Grants and awards | Law

Grants and awards

Current grants held by staff

ARC Fellowships

Project title: Anti-Terror Laws and the Democratic Challenge
Researcher: Williams, George
Fellowship type: Laureate Fellowship
Duration: 2009 - 2014
Funding: $2,770,891
Project summary: Since September 11, democratic nations have enacted anti-terrorism laws of stunning scope and number. In Australia alone, 44 new laws running to many hundreds of pages have been passed by the Federal Parliament. Many of these laws, such as those on sedition and detention without charge or trial, were unthinkable prior to the attack. Seven years later, such laws can no longer be cast as a transient, exceptional legal response to the threat of terrorism. This project will provide answers to how nations around the world can best reconcile traditional democratic processes, institutions, principles and individual freedoms with the likelihood that anti-terror laws granting war-time powers will remain in place for the foreseeable future.


Project title: Moving with dignity: a human rights approach to slow-onset climate change-related displacement and relocation in the Pacific
Researcher: McAdam, Jane
Fellowship type: Future Fellowship
Duration: 2011 - 2015
Funding: $814,913
Project summary: This Project addresses an acute gap in international law and policy: how to respond to forced movement resulting from the impacts of slow-onset climate change. It will provide the first legal examination of the potential for en masse relocation of whole communities in the Pacific. Although displacement from slow-onset climate change has been acknowledged as a crisis in slow motion, its less imminent consequences mean that it is receiving less attention by international policymakers than displacement from sudden disasters. The irony is that failing to plan for slow-onset displacement may mean that it eventually becomes a disaster necessitating an emergency response.


Project title: 'Between social enterprise and social movement: responses to environmental change at the intersection of rights and regulation
Researcher: Morgan, Bronwen
Fellowship type: Future Fellowship
Duration: 2011 - 2015
Funding: $817,858
Project summary: This socio-legal project is an empirical study of grassroots initiatives that respond to the challenges of reducing our carbon footprint. It will help both policymakers and ordinary citizens understand better how formal laws block or facilitate such initiatives. Intellectually the project will forge novel links between the study of social movements and of social enterprise, and contribute to theories of behavioural change in relation to climate change, using an innovative socio-legal analytical framework of rights and regulation. Practically, it will identify typologies of different governance options for supporting ethically-motivated initiatives and highlight creative responses to the tensions of working with or against market forces.


ARC Project Grants

Project title: The Concept of 'Imminence' in the International Protection of Refugees

Researcher: McAdam, Jane (with Michelle Foster, Helene Lambert)

Grant type: ARC Discovery

Duration: 2016 – 2019

Funding: $360,000

Project Summary:

The project aims to contribute to the law on international protection by examining the concept of ‘imminence’. We are in an unprecedented era of international displacement; over 50 million people are on the move. While many are fleeing from traditional threats, such as conflict and persecution, some are leaving because they are scared of future risks – like the impacts of climate change. This creates new challenges for countries because traditional refugee frameworks are ill-suited to respond. The question this project asks is: if people cross a border to escape future harm, how ‘imminent’ does the harm need to be before another country has an obligation to protect them? Should international law protect only people who face the risk of immediate danger, or should it also protect those at risk of harm that may manifest more slowly over time?


Project title: Regulating a Revolution: A New Regulatory Model for Digital Finance

Researcher: Buckley, Ross (with Colin Picker, Douglas Arner, Tilman Bruett)

Grant type: ARC Linkage

Duration: 2015 – 2018

Funding: $547,852 (ARC only)

Project Summary: Digital Financial Services (DFS) are set to grow rapidly in Australia, tracking developments overseas. The project will draw on regulatory developments abroad to develop an innovative, proportional, incremental regulatory regime for Australia. This will result in a more competitive and efficient payments system that will lift productivity and economic growth here. The project will also analyze and resolve regulatory roadblocks to the growth of DFS in a range of developing countries so as to promote financial inclusion and economic growth, and thereby reduce poverty, in such countries.


