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LLHAA Conference Abstracts

Following is a list of all abstracts with summary accepted for presentation at the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia (LLHAA) 2019 Annual Conference. Abstracts are sorted alphabetically by paper title. Click on the title or ‘read more’ link to see full information.  You can also locate papers by using the A-Z index of all abstracts by title or the A-Z index of all authors and institutions

A Tedious and Inarticulate Presentation that Very Fine Delegates will avoid: A Series of Unfortunate Events or The Common Law

Dr Thomas Giddens University of Dundee If you are hoping for an interesting and concise paper about the cutting edge concerns of the legal discipline, then you should stop reading now. Lemony Snicket’s history of the tragic events surrounding the Baudelaire orphans is a detailed and morbidly entertaining account that constructively requires, and thus inculcates in its readers, values of scholarly endeavour as a means of achieving justice and good citizenship. It is a performative argument for...

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Adventure as the End of Law: The gambler as disruptive figure

Dale Mitchell University of the Sunshine Coast In Australia, the connection between gambling and governance has become increasingly apparent, reflected in recent debates surrounding the distribution of taxation revenue amongst states. The relationship between gambling and taxable funds ensures that these spaces are not only domains of gambling and commodification in respect of entertainment, but rather the very paradigm of government. At the same time, law struggles to capture the multiple...

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Anxiety, The Fear Event and Ontological Insecurity

Benjamin Cherry-Smith University of the Sunshine Coast Ontological insecurity occurs when a subject – either an individual or a state – has experienced a fear event which has developed into anxiety. The fear event is the initial motivator in the development of ontological insecurity and gets translated into the motivating anxiety within the subject's new security narrative. However, current uses of ontological security theory within international relations literature treat anxiety as...

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Australia’s marine protection legacy: an ongoing opportunity for non-regression

Genevieve Quirk Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security Australia’s 3.2 million km2 national marine protected area network, makes a significant contribution to the collective responsibility for marine protection conferred under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Article 192. As stewards of a substantial proportion of the area within national jurisdiction, Australia has the opportunity to contribute a significant global marine protection legacy. It remains an...

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Avenging the Apocalypse: Law, Temporality and the Katechon in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame

Dr Timothy Peters School of Law and Criminology, University of the Sunshine Coast What is law’s role in holding back the end of the world? The demands placed on legal theory today include the need to reconceive legal responsibility in the epoch of the Anthropocene, to reconceptualized legal action in light of nonhuman agency and to incorporate alternative approaches to law as means to resist the ongoing global instability (Phillippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, 2019). Positioning these claims for legal...

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Beastly Sovereignty: Humans and other animals in the Anthropocene

Dr Daniel Matthews University of Hong Kong The Anthropocene thesis, and the unfolding climate crisis to which it draws attention, prompts an encounter with the complex entanglements between humans and other animals. In the context of a larger study into sovereignty in the context of the ‘new climatic regime’, this paper draws on the work of Giorgio Agamben (The Open: Man and Animal) and Jacques Derrida (The Beast and the Sovereign) in order to think through the connection between sovereignty...

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Beauty Persignified and the end of Legal Personality: Why the law can’t prevent someone making a physical copy of me and what that means for individual identity

Elizabeth Englezos Griffith University It is now possible to make a physical replica of a person from their digital data and images – a  signifier that can exist in the same material space as the signified. From digital data and images, 3-D printing and other technologies allow increasingly accurate reproductions of a real person.  This person may not wish to be reproduced. However, the law offers minimal remedies unless this signifier is applied for some sort of commercial benefit.  This...

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Become pertinent or perish: The International Criminal Court in Crisis and the importance of assessing its impact

Aloka Wanigasuriya Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen (Denmark) In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with news of wars and conflict taking place across the globe. Against this backdrop, the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains the only permanent international court with the mandate to try alleged perpetrators of the most heinous international atrocity crimes (i.e. genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression). However, during its 20-year existence, it has...

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Brutalism, public housing and communal luxury

Dr Chris Butler Griffith Law School It is now common for legal and political campaigns concerning public housing to draw on arguments for the protection of the architectural heritage of the buildings themselves. A prominent recent example in Sydney has been the community opposition to the NSW Government’s program of forced evictions and the proposed sale of the Sirius building in The Rocks. Many of the criticisms of this building focus on the ‘ugliness’ of its brutalist style and conjure up a...

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Can the Clitoris Speak? Understanding the High Court’s current deliberation on the constitution of the clitoris.

Speaking otherwise – representation, repression, regression Panel Home Associate Professor Juliet Rogers University of Melbourne In June 2019 the High Court of Australia heard arguments on the question of what constitutes mutilation and as a corollary, whether the clitoral hood constitutes the clitoris or is a separate part. The separation of the clitoral hood from the clitoris is a crucial element of considering whether female genital cutting is...

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Christchurch and the (im)possibility of speaking

Speaking otherwise – representation, repression, regression Panel Home Dr Sahar Ghumkhor University of Melbourne Solidarity acts like national days of mourning are national rituals of belonging. They can also mark what Sara Ahmed (2005) contends is the limit of the liberal multicultural nation’s capacity to take-on bad feelings, to experience national shame as redress for transformative justice. Liberal multiculturalism trades in the affective...

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Contemporary Antigones – the writing of today’s critical theory play

Associate Professor Dorota Gozdecka University of Helsinki This presentation will focus on the process of writing of a contemporary play based on critical theory notions and will focus on the figures of contemporary Antigones. It will compare the notions of incommensurability and the Antigonean conflict in telling stories about the contemporary relationship between law, justice and injustice. I will argue that contemporary Antigones permeate multiple troubled alliances between law, justice and...

