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Survive, Thrive Die. Law in End Times.

Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ) Conference Abstracts

Following is a list of all abstracts with summary accepted for presentation at the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand  (LSAANZ) 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 Shock to the System: Taser Use and Abuse in Western Australia and Accompanying Institutional Failures

Professor Robert Cunningham Curtin Law School On 2 November 2008 Professor Robert Cunningham and his wife Catherine Atoms were unlawfully tasered in Fremantle by the Western Australian Police. They spent the next eleven years seeking to obtain justice in the Western Australian courts, including the Magistrates Court, District Court, Supreme Court and Supreme Court of Appeal. This presentation will outline the struggle with reference to 'the end of the Rule of Law'. But with every end there is...

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An Indefinite State: Theorizing Canada’s Migrant Detention Regime

Dr Jen Rinaldi Ontario Tech University Dr Shanti Fernando Ontario Tech University Following Giorgio Agamben, this paper will present Canada’s migrant detention regime as a zone of indistinction between the enactment and suspension of law. Legal scholars studying immigration and refugee law have found utility in Agamben’s analysis of the refugee camp as the biopolitical paradigm of the modern West, where a population is abandoned to a juridico-topographical state of exception. The way...

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Between State Sovereignty and Internationalisation: Responding to South Asian Famines and the making of the Developmentalist State in Colonial India

Panel home: Climate change, ‘natural’ disasters and law beyond the state Dr Adil Hasan Khan Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne By way of two case studies of two widespread famines that book-ended British Colonial India – the Madras Famine of 1876-78 and the Bengal Famine of 1943 - this paper seeks to both attend to some of the key historical dynamics, logics and authorization practices driving legal centralism in disaster response in...

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Bouldering and the public estate

Associate Professor John Page Southern Cross University In both the United States and Australia, modern-day recreational rock climbers have exposed fault lines in our understandings of the public ownership of public lands. As the young and the fit scramble to enjoy the thrill of the rock-face climb, bouldering has exposed particular insights into the ‘who’ of public ownership, and more broadly, what public ownership means in the 21st century post-colonial state. In Victoria, controversies...

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Burying the lede: the essential role of Indigenous law(s) in creating rights for nature

Dr Cristy Clark . Dr Erin O'Donell University of Melbourne Dr Anne Poelina Nyikina Warrwa Traditional Owner Dr Alessandro Pelizzon Southern Cross University Since 2008, rights of nature have rapidly progressed from an engaging but largely theoretical legal concept into actual legal outcomes. The rapid emergence of rights for nature over the past decade across multiple contexts has seen, especially over the past two years, increasing awareness, recognition, and, ultimately, acceptance of rights...

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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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Changing Race: Fluidity, Immutability and the Evolution of Equal-Protection Jurisprudence in American Constitutional Law

Professor John Tehranian Southwestern Law School One of the bedrock principles of American constitutional jurisprudence is its commitment to provide heightened scrutiny to laws that distinguish amongst us on the basis of certain immutable traits.  But race—the very trait that has historically received the most searching form of scrutiny under modern equal-protection doctrine—is far more fluid than the law has traditionally recognized.  This Paper examines the mutability of race—both through...

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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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Climate change, ‘natural’ disasters and law beyond the state (PANEL HOME)

Dr Rebecca Monson ANU College of Law, Australian National University Dr Caroline Compton UNSW Law, University of New South Wales Professor Daniel Fitzpatrick Faculty of Law, Monash University Dr Adil Hasan Khan Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne Dr Fanny Thornton Faculty of Business, Government & Law, University of Canberra Legal scholars, disaster studies and humanitarian practitioners alike frequently recognise the challenges to state sovereignty and the rule of law associated...

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Climate Emergencies and Constitutional Habits

Dr Jocelyn Stacey University of British Columbia, Allard School of Law The last several years have revealed the unavoidable reality of climate-related disasters across Canada. At the same time, Canada has further entrenched its commitment to developing the Alberta oil sands with the concomitant risk of disaster from transporting fossil fuels. The risk of climate disaster is omnipresent, disaster harms are already borne by local communities, and law is everywhere implicated. In this paper, I...

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Climate rebellion and political resistance at the edge of chaos

Mr Aidan Ricketts Southern Cross University As climate change destabilises our ecological world it also destabilizes our social world. Rising climate rebellion in Australia is being met with a corresponding political and legal resistance in the form of new laws against protest. This paper documents the emergence of anti-protest laws in a time of climate emergency and utilizes concepts derived from complexity theory to argue that an authoritarian response to climate rebellion is deeply...

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Cognitive dissonance: how the knowledge held by climate experts informs their personal life

Dr Jean S Renouf Southern Cross University While the science is clear about the challenges associated with the climate and ecological crises (IPCC 2014, IPCC 2018, IPCC 2019a, IPCC 2019b, IPBES 2019), it remains difficult to fully comprehend the extent of which climate change is having on the planet, and by extension, on one’s life. Explanations for this cognitive dissonance range from psychological and cognitive barriers, to social, political and economic impediments (Pahl et al. 2014; Rogers...

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Commercial buildings in seismically active areas – does the law provide enough protection for users?

