Law & Justice
Law & Justice
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(2022) Hush, AnnaThesisFor decades, feminists at Australian universities have fought to publicise and politicise the issue of campus sexual violence. These efforts have recently come to fruition, with universities publicly acknowledging the problem and undertaking various institutional reforms. However, there has been little scholarly attention paid to political struggles over sexual violence within universities. This thesis critically examines the politics of feminist activism against sexual violence at Australian university campuses. It situates this activism against the backdrop of the neoliberalisation of Australian universities, to reveal how feminists have challenged – and at times, acted in complicity with – these transformations in the landscape of Australian higher education. This analysis is both historical, drawing on archival material relating to the history of campus feminist politics, and contemporary, using data from interviews with students currently engaged in organising against sexual violence. It explores the strategies and tactics adopted by feminist collectives, the constraints on feminist mobilisation in the neoliberal university, and the shortcomings of these movements. This thesis makes two original contributions to knowledge. Firstly, it extends existing analyses of university sexual violence and contributes to the growing body of scholarship on this topic. Research on campus sexual violence in Australia has so far focused on policy analysis and prevalence data. While this provides an important basis for evaluating the scope of the problem and potential remedies, it is largely disconnected from political struggles over institutional responses to sexual violence, a gap this thesis seeks to fill. I offer an analysis of the historical and contemporary struggles that have created the conditions for institutional change, as well as the complex ways in which the neoliberal university undermines and constrains oppositional movements. Secondly, this thesis makes a theoretical contribution to the field of New and Feminist Institutionalism. It critically intervenes in the institutionalist field, drawing greater attention to the roles of macro-social contexts and actors in the form of social movements in processes of institutional change and proposing a framework that foregrounds these aspects of institutional politics. The findings of this research reveal significant limitations in Australian universities’ responses to sexual violence, with their actions falling short of both student demands and expert recommendations. I argue that these actions have largely functioned to consolidate managerial power and mitigate reputational risk, in doing so narrowing the space of political contestation. My analysis further illuminates the specific institutional constraints that bear upon student feminist organisers within the neoliberal university. This analysis offers strategic insights into feminist engagement with institutions, suggesting that student movements must develop the capacity to disrupt processes of institutional reproduction and challenge the reformist approach adopted by universities. A transformative response to campus sexual violence, I argue, will require broader and better-organised coalitions of staff and students in order to collectively challenge and overcome these constraints.
The rule of law in war: can there be a rule of law regulating the use of lethal force in international armed conflicts, should there be such a rule of law, and to what extent is there one?(2022) Hartridge, SamuelThesisThe fundamental aim of this thesis is to test three things. First, whether there can be a ‘rule of law’ in the international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) rules that regulate the use of lethal force by state militaries (Rules of Targeting). Second, whether there should be such a rule of law, and third, whether there is one. These questions matter because they allow us to consider what is important about the rule of law and whether and, if so, how the rule of law can be applied within the context of an armed conflict. I have chosen to focus on targeting decisions by state militaries, in the context of international armed conflicts (IAC) – conflicts between two or more states. This is because it forms the paradigm case for which the law in question is designed. In this thesis I set out why there can be a rule of law regulating the use of lethal force in IACs, why – to a limited but non-trivial extent – there currently is such a rule of law, and why it is a worthwhile endeavour to attempt to apply the rule of law to such exercises of power.