Project title: Leveraging power and influence on the United Nations Security Council

Researcher: Michaelsen, Chris (with Jeni Whalan, Jeremy Farrall and Jochen Prantl)

Grant type: ARC Discovery

Duration: 2015 – 2018

Funding: $488,403

Project Summary: This project examines the fundamental problem of how elected members on the Security Council can influence Council decision-making and norm development. Assembling a research team of international lawyers and political scientists, the project provides a rigorous, multi-disciplinary evaluation of why and when non-permanent Council members have succeeded in impacting the Council’s decision-making process, despite lacking the veto power available to the five permanent members. Drawing on recent experiences of elected members, including Australia, the project advances evidence-based and empirically grounded policy proposals designed to increase the capacity of elected members to exercise power and influence over the Council's agenda and policy.


Project title: Professions, Professional Standards and Capital Markets in the 21st Century: Regulatory Engagement, Design and Strategies
Researcher: Kingsford Smith, Dimity (with Justin O’Brien, George Gilligan, Charles Sampford, Thomas Clark, Deen Sanders, Alex Roberts, Andrew Lumsden, John Morgan, Lawrence Lessig, Joan Loughrey, Charles O’Kelley, Colin Scott, Ian Russell)
Grant type: ARC Linkage
Duration: 2015 – 2018
Funding: $520,070 (ARC only)
Project Summary: The aim is to advance academic knowledge of professional obligation within capital markets. The objective is to develop practical mechanisms to test and validate oversight programs designed to advance professional standards within the established professions of law and audit and those who aspire to that status (i.e. financial advisers and broker/dealers). The research uses an innovative conceptual framework that delineates rights, duties and responsibilities and measures capacity to deliver stated commitment to market integrity, thereby attending to the specific and pressing problems faced by the partner organisations. We provide warranted trust in the commitment of the professions to higher standards, thereby restoring market confidence.


Project title: Australian made: A history of Australian copyright law and creator success 1868-1968
Researcher: Bowrey, Kathy
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2014 - 2017
Funding: $322,000
Project summary: This project evaluates the role of copyright law in the development of Australian culture. Through an investigation of the experience of five iconic Australian creators in the arts—Nellie Melba, Norman Lindsay, Ken Hall, Albert Namatjira and Alfred Hill—the project examines how copyright law actually worked and the extent to which it served the mutual interests of Australian creators and media owners. The project makes a unique and significant contribution to the history of Australian copyright law, a long neglected area of research. It builds a better understanding of the legal foundations to commercial success. Misunderstanding in this area currently causes difficulties in law reform processes.


Project title: Evaluating civil society participation before international criminal tribunals: the amicus curiae and the rights of the defence
Researcher: Williams, Sarah
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2014 - 2016
Funding: $211,000
Project summary: Civil society is increasingly seeking to participate directly in proceedings before international criminal tribunals, including as an amicus curiae or friend of the court. This project provides the first comprehensive assessment of (i) the methods by which civil society actors seek to intervene in international criminal tribunals and the influence of such interventions on legal outcomes (ii) the extent to which such interventions are consistent with the right of the defence to a fair trial (iii) the growing reliance of courts on the amicus brief, and its implications for the defence and (iv) whether such interventions reflect the range of civil society interests in international criminal justice, or are limited to 'Western' perspectives.


Project title: Combating sexual violence against women post-conflict through 'transformative' reparations: problems and prospects
Researcher: Durbach, Andrea (second-named CI); Williams, Sarah (third-named CI)
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2014 – 2016
Funding: $375,000
Project summary: Sexual violence in post-conflict settings is disproportionately experienced by women. Identifying innovative approaches to address this critical global problem is an urgent task. International justice advocates have identified reparations as a tool to ‘transform’ the conditions underlying the violence and to prevent its recurrence. As the International Criminal Court and other tribunals begin to design and implement reparation frameworks, it is a crucial time to define the essential elements for this ‘transformation.’ Of equal importance is determining the limits and potential of these institutions to use reparations to reduce sexual violence against women.


