Law and Legal Studies
Macquarie conducts multicontextual, cross-disciplinary, trans-jurisdictional and collaborative approaches to the law and its social, environmental, and regulatory dimensions both in Australia and internationally. These approaches are focused on the theoretical and practical foundations of legal and governance structures, including human rights regimes and other mechanisms of global regulation.
Three members of the Macquarie Law School have been recognised for their research excellence through invitations to become Fellows of the Australian Academy of Law, and one professor is a current Fellow. One Macquarie professor was also a member of the ARC College of Experts, 2016-2018. Other scholars serve as experts on international law bodies.
Researchers have been appointed to the Advisory Committees of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to help guide the research and test the reform recommendations on the following inquiries: the Freedoms Inquiry, Age Barriers to Work Inquiry, and Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws.
Law researchers have also contributed to public inquiries undertaken by the NSW Law Reform Commission, the Productivity Commission, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, NSW Legislative Council Select Committee, and reviews conducted by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department. One researcher is the co-founder of the Australian Research Network on Law and Ageing, which has made significant contributions to national and state law reform inquiries on elder abuse, housing and guardianship.
The involvement of legal scholars at Macquarie with the ALRC has influenced the national reform agenda. A history of staff movement between the two institutions has facilitated the transfer of knowledge for mutual benefit. Two past researchers and one current researcher in the Macquarie Law School were previously employed at the ALRC, and Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, who holds an honorary appointment in the Macquarie Law School, was the President of the ALRC from 2009 to 17.
Economically empowering Pacific women
Macquarie’s research activities have improved the ability of Pacific women to engage in business activities through supporting law reform in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The research has been used by both the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the South Pacific Stock Exchange in Fiji to develop legal, regulatory and workplace practices that remove barriers and provide support to women in business. Macquarie has partnered with institutions in Tonga and Fiji to increase the representation of women in senior positions and corporate boards. It has published reports that have changed discourse among civil society organisations such as the International Women’s Development Agency and the NSW Council of Social Service.
3. Approach to impact
Centre for Environmental Law
Director: Prof Shawkat Alam