Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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    Unlocking the Energy of the Amazon? The need for a Food Fraud Policy approach to the Regulation of Anti-ageing Health Claims on Superfood Labelling
    Curll, J ; Parker, C ; MacGregor, C ; Petersen, A (The Australian National University, Faculty of Law, 2016)
    The prevention and control of ‘food fraud’, including false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain, is now emerging as an important and discrete policy goal for governments and regulators in the interface between food and public health. The control and prevention of food fraud complements regulation to ensure microbial food safety. This article uses a case study of anti-ageing claims made in the labelling and advertising of açai berry superfood products to argue that Australia's new regulatory system for nutrient content and health claims on food (Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code Standard 1.2.7) inadequately addresses ‘food fraud’. This article argues that the over-reaching claims on açai product labelling will potentially mislead consumers and subvert public health messages in a context of ‘gastro-anomy’ (confusion over appropriate norms for eating) and ‘healthism’ (individual responsibility for making healthy choices). This conduct can usefully be conceptualised as food fraud. Second, the article argues that although the substance of Standard 1.2.7 is well designed to avoid food fraud, the fact that the standard allows food businesses to self-substantiate evidence when making some health claims undermines the protection offered. Australian food regulators need to articulate a more strategic and proactive approach to the prevention and control of food fraud.
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    How to Talk to a Populist About Climate Change
    Dibley, A (Graham Holding Company, 2019)
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    Murray-Darling report shows public authorities must take climate change risk seriously
    Dibley, A (The Conversation AU, 2019-02-04)
    The tragic recent events on the Darling River, and the political and policy furore around them, have again highlighted the severe financial and environmental consequences of mismanaging climate risks. The Murray-Darling Royal Commission demonstrates how closely boards of public sector corporate bodies can be scrutinised for their management of these risks. Public authorities must follow private companies and factor climate risk into their board decision-making. Royal Commissioner Brett Walker has delivered a damning indictment of the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s management of climate-related risks. His report argues that the authority’s senior management and board were “negligent” and fell short of acting with “reasonable care, skill and diligence”. For its part, the authority “rejects the assertion” that it “acted improperly or unlawfully in any way”. The Royal Commission has also drawn attention to the potentially significant legal and reputational consequences for directors and organisations whose climate risk management is deemed to have fallen short of a rising bar.
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    Can money buy you (climate) happiness? Economic co-benefits and the implementation of effective carbon pricing policies in Mexico
    Dibley, A ; Garcia-Miron, R (Elsevier, 2020-12)
    It is difficult for governments to implement effective climate change mitigation policies because they often create short-term costs for concentrated industry groups who oppose them. As such, climate policy scholars have theorized that governments will be more willing and able to implement mitigation policies where they align with other economic policy objectives. The logic of this “economic co-benefits” argument is that co-benefits create short-term gains for governments to offset the immediate costs they face in introducing mitigation policies. Through a most-similar systems design comparative study of a carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme (ETS) in Mexico, this article interrogates the economic co-benefits theory of mitigation policy adoption. By comparing the motivations underpinning two carbon pricing policies in a single country, the article suggests that the presence of immediately accruing fiscal revenues created short-term incentives for the Mexican government to implement the carbon tax, whereas such short-term incentives were not present with respect to the ETS. However, in both cases concentrated affected industry groups were able to dilute the carbon prices to which they were subject. The implications of this study are that economic co-benefits may not be as useful in achieving effective mitigation policy outcomes, in the absence of measures which also independently change the interests of concentrated industry groups.
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    Film Review: Four Perspectives on Hanung Bramantyo’s Kartini
    Pausacker, H ; Afrianty, D ; Yulindrasari, H ; Cote, J (Indonesian Resources and Information Program (IRIP), 2017-07)
    Following the Melbourne screening of Hanung Bramantyo’s new film Kartini in May 2017, the University of Melbourne’s Indonesia Forum organised a symposium on the theme ‘The film Kartini and Kartini as a source of historical and contemporary inspiration in Indonesia’. Four speakers were invited to present their responses based on their particular areas of research. Here they briefly re-present their takes on director Hanung’s latest cinematic interpretation of Indonesia’s iconic female national hero.
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    Meta-regulation: legal accountability for corporate social responsibility
    Parker, C (Routledge, 2017-01-01)
    The chapter argues that legal accountability for corporate social responsibility (CSR) must be aimed at making business enterprises put themselves through a CSR process aimed at CSR outcomes. It sets out what meta-regulating law must do and be in order to hold companies accountable for their responsibility. The chapter briefly explains how this notion of meta-regulating law relates to the plurality of legal, non-legal and quasi-legal ‘governance’ mechanisms at work in a globalising, post-regulatory’ world. It also sets out the critique that law which attempts to meta-regulate corporate responsibility will focus on internal governance processes in a way that allows business to avoid the conflict between self-interest and social values, and therefore to avoid accountability. Meta-regulatory law is a response to the recognition that law itself is regulated by non-legal regulation, and should therefore seek to adapt itself to plural forms of regulation.
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    Consumer Choice as a Pathway to Food Diversity: A Case Study of Açaí Berry Product Labelling
    Johnson, H ; Parker, C ; Maguire, R ; Isoni, A ; Troisi, M ; Pierri, M (Springer International Publishing, 2018)
    Forest lands and the rich social and ecological diversity contained within are being lost as demand for agriculture land expands globally. During this process traditional cultivation practices are marginalised resulting in a loss of dietary diversity. As Vira et al. observe 'Despite the huge potential of forest and tree foods to contribute to diets, knowledge on many forest foods, especially wild foods, is rapidly being lost because of social change and modernisation' . Forest loss coupled with the associ­ated declines in dietary diversity and traditional knowledge are a threat to the human right to food. This right requires diverse food production systems that are sustain­able, support livelihoods (especially those who are most marginalised) and meet nutritional needs. This chapter explores the exporting and labelling of a traditional food source the "acai berry" and examines whether the production and sale of acai has the potential to improve food diversity.
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    The Meaning of Home for Children and Young People After Parental Separation
    Campo, M ; Fehlberg, B ; Smyth, B ; Natalier, K ( 2018)
    A new study exploring the meaning of home for children and young people after separation aims to inform living arrangements that work for them.
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    The Responsibility to Protect: Inequities in International Aid Flows to Myanmar and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and their Impact on Maternal and Child Health
    Grundy, J ; Bowen, K ; Annear, P ; Biggs, B-A (Taylor and Francis Group, 2012)
    The Union of Myanmar and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are the most disadvantaged aid recipients in Asia. In this paper we describe and analyse the inequities in international aid flows to these countries from a health equity and “responsibility to protect” perspective. Review of public health and health systems literature and examination of international aid flows reveals that countries with a comparable gross national income receive total aid flows 11 to 12 times larger than do Myanmar (Burma) and DPR Korea (North Korea). Although the issue of aid effectiveness in these governance contexts remains a significant challenge, there is nonetheless a joint national and international responsibility to protect women and children through the careful targeting of health humanitarian aid and development programs.