Our postgraduate students

Name Degree Principal Supervisor Associate Supervisor Thesis research title
Ross Abbs PhD Loughnan, A Crofts, T Criminal Justice in the High Court
Pamela Angus-Leppan PhD Carney, T Burns, F The Financial Abuse of Elderly People: Evidence from the NSW Guardianship
Fleur Beaupert PhD Carney, T Tait, D (UoW) Mental Health Tribunals and Regulation of Compulsory Mental Health Care: Dispensing Justice in a Tablet?
Julie Patricia Beesley PhD Lee, M Findlay, M Organised Chaos: Organised Crime through a Chaotic Lens
Felicity Bell PhD Cashmore, J Parkinson, P Children's Representation and Participation in Australian Family Law
Louise Boon-Kuo PhD Findlay, M Johns, F Immigration border controls, onshore policing and "national security" - law, politics and practice in migration policing in Australia
Raymond Max Brazil SJD Savell, K Cashman, P The Evolution of the Duties, Powers and Responsibilities of Australian State and Territory Coroners 1788-2008
Catherine Yu Chung Chang SJD Crock, M Stubbs, J (UNSW)
Trafficking of children in the Asia Pacific region: Is it a problem in Australia and is Australia complicit in the region's problem?
Garner Clancey PhD Lee, M O'Malley, P What is Crime Prevention? A Place-based Analysis
Robert Davis PhD Findlay, M  & Hill, J   The Law and Econom(etr)ics of Corruption
Erica Elliott PhD Mason, G   The Story of Lace
Katherine Fallah PhD Findlay, M Saul, B & Johns, F Market Forces: The Status and Regulation of Mercenaries and Private Military Contractors at International Law
Martin Fisher PhD Findlay, M Loughnan, A How Criminal and Civil Property Forfeiture Legislation, the "War on Drugs", and the Australian Crime Commission have altered the Balance between the State and the Defendant in Administrative Criminal Law in Australia, and what this tells us of the Present State of Politics and Society
Pota Forrest-Lawrence PhD Mason, G Lee, M The Media's Representation of the Crystal Methamphetamine ("ice") issue and its influence on Australian Illicit Drug Policies
Nafis Muhamad Hanif PhD Findlay, M O'Malley, P Re-Imagining Asian Organised Crime
Justin Hogan Doran PhD Triggs, G   Comparative Private International Law Jurisdiction in Cyperspace: An Analysis of the emerging rules of jurisdiction over internet based economic activity and publications, and the lessons for the design of jurisdiction rules in private international law
Richard Kocsis PhD Shea, P Mason, G An Empirical Examination of Crime Scene Behaviours and Offender Characteristics in Kidnapping for Ransom Crime
Christopher Luke Martin PhD Stubbs, J (UNSW)
van Krieken, R  Government Housing: Governing Crime and Disorder in Public Housing in New South Wales
Allan John McCay PhD Findlay, M   The Implications of Behavioural Genetics for Notions of Free Will and Retribution in Sentencing
Carolyn McKay PhD Mason, G Gibson, R (SCA) Video conferencing from prison: inmates and the posthuman courtroom
Tanya Louise Mitchell LLM  Findlay, M Loughnan, A Legitimacy and Order: Why Obey When I Am Not Included?
Nasreen Miza Hilmy Nasrijal PhD Parkinson, P Farrar, S A Comparative Study on the Problem and Challenges in the Enforcement of Child Maintenance Order
Amanda Porter PhD O'Malley, P Stubbs, J (UNSW)
Aboriginal Night Patrols, Streetbeats and Alternative Policing
Nicola Ross PhD Parkinson, P Cashmore, J Hearing children's voices? New Models for legal Representation of children and Young People.
Caroline Saint PhD Bennett, B Carney, T Legal and Ethical Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza Issues of Resource Allocation and Promotion of Social Harmony?
Li-Shen Janice Sim PhD Findlay, M Baldry, E (UNSW)
Risks Invisible: Parents and Carers who Kill
Anu Singh PhD Stubbs, J (UNSW)
Mason, G Offending Women - Toward a Greater Understanding of Female Crime and Criminality
Linda Steele PhD Savell, K Findlay, M The Dangerous Individual: A Critique of the Diversion of the People Identified as Having Intellectual Disability or Acquired Brain Injury from the NSW Local Courts
Madeleine Suttie PhD Savell, K   Parliamentary Ethics Committees and Legislative Development
Fiona Tait MCrim Stubbs, J (UNSW)
Shackel, R Evaluation of the Victim Impact Statement Processes in NSW with regard to the Therapeutic Consequences for Victims of Crime
George Tomossy PhD Carney, T Stewart, C Protecting Human Subjects in the Global Research Enterprise
Lesley Townsley LLM Mason, G Findlay, M Unchain My Heart: Emotional Variables and Ethical Issues in the Practice of Criminal Law
Anne Wallace PhD Carney, T Tait, D (UoW) Justice and the virtual expert: Using remote witness facilities and digital technologies to enhance the presentation of expert forensic evidence and improve the experience of the witness

