rooms 202/203 and  224

8.00am - 8.30am
  • PhD Confirmation: Thi Nhung Nguyen (Zoom Only)

    Title: Striking a Balance between Safeguarding National Security and Attracting Foreign Direct Investment from the Perspective of a Developing Country: A Case Study of Vietnam

    Abstract: Many high-income and few middle-income economies have established investment screening mechanisms (‘ISMs’) to review and refuse or place conditions on entry of individual foreign investment proposals based on national security or public interest concerns. ISMs are increasingly used as regulatory tools to mitigate the national security-related risks of foreign investment. My thesis assesses whether and how an ISM works for Viet Nam to strike a balance between attracting foreign investment and protecting national security and the public interest. In doing so, the thesis contributes to the debate over how national and international investment policy can influence the national security and public interest in middle-income economies.

    Supervisors: Tania Voon, Andrew Walter and Phillip McCalman

8.50am - 9.00am
9.00am - 9.30am
  • PhD Confirmation: Tina Yao (Room 202/203)

    Title: Administration and Criminal Law: The Jurisdictions of Corruption in Australia and China

    Abstract: Contemporary society witnesses the expansion of administration and the innovation of administrative toolkits through law. The legitimisation of administrative practices has altered the contour of law, transforming its ordinary mode of operation. This thesis examines the interaction between criminal law and administration in the specific context of anti-corruption laws using two case studies: anti-corruption laws and institutions in New South Wales and China. By focusing on legal techniques employed throughout anti-corruption activities, the thesis analyses the discourses, institutions, procedures and officials of anti-corruption laws. It interrogates the role played by administration in informing our understanding of criminal law as a discipline.

    Supervisors: Peter Rush and Sarah Biddulph

  • PhD Confirmation: Sumedha Choudhury (Room 224)

    Title: The State, Statelessness and International Law: A Third World Perspective

    Abstract: My thesis is guided by an intuition that international law plays a role in contributing to the ‘crises’ of statelessness in postcolonial states. In so doing, I look at the ‘state practice’ of postcolonial states and reflect on how they have historically positioned themselves on statelessness matters. I explore what this historical tracing tells us about the relationship between international law and statelessness.

    Supervisors: Michelle Foster and Adil Hasan Khan

9.30am - 10.30am
  • PhD Completion Seminar - Danish Sheik (Room 202/203)

    Title: A Minor Jurisprudence of Repair

    Abstract: In this thesis, I argue that we can better understand the jurisprudential significance of a set of dissenting acts against the colonial sodomy law in India by describing them as activities of repair. In order to describe the repair-work conducted by these acts of dissent, I place them in relation with a set of genre-breaking texts written by US American scholars which are also characterized by a reparative ethos. Through paying attention to how my cast of dissenters go about their dissent, and by allowing their voices, styles, and genres to guide my own descriptions, I write a jurisprudence of repair.

    Supervisors: Peter Rush and Shaun McVeigh

  • PhD Completion Seminar - Max Walden (Room 224)

    Title: ‘Not served on a silver plate’: The role of civil society actors in promoting the human rights of refugees in Indonesia

    Abstract: Indonesia is one of the main hosting countries for refugees and asylum seekers in Southeast Asia but is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and has scant domestic law pertaining to refugees. This thesis analyses the extent to which refugees can access the rights to education, healthcare and livelihoods in Indonesia, arguing that in the absence of the state, civil society plays a key role in service delivery and advocacy towards the realisation of these human rights for marginalised non-citizens.

    Supervisors: Susan Kneebone and Tim Lindsey

10.30am - 11.00am
Morning Tea
11.00am - 11.30am
  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Haris Jamil (Room 202/203)

    Title: A Critical History of the Concept of ‘State Practice’ and its Role in the Making of the State

    Abstract: In the technical idiom of international law, ‘state practice’ refers to the conduct of states, relevant as evidence of state consent leading to international lawmaking. In this account, ‘states’ make ‘state practice’, which sequences ‘states’ as coming first, followed by ‘state practice’ second. My thesis follows an intuition in which this order of relation is reversed in order to investigate the role that the concept of ‘state practice’ has played and plays in the making of the ‘state’. In so doing, it critically examines the history and jurisprudence of the concept of ‘state practice’.

