Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 15
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Essentially Ours: Assessing the Regulation of the Collection and Use of Health-related Genomic Information
    McWhirter, R ; Eckstein, L ; Chalmers, D ; Kaye, J ; Nielsen, J ; Otlowksi, M ; Prictor, M ; Taylor, M ; Nicol, D (Centre for Law and Genetics, University of Tasmania, 2021)
    Essentially Ours provides an account of the current modes of regulation of health-related genomic samples and data in Australia. This Occasional Paper revisits some of the issues addressed in the 2003 Report, Essentially Yours, authored jointly by the Australian Law Reform Commission and Australian Health Ethics Committee pursuant to a reference from the Commonwealth Government ('Essentially Yours'). Essentially Yours emphasised 'that fundamental human dignity requires that individuals have a high level of control over their own genetic material… and that human genetic information is personal, sensitive, and deserving of a high level of legal protection'. The information presented in this Occasional Paper differs from Essentially Yours in two important ways, largely resulting from the technological and societal changes that have occurred in the intervening years. The first is that the term genetics has been replaced by the term genomics. Genomics refers to the study of the whole genome whereas genetics tends to focus on individual genes. Rapid technological advances mean that genomics is now the most common form of analysis. Secondly, although genomics provides increased clinical and research opportunities, it also raises particular individual and group-member risks. These changes demand reconsideration of the ethical, legal and social implications of and regulatory responses to advances in health-related genomics in Australia. Although the focus of this Occasional Paper is descriptive-that is, to account for the manner in which current laws apply to genomic samples and data-it necessarily brings to light regulatory gaps and fissures. In particular, traditional regulatory frameworks focus on controls at the level of the individual, either through consent or through efforts to strip genomic information of its identifiers. In the genomic era, these fail to recognise the essential nature of genomic samples and data as inherently identifiable and as shared within families, communities, and populations. This points to the need for a reorientation in the way genomic information is regulated in order to find a balance between ‘yours’ and 'ours'. We trust that Essentially Ours will provide a rigorous description of the regulatory landscape relevant to genomics in Australia and a tool for future legal analysis and law reform.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Addressing Age Discrimination in Employment: a report on the findings of Australian Research Council Project DE170100228
    Blackham, A (University of Melbourne, 2021)
    This project aimed to research the effectiveness of Australian age discrimination laws. While demographic ageing necessitates extending working lives, few question the effectiveness of Australian age discrimination laws in supporting this ambition. This project drew on mixed methods and comparative UK experiences to offer empirical and theoretical insights into Australian age discrimination law. It sought to create a normative model for legal reform in Australia, to inform public policy and debate and improve responses to demographic ageing, providing economic, health and social benefits.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    How to tackle illegal water abstractions? Taking stock of experience and lessons learned
    Guido, S ; Lucia, DS ; Bea, M ; Carmody, E ; van Dyk, G ; Fernández-Lop, A ; Fuentelsaz, F ; Hatcher, C ; Hernández, E ; O'Donnell, E ; Rouillard, JJ (Fundacion Botin, 2020)
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Enhancing Access and Support for Water Customers with Cognitive Disabilities: A Guide for Water Businesses
    Maker, Y ; Callahan, A ; McSherry, B ; Paterson, J ; Brophy, L ; Arstein-Kerslake, A (Essential Services Commission, 2020)
    This document is designed to assist water businesses to maximise accessibility and support for customers in a manner that is consistent with best practice in terms of water businesses’ regulatory obligations. It is based on research conducted with people with cognitive disabilities and their representative organisations.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Sensitive and Appropriate Engagement with Consumers Experiencing Vulnerability
    Maker, Y ; Hudson, N ; McSherry, B (Essential Services Commission, 2021-01-31)
    Consumer vulnerability has received increasing attention from Australian regulators and regulated businesses in recent years. There has been growing discussion of the role of markets in creating or exacerbating vulnerability — meaning ‘harm, detriment or disadvantage’ — and the role of regulators in addressing this.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Investing for Nurtrition and Obesity Prevention: Current Practice in Australia
    Robinson, E ; Carey, R ; Parker, C ; Sacks, G ( 2021-08-19)
    Summary • Unhealthy diets, obesity and related non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and represent a major public health challenge. • Addressing unhealthy diets and obesity will require comprehensive societal change, including comprehensive action from governments and food companies to improve the healthiness of food systems. • Investors can contribute to change through their investment decisions. They also stand to benefit from the positive societal and economic impacts associated with obesity prevention efforts. • In 2019/20, we reviewed a large sample of Australian institutional investors, asset management companies and superannuation funds, to investigate how these investors were incorporating nutrition and obesity-related considerations in their decision-making. • We found that 18 out of 35 investors included nutrition and obesity-related considerations in their investment decision-making, albeit in limited ways. • The most common way in which nutrition and obesity were considered was through so-called ‘ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) integration’ strategies. Most often, this was through considerations related to ‘health’ in the general sense, e.g., broad health and wellbeing considerations in selecting investment portfolios. Some investors explicitly considered the healthiness of a food company’s products in determining whether to invest or not. • Examples of ways in which nutrition and obesity-related considerations were being applied included investors actively engaging with food companies to encourage them to improve their nutrition-related policies and practices, and screening food companies based on risks associated with the healthiness of their product portfolios. • The findings of this research point to the need for: – Consistent nutrition-related sustainability reporting by food companies, guided by clear reporting frameworks; – The availability of comprehensive nutrition-related ESG data for investors, accompanied by agreed nutrition-related performance benchmarks; – More guidance on best practices for investors and the food industry. • Further research will help to identify how the investment community can best support efforts to address obesity and improve nutrition in Australia.
  • Item
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The Importance of Constitutional Law for Belarusian Democracy: An Analysis of the Amended 1994 Constitution and Considerations for Democratic Reform
    Partlett, W (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2020)
    This report researches the relationship between constitutional law and democracy in Belarus.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Driven by Demand: Public Library Perspectives on the Elending Market
    Kennedy, J ; Giblin, R ; Weatherall, K ; Thomas, J (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 2020)
    This report presents findings from a national survey of Australian public libraries exploring how libraries decide which ebooks to purchase. It reports on data about the goals libraries have in building ebook collections, and how they manage and balance those goals against constraints they face. It also reports on the roles played by publisher-set prices and licence terms. It is part of a project investigating the legal and social dynamics of ebook lending (as distinct from physical book lending) in public libraries, and how the different regulatory treatment of elending impacts libraries’ abilities to fulfil their public service missions. The project involves collaboration between key library organisations across five jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The project aims to provide detailed, comparative empirical evidence on the elending landscape to support development of evidence-based reforms to law and practice.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    World Employment and Social Outlook: The Role of Digital Labour Platforms in Transforming the World of Work
    Rani, U ; Kumar Dhir, R ; Furrer, M ; Gőbel, N ; Moraiti, A ; Cooney, S (International Labour Organisation, 2021)
    Technological innovation is transforming every part of our lives. The ability to quickly and cheaply exchange large amounts of data and information has laid the foundations for the rise of the digital economy and digital labour platforms. In both developed and developing countries businesses and consumers have embraced this transformation, as services and goods are delivered in ways that are cheaper and more convenient. Digital labour platforms are now part of our everyday lives. This transformation extends to the world of work. Digital labour platforms offer new markets for businesses and more income-generating opportunities for workers, including those who were previously outside the labour market. Such platforms are leading to changes not just to the organization of enterprises and work processes but in many cases to the relationship between workers and businesses as well.