Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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    Corporate Culture and Systems Intentionality: part of the regulator's essential toolkit
    Bant, E ; Faugno, R (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2024-01-01)
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    Changing climates, compounding challenges: a participatory study on how disasters affect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in Fiji.
    Murphy, N ; Rarama, T ; Atama, A ; Kauyaca, I ; Batibasaga, K ; Azzopardi, P ; Bowen, KJ ; Bohren, MA (BMJ, 2023-12-16)
    Pacific youth are at the forefront of the climate crisis, which has important implications for their health and rights. Youth in Fiji currently bear a disproportionate burden of poor experiences and outcomes related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). There is limited information about how the increasing climate impacts may affect their SRHR, and what the implications may be for climate action and disaster risk reduction. We aimed to explore the experiences of 21 Fijian youth in fulfilling their SRHR when living through multiple natural hazards. We conducted 2 workshops and 18 individual semistructured interviews using visual and storytelling methods. Irrespective of the type of hazard or context of disasters, participants identified limited agency as the main challenge that increased SRHR risks. Through reflexive thematic analysis, we identified four themes centred around 'youth SRHR agency'; (1) information and knowledge, (2) community and belonging, (3) needs and resources, and (4) collective risks. These themes encompassed multiple factors that limited youth agency and increased their SRHR risks. Participants highlighted how existing challenges to their SRHR, such as access to SRHR information being controlled by community gatekeepers, and discrimination of sexual and gender diverse youth, were exacerbated in disasters. In disaster contexts, immediate priorities such as water, food and financial insecurity increased risks of transactional early marriage and transactional sex to access these resources. Daily SRHR risks related to normalisation of sexual and gender-based violence and taboos limited youth agency and influenced their perceptions of disasters and SRHR risks. Findings offer important insights into factors that limited youth SRHR agency before, during and after disasters. We underscore the urgency for addressing existing social and health inequities in climate and disaster governance. We highlight four key implications for reducing youth SRHR risks through whole-of-society approaches at multiple (sociocultural, institutional, governance) levels.
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    Making robo-advisers careful? Duties of care in providing automated financial advice to consumers
    Paterson, JM (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-01-01)
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    Boulevards of broken dreams
    Thorburn, M ; Weir, B ; Bell, M (Law Institute of Victoria, 2024-03-01)
    Lawyers commencing legal action to enforce clients' rights can feel like they are confronted with an impenetrable maze. A raft of regulatory reforms proposed or in train at the start of 2024 offer a pathway through that, maze, but one which requires careful navigation.
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    ADM+S submission to the Safe and responsible AI in Australia discussion paper
    Weatherall, K ; Cellard, L ; Goldenfein, J ; Haines, F ; Parker, C (ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society, 2023-08-04)
    The ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) is a cross-disciplinary, national research centre which commenced operations in mid 2020. ADM+S welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Department of Industry, Science and Resource’s consultation on Safe and responsible AI in Australia. Resolving the legal and regulatory challenges posed by artificial intelligence—and how regulatory systems can promote responsible, ethical, and inclusive AI and ADM for the benefit of all Australians—is one of the Centre’s founding objectives. This submission seeks to highlight not only well-known harms and challenges brought about by these technologies (such as privacy risks, or unfair bias and discrimination), but also the new challenges and shifts that are emerging as a result of the rise of generative AI/foundation models and associated developments, including the broad take-up and rapid integration of generative AI, and its broad potential as a general purpose technology embedded in complex supply chains.
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    Helping and not Harming Animals with AI
    Coghlan, S ; Parker, C (Springer, 2024-03-01)
    Ethical discussions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) often overlook its potentially large impact on nonhuman animals. In a recent commentary on our paper about AI’s possible harms, Leonie Bossert argues for a focus not just on the possible negative impacts but also the possible beneficial outcomes of AI for animals. We welcome this call to increase awareness of AI that helps animals: developing and using AI to improve animal wellbeing and promote positive dimensions in animal lives should be a vital ethical goal. Nonetheless, we argue that there is some value in focusing on technology-based harms in the context of AI ethics and policy discourses. A harms framework for AI can inform some of our strongest duties to animals and inform regulation and risk assessment impacts designed to prevent serious harms to humans, the environment, and animals.