    Supervisors: Sundhya Pahuja and Adil Hasan Khan

  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Andrea Furger (Room 224)

    Title: Core crimes investigations ‘abroad’: extraterritorial evidence collection between law and politics

    Abstract: Contemporary investigations of core international crimes – genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression – are largely conducted extraterritorially. Prosecution authorities are therefore dependant on the cooperation of states in order to collect sufficient evidence to build criminal cases. In this context, the pursuit of accountability relies significantly on the discretion of states on whose territory evidence is located, because legal frameworks regulating cooperation are incomplete and existing obligations are not always observed. This project seeks to illuminate the complexities of core crimes investigations by examining what factors inform whether or not states cooperate with prosecution authorities in extraterritorial evidence gathering.

    Supervisors: Alison Duxbury, Carrie McDougall and Carla Winston

11.30am - 12.00pm
  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Tyson Holloway-Clarke (Room 202/203)

    Title: Methods and Concepts: Contemporary Indigenous Jurisprudence

    Abstract: Within First Nations societies, law is coded within multiple mediums beyond written word, instead spanning across the diversity of performance, and visual art. For the outsider, accessing these vital legal concepts and thinking has been challenging, but a key factor within many landmark cases. This project seeks to propose improved methods on how the law ought to interpret these legal sources and include their perspectives within the law, and thus the perspectives of First Nations communities. The project will then seek to expand our understanding of sovereignty, treaty, truth-telling, and justice by utilising these methods.

    Supervisors: Shaun McVeigh and Olivia Barr

  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Andrea Mailyn Pragashini Immanuel (Room 224)

    Title: The Right to Nationality During Armed Conflict

    Abstract: Nationality is often central to armed conflict: problems related to nationality comprise both the causes and the consequences of armed conflict. Correspondingly, parties to armed conflict such as states and armed groups regularly threaten the individual’s right to nationality during the conflict. International law primarily conceptualizes nationality as a state power and not as a human right. This doctoral thesis hypothesizes that: (1) the current conceptualization of nationality under international law is neither suitable nor sufficient to secure the individual’s right to nationality during armed conflict; (2) a rights-based approach to nationality might better secure this right during armed conflict.

    Supervisors: Michelle Foster, John Tobin and Katharine Fortin

12.00 - 1:00pm
  • PhD Completion Seminar - Ashleigh Best (Room 202/203)

    Title: Material Vulnerabilities: The Legal Status of Animals in Disasters

    Abstract: This thesis contends that animals’ legal status situates them in a position of vulnerability during disasters. It establishes how, in the case study disasters consulted, animals’ contemporaneous legal status rendered them systemically and acutely vulnerable. These conditions, the thesis argues, stem from distinctive characteristics of animals’ status within the Western legal imaginary: that it overlooks animals' embodied and relational condition, entrenches their legal inferiority, and is inattentive to their grounded existence in the physical -- and social -- world. Rather than rectifying these characteristics, the thesis argues that disaster planning instruments for animals perpetuate them, leaving animals’ disaster vulnerability unaddressed.

    Supervisors: Christine Parker, Lee Godden, Shaun McVeigh and Olivia Barr

  • PhD Completion Seminar - Elizabeth Hicks (Room 224)

    Title: Legalism and its Limits: Legal Professional Culture and Constitutional Development in Australia and Germany

    Abstract: This thesis considers how legal professional culture shapes ‘legalist’ reasoning — a method that emphasises the technical and determinate quality of law — and constitutional development. I compare two constitutional systems that differ in constitutional text, methodological traditions and institutional landscape — Australia and Germany — where ‘legalist’ approaches to method have dominated historically. I trace key periods when practices of reasoning were less ‘stable’ and legalist approaches were challenged. Through this, I identify some of the professional cultural conditions on which ‘legalist’ approaches to method rest and the circumstances in which those conditions can destabilise.

