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ARC grant to bring Indigenous voices into judicial decision-making

10 November 2017
The University's only Discovery Indigenous grant

Sydney Law School researcher, Dr Nicole Watson, has been successful in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants.

Dr Nicole Watson was awarded the University’s only Discovery Indigenous grant, valued at $678,640, to incorporate Indigenous voices into judgments and celebrate Indigenous people's contributions to the development of Australian law.

“We are especially pleased to see Dr Nicole Watson's project funded, because of the great contribution this will make to thoughtful scholarship in Indigenous legal issues in Australia,” said Sydney Law School Dean, Professor Joellen Riley.

Dr Watson will work with Professor Heather Douglas (UQ) and Dr Asmi Wood (ANU) to show how judgments can be written so as to be inclusive of Indigenous people's voices and histories. The project will extend methodologies created by international scholars for correcting the absence of women’s voices by re-writing judgments from a feminist perspective, and produce the missing Indigenous judgment in twenty decisions of Australian superior courts.

Professor Cameron Stewart, Professor Tim Stephens and Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan were also part of three successful project teams which received funding to: reform the regulatory environment for innovative health technologies; create a unique open access database on Antarctic law and governance; and build a free access ‘Foundations of Common Law Library’.

Details of the four projects can be found below.

Nicole Watson was awarded $678,640 for her Discovery Indigenous application IN180100021 Bringing Indigenous Voices into Judicial Decision-Making

Dr Nicole Watson, Professor Heather Douglas (UQ); Dr Asmi Wood (ANU).

Project summary: 

Bringing Indigenous Voices into Judicial Decision-Making. This Project will show how judgments can be written so as to be inclusive of Indigenous people's voices and histories. This Project will extend methodologies created by international scholars for correcting the absence of women’s voices by re-writing judgments from a feminist perspective, and produce the missing Indigenous judgment in twenty decisions of Australian superior courts. The gulf between judge made-law and the lived experience of Indigenous litigants will also be explored through an in-depth examination of four test case exemplars. This Project will build a new relationship between Australian judges and Indigenous people. It will also be an original contribution to Australia's jurisprudence on Indigenous people and the law.

Cameron Stewart is part of a successful Discovery Project DP180101262 The Regulatory Environment for Innovative Health Technologies awarded $628,576 
Professor Dianne Nicol (UTas); Dr Jane Nielsen; Dr Lisa Eckstein; Professor Dr Cameron Stewart.

Project summary: 

Reforming the regulatory environment for innovative health technologies. This project aims to comprehensively map the regulatory pathways that innovative health technologies must navigate from the laboratory to the clinic, and to identify areas of over and under regulation. Pathways for innovative procedures, medicines and devices will be analysed in three cutting edge case studies - genome editing, biologic medicines and bio-printing - with particular focus on therapeutic goods registration and patents. Doctrinal, qualitative and iterative research methods will be used. The primary intended outcome is a set of recommendations to assist policy makers in ensuring consistency of regulatory policy and practice, thereby supporting innovation and safe clinical translation, for the benefit of all Australians.

Tim Stephens is part of a successful LIEF Project LE180100022 Creating a Unique Open Access Database on Antarctic Governance awarded $191,340

Professor Marcus Haward (UTas); Dr Jeffrey McGee; Professor Timothy Stephens; Professor Stuart Kaye; Professor Shirley Scott.

Project summary: 

Creating a unique open access database on antarctic law and governance. This project aims to collate, digitise and make the Bush Collection available as an online open access database and special collection at the University of Tasmania. The Bush Collection is a private, historic collection of documents from Antarctic treaty negotiations, gathered over a thirty year period by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs lawyer, Mr William Bush. This project will make the collection publically available for researchers by creating an online open access database that will provide a resource of primary data for Antarctic scholars. The database will facilitate a new era of research on historical and current issues in Antarctic governance within both Australian and oversees universities.

Arlie Loughnan is part of the successful AutLII LIEF project LE180100048 Foundations of the Common Law Library awarded $499,899 

Associate Professor Philip Chung (UNSW); Professor Andrew Mowbray; Professor Bruce Kercher; Associate Professor Lisa Ford; Professor Shaunnagh Dorsett; Professor Stefan Petrow; Professor Mark Finnane; Professor Kit Barker; Professor Mark Lunney; Professor Matthew Groves; Associate Professor Ann Genovese; Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan; Professor Anita Stuhmcke; Dr Natalie Skead; Dr Karen Fairweather.

Project summary: 

Foundations of the common law library. This project aims to build a comprehensive, historical, legal resource for the whole common law world, 1215-1914. The free access ‘Foundations of Common Law Library’ will include reported cases from superior courts, and selected others, in all common law jurisdictions. Databases of other key materials such as treatises, legislation, and treaties, will also be added wherever possible. Databases of case law extracted from newspaper reports, prior to formal law reporting will be included. Citations for all documents added will expand greatly an automated international historical citator to the whole of the common law world, linking past and present.