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    ADM+S Working Paper Series: The Australian Ad Observatory Technical and Data Report
    Angus, D ; Obeid, AK ; Burgess, J ; Parker, C ; Andrejevic, M ; Bagnara, J ; Carah, N ; Fordyce, R ; Hayden, L ; Lewis, K ; O'Neill, C ; Albarran-Torres, C ; Cellard, L (ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society, 2024-01-08)
    This report provides an overview of the Australian Ad Observatory project’s data, infrastructure, and software tools, and serves as a detailed technical companion to the Background Paper previously published (Burgess et al., 2022). The Australian Ad Observatory (‘Ad Observatory’) is a project of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) that aims to improve the observability of targeted online advertising in Australia using novel data donation infrastructure and hybrid digital methods. The first section of the report provides an overview of the Ad Observatory project’s data donation infrastructure, analytical dashboards and researcher tools. It describes, visualises, and discusses in detail the pattern of reported demographic characteristics and observations gathered from our pool of participants. We explain how this pool is positioned in relation to benchmark populations, with particular focus on the Australian Facebook user population. We outline the data types gathered from Facebook using this infrastructure, which include ad images and text as well as metadata such as the WAIST (Why Am I Seeing This) explanations provided to users. We also explain how meaningful information is extracted and aggregated from this data using the Observatory’s tools and dashboards. The report details the project’s research questions and how these questions are pursued within nested case studies, each of which deploys purpose-specific but linked analytical strategies using the Ad Observatory’s central infrastructure and tools. These questions are linked to methods that are uniquely enabled by the Ad Observatory, and that are designed to investigate the overall volume, dynamics, and targeting patterns of Facebook’s ad system including the relationships between its temporal dynamics, demographic targeting, and the symbolic features of ad content. The final section of the report details three case studies that have been undertaken within the project to date, including accounts of how they have worked with Ad Observatory data to answer topic-specific questions. These case studies are focused on areas of societal risk, where advertising is both potentially influential and subject to public oversight and regulation. The case studies include: investigations of environmental or ‘green’ claims in ads; the temporal patterns, sequencing, and targeting of alcohol advertising; and the extent and nature of online gambling advertising in Australia. The report concludes with brief discussions of how the project team has approached key ethical and compliance challenges, including copyright, human research ethics, defamation, and the amplification of potentially harmful content.
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    Social media ads are littered with ‘green’ claims. How are we supposed to know they’re true?
    Parker, C (The Conversation, 2023-12-01)
    Online platforms are awash with ads for so-called “green” products. Power companies are “carbon neutral”. Electronics are “for the planet”. Clothing is “circular” and travel is “sustainable”. Or are they? Our study of more than 8,000 ads served more than 20,000 times in people’s Facebook feeds found many green claims are vague, meaningless or unsubstantiated and consumers are potentially being deceived. This costs consumers, as products claiming to be greener are often more expensive. And it costs the planet, as false and exaggerated green claims – or “greenwashing” – make it seem more is being done to tackle climate change and other environmental crises than is really happening. The widespread use of these claims could delay important action on tackling climate change, as it dilutes the sense of urgency around the issue.
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    Seeing Green: Prevalence of environmental claims on social media
    Gupta, C ; Bagnara, J ; Parker, C ; Obeid, AK (Consumer Policy Research Centre and ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society, 2023-11-21)
    Green claims are everywhere, even on social media. But how easy is it for consumers to tell the difference between a genuine environmental claim and a meaningless one? CPRC, in partnership with ADM+S, has analysed over 20,000 impressions of more than 8,000 Facebook ads with green claims. This report: • highlights the diversity of environmental claims that are made via social media advertising • explores the sectors where environmental claims are most prevalent • examines the frequency of generic environmental terms, specific colours and even emojis used in advertising.
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    Agents in International Tax Treaties
    Jogarajan, S ; Haase, F ; Kofler, G (Oxford University Press, 2023)
    This chapter discusses agents in international tax treaties. One of the most common ways through which an enterprise may undertake business in another jurisdiction is through the provision of services by an agent. The chapter examines one particular issue in relation to agents in international tax treaties: the treatment of commissionaire arrangements. The question here is whether the commissionaire constitutes a ‘dependent agent’. The issue has arisen due to different conceptions of agents under civil law and common law. The potential for differing tax treatment arising from the various concepts of agents was recognized during the drafting of the first model tax treaties in 1928 but the issue was left unresolved. However, the potential to avoid taxation or minimize taxes through the use of commissionaire arrangements has recently been addressed through the coordinated global effort to target base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).