Recently completed projects

Thalia Anthony MCrim thesis (First Class, awarded 2010) 'Re-imagining Indigenous Difference in Criminal Sentencing'.


This thesis critically considers the recognition of Indigenous difference in post-colonial criminal sentencing. Through an analysis of Australian sentencing remarks in relation to Indigenous offenders, this thesis highlights sentencing as a control metaphor for the governance of the post-colonial state over Indigenous people. The thesis draws on research of over fifty years of sentencing decisions on Indigenous offenders by higher Australian courts. It reveals a shift from Indigenous circumstances being considered as mitigating factors to aggravating factors. The methodology is a series of comparable thematic vignettes based on sentencing courts’ recognition of customary family relations, Indigenous punishment, Indigenous community disadvantage and racial conflict. The thesis argues that across these contexts, criminal sentences have become harsher based on a re-imagining of the Indigenous community as dysfunctional.

Edwin Bikundo PhD thesis (awarded 2010) 'The Criminal Aggression: Using or Abusing Legality?'.


Issues surrounding the actionable regulatory limits of aggression for the purposes of international criminal law, and its relativity, are often conflated with problems of definition. This conflation leads to sterile and partisan debate that by its very nature does not address the core challenges to legality as a genuine and potent regulatory force for human security when faced with overwhelming violence.
This thesis analyses the relationship between law and violence, the utility of law over violence and whether legality as an approach has an inherent disability in addressing aggression as a crime.

The thesis is divided into three parts. Part 1 is a meditation on the controversies over the location of debating the crime of aggression in either law or politics. The first chapter contextualises international criminal justice, its assumptions and practices when addressing problematic mass violence. The second chapter considers international criminal law as a set of autonomous yet responsive institutions, practices and practitioners, with contestable potential to redefine and thus regulate mass violence. The third chapter proposes the possibility of a discretionary judicial methodology for exercising jurisdiction in matters concerning aggression.

Part 2 expounds on the legal approach to the problems outlined. It opens with the fourth chapter, on the conceptual development from force and law to aggression and legality, which explains how certain tendencies already prevalent in law are presently intensifying. The fifth chapter is an unflinching look at the severe challenges posed to legality in the face of rapid and intensive social upheaval accompanied by violence. The sixth chapter demonstrates how life is captured in law, and in turn law captured in life, through distinguishing force and violence.

Part 3 is an application of the method outlined in Part 2 to the problems posed in Part 1. In it, the seventh chapter examines the abuse of legality as self-consciously seen through a legal lens. The eighth chapter takes a sideways entry into the debate on codifying aggression by highlighting certain core assumptions on the pivotal role of humanity as a concept that are ordinarily left at the margins. The ninth and final chapter explores the use of law as a provider of clarity, a way of making meaning in a world threatened by paralysing nihilism on the one hand and stultifying idealism on the other. That is, the law in tandem with other approaches is indispensable in addressing the causes, occurrence, effects and legacy of aggression.

Jane Wangmann PhD (awarded 2009) 'She said...' 'He said...': Cross Applications in NSW Apprehended Domestic Violence Order Proceedings.


