Melbourne Law School - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1220
Good Proctor or "Big Brother"? Ethics of Online Exam Supervision Technologies.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-08-31)
Online exam supervision technologies have recently generated significant controversy and concern. Their use is now booming due to growing demand for online courses and for off-campus assessment options amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Online proctoring technologies purport to effectively oversee students sitting online exams by using artificial intelligence (AI) systems supplemented by human invigilators. Such technologies have alarmed some students who see them as a "Big Brother-like" threat to liberty and privacy, and as potentially unfair and discriminatory. However, some universities and educators defend their judicious use. Critical ethical appraisal of online proctoring technologies is overdue. This essay provides one of the first sustained moral philosophical analyses of these technologies, focusing on ethical notions of academic integrity, fairness, non-maleficence, transparency, privacy, autonomy, liberty, and trust. Most of these concepts are prominent in the new field of AI ethics, and all are relevant to education. The essay discusses these ethical issues. It also offers suggestions for educational institutions and educators interested in the technologies about the kinds of inquiries they need to make and the governance and review processes they might need to adopt to justify and remain accountable for using online proctoring technologies. The rapid and contentious rise of proctoring software provides a fruitful ethical case study of how AI is infiltrating all areas of life. The social impacts and moral consequences of this digital technology warrant ongoing scrutiny and study.
The effects on public health of climate change adaptation responses: a systematic review of evidence from low- and middle-income countries
(IOP PUBLISHING LTD, 2021-07-01)
Climate change adaptation responses are being developed and delivered in many parts of the world in the absence of detailed knowledge of their effects on public health. Here we present the results of a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature reporting the effects on health of climate change adaptation responses in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The review used the 'Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative' database (comprising 1682 publications related to climate change adaptation responses) that was constructed through systematic literature searches in Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar (2013-2020). For this study, further screening was performed to identify studies from LMICs reporting the effects on human health of climate change adaptation responses. Studies were categorised by study design and data were extracted on geographic region, population under investigation, type of adaptation response and reported health effects. The review identified 99 studies (1117 reported outcomes), reporting evidence from 66 LMICs. Only two studies were ex ante formal evaluations of climate change adaptation responses. Papers reported adaptation responses related to flooding, rainfall, drought and extreme heat, predominantly through behaviour change, and infrastructural and technological improvements. Reported (direct and intermediate) health outcomes included reduction in infectious disease incidence, improved access to water/sanitation and improved food security. All-cause mortality was rarely reported, and no papers were identified reporting on maternal and child health. Reported maladaptations were predominantly related to widening of inequalities and unforeseen co-harms. Reporting and publication-bias seems likely with only 3.5% of all 1117 health outcomes reported to be negative. Our review identified some evidence that climate change adaptation responses may have benefits for human health but the overall paucity of evidence is concerning and represents a major missed opportunity for learning. There is an urgent need for greater focus on the funding, design, evaluation and standardised reporting of the effects on health of climate change adaptation responses to enable evidence-based policy action.
The practice of active patient involvement in rare disease research using ICT: experiences and lessons from the RUDY JAPAN project.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-02-01)
BACKGROUND: The role of patients in medical research is changing, as more emphasis is being placed on patient involvement, and patient reported outcomes are increasingly contributing to clinical decision-making. Information and communication technology provides new opportunities for patients to actively become involved in research. These trends are particularly noticeable in Europe and the US, but less obvious in Japan. The aim of this study was to investigate the practice of active involvement of patients in medical research in Japan by utilizing a digital platform, and to analyze the outcomes to clarify what specific approaches could be put into practice. METHODS: We developed the RUDY JAPAN system, an ongoing rare disease medical research platform, in collaboration with the Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases Study (RUDY) project in the UK. After 2 years of preparation, RUDY JAPAN was launched in December 2017. Skeletal muscle channelopathies were initially selected as target diseases, and hereditary angioedema was subsequently added. Several approaches for active patient involvement were designed through patient-researcher collaboration, namely the Steering Committee, questionnaire development, dynamic consent, and other communication strategies. We analyzed our practices and experiences focusing on how each approach affected and contributed to the research project. RESULTS: RUDY JAPAN has successfully involved patients in this research project in various ways. While not a part of the initial decision-making phase to launch the project, patients have increasingly been involved since then. A high level of patient involvement was achieved through the Steering Committee, a governance body that has made a major contribution to RUDY JAPAN, and the process of the questionnaire development. The creation of the Patient Network Forum, website and newsletter cultivated dialogue between patients and researchers. The registry itself allowed patient participation through data input and control of data usage through dynamic consent. CONCLUSIONS: We believe the initial outcomes demonstrate the feasibility and utility of active patient involvement in Japan. The collaboration realized through RUDY JAPAN was enabled by digital technologies. It allowed busy patients and researchers to find the space to meet and work together for the Steering Committee, questionnaire development and various communication activities. While the practice of active patient involvement in Japan is still in its early stages, this research confirms its viability if the right conditions are in place. (331 words).
