21st Annual Labour Law Conference 2013

22 July 2013

Beyond 'Groundhog Day': Can productivity and fairness be improved without further 'labour law reform'?

Over the last two decades labour law reform has had a high profile in Australian policy debates, higher in fact than nearly all other advanced industrial societies. The seemingly endless calls for 'reform' and changes to labour law now mean Australia has a highly volatile industrial landscape, a volatility not arising from industrial disputation but which is policy induced.

At this year's labour law conference we will explore ways to improve productivity within the existing system and consider how labour relations policy-making can be improved. Attention will be devoted to reflecting on what works well, how perceived problems in the law can in fact be managed in ways that prevent the need for yet more 'system reform' and how the statutory framework could be made more stable in the long term. Perspectives will be provided by legal strategists who advise pace setting employers and unions, key union and employer leaders who define strategies in light of what is (as opposed to those who lament what 'ought to be') and seasoned researchers knowledgeable of the operation of the law and how, more often than not, factors other than it are crucial for determining efficiency and equity outcomes.

This year's speakers include:

  • Professor Joellen Riley, Dean, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney
  • The Hon Professor Geoffrey Giudice AO, University of Melbourne
  • Richard Bunting, Partner, Ashurst
  • Josh Bornstein, Principal, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
  • Stephen Smith - Director National Industrial Relations, AiG
  • Tim Lyons, Assistant Secretary, ACTU
  • Anthony Forsyth, Associate Professor & Director, Juris Doctor Programs, RMIT
  • Geoff McGill, Visiting Industry Scholar, WRC, University of Sydney Business School
  • Professor Emeritus Ron McCallum, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney
  • Barbara Pocock, Director, Centre for Work + Life, University of South Australia
  • Chair: Professor John Buchanan, Director, Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney Business School

Download program


Cost: Early Bird - $795 until 22nd May
General Conference rate - $895
USYD Staff and Student rates are available - Contact WRC

Time: Refer to conference program

Location: Hilton Hotel

Cost: See above rates

Contact: Cate Murray

Phone: 9351 5626

Email: 255437156d2520182609086f1b525404561e6931550f781b40

More info: