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Our People

Professor Paul Babie

Paul's interests lie at the intersection of law and theology, especially in relation to the morality of private property.

Associate Professor Peter Burdon

My research considers the ethical implications of climate change, including questions of distributive justice and carbon debt. I also research climate finance, protest law and the relationship between social movements and law reform.

Ms Margaret Castles

I teach in subjects where legal, societal, and ethical issues intersect. My research interests are in applied legal ethics, interdisciplinary ethics, and the ethical implications of the lawyer/client dynamic. My present focus is on the multifaceted role of law teachers law clinics, and other less structured environments. I am also researching the potential for legal structures and models of dispute resolution to impact on the wellbeing of law students and legal practitioners.

Associate Professor Anne Hewitt

Anne researches in the areas of equality and anti discrimination, legal education and legal practice. She has a keen interest in ethics as it applies in each of these areas.

Ms Cornelia Koch

I am fascinated by the way in which the law protects human rights in some circumstances, but then ignores human rights infringements in others. Most of my research is therefore I am fascinated by the way in which the law protects human rights in some circumstances, but then ignores human rights infringements in others. Most of my research is therefore centred on an exploration of human rights issues, often aiming to open people’s minds to instances where vulnerable groups are left behind by our legal and political system.

Dr Rebecca La Forgia


Professor Ngaire Naffine

I am examining the ethics of criminal law: the major norms and principles which are said to guide criminal law, and whether they do so in fact. Perhaps the majority of criminal legal scholars are interested in the boundaries of criminal law. In response to concerns about antisocial conduct and terrorism, criminal law has greatly expanded its borders and now anticipates antisocial conduct. It does not wait for harm to happen. This has generated a good deal of critical scholarship. By contrast I am studying the principled uses of classical or core crimes such as rape and murder as they have been applied, differentially, to men and women.

Dr Beth Nosworthy

Watching the news on almost any occasion reveals that corporate behaviour can have devastating local and global ramifications. I am particularly interested in the nexus between law and ethics in the space of legal regulation of the corporate form and corporate decision-making. My research focusses on directors’ duties and corporate governance, and from a more theoretical perspective, the current regulation of the corporate form and its development within the 21st century. There is an inherent conflict between the regulation applied to decision-making processes of those natural persons engaged within and for companies and the push for innovation and encouragement of entrepreneurialism, which requires ongoing monitoring and reflection.

Associate Professor Bernadette Richards

I consider the questions at the start and end of life and examine the nexus between law and ethics in the context of medical treatment. My research considers the regulation of innovative treatment, the nature of effective consent and the ethical conduct of research. Of particular interest is the process of decision-making and the nature of the doctor-patient relationship. It is essential that we encourage medical innovation and the advancement of medical treatment but at the same time, protect the potentially vulnerable patient. A delicate balance of interests must be struck in this space and careful consideration of appropriate regulation conducted.

Dr Manuel Solis

Conceptualising the ethical implications of global climate change and the moral basis for responses to such an issue remains a challenge. Among the core themes for critical dialogue I have recently engaged in my research is determining the place of human rights in an ethics of climate change. In particular, I continue to explore the relevance of a human rights-based approach to achieve universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services especially in the developing world. Lately, I started looking into the space of disaster risk management and the loss and damage mechanism in the climate change discourse to examine the ethical stakes involved and the ethical justification of such approaches, among others.

Ms Jessica Viven-Wilksch

As a comparative scholar, I teach courses that aim at encouraging tolerance and bring awareness and openness to students. To do so, I teach comparative law that introduces students to different understandings of the concept of law, moral and ethics as norms regulating social behaviours. My research is deeply linked to my teaching and is reflected for my interest in comparative studies, the role of legal transplants in improving legal systems and encouraging legal reform. My PhD research focused on good faith in contractual dealings and the search for loyalty and respect as enforceable doctrines in contractual relations.

