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.
(2022) Hopkins, TamarThesisThis thesis investigates the meaning of racial profiling and its application in Australia. Drawing on the conceptualisation developed by Epp, Maynard-Moody and Haider-Markel that racial profiling is the disproportionate use of unjustified police power against racial and ethnic minorities, this thesis asks: does racial profiling exist in Australia? I develop three methodologies to answer this question. In the first, I apply four concepts developed by Canadian courts to existing Australian cases to determine whether they enable the disclosure of racial profiling. For the second strategy, I conduct a survey of 981 people from Victoria, Australia who the police have subjected to a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist stop. Drawing again on Epp, Maynard-Moody and Haider-Markel, I classify their experiences into variables that, through regression analysis, I can use examine whether police engage in racial profiling. My third strategy, using the same survey data, tests whether police more frequently use particular tactics on specific racial groups. If so, these tactics could be said to correspond to racial profiling under a test devised by Canadian judge Morden JA. in R v Brown  OJ 1251. The result of each strategy discloses the existence of racial profiling in Australia. Firstly, I find that racial profiling is likely to have impacted 12 Australian cases I examine through the lens of the Canadian common law framework. Consequently, to make racial profiling more visible, this framework provides a useful guide for the development of police powers law in Australia. Secondly, I find strong evidence (p<0.05) that police in Victoria subject people of Aboriginal, African, Pasifika and Middle-Eastern/Muslim appearance to unjustified police stops and unjustified post-stop conduct more frequently than white people. This finding demonstrates that pro-active policing methodologies in Victoria are racially discriminatory. My third finding is that there is strong exploratory evidence (p<0.05) that police use 12 tactics against specific racial groups more frequently than white people. These findings start to reveal the institutionalised mechanisms that police use to target racial groups in Australia. As the first study of this kind in Australia, this thesis makes a major contribution to understanding racial profiling in Australia and how it may be evidenced.
Continuous Disclosure of Chinese Cross-border Listed Companies in Australia: Challenges and Proposals(2022) Guo, BelleThesisChinese listed companies are struggling to meet the continuous disclosure requirements of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and have even been depicted as having poor corporate governance and transparency. Many get delisted from the ASX due to non-compliance in continuous disclosure or are rejected from listing because of continuous disclosure compliance concerns. This thesis addresses one overarching research question: What are the challenges faced by Chinese lawmakers, Chinese listed companies, Chinese companies’ external advisers and securities regulators in dealing with Chinese cross-border listed companies’ continuous disclosure in Australia — and how can these challenges be addressed? This thesis is theoretically founded on the divergent evolution and rationales for continuous disclosure requirements in Australia and China. The evolution of listed companies’ continuous disclosure requirements in Australia can be described as a market-driven process, the most theoretical underpinnings of which are market integrity and investor protection. In contrast, the fundamental rationale behind the presence or absence of continuous disclosure requirements throughout the history of the Chinese securities market is the service of the political economy in the corresponding period. This thesis investigates the research question through the following four dimensions based on such a theoretical framework. First, the application of continuous disclosure requirements for listed companies is composed of three elements in Australia and China: the non-general availability criteria, materiality thresholds, and timeliness requirements. Divergences regarding each element reflect weaknesses of the Chinese continuous disclosure rules. Second, deficiencies exist regarding the continuous disclosure compliance management regime within Chinese listed companies. Third, the obligation of due diligence surrounding external advisers’ monitoring role in Chinese listed companies’ continuous disclosure compliance has limitations. These limitations are manifested in two aspects of the due diligence obligation: the duty of care and the independence requirements. Last, there are also difficulties in respect of the Chinese securities cross-border supervision regime. This thesis thus proposes corresponding reform suggestions in respect of each of these challenges, with relevant experiences in Australia taken into consideration.
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.
A Critique of Chinese Dual-Class Structure Listing Regulation: Lessons Learned from Overseas Experiences(2022) Wu, ShangxuanThesisThe concept of the dual-class structure listing (DCS listing) indicates the corporate financing and governance practice under which a particular listing firm issues two or more classes of common shares with different voting shares per class. The advantage of DCS concentratedly lies in the sufficiently safeguarding the founder’s idiosyncratic visions and protecting the long-term benefit maximization goal from the short-termism. Simultaneously, the latent defects of DCS consist of the volatility of the superiors voting rights holders’ personal attributes and the weighted voting power abuse risks. To a large degree, the DCS regulation within China’s institutional context can be a new issue. In comparison with the US history for over a century of DCS listing practice and regulation, China did not lift its ban on the domestic DCS listing until 2019. Among these jurisdictions in the Asian-Pacific region, the US, Hong Kong SAR, and Singapore might provide remarkable experiences. Chapter 1 will portray a general tendency of the rise of DCS listing worldwide and briefly comb the practical issues regarding DCS listing within the Chinese institutional context. Chapter 2 will try to clarify the conceptual boundary of DCS listing in terms of history and discourse evolution, this chapter will briefly retrospect China’s overseas and domestic DCS listing practices and the current DCS listing regulation framework as well. Chapter 3 aims at systematically delineate and retrospect China’s institutional environment involving corporate governance. Chapter 4 aims at examining both the empirical and on one hand, this chapter tries to review the existing empirical studies to evaluate the empirical evidence’s support for the question raised above. On the other hand, this section will come back to examine the theoretical corporate governance discussion on long-termism v. short-termism. Comprehensively, this part will try to retrospect the shortcomings of the short-termism rhetoric and simultaneously construct the legitimacy of long-termism discourse in terms of improving corporate governance patterns. Chapter 5 focuses on how to supply specific measures to improve both DCS listing practices and regulation. First, it will discuss the feasibility of mandating a time-based sunset provision. Also, it will evaluate the whether it is possible to use the time-phased voting to mitigate the latent defects of sunset provisions utilisation. Following, a brief conclusion is given.
Essence and Extension: When does the Use of Trade Secrets Constitute the Abuse of Market Dominance in China and How Should the Current Approach be Improved?(2022) Wu, PeichengThesisThis Thesis examines the situations in which the use of trade secrets can constitute an abuse of market dominance under China’s Anti-monopoly Law and considers how the law should be applied in practice. It is generally accepted that competition law and intellectual property law have the complementary goals of promoting competition. Trade secrets are regarded as a category of intellectual property and competition law applies when the exploitation of trade secrets leads to anti-competitive effects. There are some cases where Chinese competition authorities and courts have dealt with the abuse of dominance cases arising from the use of trade secrets, but the Thesis argues that the existing Chinese competition rules should be more specific in relation to the issue. In order to improve Chinese competition enforcement in this respect, the Thesis examines comparative competition experience from both sides of the Atlantic to analyse market definition, market dominance and some abusive practices with regard to trade secrets. It makes recommendations on an appropriate methodology for China. To keep a balance between the antitrust intervention and the use of trade secrets, and to make the application of Chinese competition law predictable, the Thesis recommends reforming Chinese competition rules to establish specific tests for determining the abuse of dominance in trade secrets. It suggests that China should consider the characteristics of trade secrets (as opposed to other forms of intellectual property) in the abuse of dominance cases when amending China’s anti-monopoly guidelines regarding intellectual property. These recommendations, if adopted, would provide Chinese competition authorities and courts with more specific guidance on dealing with the interplay between competition law and the exploitation of trade secrets in the future, and improve the enforcement of Chinese competition law in the area.