Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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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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    Government-owned firms like Snowy Hydro can do better than building $600 million gas plants
    Dibley, A (The Conversation AU, 2021)
    The Morrison government today announced it’s building a new gas power plant in the Hunter Valley, committing up to A$600 million for the government-owned corporation Snowy Hydro to construct the project. Critics argue the plant is inconsistent with the latest climate science. And a new report by the International Energy Agency has warned no new fossil fuel projects should be funded if we’re to avoid catastrophic climate change. The move is also inconsistent with research showing government-owned companies can help drive clean energy innovation. Such companies are often branded as uncompetitive, stuck in the past and unable to innovate. But in fact, they’re sometimes better suited than private firms to take investment risks and test speculative technologies. And if the investments are successful, taxpayers, the private sector and consumers share the benefits.
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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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    National COVID debts: climate change imperils countries' ability to repay
    Dibley, A ; Wetzer, T ; Hepburn, C (Nature Research, 2021-04-06)
    Analysis reveals three ways to boost green investment and achieve a resilient recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
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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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    Mandating Symbolic Patriotism: China’s Flag and Anthem in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
    Clift, B (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021)
    The Hong Kong statute criminalizing disrespect of the Chinese national anthem, passed in 2020, is one of many recent moves to suppress political dissent in the former British colony. The law restricts freedom of political expression, but its constitutionality is practically assured courtesy of earlier decisions upholding laws against flag desecration. This article draws on sociological and political literature to argue that symbolic nationalism, particularly when given the force of law, is a tool of the authoritarian state. Against this backdrop, it critically and comparatively analyses Hong Kong judicial decisions upholding the suppression of symbolic dissent, assessing their doctrinal coherence, normative defensibility, and consequences. It concludes with observations on the efficacy of attempts to enforce patriotic orthodoxy and on how deference to authoritarianism affects the rule of law.
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    Numbing the pain or diffusing the pressure? The co-optation of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals's "naming and shaming" campaign against mulesing
    Bromberg, L (WILEY, 2021-07)
    Abstract This article examines a high‐profile “naming and shaming” campaign launched by the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals targeting the controversial sheep husbandry practice of mulesing. This campaign led to important changes to the “rules of the game” governing global merino wool production. This article suggests that contests between activists and other stakeholders over the framing of the policy problem and activists' choice of strategy can result in co‐optation of activist ideas by corporate actors. The possibility of co‐optation of ostensibly successful social movement campaigns highlights the importance of considering such campaigns in light of movements' values and longer‐term goals.
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    Rapid acute care genomics: Challenges and opportunities for genetic counselors
    Lynch, F ; Nisselle, A ; Gaff, CL ; McClaren, B (WILEY, 2021-02)
    Genomic medicine in pediatric acute care is showing great promise, with rapid results from exome and genome sequencing returned within days providing critically important information for treatment and management of seriously ill children. Many have suggested that rapid acute care genomics presents novel genetic counseling issues. This is due to the need for rapid response to referrals, the immense emotional distress that parents are likely to experience when their child is in acute care, and the unfamiliar environment of the acute care setting. To explore the practice of genetic counselors in this setting, we conducted qualitative interviews with 16 genetic counselors (GCs), representing a large proportion of GCs at the frontline of providing genetic counseling in acute care settings in Australia. Interviews revealed themes describing genetic counseling in acute care, including practical challenges of counseling within a rapid turnaround time, similarities with other contexts such as prenatal counseling, and the need for education of other health professionals. Interestingly, GCs did not raise concerns in the interviews for parents' ability to provide informed consent for rapid genomic sequencing. GCs also encountered practical and organizational challenges with counseling in this setting where 24-hr care is provided, at odds with traditional '9 to 5' Genetics service delivery. Working closely in a multidisciplinary team was common and participants believed that GCs are well positioned to take a leading role in the education of other health professionals as rapid acute care genomics becomes routine clinical practice. Despite views that genetic counseling practice in rapid acute care genomics is unique, these exploratory data suggest that GCs are flexible, adaptable, and sufficiently skilled to deliver patient-centered counseling in this setting. Our work indicates GCs are ready and willing to contribute at an early stage of adoption of genomic investigations in acute care.
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    Cross-border insolvency law in Hong Kong: Recognition of foreign schemes of arrangement
    Godwin, A ; Qu, CZ (Wiley, 2021-09-01)
    Abstract Hong Kong has no statutory cross‐border insolvency regime. Hong Kong courts have to resort to common law principles in circumstances where they are requested to recognise foreign insolvency proceedings and grant assistance. The nature and scope of these principles have been the subject of extensive debate in common law jurisdictions. In Re CW Advanced Technologies Ltd [2018] HKCFI 1705, Harris J identified the uncertainties associated with the common law position in Hong Kong. These uncertainties include whether a Hong Kong court may recognise a Singapore moratorium granted to facilitate a scheme of arrangement and, if so, whether the court may grant recognition where Singapore (i.e., the foreign jurisdiction) is not the country of incorporation. Harris J also noted the ‘urgent need to enact a statutory cross‐border insolvency regime’. This article examines the scope of the common law powers in Hong Kong and seeks to clarify the possibility for members within a corporate group located outside Singapore, where the holding company has its centre of main interests in Singapore or is otherwise eligible to use the Singapore scheme regime, to obtain recognition and assistance in Hong Kong.