Project title: The fundamental importance of foreign direct investment to Australia in the 21st century: Reforming treaty and dispute resolution practice
Researcher: Trakman, Leon
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2014 – 2016
Funding: $260,000
Project summary: Our project will evaluate the economic and legal risks associated with the Australian Government’s current policy on investor-state dispute settlement through multidisciplinary research, namely econometric modelling, empirical research through stakeholder surveys and interviews, as well as critical analysis of case law, treaties and regulatory approaches. The aim is to identify optimal methods of investor-state dispute prevention, avoidance and resolution that efficiently cater to inbound and outbound investors as well as Australia as a whole. The goal is to promote a positive climate for investment inflows and outflows, while maintaining Australia's ability to take sovereign decisions on matters of public policy.


Project title: Revitalising Collaborative Water Governance: Lessons from Water Planning in Australia
Researcher: Holley, Cameron
Grant type: ARC DECRA Project
Duration: 2014 – 2016
Funding: $356,291
Project summary: One of Australia’s greatest challenges is managing its scarce water resources. However, fundamental flaws in the design and implementation of collaborative water governance have undermined Australia’s water reforms. This study will critically evaluate collaborative water governance, develop legal and policy principles enabling its mobilisation in an effective, efficient and equitable manner, and investigate the challenges it poses for the theory and practice of water regulation, markets and water governance more generally. The lessons learned can then be applied to reshape water strategy, ensure meaningful collaborative community engagement and effectively and efficiently reduce the overallocation and overuse of water in Australia.


Project title: Confronting the devolution paradox: constitutional values, federal political culture and governance reform
Researcher: Kildea, Paul (fifth-named CI)
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2014 – 2016
Funding: $0 (UNSW only)
Project summary: Australia, like many countries, depends in part on devolutionary reform if its federal system of government is to adapt effectively to change. This project confronts a key barrier to reform – the ‘devolution paradox’, in which popular demands for decentralisation and diversity are confounded by conflicting political pressures for national policy uniformity and control. By mapping and comparing the constitutional values and federal political culture of (1) Australian citizens, (2) citizens in Canada, USA and UK, and (2) Australian reform policymakers, in more detail than ever before, it will give insights into how this key paradox might be resolved – helping unlock reform potential and restore adaptive capacity to our political system.


Project title: Mekong Laws: Scales, Sites and Impacts of ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ Laws in Mekong River Basin Governance
Researcher: Johns, Fleur
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2014 – 2015
Funding: $65,409 (UNSW only)
Project summary: The Mekong River Basin sustains approximately 70 million people across Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Vietnam. A complex network of transnational, regional and national rules, institutions and arrangements govern its use and development – development that is a matter of escalating tension as dams affect riverine communities. This project aims to improve understanding of how those legal rules and institutions operate, and how associated legal ideas and vocabularies are affecting decision-making and distributional outcomes in the Mekong. It will seek ways that law might help deliver more equitable outcomes for the Mekong’s people, while deepening understanding of contemporary dynamics of the international legal order.


Project title: The Australasian Legal History Libraries: Stage II
Researcher: Greenleaf, Graham (with A Mowbray, M Lunney, A Twomey,  MA Adams, J Jones, S Petrow,  A Nettlebeck, W Prest, M Finnane, J Nielsen, W Swain, A Wells, A Genovese, T Josev, R Reynolds, S Dorsett, S Ailwood, M Sainsbury, C Bond, A Stuhmcke, L Ford, M Stuckey, L Certoma, J Williams, G Appleby, B Kercher, C Kelly, P Handford.
Grant type: ARC LIEF Project
Duration: 2015
Funding: $410,000 (UNSW-only)
Project summary: Australia's leading legal historians will partner with the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) to create a massive expansion of free access online to Australasian legal history through digitisation and data aggregation. The Legal History Libraries on AustLII will become a comprehensive trans-Tasman collection from 1788-1999, including all reported case series and those from colonial newspaper reports, and all Acts enacted, plus key collections of historical Bills, Gazettes, legal commentaries, and Parliamentary reports. The Libraries will double in size from their current 50,000 items of cases and legislation. The Libraries will enable previously impractical access, comparative research, and international collaborations.


