New Directions for Law in Australia

New Directions for Law in Australia

Essays in Contemporary Law Reform

Edited by: Ron Levy, Molly O’Brien, Simon Rice, Pauline Ridge, Margaret Thornton orcid

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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.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Sep 2017
ANU Press
Law; Social Sciences: Indigenous Studies

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New Directions for Law in Australia »

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Part I. Commercial and Corporate Law

  1. The Privatisation of Australian Corporate Law (PDF, 0.2MB)Ross Grantham doi
  2. On the Road to Improved Social and Economic Welfare: The Contribution to Australian Competition and Consumer Law and Policy Law Reform (PDF, 0.1MB)Russell Miller AM doi
  3. Tax, Inequality and Challenges for the Future (PDF, 0.2MB)John Passant doi
  4. Brand New ‘Sharing’ or Plain Old ‘Sweating’? A Proposal for Regulating the New ‘Gig Economy’ (PDF, 0.2MB)Joellen Riley doi
  5. Good Call: Extending Liability for Employment Contraventions Beyond the Direct Employer (PDF, 0.1MB)Tess Hardy doi
  6. The Australian House Party Has Been Glorious – But the Hangover May Be Severe: Reforms to Mitigate Some of the Risks (PDF, 0.1MB)Gill North doi
  7. Back to Basics: Reforming Australia’s Private Sector Whistleblowing Laws (PDF, 0.1MB)Kath Hall and Heather Cork doi
  8. Lawyers as Whistleblowers: The Need for a Gatekeeper of Justice Whistleblowing Obligation/Exception (PDF, 0.1MB)Suzanne Le Mire and Christine Parker doi

Part II. Criminal Law and Evidence

  1. Criminal Justice Law Reform Challenges for the Future: It’s Time to Curb Australia’s Prison Addiction (PDF, 0.2MB)Lorana Bartels doi
  2. Is Criminal Law Reform a Lost Cause? (PDF, 0.1MB)Simon Bronitt doi
  3. Rethinking Rape Law Reform: Challenges and Possibilities (PDF, 0.1MB)Wendy Larcombe doi
  4. The Fraught Dichotomy between Context and Tendency Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases – Suggestions for Reform (PDF, 0.1MB)John Anderson doi
  5. Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Criminal Liability: Old Challenges in a Transnational World (PDF, 0.1MB)Jonathan Clough doi
  6. Stereotypes in the Courtroom (PDF, 0.1MB)Blake M McKimmie doi
  7. The Justice Motive: Psychological Research on Perceptions of Justice in Criminal Law (PDF, 0.1MB)Diane Sivasubramaniam doi
  8. How Interpretation of Indistinct Covert Recordings Can Lead to Wrongful Conviction: A Case Study and Recommendations for Reform (PDF, 0.1MB)Helen Fraser doi
  9. Australia’s Lower-level Criminal Courts: Tackling 21st Century Problems in a 19th Century Paradigm? (PDF, 0.1MB)Anne Wallace doi

Part III. Environmental Law

  1. What is the Mainstream? The Laws of First Nations Peoples (PDF, 0.1MB)Irene Watson doi
  2. Overturning Aqua Nullius: Pathways to National Law Reform (PDF, 0.2MB)Virginia Marshall doi
  3. A Governance Framework for Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Protection and Use (PDF, 0.2MB)Natalie P Stoianoff doi
  4. Reforming Environmental Law for Responsiveness to Change (PDF, 0.1MB)Jan McDonald doi
  5. Future Water: Improving Planning, Markets, Enforcement and Learning (PDF, 0.1MB)Cameron Holley doi
  6. Effective Law for Rural Environmental Governance: Meta‑Governance Reform and Farm Stewardship (PDF, 0.2MB)Paul Martin, Amanda Kennedy and Jacqueline Williams doi