This thesis examines the use of cross applications in civil protection order proceedings in NSW (known as Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders, ADVOs). A cross application takes place when one person in an existing or former intimate relationship, usually the woman, applies for an ADVO and sometime afterwards the defendant in that originating application, usually the man, seeks an ADVO against the first person. The focus on cross applications provides a means to investigate the nature of men's and women's competing allegations about domestic violence, and to explore the way in which professionals working within the ADVO system approach, and seek to unravel, these competing claims. This thesis draws on the extensive debate within the sociological literature about 'what is domestic violence' and whether domestic violence is gendered in its perpetration. This debate has been paid scant attention in the legal literature. This thesis examines the assumptions underpinning the legal definitions and understandings of domestic violence in the civil protection order system, with reference to these theoretical debates about 'what is domestic violence' and 'what counts as domestic violence'. To do so it draws on empirical work: semi-structured in-depth interviews with women involved in cross applications and key professionals working in the field, documentary analysis of court files, and observations of court proceedings. The key contribution of this thesis to this literature is threefold: (1) it explores the question of gender perpetration through the investigation of official data (a data source little explored in debates about gender and domestic violence), (2) it combines qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study, and (3) it extends questions about the gendered perpetration of domestic violence to the legal arena (in particular the prime legal arena that responds to domestic violence in NSW, the ADVO system, a system ostensibly designed to better respond to domestic violence).

This thesis found that, like other studies in the field, the analysis of quantitative data alone reveals few differences between the types of violence men and women are alleged to use against their intimate partners. However when supplemented by qualitative data differences started to emerge particularly for men who lodged their application second in time. This qualitative analysis reveals not only that male second applicants appeared to make claims of a different nature, but that some men appeared to use the ADVO process to undermine women's claims for legal protection. The differences that emerged between men and women's alleged experiences of domestic violence resonated with feminist understandings of domestic violence that highlight its function of control and the repetitive, cumulative environment in which violence is perpetrated by men against women.

While the study focussed on cross applications, its findings reveal a number of issues of concern for the ADVO system more broadly: its focus on incidents, the poor quality of complaint narratives, the brevity of court proceedings and the emphasis on settlement. These features undermine the progressive potential of the ADVO legislation to capture more than single incidents of largely physical violence. This was further compounded by the fact that while the professionals interviewed articularted broad definitions of domestic violence, this tended to be lost when responding to practice-orientated questions (here professionals returned to incident-based definitions). Perhaps more significantly the defining feature of domestic violence as a mechanism of control is not articulated in NSW legislation, and hence (not surprisingly) was generally not articulated in the complaint narratives examined in this thesis. Yet control was the dominant way in which the women interviewed described their relationship with their former partner. The failure of complaint narratives to reflect the dimension of control, combined with the failure of key professionals to give sufficient emphasis to control in their practice under the ADVO legislation, an absence highlighted through the focus on cross applications, is an issue of concern for the ADVO system generally. This is important given the growing recognition in the research literature of the fundamental nature of control to the experience of domestic violence, particularly women's experiences of domestic violence.

Carl Constantin Lauterwein LLM thesis (Hons I) (awarded 2008) 'The limits of criminal law – an analysis of the Australian perspective in comparison to the German Rechtsgutstheorie'.

In March 2010 Carl had a book The Limits of Criminal Law - A Comparative Analysis of Approaches to Legal Theorizing published by Ashgate.

Book Abstract

This book compares the civil and common law approach to analyze the question – 'What sorts of conduct may the state legitimately make criminal?'. Through a comparative focus on an Australian and German context, this book utilizes interviews with Australian criminal law experts and contrasts them with the German model based on 'Rechtsgutstheorie'. By comparing the largely descriptive, criminology-based Australian approach with the more sophisticated German legal theory model the author finds the Australian approach to be suffering from a 'normative flaw', illustrated by the distinction of different approaches to the offences of incest, bestiality and possession of illicit drugs. Carl Constantin Lauterwein discovers that while there is strength in the common law approach of describing the possible reasons for criminalizing certain conduct, the approach could be significantly improved by scrutinizing the legitimacy of those reasons.


Foreword, Mark Findlay; Preface; Law, limits and legitimacy – Germany and Australia; The German Rechtsgutstheorie; The approach to the problem – a problem itself; The discussion in Australia; Incest, bestiality and drugs – legitimately criminalised?; Conclusions; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.

John Boersig PhD thesis (conferred 2008) 'Towards a New Framework for Sentencing: Blending Indigenous and Non-indigenous Notions of Justice'.


This thesis is an analysis of the impact of the sentencing process upon Indigenous people in Australia. In comparison to non-Indigenous people, there is a continuing gross over-represented of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system; the corollary is high rates of incarceration and deaths in custody. Some explanation for this situation can be found in the significant socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous people, while more atomistic approaches point simply to criminal offending as individual transgression; others urge an historical appreciation of the long-term impact of colonisation as a root cause. Ultimately, gross incarceration rates are indicative of the systemic disadvantage faced by Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, and present an urgent problem for government.