Project title: Re-inventing authority and integrity of primary legal sources for the online world, using free access to make the legal system more efficient and just
Researcher: Greenleaf, Graham (second-named CI)
Grant type: ARC Linkage Project
Duration: 2013 - 2016
Funding: $0 (UNSW only)
Project summary: The availability of primary legal materials via the Internet over the last 20 years has caused previous systems of authority and integrity to break down. They need to be reconsidered and re-invented, both in Australia and internationally. The main aim is to determine the best practice by which these materials may be provided online with authority and integrity, validate such proposals by implementation with relevant organisations, and determine how such approaches can best be advanced internationally. The development of best practices is a combination of policy research and development of standards, and the best technical means most suited to the particular requirements of legal authority and the environment in which the documents are used.


Project title: Systemic responses to global financial instability: new thinking and measures by which Australia can address the challenges of globalised capital
Researcher: Buckley, Ross (with Yvonne Wong, Rolf Weber, Douglas Arner and Emilio Avgouleas)
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2013 – 2015
Funding: $548,376 (DORA) + $126,624 (project funds)
Project summary: Responses here and abroad to the Global Financial Crisis have been driven by the pre-crisis thinking and regulatory framework, and don't protect us well from future crises. This project develops new thinking on how to respond to the challenges of globalised capital and systematically evaluates new regulatory measures to enhance the resilience and stability of global, regional and national financial systems. It builds on and extends CI Buckley's and PI Arner's recent work on the role of law and regulatory failure in financial crises and on CI Buckley's research on national resilience. The project will lead to new understandings of the vulnerabilities of Australia's financial system and of the best ways to strengthen this and other systems.


Project title: The role of cultural factors in the sentencing of Indigenous sex offenders in the Northern Territory
Researcher: Cripps, Kyllie, Megan Davis and Anne Cossins
Grant type: ARC Discovery Indigenous Project
Duration: 2013 – 2016
Funding: $230,000
Project summary: This study involves an empirical analysis of the extent to which extra-legal factors about sexuality and Indigenous culture influence the sentencing of Indigenous sex offenders in the NT. Whilst several studies/inquiries exist relating to the prosecution of sexual assault in Australia and its incidence in Indigenous communities, this is the first Australian study to analyse sentencing transcripts to determine the extent to which extra-legal factors influence judicial decision making in cases involving Indigenous victims and/or offenders. The study will produce needed evidence to support future NT policy, legal practice and law reform relating to sentencing in sexual assault cases with broader application to other Australian jurisdictions.


Project title: Compliance and enforcement of non-urban water extraction in New South Wales
Researcher: Holley, Cameron (second-named CI), (with N Gunningham, S Pucci)
Grant type: ARC Linkage Project
Duration: 2013 – 2016
Funding: $23,000 (UNSW only)
Project summary: Without effective compliance and enforcement, it will be impossible to meet the aspirations of Australia’s water initiatives. As governments embark upon major national reforms, this study will be the first to partner with a key water regulator to critically evaluate compliance and enforcement in practice. Examining the strategies, motivations and characteristics of regulators and the regulated community, the study will identify the best way to regulate non-urban water users to deliver effective, efficient and politically acceptable outcomes, examine when compliance and enforcement best fits with markets and collaboration, and identify the broader implications for empirically based regulatory theory.


Project title: Creating a Supportive Culture for Legal Services: A Study of Work Stress, Workplace Culture and Wellbeing Programs for Lawyers and Legal Support Staff
Researcher: Chan, Janet
Grant type: ARC Linkage Project
Duration: 2013 - 2015
Funding: $157,496 (ARC only)
Project summary: Work stress and mental health issues are now recognised as a serious problem among Australian lawyers, but there is little evidence-based and sector-specific knowledge of how the problem can be effectively addressed. This project will be the first Australian study to investigate holistically how work stress is experienced by public sector legal service lawyers and support staff and evaluate rigorously the effectiveness of wellbeing programs. Using a mixed method approach with a quasi-experimental design, the project will identify conditions under which workplace programs can be effective in reducing stress and improving wellbeing. The project will advance the development of theories on workplace culture and the constitution of stress.


