Margaret Thornton

Margaret Thornton is Professor of Law and ARC Professorial Fellow at The Australian National University in Canberra. She has degrees from Sydney, New South Wales and Yale Universities. She is a Barrister of the High Court of Australia, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Her research areas include feminist legal theory, discrimination, legal education, the legal profession and the corporatisation of universities. Her current research project examines the retreat from equal opportunity in a neoliberal climate. Her most recent book is Privatising the Public University: The Case of Law (Routledge, 2011, forthcoming).

orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3429-3596

New Directions for Law in Australia »

Essays in Contemporary Law Reform

Edited by: Ron Levy, Molly O’Brien, Simon Rice, Pauline Ridge, Margaret Thornton
For reasons of effectiveness, efficiency and equity, Australian law reform should be planned carefully. Academics can and should take the lead in this process. This book collects over 50 discrete law reform recommendations, encapsulated in short, digestible essays written by leading Australian scholars. It emerges from a major conference held at The Australian National University in 2016, which featured intensive discussion among participants from government, practice and the academy. The book is intended to serve as a national focal point for Australian legal innovation. It is divided into six main parts: commercial and corporate law, criminal law and evidence, environmental law, private law, public law, and legal practice and legal education. In addition, Indigenous perspectives on law reform are embedded throughout each part. This collective work—the first of its kind—will be of value to policy makers, media, law reform agencies, academics, practitioners and the judiciary. It provides a bird’s eye view of the current state and the future of law reform in Australia.

Through a Glass Darkly »

The Social Sciences Look at the Neoliberal University

Edited by: Margaret Thornton
This collection of essays arose from a workshop held in Canberra in 2013 under the auspices of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia to consider the impact of the encroachment of the market on public universities. While the UK tripled fees in 2013 and determined that the teaching of the social sciences and the humanities would no longer be publicly funded, it was feared that Australia would go further and deregulate fees altogether. In the best tradition of the social sciences, the contributors have assumed the role of critic and conscience of society to present penetrating analyses of the ramifications of the corporatisation of the university as neoliberalism continues to occupy the ascendant position in the political firmament. The dramatis personae in these analyses are students, academics, managers and political mandarins with the gendered character of corporatisation an important sub-theme.

Sex Discrimination in Uncertain Times »

Edited by: Margaret Thornton
This collection of essays arose from a conference held to mark the silver anniversary of the Australian Sex Discrimination Act (1984). The collection has two aims: first; to honour the contributions of both the spirited individuals who valiantly fought for the enactment of the legislation against the odds, and those who championed the new law once it was passed; secondly, to present a stock-take of the Act within the changed socio-political environment of the 21st century. The contributors present clear-eyed appraisals of the legislation, in addition to considering new forms of legal regulation, such as Equality Act, and the significance of a Human Rights Act. The introduction of a proactive model, which would impose positive duties on organisations, is explored as an alternative to the existing individual complaint-based model of legislation. The contributors also pay attention to the international human rights framework, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The essays are illuminated by recourse to a rich vein of historical and contemporary literature. Regard is also paid to the comparative experience of other jurisdictions, particularly the UK and Canada.