Law and Society Association (Australia and New Zealand) 2018 Conference: Law and Society come together at UOW

A wonderful atmosphere of generosity, interest and support. This was my first LSAANZ and hopefully not my last!”

LSAANZ2018 participant

Against a backdrop of summer storms over 200 scholars, practitioners and students converged on UOW in December to enjoy a showcase of fascinating, cutting-edge socio-legal research at the 2018 Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ) conference.Hosted by UOW’s Legal Intersections Research Centre (LIRC) in conjunction with LSAANZ, the Canadian Law and Society Association (CLSA) and the Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK), the conference, whose theme was ‘Inclusion, Exclusion and Democracy’, brought together participants from all over Australia and the world to engage in lively conversations, meet like-minded people and enjoy the very best of Wollongong’s coast, mountains and city. The conference began with a post-graduate workshop where PhD students engaged in socio-legal research met to discuss methodology, writing and impact. The full conference was officially opened by a Welcome to Country by UOW friend and poet Dr Barbara Nicholson (Aunty Barbara) and a wonderful performance by the Illawarra Flame Tree Dancers. This was followed by a thought-provoking plenary panel on the ‘Perspectives of Australia’s First Peoples on Inclusion, Exclusion’ with historian Dr Jackie Huggins, poet Jim Everett, writer Melissa Lucashenko and Aunty Barbara. The four conference keynote speakers provided intriguing insights into diverse areas of socio-legal scholarship. Professor Renisa Mawani from the University of British Columbia introduced the participants to her new book, Across Oceans of Law. Professor Leti Volpp of Berkeley Law, University of California spoke on protecting the nation from “Honor Killings’ and banning immigrants in the time of Trump. Professor Anne Griffiths from the University of Edinburgh talked about the importance of legal plurality in a global world. Finally, The Honorable Justice Brian Preston, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW, spoke about access to environmental justice and the effectiveness of law. The parallel sessions were a source of rich discussion, with topics as diverse as health care and technology, sexual assault reform, historical colonial perspectives of law and society and international environmental law.

Adding to the colour of the conference was an art exhibition on Port, Poles and Wires, which creatively explored in words, images and sculpture how privatisation is more the transference from public to private ownership and control. A thoroughly enjoyable conference dinner overlooking the sea finished off the conference. UOW’s beautiful campus, along with excellent research, a great sense of generosity and an errant sea gull, made LSAANZ 2018 an unforgettable conference. The conference organisers Dr Kylie Lingard, Dr Niamh Kinchin and Sarah Wright, who worked extremely hard and did such a fantastic job organising LSAANZ 2018 wish to thank all involved and hope to see everyone at LSAANZ 2019, which is to be held at Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast.

PANEL: Memories and Reflections on the Soviet Century: On the Rise, Decline and Rebirth of the Communist Idea



Date: Wednesday 8 November 2017

Time: 4:30 -6:00pm

Venue: 67.202 Moot Court

In October 1917, Russia rattled the course of history. The Bolshevik assault on power had two consequences: first, leaving behind the tyranny of the tsars; second, inaugurating the dictatorship of the Soviets. The echoes of the Bolshevik revolution resonated beyond Russia, and its hope and courage –but also its rigor and fury – were immediately felt across the world.

This panel will delve into the history of the Bolshevik revolution and its relation to what Alain Badiou calls “the communist idea”, that is, the conception of a society in which the principle of equality is the prevailing political truth and, as such, stirs a collective organization that aims at eliminating both the subordination of labor and the inequality of wealth. From our conception of politics to the structure of gender, from Latin America to Australia, the panel will discuss the forms in which the October revolution and the communist idea that inspired it have agitated with hope and fear — in the past and still today, one hundred years later – both in the minds of individuals and the history of peoples.

Please visit the LIRC website to register your attendance

WORKSHOP: Implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity in Brazil






Date: Monday 6 November 2017 Time: 11.45am – 1.30pm Venue: 67.202 Moot Court

Australia and Brazil are megadiverse countries that together hold most of the world’s endemic plant and animal species. Brazil is also home to 60% of the Amazon rainforest. Both countries are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity but unlike Australia, Brazil entrenches the human right to a heathy environment in their Constitution.

Please join us for the rare opportunity to hear firsthand Brazilian perspectives on implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity in a megadiverse country. Leading the delegation is Marcia Dieguez Leuzinger, Professor of Environmental and Administrative Law at the University Center of Brasilia. Marcia is also Director of the Brazilian Institute of Public Advocacy and Prosecutor for the state of Paraná. The delegation bring diverse areas of expertise, making this an excellent opportunity to discuss collaborations with Latin America across a range of fields.