Project title: Justice Reinvestment in Australia: Conceptual Foundations for Criminal Justice Innovation
Researcher: Stubbs, Julie
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2013 - 2014
Funding: $235,000
Project summary: Justice Reinvestment programs in the USA and UK have demonstrated that savings in correctional expenditure reinvested in high crime communities can promote social cohesion and reduce crime. However, the conceptual basis of Justice Reinvestment remains unclear and its applicability to the Australian context has not been assessed. The research will examine the theoretical foundations of Justice Reinvestment and identify the preconditions for successful policy transfer to Australia. The research will provide scholars and policy makers with a sound basis for developing more effective criminal justice interventions with the potential to reduce the social and economic costs of high rates of incarceration.


Project title: Forensic reasoning and uncertainty: identifying pattern and impression expertise
Researcher: Edmond, Gary (second-named CI) (with Dr J Tangen, G Norman, Prof R Geoffrey ; A/Prof K W Eva,; Dr I Dror, Prof BC Lovell, Mr D McCarthy, Mr B Comber)
Grant type: ARC Linkage Grant 2012
Duration: 2012 - 2015
Funding: $0 (UNSW only)
Project summary: Fingerprint evidence has been presented in criminal courts for more than a century without any scientific investigation of the human capacity to discriminate these patterns and impressions. This research will result in a better understanding of the source of identification errors, the factors that influence performance, and the nature of expertise in identification. We will provide a scientific basis for demonstrating the validity of forensic methods and measures of uncertainty in the conclusions of forensic analyses. Upholding legal processes and criminal justice social legitimacy through more reliable forensic evidence will help to prevent wrongful convictions and permit rightful convictions.


Project title: New models of co-operative federalism in Australia: constitutional principles and practice
Researcher: Lynch, Andrew & George Williams
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2012 - 2014
Funding: $215,000
Project summary: This project will analyse constitutional issues relevant to the contemporary practice of Australian co-operative federalism. New models of intergovernmental policy and fiscal reform challenge constitutional principles of parliamentary democracy. The rise of executive-based bodies such as the Council of Australian Governments can obscure transparent decision-making and political accountability, while intergovernmental agreements, and the co-operative legislative schemes implementing them, are subject to legal uncertainty in key respects. This research will identify how, within our constitutional system of parliamentary democracy, effective federal governance can be improved - especially in meeting challenges over health and water management.


Project title: Legal Culture, Work Stress and Professional Practice: A Study of Australian Lawyers
Researcher: Chan, Janet
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2011 – 2014
Funding: $240,000
Project summary: This project will be the first systematic empirical research on the culture and practice of Australian lawyers and the socialisation of new lawyers. It addresses an important research problem of how professional/workplace culture affects the perception and handling of stress among practitioners. The project uses a combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional design, together with survey, documentary and ethnographic techniques, to compare the experiences of new and experienced lawyers. Adopting a framework based on Bourdieu's theory of practice which has been refined by the applicant in previous studies, this project breaks new ground theoretically and empirically in the sociology of profession.


Project title: Exporting Risk: The Australian deportation project
Researcher: Grewcock, Michael (third-named CI)
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2011 – 2014
Funding: $69,473 (UNSW only)
Project summary: Under conditions of globalisation, deportation of non-citizens is increasingly used by Australia and other developed nations as a means of protecting the vital interests of domestic populations. This study will investigate the use of deportation across four key domains: national security, community safety, workforce protection and retention of international student markets. The legal framework for deportation is ambiguous and complex and the broader impact of the practice remains largely unknown. This study will test our claim that deportation has a significant impact on institutions, individuals and communities, and will contribute to a more ethically and legally robust approach to deportation.