(2022) Frishling, NanaThesisThis thesis is about multi-stakeholder initiatives that seek to regulate the human rights impacts of global apparel supply chains (Apparel MSIs). MSIs have the aim of improving human rights for millions of apparel workers worldwide, but after two decades they show little evidence of such improvement. Civil society critics argue that MSIs are ineffective, unreformable private regulation that is not fit-for-purpose and lacks legitimacy. This thesis argues that Apparel MSIs still perform a valuable regulatory function, however they must adopt new regulatory approaches. These include moving beyond social audit as a regulatory technique, expanding stakeholder participation and better measuring and communicating impact. MSIs must transform to realise their aim of improving apparel workers human rights and consequently preserve their legitimacy. To understand and contribute to this transformation the thesis method incorporates existing literature; it applies theoretical frameworks; and the insights of original empirical research. From the latter the voices of worker advocates, union leaders and academics reveal recent and promising regulatory innovations and changes in MSIs. Along with this empirical research, the original contributions of this thesis are to emphasise the interconnected nature of legitimacy criteria and assess the overall legitimacy of Apparel MSIs in the light of the functional model adopted by each MSI. This legitimacy analysis is supported by the regulatory theory of responsive regulation, which explicitly contemplates self-regulatory forms like MSIs. The original contribution of bringing responsive regulation to bear on Apparel MSIs, provides new insights into how they can bolster their regulatory effectiveness and legitimacy. Interviews undertaken with key stakeholders provide a sociological perspective to this analysis. Interview data also drive the final recommendations for reform which coming from MSI stakeholders point to recent innovations in private regulation as a more promising alternative. Given the opportunity to build a more just world after the Covid-19 pandemic, these recommendations could not come at a more critical juncture.
(2022) Harley, TristanThesisOne of the most significant issues to emerge in international refugee law and policy in recent years has been the push to enhance the meaningful participation of refugees in decision-making processes. Around the world, refugee-led networks and organisations have advocated for refugees to be able to engage directly with states, international organisations and other stakeholders in decisions that affect them. Further, states have recognised the value of meaningful participation and have made commitments through new international instruments, particularly the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees, towards enabling the participation of refugees in designated responses to refugees and displacement. These developments represent a significant shift in thinking. However, for these developments to be implemented effectively, greater clarity is needed as to what meaningful refugee participation looks like and how the international law and policy framework governing participation can be best designed. This thesis provides a detailed socio-legal analysis of these issues. The thesis asks: what does participation in decision-making refer to in the context of the international refugee regime; in what ways and to what extent have refugees been included in different decision-making areas in practice; and how could the legal and policy framework be improved to enhance meaningful refugee participation. This thesis argues that despite recent commitments towards advancing the participation of refugees in decision-making processes, the international legal and policy framework governing refugee participation has insufficiently provided for this to occur. The thesis demonstrates how refugees have been restricted from fully participating in a variety of decision-making areas. These areas include law and policy reform; the implementation of durable solutions and other relocation decisions; and the delivery of programmes and services for refugees. Additionally, the thesis highlights the current limitations of international refugee and human rights law for ensuring meaningful refugee participation. To address these issues, the thesis proposes novel reforms to improve the international legal and policy framework. Central among these reform options is the proposal for a new international law instrument that more clearly commits states and others to ensuring that refugees are heard.