The workshop begins with presentations by each guest, followed by open discussion.

A light lunch will be provided.

RSVP by 3 November 2017.

For more information on LIRC, please visit the website at

EVENT: ‘Posting’ the law: Emerging Narratives of Law and Justice within Social Media discourses

Presented by: Cassandra Sharp, Jason Bainbridge, Kieran Tranter, Kate Tubridy, Yvonne Apolo, Olivia Todhunter

Date:               15 September 2017
Time:              12.30 to 5.00pm
Location:         Building 67, Room 202 (Moot Court)

There is little doubt that new digital technologies have performed a dynamic function in metamorphosing culture, both positively and negatively. Public engagement within social media regarding issues of legality, political discourse, and identity serves to shape, (re)interpret and transform cultural expectations of law. This symposium seeks to invite specific reflection on the performance of social media in its role of transmuting or challenging understandings of law. The symposium is designed to particularly explore the work of narrative and/or discourse in the interaction of law and social media in contemporary communication. It will provide a frame within which law and social media scholarship can investigate themes such as: the role of discourse in transforming, mirroring, creating, and sustaining legal consciousness; the way law is framed (or questioned and critiqued) within social media narratives; and the extent to which meaning-making about issues of justice is complicated by social media platforms.

We warmly invite you to attend this event and to participate in discussions arising out the presentations.

Registration is free but places are limited.  Please register your intention to attend.

Law Literature and Humanities Association Conference – Public Art, Public Law?

Our 2016 LIRC Visiting PhD Scholar, Laura Petersen, is one of the organisers of the 2017 Law Literature and Humanities Association Conference, to be held in Melbourne in December. She is also organising a stream called Public Art Public Law, with Dr Olivia Barr. They welcome scholars from diverse disciplines such as public art, jurisprudence, art history, visual cultures, history, Indigenous studies, geography, memory studies, cultural studies, architecture, criminology and any other interested areas. Proposals for panels or individual proposals or expressions of other ideas need to be submitted by 30 June 2017. For more details click image of flyer below:

Supporting the Unification of Refugee Families (SURF)


LAUNCH OF SURF – Supporting the Unification of Refugee Families

Please click to enlarge view

Supporting the Unification of Refugee Families (SURF) is a collaborative project between UOW’s Legal Intersection Research Centre, Wollongong City Council and Illawarra Multicultural Services that links law students with refugee families to provide volunteer assistance with family reunification.

The launch of this wonderful project will be held on 6pm, Friday 12 May at the Hope Theatre. The launch will include a screening of the acclaimed documentary ‘Constance on the Edge’, followed by a Q&A with a panel of speakers.

Please click here to RSVP by WEDNESDAY 9 MAY 2017


‘Writing Out Loud’: PhD Students Present their Diverse Research in a Works in Progress Seminar

In their extensively published Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Students, Hugh Kearns and Maria Gardner recommend that students should ‘write and show as (they) go.’ They urge students to write, and write early, and to obtain feedback on their writing by ‘putting it out there.’   Six current PhD students in the Law School at UOW recently heeded this sage advice, and took the opportunity to present their work at a LIRC Works in Progress Seminar, ‘Writing Out Loud’.


Yvonne Apolo, PhD candidate, sessional lecturer and co-convenor of ‘Writing out Loud’

Students were given a fairly wide brief in terms of what aspect of their research they chose to present, and represented the entire gamut of the PhD experience, from students who had recently commenced their PhD, to those who were nearing completion of their thesis. This meant that the approach taken to the presentations, and the material presented, varied considerably. Some presented material which they were intending to publish, others discussed issues concerning methodology and ethics, and others presented case studies which pertained to their research. Ultimately, presentation topics were arranged to mimic the flow of a thesis and this provided participants with a real sense of writing a PhD ‘out loud’.


Sandy Noakes, PhD candidate, sessional lecturer and co-convenor of ‘Writing out Loud’


Fabienne Else, PhD candidate

Kicking off the afternoon was Career Development Fellow, Sandy Noakes, who elaborated upon the background and impetus for her PhD research into the provision of writing support for undergraduate law students in Australia. Sandy shared her findings in relation to whether Australian law schools follow the Good Practice Guide when it comes to writing support, and welcomed the opportunity to receive feedback on a potential publication idea. Also sharing preliminary research findings, was PhD student Fabienne Else whose thesis explores whether the recently implemented criminal sentencing option, called ‘Intensive Correction Orders’ (ICOs), reflects the sentencing needs of indigenous offenders in NSW. Fabienne had recently utilised the computer program NVIVO to expose the intentions of the policymakers behind the introduction of ICO legislation as well as the nature of the subsequent reception of this legislation by various stakeholders. Participants appreciated the insight Fabienne provided into the use of NVIVO to conduct thematic analysis.