Project title: The limits of disclosure: Private rights, public duties and the search for accountable governance
Researcher: O’Brien, Justin
Grant type: ARC Linkage Project
Duration: 2010 - 2014
Funding: $181,992
Project summary: The primary aim of the research project is to build public confidence and trust in mechanisms designed to develop and maintain effective financial product markets. Specifically, it tests the limits of disclosure-based solutions for retail and wholesale investors across a range of product classes, from relatively simple to complex financial products. A second order project aim is to develop robust criteria for what are complex and what are simple products and identify where disclosure is more and less effective accordingly. The research will generate a cohesive pre-emptive, dynamic and responsive framework to the questions of appropriate standards of accountability in financial product governance with international applicability.


CIFR Grants

Project title: Competition law and policy in Australian financial services legislation
Researcher: Nicholls, Robert
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2014 – 2015
Funding: $230,000
Project summary: In the context of the Financial Systems Inquiry (FSI) and the "Root and Branch Review" of competition policy, this research project will examine and review the competition environment in the financial services sector. It aims to identify forms of competition in the financial services sector, the role of financial regulators in the promotion of competition, the extent to which there is scope for sector specific competition regulation (including access and price signalling regimes) and the balance between stability and competition.


Project title: The Regulation of Stored Value Payment and Remittance Systems in Australia
Researcher: Buckley, Ross
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2015
Funding: $151,944
Project summary: The current Regulation of Mobile Money (MM) project with CIFR addresses developments that pose many challenges for regulators, analyses and seeks to resolve those challenges and will provide regulators with a user-friendly handbook. This project seeks to pursue two further important research challenges: (i) apply what we have learned in the current project from abroad and undertake further research to resolve some pressing regulatory design issues relating to Purchased Payment Facilities in Australia, and (ii) seek solutions to the problem of Australian banks closing the accounts of Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) that facilitate affordable remittances from Australia to Pacific Island nations; a development which significantly impacts these nations and undermines their social stability, to Australia’s long-term detriment.


Project title: Assessing the effectiveness of the Australian financial advice industry in light of international experience
Researcher: Kingsford Smith, Dimity
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2014 – 2015
Funding: $128,470
Project summary: This project will assess the effectiveness of financial advice in Australia, having both for the regulatory goals of ‘fairness, honesty and professionalism by those who provide financial services’ and the promotion of ‘confident and informed decision-making by consumers of financial products and services’ and the policy concerns of efficiency, cost effectiveness and access. It will form that assessment in light of experience in comparable markets, including the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.
The project will take a socio-legal approach. It will review the leading studies on financial advising to understand what is already known. It will give comparative consideration to: industry structure and concentration, institutional structure for regulation including civil society organisations such as professions, financial consumer behaviour, fees and charges and dispute resolution and compensation. In order to understand these factors ‘in action’ it will conduct in-depth interviews with senior advisers, regulators and financial consumer organisations in each of the jurisdictions.


Project title: Financial Benchmark Governance and Regulatory Reform: A comparative Analysis
Researcher: O’Brien, Justin
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2014 – 2015
Funding: $131,829
Project summary: The corruption of key financial benchmarks, stich as the London Interbank Offered Rate
(Ubor) and wider issues of currency manipulation, raise significant questions about the efficacy of the regulatory response to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The manipulation pre-dates and post-dates the onset of the GFC It suggests that notwithstanding the enormity of the crisis, risk management systems have been incapable of changing the logic of practice. That traders within RBS, for example, effectively made a ward of state because of prior oversight failure could continue to manipulate Libor demonstrates all too clearly how pernicious culture had become in some of the world's Leading banks. Through a series of workshops staged in Harvard, London and here in Sydney this project (1) examines divergent enforcement agendas; (2) assesses the robustness of regulatory design to deal with identified challenges; (3) evaluates the extent to which best-practice models embed restraint and lead to more sustainable markets.


Project title: Identifying, monitoring and managing systemic risks in Australia's superannuation system
Researcher: Donald, Scott
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2013 - 2015
Funding: $50,200
Project summary: This project aims to map and analyse for the first time the sources of endogenous systemic risk in the superannuation system. It will investigate how aspects of the internal structure of the system undermine the apparent robustness of what superficially appears to be a highly diverse system.