Indigenous Victims of Sexual Violence and the MeToo Movement: Social Media Activism and Patterns of Exclusion within the Justice System(2022) O'Connor, JayneThesisIndigenous women in Australia have remained one of the most at-risk demographics for sexual violence victimisation since colonisation began. Indigenous women have historically been marginalized and excluded from accessing justice for sexual violence through the legal system. Changes to the justice system, including incorporating some Indigenous-focussed practices in sentencing, have resulted in inadequate access to justice for Indigenous women sexual assault victims. Some women who have not been able to find justice or validation in the legal system have sought other avenues for redress, including social media activism. The MeToo movement is one of the largest social media activist movements to date to address the issue of sexual violence. The MeToo movement has been seen as a means by which victims can take control of the narrative around sexual violence and seek recognition and justice outside the courtroom. Millions of women globally have participated in MeToo, but the movement has also been subject to critiques about its lack of inclusivity and its inability to respond to intersecting forms of oppression and trauma. Through MeToo, women have revealed the legal system has fundamentally failed victims of sexual violence, especially Indigenous women. The thesis asks: What does the MeToo movement in Australia reveal about the differences and similarities in narrative and process between the criminal justice system (CJS) and social media regarding sexual violence allegations and the potential for social media to act as an alternative to the CJS? This thesis responds to this question with a focus on a disenfranchised sector of Australian society, namely Indigenous women. By synthesising theories from the frameworks of decolonisation and critical race feminism, the thesis applies critically analyses the phenomena of spectacle and performativity. The thesis reveals several ways by which social media activism replicates the patterns of exclusion and discrimination present in the legal system, leaving Indigenous women substantially excluded from two major avenues for redress of inaccessibility to justice and related grievances. The thesis identifies the replication of patterns of exclusion and discrimination across three contexts: society, the legal system, and social media activism. The thesis concludes alternative justice seeking methods will struggle to succeed while the foundations of colonisation and patriarchy persist. It also reveals three overarching themes, and four conceptual tensions present at the intersection of sexual violence against Indigenous women and social media activism. The themes are: (1) voice, narrative, and visibility; (2) agency and self-determination, and (3) transnational/transcultural phenomena. The tensions are: (1) law and justice; (2) the criminal justice system and MeToo; (3) platforms and targets; and (4) commodification and resistance.
Colonialism, race and international criminal law: rereading the complementarity principle in the situations of Kenya and Libya(2021) Edelbi, SouheirThesisThe complementarity principle that governs the International Criminal Court is a central discourse of international criminal law. It provides a legal basis to prevent international crimes and support accountability in domestic criminal jurisdictions. Thus, judges, lawyers, and academics have come to view the principle as a benevolent instrument of justice and accountability. Several Third World states have contributed to the development of this principle in significant ways. They have reinforced the principle in domestic jurisdictions, but have also challenged its parameters in ICC proceedings. Focusing on the Kenyan and Libyan cases at the ICC, this thesis rethinks the nature and function of the complementarity principle from a Third World perspective. Using a postcolonial practice of reading and textual analysis, it exposes the relationship between the complementarity principle and the legacies of colonial race discourse by highlighting how the discourse surrounding the complementarity principle reproduces Third World states as Other in divergent ways. The thesis develops a single yet dichotomous framework to make sense of how colonial race discourse shapes the complementarity principle and how ICC judges and the Prosecutor evaluate Third World domestic criminal proceedings along lines of racial difference. It raises the possibility of developing a politics of refusal, as opposed to a politics of transformation, through exposing and dismantling international criminal law's Western and Eurocentric form.
(2021) Li, XunThesisThe aim of this thesis is to utilise transnational regulatory network (TRN) theory to examine the effectiveness of the regulatory framework promulgated by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) — to address the activities of transnational hedge funds. Scholarship employing TRN theory has not previously accounted for the distinctive role that IOSCO — a body well-described as a TRN — has played in developing hedge fund regulation to prevent, identify and mitigate systemic risk related to transnational hedge funds. It is a gap that this thesis attempts to fill. This thesis asks whether and in what ways the IOSCO framework contributes to systemic risk mitigation in relation to transnational hedge funds operating at the global level. It does so to help academics and policymakers to better understand and appreciate the value, and overcome the limitations of IOSCO in this respect. Using the case studies of the failure of Long-Term Capital Management at the end of the 20th century and the demise of Bear Stearns’ hedge funds during the global financial crisis, it argues that it is the systemic hazards posed by hedge funds that make them merit extra regulation at both national and transnational levels. Deploying the findings of the TRN theory, it further demonstrates that the IOSCO framework for transnational hedge fund regulation holds not only advantages to be maintained but also shortcomings to be overcome in addressing these systemic hazards. The significance of this study lies in its contribution to advancing comprehension of the global regulatory framework for transnational hedge funds. It makes the advance by introducing a focus on systemic risk mitigation, hitherto lacking, and developing a critical, doctrinal understanding of the relatively understudied rules and standards under IOSCO.