Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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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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    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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    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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    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.
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    Settling on a national Indigenous Australian 'voice'
    Chesterman, J (WILEY, 2021-06)
    Abstract This article argues that the call for establishment of a national Indigenous ‘voice’ ought to be seen by the Australian government in historical context, primarily as a call for remediation for historical injustices, not just as an opportunity for improvement in the lives and governance of Indigenous Australians. Viewed this way, the call carries with it an imperative for government both to recognise the moral weight underpinning it and to be active in seeking to settle the matter, either by agreeing to the reform proposal or otherwise by negotiating an acceptable outcome. The article closes by considering possible ways in which settlement might occur.
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    MANDATORY DATA BREACH NOTIFICATION LAWS AND AUSTRALIAN HEALTH DATA PRIVACY: FRAGMENTS AND FAULT LINES
    Prictor, M (Monash University, 2021)
    Data privacy breaches — unauthorised access to, disclosure, or loss of people’s personal information — are commonplace, particularly in the health sector. In Australia, provisions under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth) require data breach notification to affected people and the regulator. However, this mandatory notification, as it pertains to health information, has two key problems: fragmentation, and lack of fitness for purpose. In this article, I analyse the goals of the Australian legislative developments and the extent to which these are met in relation to health data. I propose legal and procedural reforms to mend the fragments and fault lines so that breach notification can more effectively address healthcare data breaches in Australia.
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    ARE CONTRACTS ENOUGH? AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF AUTHOR RIGHTS IN AUSTRALIAN PUBLISHING AGREEMENTS
    Yuvaraj, J ; Giblin, R (MELBOURNE UNIV LAW REVIEW ASSOC, 2021)
    A majority of the world’s nations grant authors statutory reversion rights: entitlements to reclaim their copyrights in certain circumstances, such as their works becoming unavailable for purchase. In Australia (as in the United Kingdom) we have no such universal protections, leaving creator rights to be governed entirely by their contracts with investors. But is this enough? We investigate that question in the book industry context via an exploratory study of publishing contracts sourced from the archive of the Australian Society of Authors. We identify serious deficiencies in the agreements generally as well as the specific provisions for returning rights to authors. Many contracts were inconsistent or otherwise poorly drafed, key terms were commonly missing altogether, and we demonstrate that critical terms evolved very slowly in response to changed industry realities. In response to this new evidence we propose that consideration be given to introducing baseline minimum protections with the aim of improving author incomes, investment opportunities for publishers and access for the public.