    Supervisors: Adrienne Stone and Cheryl Saunders

1.00pm - 1.45pm
1.45 - 2:15
  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Ramshi Venkatesan (Room 202/203)

    Title: Law, Development and the Making of Post-colonial India: A study of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.

    Abstract: This thesis analyses the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act 1951 to explore the ideas of ‘industrialisation’ and ‘development’ that led to its enactment and understand how the Act shaped political, economic and legal relations in post-colonial India. It argues that it is through and in relation to ‘development’ that ‘the state’, ‘the economy’ and ‘the nation’ came to be imagined and constructed. Through an analysis of the Act, which was enacted in pursuit of ‘development’, the thesis makes visible the legal technologies at play in ‘fixing’ the meaning of ‘development’ and in constituting ‘the state’, ‘the economy’ and ‘the nation’.

    Supervisors: Sundhya Pahuja and Jenny Beard

  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Thi Thu Ha Do (Room 224)

    Title: Responsibilities of domain name registries with respect to the regulation of harmful online content

    Abstract: Unlike other online intermediaries, domain name registries (‘registries’) have not gained much traction in content-related regulatory debates. Despite the off-the-radar status of registries, the technical measures they are able to employ against online content may have far-reaching implications for domain name registrants, Internet users, and the wider public. Moreover, the private ordering initiatives adopted by registries in recent years may alleviate online harm but may also raise further concerns over due process standards. The thesis will investigate the responsibility of registries regarding the regulation of harmful online content, considering especially human rights and public good, along with due process standards.

    Supervisors: Megan Richardson and Andrew Christie

2.15pm - 2.45pm
  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Zoe Nay (Room 202/203)

    Title: State Responsibility for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change in Pacific Islands: Legal Obligations and Remedies under International Law

    Abstract: Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) face harm associated with climate change known as ‘loss and damage’, while contributing little to its causes. Despite a long history of PSIDS advocating for enhanced action to address loss and damage, it remains an ambiguous and contested topic in the international climate treaty regime, with little consensus about the nature and extent of states’ remedial obligations under international law. This thesis critically engages with international climate change law, the law of the sea, and the international law of state responsibility, to examine the legal issues related to accountability for loss and damage in PSIDS. These include issues of attribution, causation, apportionment of responsibility, and determination of appropriate remedies.

    Supervisors: Jackie Peel and Alice Palmer

  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Nurul Azizah Zayzda (Room 224)

    Title: Postcolonial Citizenship in Indonesia and Refugees’ Access to Social Rights

    Abstract: This research approaches the problems that refugees face in claiming their human rights in transit countries through a postcolonial analysis of citizenship, with reference to Indonesia. Indonesia is one of transit countries of refugees, where refugees and asylum seekers seek to stay temporarily while going through refugee status determination (RSD) and awaiting resettlement. This thesis focuses on continuities and changes in perspectives on citizenship in Indonesia and links this discussion to access to social rights, particularly the right to health and education. This thesis further examines non-state actors’ roles and the relevance of Indonesia’s engagement with international human rights law.

    Supervisors: Susan Kneebone and Tim Lindsey

2.45pm - 3.45pm
  • PhD Completion Seminar - Johanna Commins (Room 202/203)

    Title: Reading representations of the handmaid in popular culture and law

    Abstract: When protesters dressed as handmaids from Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, first appeared outside legislative buildings in 2017 it seemed to me that law and literature had briefly, but forcefully, collided. This thesis elaborates and performs a reading methodology that examines this moment of encounter as an intertextual doubling: through the figure of the handmaid law doubles as literature and literature doubles as law. By reading Atwood’s reimagined handmaid alongside different legal texts I make a feminist intervention in the field of law and literature, critiquing the way in which gender norms are circulated through and reinforced by the privileging of particular narratives over others.