Project title: The Regulation of Mobile Money
Researcher: Buckley, Ross
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2013 - 2015
Funding: $454,027
Project summary: Mobile money ("MM") involves customers using mobile phones to pay bills, remit funds, and make deposits and withdrawals using electronic currencies issued by banks and non-bank emoney providers (such as internet or telecommunications companies). MM is transforming economic life and banking systems in a number of countries. There are now more MM agencies than bank branches in at least 28 countries. The World Bank estimates that by 2020, MM could reach 2 billion currently unbanked people.
These developments raise many difficult legal and regulatory issues for regulators. This project will analyse and resolve these issues and provide regulators with a user-friendly handbook to guide their efforts. It will lead to a more consistent and level playing field for banks operating in these markets, and provide guidance for effective MM regulation in Australia when MM becomes popular here.


Project title: Structure and Responsibilities in Default Superannuation Funds: Influences and Effectiveness
Researcher: Donald, Scott
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2013 – 2015
Funding: $200,800
Project summary: Project Summary: The research will examine the design of accumulation superannuation funds, with a particular focus on the default funds. Our primary objective is to develop a deeper understanding of: (a) the main influences on default fund architecture; (b) extent to which current designs meet member objectives; (c) views about how fund structure should and could change; and, (d) barriers to change. Our approach will involve interviewing key agents responsible for fund design - trustees, senior investment staff and consultants - with a following, broader survey. We aim to shed light on the role played by regulation, agency effects related to assessment and incentives, and organisational influences such as legacy, fund size, cost, etc.


Project title: The Chinese anti-monopoly law: Lessons for Australian Banks and Chinese Regulators
Researcher: Healey, Deborah
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2013 – 2014
Funding: $40,000
Project summary: This project will explore the regulation of bank mergers in China by comparing the Chinese law and practice with Australian competition law and banking regulation. It will use case studies from both jurisdictions to determine whether special merger standards are necessary for banking in China in addition to the current general Anti-Monopoly Law.


Project title: Enter the Dragon: State Capitalism, Foreign Direct Investment and Global Markets
Researcher: O’Brien, Justin
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2013 - 2014
Funding: $381,920
Project summary: The growing size and significance of investments by Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) and State- Owned Enterprises (SOEs) impact on the dynamics of markets across the world. Better understanding global state investment capital is a strategic priority. Specifically, in the Australian context, the proposed research allows us to evaluate the efficacy of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act and its associated policy framework, including the approval process itself through comparative analysis with other OECD jurisdictions. For those deals approved, we will evaluate the impact on the operation of the Corporations Act, the Takeovers Panel and ASIC’s broader strategic imperative to ensure the operation of fair and efficient markets. This includes profiling material and latent risk factors, such as size, degree of concentration, level of disclosure and commitment to corporate governance standards. More broadly, it provides the evidential basis on which to ascertain whether the rise of state capitalism reflects an inflexion point.



Project title: Innovative Initiatives for Regulating Global Capital
Researcher: Buckley, Ross
Grant type: CIFR Research Project
Duration: 2013 – 2014
Funding: $77,340
Project summary: Profs Buckley and Arner published a major book in 2011 that analysed the role of law and regulation in international financial crises from 1982 to 2010. Europe's debt crisis, and the GFC, have forced the region to innovate in the field of financial regulation and has resulted in a plethora of interesting regulatory ideas. Buckley & Arner wanted to extend their research to cover the full range of European regulatory initiatives from 2010 to 2012 including those both implemented and discussed. Deciding they needed someone with more specific expertise, and contacts, within Europe, they brought Prof Avgouleas on board.
As the three researchers mapped out the project, they realised the rate of innovation in potential regulatory responses was so great that the research risked chasing its own tail- the generation of new measures, and new developments, was so rapid that a timely, comprehensive snap-shot, even by three authors, would inevitably be somewhat out-of-date and blurred. So they decided to reshape the project into this one-- a collaborative effort by leading global experts, each writing within their distinctive spheres of expertise. The book seeks to analyse and evaluate the various regulatory measures introduced, and proposed, in the region of late.