Governance of research consortia: challenges of implementing Responsible Research and Innovation within Europe
Responsible Research and Innovation ('RRI') is a cross-cutting priority for scientific research in the European Union and beyond. This paper considers whether the way such research is organised and delivered lends itself to the aims of RRI. We focus particularly on international consortia, which have emerged as a common model to organise large-scale, multi-disciplinary research in contemporary biomedical science. Typically, these consortia operate through fixed-term contracts, and employ governance frameworks consisting of reasonably standard, modular components such as management committees, advisory boards, and data access committees, to co-ordinate the activities of partner institutions and align them with funding agency priorities. These have advantages for organisation and management of the research, but can actively inhibit researchers seeking to implement RRI activities. Conventional consortia governance structures pose specific problems for meaningful public and participant involvement, data sharing, transparency, and 'legacy' planning to deal with societal commitments that persist beyond the duration of the original project. In particular, the 'upstream' negotiation of contractual terms between funders and the institutions employing researchers can undermine the ability for those researchers to subsequently make decisions about data, or participant remuneration, or indeed what happens to consortia outputs after the project is finished, and can inhibit attempts to make project activities and goals responsive to input from ongoing dialogue with various stakeholders. Having explored these challenges, we make some recommendations for alternative consortia governance structures to better support RRI in future.
The Foundations of Democratic Dualism: Why Constitutional Politics and Ordinary Politics are Different
Formal constitution-making is now an increasingly common phenomenon. But how should we understand the politics of constitutional lawmaking—what we call constitutional politics? Should it be structured differently from ordinary politics? As a descriptive matter, there seem to be important differences between constitutional and ordinary lawmaking. Constitutional lawmaking makes entrenched rules about rules and determines the institutional landscape of the state while ordinary lawmaking formulates non-entrenched rules within rules.
Constitutional Directives: Morally-Committed Political Constitutionalism
About 37 state constitutions around the world feature non-justiciable thick moral commitments (‘constitutional directives’). These directives typically oblige the state to redistribute income and wealth, guarantee social minimums, or forge a religious or secular identity for the state. They have largely been ignored in a constitutional scholarship deﬁned by its obsession with the legitimacy of judicial review and hostility to constitutionalising thick moral commitments other than basic rights. This article presents constitutional directives as obligatory telic norms, addressed primarily to the political state, which constitutionalise thick moral objectives.
The Distinctive Features of Women in the Australian Bankruptcy System: An Empirical Study
(Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2019)
According to data published by Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), Australian women and men offer strikingly similar reasons for their entry into bankruptcy. Yet a more detailed analysis of AFSA’s data indicates that women and men often go bankrupt in very different social and economic circumstances. This empirical study draws upon a unique dataset, obtained from AFSA, containing the de-identiﬁed records of more than 28,000 individuals. It also draws upon a series of focus groups with the staff of three nonproﬁt organisations, including ﬁnancial counsellors and consumer solicitors. It ﬁnds that, in general, women in bankruptcy are likely to be economically disadvantaged, relative to men, as measured by income, access to wages, reliance on government beneﬁts, real estate ownership and utilities debt. It also ﬁnds that women in bankruptcy are much more likely than men to be single with dependants and that these women experience a greater degree of gendered disadvantage than other women in the bankruptcy system.
Does the Common Law Power to Grant Cross-Border Insolvency Assistance Apply to an Insolvency Winding-up That is Voluntary? The Reaction to Singularis from Singapore and Hong Kong
In many common law jurisdictions, the common law power of courts to grant assistance in respect of foreign insolvency proceedings exists independently of statute.The nature of the power, however, continues to generate debate. Obiter dicta of the Privy Council suggests that no assistance is available where the foreign proceeding is a voluntary winding-up. This article evaluates the position by reference to Singapore and Hong Kong decisions and concludes that a refusal to grant assistance in circumstances involving an insolvent voluntary winding-up is in consistent with the principle of modified universalism and that a broader recognition test should be adopted.