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Research

The broad research objectives of the Law Faculty are:

  • 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.

Research Degrees

The Faculty of Law is offering one or more scholarships for outstanding students to undertake a:

For general inquiries, please contact our Graduate Research Coordinator, Dr Olivia Rundle.


Available Research Degree Projects

A research degree candidate may develop their own research project in collaboration with their supervisor or apply for one of our currently available projects below:

Applicants who are interested a specific project should first contact the supervisor listed and then find out more about our Entry Requirements, Scholarships if relevant, and then Apply Now.

Closing Date

31st March 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

Climate change is projected to have profound effects on the marine and coastal environment, through warming waters, changes to ocean currents, coastal inundation and ocean acidification. Species distributions will change dramatically. For some their range will expand, for others it will contract. The interactions between these new species assemblages is difficult to assess and the impacts even harder to address in the dynamic marine context. A growing body of work has investigated the adequacy of terrestrial conservation policies and laws to address the threats from climate change. By contrast, there is little understanding of how well current approaches to regulating the coastal and marine environment - in Australia or elsewhere - address the imperatives of climate change adaptation.

This project would compare approaches to marine resource conservation law internationally to identify reform priorities for Australian coastal, fisheries, and biodiversity laws.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to these scholarships:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
  • The Research Higher Degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Legal service delivery
  • Qualitative research methods, particularly in depth interviewing

Funding

The competitive PhD scholarship programme is funded by the University of Tasmania.

Application Process

Applicants requiring more information, or who are interested in this specific project, should firstly contact the Supervisor listed below.

To determine eligibility, applicants should also contact the Research Hub for their proposed area of research and request an Expression of Interest Form (EOI). Further information on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

If a Graduate Research Administration Officer (GRAO) subsequently invites you to complete an application after you have submitted an EOI, please visit the Apply Now website and complete an application via the University of Tasmania's Online Application System. Please indicate under Scholarship Support that you wish to be considered for a living allowance scholarship.

Self-funded applications are welcome at any time. Information about scholarships, and scholarship round deadlines, may be found on the Scholarships webpage.

More information

Please contact Prof Jan McDonald for more information.

Scholarships

There is a competitive process of scholarship application applicable at UTAS. A typical scholarship provides $27,596p.a. (2019 rate, indexed annually) living allowance for 3.5 years with no extension.

The Faculty of Law also provides to candidates some operational funds to support the PhD research project. Further information may be found on the Scholarships web page.

Closing Date

31st March 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

The legal services industry is dynamic and there are significant changes occurring on an international scale in the way lawyers interact with their clients. This is largely driven by corporate client demand for more efficient and effective legal services, greater participation in dispute resolution, and a breakdown in the elite status of the legal profession. In Tasmania the legal services market is primarily comprised of small to medium sized firms who represent individuals and small to medium sized businesses. This could mean that lawyers tend to be in a powerful position as compared to their clients, and that there has not been as much pressure to alter traditional methods and manners of client engagement as has occurred in large multinational corporate legal environments. This project seeks to identify and analyse the ways that Tasmanian legal practitioners have traditionally interacted with their clients, consider whether that relationship is changing, or whether it must respond to changes in the market, law and society. This will be informed by the contemporary and future needs of the profession, clients and the administration of justice in Tasmania. Ideally the project will obtain the client as well as lawyers’ perspective on the lawyer-client relationship.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to these scholarships:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
  • The Research Higher Degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Legal service delivery
  • Qualitative research methods, particularly in depth interviewing

Funding

The competitive PhD scholarship programme is funded by the University of Tasmania.

Application Process

Applicants requiring more information, or who are interested in this specific project, should firstly contact the Supervisor listed below.

To determine eligibility, applicants should also contact the Research Hub for their proposed area of research and request an Expression of Interest Form (EOI). Further information on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

If a Graduate Research Administration Officer (GRAO) subsequently invites you to complete an application after you have submitted an EOI, please visit the Apply Now website and complete an application via the University of Tasmania's Online Application System. Please indicate under Scholarship Support that you wish to be considered for a living allowance scholarship.

Self-funded applications are welcome at any time. Information about scholarships, and scholarship round deadlines, may be found on the Scholarships webpage.

More information

Please contact Dr Olivia Rundle for more information Olivia.Rundle@utas.edu.au

The supervision team for this project will be led by Dr Olivia Rundle. See Olivia's profile regarding her work in relation to the nature of legal services (particularly within the context of dispute resolution).

Closing Date

30th March 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

Reliance on technological advances such as fingerprints or DNA evidence has tended to overshadow the central importance of effective interviewing skills in solving crime (Moston, 2009).  In recent years, however, there have been signs of attitudinal change and some Australian police jurisdictions have adopted evidence-based and designed-for-purpose investigative interviewing training for police officers. Investigative interviews form the basis of witness and suspect statements which are part of the brief of evidence handed to prosecutors. The decision to prosecute is based on this file and an assessment of whether there are reasonable prospects of conviction. Richly-detailed statements which are likely to withstand evidential challenges at trial will increase the prospects of conviction. There is therefore a nexus between the skill of the police interviewer and the ultimate decision to prosecute an individual. The existence of that nexus and the features of the interviewing process which are likely to strengthen it will be explored in this research.

A candidate undertaking a PhD in this area will be conducting research that will yield significant practical benefits for policing organisations, prosecution teams and the court and justice system in Australia.

Eligibility
  • Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply
  • Knowledge and skill in qualitative research methods will be ranked highly

See the following web page for entry requirements: www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/what-is-a-research-degree

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Helen Cockburn for further information.

Closing Date

31st March 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

As the ice around Antarctica's coastlines retreats a vast 'blue carbon' (carbon captured and stored by marine ecosystems) sink in the form of living benthic biomass is emerging. Properly protected, this sink of continental shelf blue carbon promises to act as the planet's largest natural buffer against further climate change.  However, there are governance challenges to implementing such protection, including the unique territorial and governance framework for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. States with active national interests in Antarctica have put their territorial claims 'on hold' under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. This effectively limits the ability of any one state to protect blue carbon sites around Antarctica's coastlines. The consensus of all states in the key treaties of the Antarctic Treaty System is needed for new conservation measures to be formed. Given Antarctic blue carbon is emerging in areas of rich biomass, some states may object to protections that would lock up areas that will be commercially important to their national economies and food supplies now and into the future.

This project seeks to further ongoing work being conducted at the Faculty of Law on the legal challenges of protecting of Blue Carbon (see https://climatestrategies.wordpress.com/2019/11/29/blue-cop-parties-should-look-to-antarctic-blue-carbon-for-vision-of-non-market-cooperative-approach-to-emission-reduction/).

The candidate is expected to work alongside an interdisciplinary team, to develop an understanding of the intersection between law, science, international relations and governance relevant to Antarctic blue carbon.

The project will involve exploring existing laws and potential governance frameworks and proposing best practice legal approaches to the protection and promotion of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Blue Carbon. This may necessarily include bottom up (individual state led) or top down (cooperative international law and governance) approaches.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from the Law discipline are eligible to apply.

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor.

Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact Dr Jeffrey McGee for more information.

*unless filled earlier

Publications