Part IV. Private Law

  1. Pitfalls of Statutory Reform in Private Law: Recipient Liability for Breach of Trust (PDF, 0.1MB)Darryn Jensen doi
  2. Recent Reforms to Australian Charity Law (PDF, 0.1MB)Matthew Harding doi
  3. Consumer Protection, Recreational Activities and Personal Injury Compensation: Inconsistency in Need of Reform (PDF, 0.2MB)Joachim Dietrich doi
  4. Statutory Interpretation and the Critical Role of Soft Law Guidelines in Developing a Coherent Law of Remedies in Australia (PDF, 0.2MB)Elise Bant and Jeannie Paterson doi
  5. Meeting the Potential of Alternative Remedies in Australian Defamation Law (PDF, 0.2MB)Robyn Carroll and Catherine Graville doi
  6. Designing Reparation: Lessons from Private Law (PDF, 0.1MB)Simone Degeling and Kit Barker doi
  7. Apologies, Liability and Civil Society: Where to from Here? (PDF, 0.1MB)Prue Vines doi
  8. Renovating the Concept of Consent in Contract and Property Law (PDF, 0.2MB)Robyn Honey doi
  9. Nudging Charities to Balance the Needs of the Present against Those of the Future (PDF, 0.1MB)Ian Murray doi

Part V. Public Law

  1. Voluntary Voting for Referendums in Australia: Old Wine, New Bottle (PDF, 0.1MB)Graeme Orr doi
  2. Reforming Constitutional Reform (PDF, 0.1MB)Scott Stephenson doi
  3. Does Australia Need a Popular Constitutional Culture? (PDF, 0.1MB)Lael K Weis doi
  4. Constitutional Dimensions of Law Reform (PDF, 0.1MB)Gabrielle Appleby and Anna Olijnyk doi
  5. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security: A Point of Increasing Influence in Australian Counter-Terrorism Law Reform? (PDF, 0.1MB)Dominique Dalla-Pozza doi
  6. Rights Dialogue under the Victorian Charter: The Potential and the Pitfalls (PDF, 0.1MB)Julie Debeljak doi
  7. Court Records as Archives: The Need for Law Reform to Ensure Access (PDF, 0.1MB)Andrew Henderson and Kim Rubenstein doi
  8. A Positive Freedom of Public Speech? Australian Media Law Reform and Freedom of Political Communication (PDF, 0.1MB)Andrew T Kenyon doi
  9. The Need for Reform of Australia’s Birth Registration Systems (PDF, 0.2MB)Melissa Castan and Paula Gerber doi
  10. Simplifying Government Secrecy? (PDF, 0.1MB)Daniel Stewart doi

Part VI. Legal Practice and Legal Education

  1. Australian Legal Practice: Ethical Climate and Ethical Climate Change (PDF, 0.2MB)Vivien Holmes, Stephen Tang, Tony Foley and Margie Rowe doi
  2. Strengthening Australian Legal Ethics and Professionalism (PDF, 0.1MB)Adrian Evans doi
  3. Since Lawyers Work in Teams, We Must Focus on Team Ethics (PDF, 0.1MB)Justine Rogers doi
  4. The Legal Roots of a Sustainable and Resilient Economy: New Kinds of Legal Entities, New Kinds of Lawyers? (PDF, 0.2MB)Bronwen Morgan, Joanne McNeill and Isobel Blomfield doi
  5. Wearing Two Hats: Lawyers Acting as Mediators (PDF, 0.1MB)Mary Anne Noone doi
  6. Enabling Marginalised Voices to Be Heard: The Challenge to Law Reform Bodies (PDF, 0.1MB)Liz Curran doi
  7. The End of Ramism: And the Shape of Things To Come (PDF, 0.1MB)Craig Collins doi
  8. Shared Space and the Regulation of Legal Education (PDF, 0.1MB)Paul Maharg doi
  9. Dreaming of Diversity in Legal Education (PDF, 0.2MB)Margaret Thornton doi


It is hard to think of a better description of principled reform of the law of the kind supported by ‘New Directions for Law in Australia’. We might hope that this publication will become a regular event.

—Bob Debus, Australasian Parliamentary Review, Vol 33(2) Spring Summer 2018
Read the full review on the Australasian Study of Parliament Group website

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