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Contempt for science and lack of expertise in the Trump administration

What is Real about Science, Technology and Law Panel Home Profesor David Caudill Villanova University Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk (2018) introduces the reader to the phenomenon of willful ignorance regarding science in the Trump Administration. With respect to science issues, Lewis highlights the effect of political agendas and conflicts of interest. These issues are ripe for analysis under so-called third wave theory, especially as they...

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Desperately Trying to be Heard: the voice of First Australians in Herzog’s Where the Green Ants Dream

Kim Weinert Griffith University Early representation of First Australians on film has always been framed by a colonial trope. Notwithstanding how wrongly perceived and portrayed First Australians were in early Australian cinema the overreaching effect of these binary social images also meant that their authentic voice was never really heard either on film and/or in Australian society. Weiner Herzog’s film Where the Green Ants Dream(1984) attempted to reverse this social image through the...

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Digging up the dirt collectively

 Still Lives: Mining Myopia Panel Home Lee Harrop Charles Darwin University This paper will showcase a collaboration of Arts and Science that responds to mining through the project Still Lives – A beautiful science. The project was a three day multiplatform event that included two visual art exhibitions, newly composed debut music performances, artist talks, scholarly debate and forest bathing. It provided an interdisciplinary forum to engage with the key social and philosophical questions...

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Erotic Contracts and Presidential Bodies: The Persistent Plague of Heteronormative Contracts in the Cinematic Imaginary of Sovereign Authority

Dr Kirsty Duncanson LaTrobe University The contract at the centre of the film Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) reverberates with the sexual politics Pateman (1988) identified at the heart of the social contract, that mythical foundation of United States’ sovereign authority. In this paper I analyse the jurisprudential resonances of the film’s contract negotiation between the central couple, juxtaposing it with the intersecting sexual and social contracts at work in the contrastingly cynical...

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Experimental Norms: Thinking with Agamben about the Medical Trial at Nuremberg

What is Real about Science, Technology and Law Panel Home Dr Edwin Bikundo Griffith University Experimenting on Humans sits precisely at the junction of law, technology and the humanities synthesising as it simultaneously does descriptive, normative and creative elements in relation to reality. Experiments describe reality, normalize shared conceptions of reality as well as create their own reality. These utilize different inflections of ‘norm’...

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Feminist End Times Aka. Queering Our Inheritance

Dr Karen Crawley Griffith University Dr Honni van Rijswijk University of Technology Sydney We are living and working in an historical moment (late capitalism, dying neoliberalism and fraught feminisms) in which it seems urgent to both mobilise and interrogate the term “feminisms” as a set of critical methods and practices to understand #metoo, and #sayhername, and movements including #BlackLivesMatter. Similarly, the category “woman” still has critical and political potential, albeit...

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Hobbes is the Buried Giant: Apocalyptic state of nature thinking in Ishiguro’s, The Buried Giant

Rob Laird Australian National University I argue that Hobbes's antithesis between the "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" life experienced living in a state of nature and the "commodious" life afforded under sovereign rule and law is an important trope that supports contemporary sovereign law. It is a trope that encourages and supports the notion that the law is a good in itself, independent of its actual content. The axiom around which the antithesis revolves is an acceptance of...

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how are you today: Eavesdropping on Manus

how are you today: What can we hear beyond crisis, sound, and the carceral on Manus? Panel Home Dr James Parker Melbourne Law School As one of Eavesdropping’s curators, this paper offers an account of how are you today, along with the critical and aesthetic practices that generated it, according to the exhibition’s curatorial frame. What would it mean to think about these recordings as or in relation to eavesdropping? What kind of intervention...

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How are you today: What can we hear beyond crisis, sound, and the carceral on Manus? (PANEL HOME)

Dr James Parker University of Melbourne Dr Emma Russell La Trobe University Dr Poppy de Souza Griffith University André Dao (Panel Chair) University of Melbourne Since 2013, nearly two thousand men have been indefinitely detained on Manus Island by the Australian Government after arriving in this country seeking asylum. When the Manus Regional Processing Centre was formally closed on 31 October 2017, after the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, the men still detained...

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Images of ‘evil’ and ‘hell’: International Law and Argentina’s 1983 Truth Commission

Valeria Vázquez Guevara University of Melbourne Law School This paper examines how the literary trope of ‘evil’ and ‘hell’ have been used in the final report of Argentina’s 1983 truth commission, a memoir and legal-political history book by Carlos Nino (Argentine jurist and intellectual designer of thetruth commission and the 1984 Junta Trials), and an essay by Ronald Dworkin (the prominent US jurist and friend of Nino) revisiting and analysing Argentina’s transition to democracy. The analysis...

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Imagining the International: International Crime, International Justice and the Promise of Community

Nessam McMillan University of Melbourne, Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences In his opening statement as Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, Robert Jackson proclaimed that ‘the wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated’.[1]Although the discourse of civilisation is no longer widely used, Jackson’s claim that...

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Indigenous Law: Resilience in the face of fatal threats to places and species?

Andrée Boisselle Osgoode Hall Law School, York University How do Indigenous legal traditions, which are fundamentally place-based, cope with the massive transformation of the places in question, including the decline and disappearance of species that have been crucial to the traditions’ stories, teachings and norms? What are the resources of Indigenous law not only to oppose the destruction wrought by the weakness of Western environmental legal protections, but to face the damage done and...

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