Over the past 10 years a wave of initiatives, mostly based around diversion from or alternatives to the orthodox sentencing process, have been trialed as part of a possible solution to this over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. Many of these initiatives use processes that either target Indigenous offenders or seek to enhance the participation of the wider Indigenous community in the sentencing task. Crucially, this thesis locates these initiatives within an orthodox sentencing continuum. In other words, all solutions sought through reform to sentencing take place within sentencing continuum in the state’s criminal justice system.

My thesis raises questions about the notion of justice, and the role of punishment and sentencing - sentencing is a deliberative process that occurs in courts and in diversionary or alternative sentencing forums. The continuing disadvantage of Indigenous people imputes the failure of sentencing reforms, and calls for an analysis that moves beyond orthodox assumptions. I have turned to post-colonial theory is a radical methodology that moves Indigenous people from the margins to the centre of the analysis. It offers an incisive conceptual framework by exposing the underlining relationships within colonial power - between oppressor and oppressed - that find re-inscription in contemporary Western society; it is this framework that provides the basis for critical analysis and a foundation for effective law reform.

Accordingly, I analyses sentencing from an Indigenous perspective that takes as a starting point the colonisation of Australia; a nexus is drawn with the continuing over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. I show that the present relationship between Indigenous people and the state is a re-inscription of colonial social relations, in what might now be termed the neo-colonial state.

In this context the possibilities for addressing Indigenous disadvantage through reform of the sentencing process, both within and beyond the courts, is examined. This calls then, for a detailed exploration of the most recent innovation in this area, ‘restorative justice’. An aligned project is the exploration of the idea and utility of Indigenous Justice. Australia is illustrative of the world-wide trends and provides a focus for exploring these issues. Comparison is also made with a number of other Western countries.

My thesis makes a number of significant conclusions about sentencing reform. Fundamentally, I found that reforms should effect a transfer of authority within the sentencing process from the state to Indigenous people. I establish that an approach to law reform, grounded in the notion of Indigenous sovereignty, is essential to the de-colonisation of the sentencing process. In this way a unique sentencing framework, that blends co-equally Indigenous and non-Indigenous structures, is proposed. And it is concluded that this new framework is best placed to find solutions to the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. Indigneous empowerment, and cultural and legal pluralism will be key to the success of reforms, and strategies must be understood within a wider movement towards a postcolonial society.

Mia Dambach LLM thesis (awarded 2007) 'A critical analysis of shifting paradigms within the juvenile justice system, ideologically and in practice.'


In the early 1990’s, numerous law reform proposals for the future of the Juvenile Justice System in New South Wales (NSW) were produced with the overarching principle being the rehabilitation of the child. Since 1994, there has been no comprehensive attempt to analyse the NSW Juvenile Justice System in its entirety. The thesis aims to fill this gap, by examining the shifting paradigms across the Juvenile Justice System from 1995 to 2005.

This thesis argues that whilst the rehabilitative and benevolent attitude of the Juvenile Justice System in NSW remains dominant, there have been gradual and systematic encroachments to this approach. The thesis utilises Garland’s Culture of Control to explain the NSW Government’s shifting approach.

The thesis contends that the NSW Government now makes policies and practices in a ‘culture of control’. This culture is cultivated by the media, especially the tabloid press by their reporting (and often non-reporting) of certain incidents and presentation of juvenile crime as being ‘out of control’. The Government then feels pressured to respond and do so with hasty and more controlling mechanisms, without supporting research and with the hope of gaining political support.

This pattern of decision making can be observed across the entire Juvenile Justice System during 1995 to 2005. An inter-disciplinary approach covering both legal analysis of existing law and sociological analysis of changes in the law over time is used to study broad policy initiatives in the following specific areas in NSW:

Punitive introduction of offences targeting children
Punitive practice of police powers applied to children
Punitive application of Bail Act to children
Punitive trends in sentencing children
Punitive conditions of detention of children

The thesis concludes that these more controlling mechanisms are often unjustifiably punitive and result in numerous contraventions of international law. These contraventions include the principles of best interests, participation of the child, the well being of the child, proportionality, detention as a last resort, lack of attention to diversionary principles and various forms of discrimination. In the context of these breaches, the thesis provides numerous law reform proposals for the juvenile justice system more consistent with international law.