Melbourne Law School - Theses

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    Women workers and the processes of the conciliation and arbitration system
    Bennett, Laura Eleanor ( 1984)
    The thesis studies the relationship between women workers and the Conciliation and Arbitration System. Its aim is twofold: to explain why particular policies were adopted by the Court/Commission and to assess the extent to which those policies disadvantaged women workers. Previous research has explained women's disadvantaged position by emphasising the role of judicial prejudice and sexist ideologies. The thesis rejects such simple explanations and tries to show that particular policies resulted from the interraction between the Conciliation and Arbitration System and its economic, political and ideological environment. The thesis emphasises the complexity of the processes which determined the law and, in particular, it stresses the role of economic and political forces in shaping legal policy. It also demonstrates that the issue of whether women were in fact disadvantaged by any particular policy can only be resolved through an examination of both the policy and its effects. The first five chapters examine Court/Commission policy on wages, skill, classifications, the sex-typing of work, redundancy protection and maternity leave. The final chapter considers the implications of the arguments adopted in the thesis for other studies of women and the law.
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    The legal nature and taxation implications of friendly society savings and investment assurances
    Higgins, Ross James ( 1986)
    The heyday of the friendly society movement in Australia, which spanned from the early days of colonisation until the mid-1930's, saw friendly societies as the main provider of social welfare benefits for a large proportion of the population. Since the advent of the modern 'welfare state', the movement drifted steadily into a state of decline. The 1980's, however, have heralded a remarkable rejuuination of the movement, based upon traditional friendly society ideals of providence and thrift. Instigating this revival are Victoria's friendly societies which now market an array of endowment type life assurance policies, designed to promote savings and investment returns for the movement's now diverse and rapidly growing membership. All Commonwealth insurance legislation specifically excludes insurances effected by friendly societies, and from a casual reading of the Victorian Friendly Societies Act 1958, the legislative power for societies to effect life assurances is y no means immediately apparent. Indeed, a closer reading of nineteenth this Act highlights that its / century English based provisions are inadequate, and often unintelligible so far as regulating and providing a satisfactory framework for the operation of modern friendly society life assurance activities. This paper provides a practical description of friendly society endowment assurances, and examines their legal nature and operation by tracing the legislative evolution of the enabling provision. The regulation and operation of these assurances within the scope of the Friendly Societies Act, is discussed at length, and where appropriate, critically analysed. Throughout the paper comparisons between Commonwealth life insurance legislation, which regulates similar assurances, is made with a view to further highlight the inadequacies of the present friendly society legislation. By design, Part 1 is very much descriptive in its content. This is due not only to the fact that modern friendly society life assurances have received little, or no legal comment, but also because a basic understanding of the nature and operation of these assurances is a prerequisite to the discussion of their taxation implications in Part 2. In Part 2, the paper essentially focuses on the taxation consequences of ownership of a friendly society life assurance policy. It does this by looking at the long standing traditional tax concessions applicable to these policies. These take the form of 'tax-free' reversionary bonuses attaching to life assurance policies generally, and until recently, a rebate for contributions. The discussion analyses in detail, recent legislative changes, which coincidental with the dramatic increase in friendly society assurance activities, have been introduced to prevent exploitation of these traditional taxation concessions. Brief attention is also given to the taxation status of the friendly societies themselves.
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    Moratorium legislation in the Canadian and Australian rural sector : its history and present utility
    Grace, A. Duncan ( 1989)
    A. The Analysis and Problem 1. At Common Law the rights of creditors were virtually absolute. 2. Over time, the law has whittled away the unimpeded rights of unsecured creditors through bankruptcy and insolvency legislation. 3. Secured Creditors have also had rights, throughout legal history, which were, virtually, inviolate. 4. In Canada and in Australia, bankruptcy legislation has had very little effect on the rights of secured creditors. 5. However, in times of crisis, even the rights of secured creditors have been restricted in the interest of the common good. 6. The pendulum continues to swing in favour of creating more rights in favour of debtors and restricting secured creditors' rights in Australia and Canada. 7. There is a strong lobby urging the restriction of secured creditors' rights as they relate to farm debtors due to the extreme economic hardship faced by those persons during the 1980's. B. The Issues 8. Whether it is appropriate to further expand the rights of debtors and to restrict the remedies of secured parties in any circumstances through moratorium legislation. 9. Whether farm debtors fit within the principles justifying interference with secured creditors' rights. 10. What safeguards should be inserted in such legislation to ensure that there is proper balance for the legitimate concerns of both debtors and creditors. C. Conclusions 11. Present legislation in Canada is deficient and does not properly assist either debtors or creditors involved in the present farm difficulties. 12. Australian legislation is superior because it has addressed all of the issues facing agriculture and has recognised that there must be adjustment in agriculture. 13. There is a place for moratorium legislation as a means to an end, namely, in promoting alterations in the agricultural sector to promote future efficiency and, potentially, to assist in the transition of nonviable farm enterprises out of the agricultural sector. 14. However, steps must be taken to preserve and protect the fundamental and historical freedoms of creditors.