Faculty of Law

Research

Overview

The broad research objectives of the Law Faculty are:students-at-computers

  • To foster and maintain a research culture informed by national and international standards, and
  • To provide high quality research training programs that suitably prepare candidates for careers as researchers.

The Law Faculty has a very active research program, and is one of the highest ranked faculties in the country in terms of research publications per staff. Research performance measured in high output is central to the achievement of the Law Faculty's mission. This is reflected in the number of scholarly books and refereed journal articles produced by Law Faculty staff.

The research activity of the Law Faculty is fostered by the presence of two specific centres of legal scholarship:

  • Centre for Law and Genetics – A number of members of the Faculty are involved in this centre, the main aim of which is to investigate bio-ethical matters and the legal implications arising from use of new technologies. The Centre is at the forefront of research into issues such as the legal standards in the commercialisation of human genetic technology.
  • Tasmania Law Reform Institute – The Institute was established in July 2001 with a mission to undertake law reform work and research on topics proposed by the State Government, the community, the University and the Institute itself. Recent activity has included projects looking at a Charter of Rights for Tasmania, drug counts, contempt of court, sentencing trends and options, the role of victims and the community in the sentencing process, corporate manslaughter, vendor disclosure, intoxication as a defence to criminal charges, police powers of arrest, bail and an evidence project on trial judges' directions to juries in relation to delayed complaint in sexual offences cases.

In addition to these centres, the Law Faculty has particular expertise in the general areas of medical law and ethics, property law, international law, corporations law, and equity & trusts. Individual researchers and scholars within the Law Faculty have produced leading texts on the law of evidence and procedure, succession law, juvenile justice, family law, sentencing, equity & trusts, charity law, legal ethics, agency and costs.The Law Faculty also hosts two major publications: the University of Tasmania Law Review (that invites contributions on any topic of legal interest) and the Journal of Law, Information and Science.

Legal Theory and History Seminar Series

Inspired by the desire to create a forum for deeper reflection and discussion about the theoretical, philosophical and historical dimensions of the law, the Faculty of Law launched in 2018 the Legal Theory and History Seminar Series. Coordinated by Dr Susan Bartie and Professor Benjamin J. Richardson, the boutique seminar series hosts University of Tasmania and visiting scholars presenting cutting-edge research that goes beyond legal doctrine and practice to explore the deeper conceptual dimensions of the law across both established subject areas (e.g. criminal law and constitutional law) and in jurisprudence and legal history topics. The seminar series has a strong interdisciplinary and socio-legal character, and thus engages with a variety of areas of theory and philosophy (e.g. ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy and epistemology) that enrich our understanding of legal phenomena. The seminar series is committed to accommodating pluralistic views of legal theory and history, and fosters respectful debate.

Speakers to date include: Alice Palmer, University of Melbourne, ‘Valuing Aesthetics in World Heritage Decisions’; Kristen Rundle, University of Melbourne, ‘Fuller’s Relationships’; and Margaret MacMillan, University of Toronto, for an informal roundtable discussion.

Enquiries about contributing to or attending the seminar series should be directed to Susan and Ben at: susan.bartie@utas.edu.au; b.j.richardson@utas.edu.au

Research Higher Degrees

The Faculty of Law offers Masters of Law (LLM) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) as research higher degrees. Learn more about Postgraduate study in the Faculty.