Dr Toni Collins University of Canterbury On Tuesday 19 March 2019 the Wellington Central library was suddenly closed indefinitely owing to it being at risk of collapse in the event of an earthquake. The announcement was made on Tuesday afternoon to take effect immediately and the entrance cordoned on Wednesday morning to prevent public access. This drastic action was taken as a consequence of a report delivered to the Wellington City Council by an engineering firm which had undertaken an...

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Cultural rights, the law and the erasure of the Indigenous

Dr Mark Harris Social Justice Institute, University of British Columbia This paper explores emerging trends in the jurisprudence of settler-colonial nations in relation to Indigenous cultural rights and claims. The paper considers three cases dealing with this issue: the construction of a thirty-metre telescope on the Hawaiian island of Mauna Kea; the case of Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (2014) that concerned the construction of a ski resort on a spiritually significant location and the...

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Disaster or Emergency? Could Knowing the Difference Counter the Rise of Exceptionalism?

Mr Sascha Mueller University of Canterbury The perception of what constitutes a disaster has been changing, both in the eyes of academics as well as the public. Traditionally, disasters were catastrophic events with grave impacts on the life and property of people, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or humanitarian crises due to war. It was acknowledged that if a disaster was sufficiently grave, ordinary government could be unable mitigate its impact on society. For that reason, disasters often...

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Do it yourself? Experiences and case outcomes of victims of traffic accidents in a compensation process, with and without legal representation

What's the good of lawyers? Panel Home Iris Becx VU University Amsterdam Nieke Elbers Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement Arno Akkermans . Kiliaan van Wees . Sonja Leferink . This paper examines the added value of legal representation in the (extrajudicial) civil law process of victims following a traffic accident in the Netherlands. In 60% of these personal injury cases, a legal representative is involved. The first...

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Domestic violence, social security law and the couple rule

Panel Home: The end of economic inequality? Discussions about social security systems in Australian and international contexts Dr Lyndal Sleep (Panel Chair) Law Futures Centre, Griffith University Access to social security resources is vital to many women who are attempting to be free of an abusive relationship. The couple rule in social security law (Social Security Act 1991 (Cth), s. 4(3)) ties women’s access to social security payments to the...

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Don’t be so sensitive: Gendered Hate Speech and [the lack of] legal regulation in Australia

Nicole Shackleton La Trobe University As #MeToo and #TimesUp enter their second year, they continue to expand across various social media platforms. Accusations of sexual assault and harassment, particularly those against high profile male figures who have abused their positions of power, have led to resignations, terminations of employment and, in some cases, prosecution. The growth of these movements has been matched by a fierce backlash, and an unprecedented level of gendered hate speech...

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Duty Free Citizenship: The Case of Peter Thiel

Dr Jonathan Barrett SACL, Victoria University of Wellington Two meanings of ‘duty’ are relevant to this paper. The first relates to tax payable when goods cross borders. Hito Steyerl has analysed duty free art, and the free ports where the super-wealthy may store artworks, which commonly constitute a currency of liquid capitalism,  without paying normal customs duties. The second meaning of duty is the reciprocal of a right, and is used here in relation to social citizenship, whereby citizens...

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Economic Disadvantages and Access to Justice System: The Case of Unemployed People on Newstart Allowance in Australia

Shahadat Hossain University of Technology Sydney People experiencing economic disadvantages have limited access to justice system. Employment status is a key indicator of economic disadvantage. There is a link between employment status and vulnerability to legal problems in Australia. This paper argues that unemployed people currently dependent on new start allowance are vulnerable to legal problems and less able to resolve the problems they face. This paper addresses the obstacles the...

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End of Governance or A Need of Governance? : Regulating Social Media in a Post-Conflict Society

Darshana Sumanadasa Faculty of Law, University of Colombo Governance is no longer about governments. Non-state actors are heavily involved in setting standards for human behaviours, whether they know it or not. Regulation of the internet, and more specifically, social media, has taken on increased significance in the last decade. For instance, digital media scholars and civil society organisations alike allege that social media, especially Facebook posts may have contributed to increase the...

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Ensuring the Survival of the Tax System in the Event of a Major Nuclear Attack

Micah Burch Sydney Law School In 1967 the US government produced a plan designed to ensure the continued operation of the federal tax system in the event of “a major nuclear attack”. The assumptions on which the plan was based were horrific: they included that the number of casualties in the United States might number 100 million; that 50 per cent of the country’s real estate might be destroyed; and that its economy might be even more seriously disrupted than those figures suggest. The plan...

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First Nations ‘cultural loss’, whiteness and the Timber Creek Judgment

Professor Greta Bird Southern Cross University The Ngaliwurri and Nungali Peoples of the Country known in white law as Timber Creek commenced three proceedings under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) in 1999 and 2000. The matter came before the High Court in 2018 with judgment in 2019. Twenty-seven years after the Mabo decision, and twenty years after the claims were lodged, the High Court awarded the Ngaliwurru and Ngali Peoples compensation, inter alia, for ‘cultural loss.’ This was the first...

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Fluid Jurisprudence – The rights of nature in end times

Dr Elizabeth Macpherson University of Canterbury Legal models that recognise or declare rivers and related ecosystems to be legal persons or legal subjects have emerged as an available tool for settling indigenous and grassroots disputes with governments over natural resource management, either via legislation or judicial decision. In the ‘end times’ of nature in which we find ourselves, in which climate change impacts accelerate and biodiversity declines at ever-increasing rate, one thing...

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