    Supervisors: Peter Rush and Ann Genovese

  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Ayu Kusuma Putri (Room 224)

    Title: Localising refugee protection: the case of refugee community organisations in Malaysia

    Abstract: Despite the rhetoric of localisation within refugee protection governance, in practice, meaningful participation of refugees in decision-making processes concerning them is strictly limited. This thesis adopts analytical frameworks on participation and power relations to examine how localisation unfolds in practice by focusing on the role of refugee community organisations (RCOs), using the context of Malaysia as a transit country. It investigates the conditions under which meaningful participation is achieved and how power is exercised through emerging localisation practices. This thesis argues that the existing power inequalities between the formal refugee agencies and RCOs have hindered the transformative process of localisation.

    Supervisors: Susan Kneebone and Andrew Rosser

3.45pm - 4.15pm
Afternoon Tea
4.15pm - 4.45pm
  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Sarah Cupler (Room 202/203)

    Title: Domination and Public Sector Use of Algorithms

    Abstract: My thesis uses a critical republicanism perspective to analyse the issues of using algorithms in policing and care work. I argue this approach can help mitigate the deficiencies of the current regulation of this technology. I begin with an introduction on the use of algorithms by government and then set out my theoretical framework. To demonstrate how state power and domination is amplified by these technologies, I use the case studies of three cities, Amsterdam, Bristol, and Birmingham. I conclude by proposing a regulatory framework with a non-domination basis rather than a harm prevention basis.

    Supervisors: Andrew Kenyon and Andy Roberts

  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Monica Hope (Room 224)

    Title: Tax justice and intergenerational wealth transfer in Australia: is the reinstatement of a wealth tax required to mitigate economic inequality and wealth concentration in an ageing population?

    Abstract: While the Australian government taxes income, consumption, property, payroll, excise and customs, its lack of wealth taxation is an obvious absence. As Australia faces significant socio-demographic and population pressures, and as it pursues social equality and justice, this absence calls for re-assessment and analysis. Wealth taxes are implemented in many other jurisdictions as an element of governmental redistributive policy. It is hoped that this research will contribute to a progressive, contemporary 21st century understanding of tax justice which will inform the debate regarding possible wealth tax mechanisms in Australia.

    Supervisors: Miranda Stewart and Daniel Halliday

4.45pm - 5.15pm
  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Elliot Legendre (Room 224)

    Title: Tax instruments and water rights protection: a compared policy analysis

    Abstract: At global scale, the past decades have brought increasing droughts and reached worrying records. Climate models suggest more extreme weather in the future, triggering more intense competition for water. This project will examine the influence of taxation on the protection of water consumption. The project is structured around two key questions. The first question asks how – if at all – taxation deals with water use. The second question asks how can water taxation incentivise reduced water consumption while maximising the benefits of its allocation through a redistribution that is efficient and fair. The project addresses these questions through three case studies.

    Supervisors: Miranda Stewart and Erin O’Donnell

5.00pm - 5.30pm
  • PhD Confirmation Seminar - Bongkot Napaumporn (Room 202/203)

    Title: Stateless persons from Thailand in Japan: Negotiating identity and inclusion

    Abstract: Statelessness is a violation of the human right to a nationality and further increases people’s vulnerability to marginalisation and exclusion when they migrate to another country. Despite their struggles, it is evident that some stateless persons from Thailand in Japan have sought to assert and define their own identity. Drawing on an empirical approach, this thesis analyses how these stateless migrants negotiate their identity and inclusion in the context of the laws and policies on status and nationality in Japan. Using the lived experiences of these stateless persons, my research challenges dominant understandings of statelessness and identity.

    Supervisors: Michelle Foster and Susan Kneebone