Other External Grants

Project title: Operationalising Human Rights Norms in Peace Missions

Researcher: Michaelsen, Chris (with Takashi Kawashima)

Grant type: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia-Japan Foundation Grants Program

Duration: 2015 – 2016

Funding: $17,000

Project Summary: This project aims to share Australian and Japanese perspectives on operationalising human rights norms in multilateral and UN-led peace missions.


Project title: Comparative International Perspectives on Strategy, Policy and Law in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada
Researcher: Chan, Janet (with L De Koker, M Gaffney, D Mendelson, L Bennett Moses, A Maurushat)
Grant type: CRC for Data to Decisions
Duration: 2014 – 2016
Funding: $203,822


Project title: Community Power: Understanding the contribution of community-owned renewable energy to regional development
Researcher: Morgan, Bronwen (Supervisor); Hicks, Jarra (HDR Candidate)
Grant type: CRC for Low Carbon Living Top-up Scholarship
Duration: 2014 – 2016
Funding: $14,216
Project summary: This research project explores community-owned renewable energy projects to understand their social, economic and environmental impacts and dynamics. This will include gaining insight into the drivers, benefits and challenges for communities to participate in renewable energy in regional areas (including end of grid and off grid locations). The research will explore how such efforts are realised on-the-ground (via legal structures, economic arrangements & community engagement practices) and what their impacts are in their host communities. The research is qualitative in nature, based on 4 case studies: two from Australia and two from Scotland, mostly using wind technology.


Project title: Mass Data Analysis: National & International implication for data with limited protections – Scholarship for Daniel Cater
Researcher: Bennett Moses, Lyria (Supervisor); Daniel Cater (HDR Candidate)
Grant type: CRC for Data to Decisions Scholarship
Duration: 2015 – 2018
Funding: $45,000
Project summary:. This project hopes to establish an insight into the benefits of big data sharing in investigating and preventing criminal threats and the risks to the privacy and autonomy of citizens of “five eyes” nations when such investigations are conducted using data shared from and with foreign nations.


Project title: Climate Change and Sea-level Rise in the Anthropocene: Challenges for International Law in the 21st Century
Researcher: McAdam, Jane
Grant type: Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Duration: 2014 – 2017
Funding: $123,000
Project summary: The primary objective of the project is to provide a first comprehensive study of potential for international law responses in view of projections of sea-level rise in the 21st century.


Project title: Professional Legal Education in Commercial and Corporate Law in Myanmar
Researcher: Dr Melissa Crouch, leading a team of eight others
Grant type: Asian Development Bank, Strengthening Law, Regulation, and the Legal Profession for a Better Investment Climate in Myanmar
Duration: 2016-2017
Funding: $393,000
Project summary: This applied research project includes undertaking research, designing and implementing a training program for legal professionals, judges and prosecutors in Myanmar. This includes an intensive training course for 40 commercial lawyers, 40 officers of the Union Attorney General’s Office, and a major Judicial Colloquium with judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts and District Courts. The training for commercial lawyers was preceded by a competitive online and in-person selection process. Out of 150 applications, we selected 40 to participate in the program. This is a highly innovative program and includes an online component via Moodle as part of an emphasis on blended learning. The addition of an online component to the course aims to enhance the learning experience of participants beyond the intensive face-to-face classes. Given the absence of a professional legal training institute in Myanmar, this program will have significant impact, contributing to the training of a new generation of commercial law lawyers.


Project title: UNSW Myanmar Law Ambassador Program
Researcher: Dr Melissa Crouch
Grant type: New Colombo Plan
Duration: 2017-2018
Funding: $10,000
Project summary: This project will facilitate five students undertaking a law internship in Myanmar, supported by scholarships.


Project title: Judicial Independence and the Courts in Indonesia
Researcher: Dr Melissa Crouch, and Dr Fritz Siregar (University of Indonesia)
Grant type: ANU-SMERU Indonesia Project Research Grants
Duration: 2016-2017
Funding: $9,500
Project summary: This research project focuses on the challenge of judicial independence and administrative courts in Indonesia since 1998.