Kate Tubridy, PhD candidate & sessional lecturer

Expanding upon methodological approaches, PhD student and Sessional Lecturer, Kate Tubridy, explained the unique method she has developed in order to explore understandings of criminal justice on complex and dynamic digital media platforms. In her thesis, Kate examines the manner in which social media responses to specific crimes interact with the Australian criminal justice system, and her talk shed light on the need for a nuanced, computer-mediated approach to critical discourse analysis.


Rajendra Grimier, PhD candidate

Following an afternoon tea break, PhD student and Nepali lawyer, Rajendra Ghimire, shared his experiences of performing field work and collecting primary data in Nepal. In his thesis, Rajendra investigates the efficacy of Traditional Justice Systems (TJS) in Nepal, which exist alongside the formal justice system, and examines whether such TJS are providing a fair system that accords with human rights principles. During this seminar, Rajendra was able to report on some of the findings he has obtained whilst commencing the process of data analysis.


Ryan Kernaghan, Phd candidate & sessional lecturer


Sarah Wright, PhD candidate & sessional lecturer

The last two presenters for the evening spoke of the manner in which they have deployed their respective methodologies through the use of case studies; albeit in very different ways. In his thesis, PhD student and Sessional Lecturer, Ryan Kernaghan, draws upon opera studies in developing a ‘radical operatic’ methodology, which he then uses to examine the judicial approach of former High Court Justice Lionel Murphy. Ryan shared with participants his experiences in choosing and carrying out case studies, and spoke of the manner in which his operatic methodology highlights limitations in extant methods of judicial interpretation. Continuing on with this theme, Sarah Wright, also a PhD student and Sessional Lecturer, discussed her use of case studies and shared her key findings in relation to a particular case study of (a rather interesting) serial waste offender. Sarah’s PhD research examines some of the main components of NSW pollution law and how they are implemented in practice by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). In this talk, Sarah elucidated the manner in which such case studies impact the image of the NSW EPA as an effective regulator.


LIRC Visiting PhD Scholar, Laura Peterson (University of Melbourne)

All in all, this Works in Progress seminar showcased some of the interesting and diverse img_7943HDR research currently being undertaking within the Law School and provided students with an opportunity to share their work with, and receive excellent feedback from, LIRC’s then Visiting PhD Scholar, Laura Peterson (University of Melbourne). The students who participated identified a number of benefits of such an event. For some, it provided an important deadline to finish an aspect of their research. For others, it was an opportunity to obtain feedback on a particular methodological approach. Others used it as an opportunity to polish and refine work intended for the more formal atmosphere of a conference.


Yvonne Apolo, always with the insightful feedback.

Overall, ‘Writing Out Loud’ fostered a sense of community amongst the students, who appreciated the opportunity to ‘write and show’ in a safe and collegial environment… and, of course, this was all capped-off with an enjoyable dinner, generously supported by LIRC!

Seminar: Sterilisation of Women with Disability, International Human Rights Law and (the Failure of) Australian Law Reform


12.30 – 1.30pm, Wednesday 9 November 2016

Building 67, Room 202 (Moot Court)

University of Wollongong

Linda Steele is a lecturer in the School of Law and a member of Legal Intersections Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Australia. She was recently a visiting researcher at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University during September-October 2016.

Feminist disability scholars and women’s disability rights advocates in Australia and elsewhere have argued for the prohibition of sterilisation of women with disability. Yet this practice remains legal when consented to by a substitute decision maker or pursuant to the doctrine of necessity. In these legal circumstances sterilisation does not constitute an offence under criminal law and it is not compensable under civil law – sterilisation is a form of disability-specific lawful violence.

For more information and to register your attendance online

Workshop: Doing Intersectionality – Then, Now and Next






Presented by Feminist Research Network (FRN) and Legal Intersections Research Centre (LIRC)

How has the concept and key arguments of intersectionality moved in the world? What are the opportunities and challenges for ‘doing intersectionality’? In particular, what are the achievements and pitfalls as the term is increasingly used in popular media? What has been gained and what lost?

The event will run as a workshop, and feature panels on:

⎯ Intersectionality Then

⎯ Intersectionality Now

⎯ Intersectionality on Stage, Screen and Online, and

⎯ Intersectionality Next

Featured speakers include Dr Kiran Grewal, Dr Jane Carey, Dr Zora Simic, Evelyn Araluen Corr, Pearl Tan, Dr Rebecca Sheehan and Dr Paula Abood. Further speakers will be announced shortly.

For more information, contact Sukhmani Khorana, or Tanja Dreher