Our External Fellows

Professor Jose Miola

Prof Jose Miola is at the University of Leicester and his research interest is in medical law and ethics, and he has published a book with Hart Publishing, entitled Medical Ethics and Medical Law: A Symbiotic Relationship. José is Assistant Editor of the Medical Law Review and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Clinical Ethics and the UK Clinical Ethics Network. He has also published in a wide range of journals. One of his articles, “Bye Bye Bolam: A Medical Litigation Revolution”, was cited by the High Court of Australia in the case of Rosenberg v. Percival [2001] HCA 18 and included in a collection of internationally influential essays (F. Miller, Rights and Resources (Dartmouth, Ashgate, 2003)). Another, “Expert Evidence: Difficulties and Solutions”, was cited on several occasions by the Law Commission in their 2011 report into the use of expert evidence.

Our HDR Students

Sue Peukert

I am undertaking a PhD in the area of mental health law and its relationship to Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Underpinning my research is the bioethical principle of autonomy and whether this may be trumped in certain circumstances in the context of treating persons experiencing severe mental illness.

Michaela Okninski

Undue influence in proposed voluntary euthanasia legislation in South Australia

This thesis critically examines the inclusion of the legal doctrine of undue influence as a safeguard in proposed voluntary euthanasia legislation in South Australia. Key findings of this critical examination will argue for stricter consideration of undue influence provisions in any proposed legislation in this jurisdiction.

Camilla Liddy

Can institutional research governance interact with state and federal legislatures to streamline approval to enable and encourage Australian health research?

This research project will consider an appropriate model for research governance within the Australian context. Legislative and policy reform at institution, state and federal levels could be the key to enabling a streamlined approach to research governance in Australia. Given the divergence in jurisdictional as well as institutional requirements across Australia, a nationally consistent approach may not readily translate in the current Australian framework. Existing layers of regulatory requirements associated with research governance would create an inherent tension in a nationalised system. Closing the gap between state-based policy and institutional procedure alone may be a major challenge, regardless of whether national legislative consistency can be achieved. Consideration of international models of research governance, such as the United Kingdom, United States of America and Europe, will benchmark existing best practice. Despite the difference in political systems, elements of the international experience may help to inform local practices and drive a commitment to facilitate a consistent process of research governance in Australia. How Australian jurisdictions and public health organisations can enable ‘practical approaches to enhancing clinical trials activity' in Australia, and whether this ultimate endpoint is in fact an aspiration or a reality, will be a focus.

Jana Norman

In The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, cultural historian and 'geologian' Thomas Berry describes the need for a fundamental shift in human consciousness in order to inaugurate the Ecozoic Era: a time when human beings will 'learn to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner'. This shift in consciousness, Berry believed, can be evoked through an understanding of the origins of the universe, the planet, life on the planet, and the human species, an origin story which is a source of not only awe and wonder but also fresh perspective on the nature and purpose of human being. Berry believed that major cultural institutions such as law and religion have a role to play in embodying Ecozoic consciousness. For law, he described this work as Earth Jurisprudence. This thesis draws upon this new cosmological perspective on the nature of human being to fashion a new legal subject, the Cosmic Person, and applies this new legal subject to the field of Earth Jurisprudence.

Patrick Quirk

Implications of a legal definition of conscience under German and U.S. constitutional law

This thesis explores the legal definition of conscience from a comparative perspective with particular emphasis on Germany, whose Basic Law (Constitution) and surrounding case law defines conscience for the purposes of an exemption from compulsory military service. The problems associated with a legal definition of conscience include who gets to define it, the secular and religious concepts of conscience, as well as the problem of quis iudicabit? There is a lack of precedent on such matters under Australian law.

Travis Wisdom

This thesis investigates legal regulations of children’s bodily diversity and legal approaches to children’s right to physical and mental integrity in the context of intersex genital modification in Australia. He completed a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, MA in Human Rights, Globalisation and Justice at Keele University, and a LLM in International Law and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham. His research interests relate to human rights, particularly the rights of the child, and the socio-legal regulation of body transforming procedures, including male and female genital cutting, genital normalising and sex affirmation procedures.

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F: +61 8 8313 4344

Adelaide Law School