Each year, the TC Beirne School of Law is pleased to welcome several leading academic and professional visitors to the school.

Our visitors are selected for their expertise and/or established research profiles. Students are encouraged to take advantage of their presence in the school by enrolling in the courses listed below.

Dr John de Groot

LAWS5130 Succession Law

This course is an introductory level examination of law, legal issues, regulation, legislation, case law, and practice of succession in Australia, and in some overseas jurisdictions. The course seeks to develop students' knowledge of succession law and the ability to solve complex legal problems whilst examining proposals for reform.


Mr Matthew Broderick, Mr Shane Roberts

LAWS5220 Personal and Corporate Insolvency

A study of the law of insolvency as applied to individuals & corporate bodies. The course will explore the rationale for, & core principles of, insolvency, the law regarding the identification of the assets of the insolvent, the avoidance of pre-insolvency transactions & the order of distribution and winding up. The course will also explore alternatives to insolvency.


Adjunct Professor John Swinson

LAWS5228 Privacy Law

This course is an intermediate level examination of the legal issues and social context of privacy law in Australia and in other jurisdictions. The course seeks to develop students? Knowledge of privacy law and enhance their awareness of contemporary privacy issues.


Professor David Hodson OBE

LAWS7723 Current Issues in International Law (Private)

An outline of proposed content includes:

  • International law and status for cross border families; United Nations, Hague, EU and other - their purpose, justification and national validation, jurisprudence, limitations including from national governments.
  • Distinctive issues facing international families; status and formations of family relationships; termination of relationships
  • Children; International instruments, child abduction, other international child issues
  • Finance; financial claims in international family law litigation, claims as to property and capital, child support and spousal maintenance, personal autonomy.
  • Working to the future; The actors, the digital, future directions of international family justice.

Emeritus Professor Gabriel Moens

LAWS7724 Current Issues in International Law (Public)

This course introduces students to the legal system of the European Union (EU). Emphasis will be placed on the constitutional, administrative and commercial law of the EU. The topics which will be discussed in this course include the political and economic origins of the EU, its institutional structures (with emphasis on the European Court of Justice), the interrelationship between Union Law and the laws of the twenty-eight member states (or twenty-seven by the time the course is offered), the free movement of goods, workers, capital and services, and Brexit. The course will concentrate on the transnational protection of economic and social rights and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice.


Adjunct Professor John McKenna QC, The Honourable Dr Glen Williams AO QC

LAWS7725 Current Issues in Legal Practice


Dr Serge Loode

LAWS7841 Theories in Dispute Resolution

This course provides an introduction to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and an overview of ADR processes including negotiation, mediation, conciliation, case appraisal and arbitration. These processes are analysed with respect to their roles within the Australian legal system and their comparative advantages and disadvantages. Students also examine the theories underlying dispute resolution and conflict analysis, and how they apply in practice. Issues such as neutrality of dispute resolution practitioners, cultural issues in dispute resolution and the ethics of dispute intervention are discussed.

Additionally, the course provides a critical response to traditional Western legal concepts such as the rule of law and the adversarial justice system. Designed to better equip legal practitioners with knowledge and skills for their roles as dispute resolvers and advisers, the course features a variety of learning activities but is not an alternative to a dedicated mediation course.


Mr Pat Cavanagh

LAWS7851 Mediation

Mr Cavanagh has extensive experience in the field of corporate negotiation and dispute resolution. A Barrister in the High Court of New Zealand, he has held a number of senior positions as a negotiator in Australia and overseas and has been involved with more than 500 mediations.

As Co-Director of Bond University’s Dispute Resolution Centre (1990-2013), Mr Cavanagh taught more than 350 programs on negotiation, mediation and arbitration skills in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India. He also taught Advanced Commercial Mediation and Negotiation, Torts, Business Law, Business Associations, Construction Law and Dispute Resolution.

From 2001-2003 he also served as a senior case manager/negotiator with the Jakarta Initiative Task Force (JITF) – Indonesia’s first commercial mediation organisation. This USAID/World Bank program mediated debt restructuring issues between domestic borrowers and syndicated foreign banking lenders. The program successfully mediated the resolution of US$21 billion of outstanding loans. In addition to acting as mediator, Mr Cavanagh’s responsibilities included training and certification of mediators, both internally and in the wider public/private corporate area. His work with JITF led to Mr Cavanagh being appointed as specialist mediation advisor to Government of Indonesia to assist resolution of US$1.5 billion telecommunications dispute.

Mr Cavanagh has served on the Queensland Law Society’s Dispute Resolution Committee and as Disputes Manager with the Bar Association of Queensland. Other notable positions include Executive Director of Queensland Settlement Week which promoted court-annexed mediation programs sponsored by public and private sectors; Mediator under the Retail Shop Leases Act (Qld); Accredited Mediator and specialist trainer for the National Electricity Code Administrator; and National Manager of the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre.


Mr Drew James

LAWS7865 Maritime Law

Over 90% of Australian trade is transported by sea and the law governing the ships that facilitate this trade is of great commercial importance. Maritime Law concerns issues such as the ownership and flagging of ships, salvage and wreck law, and liabilities arising from incidents such as collisions at sea and marine pollution. It also covers the enforcement of maritime claims, including arrest of ships, jurisdiction, and securities, such as maritime liens.

Maritime Law is a blend of general principles of contract and tort law, specialised maritime laws arising out of the ancient law merchant, international conventions, customary international law and domestic (both Commonwealth and State) law. Consideration is therefore also given to jurisdictional issues, including an introduction to the international maritime zones and a more detailed consideration of the jurisdictional competencies of flag and port States.

The international nature of shipping, and the international legal structure underpinning it, means that shipping law throughout the world is similar and skills acquired in one jurisdiction are readily transferable to another. The course is therefore of particular interest to students who wish to pursue an international career in either the private or government sectors or in international trade.


Professor Frank Garcia

LAWS7987 International Law & Development

This course critically examines the phenomenon of globalisation, and the related changes currently underway in contemporary international economic law. Study will focus on the role of international economic law institutions, such as the WTO, IMF and the World Bank, and the impact globalisation has on their responsibilities.

Dr Luca Castellani

LAWS7723  Current Issues in International Law (Private):  Law of International Sales and Electronic Contracting

Cross-border commercial exchanges are the economic engine of the global economy.  International supply chains are increasingly complex, covering not only the transfer of goods but also services, and financing and logistics. That complexity gives rise to a number of interesting legal issues, ranging from the identification and choice of the applicable law, to the adequate management of the contract for sale of goods and to the legal status of new business practices and methods.  This course offers an advanced study of the law of international sale of goods, with a focus on the use of uniform laws and international treaties. During the course students will become acquainted with the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and its complementary texts, including UNCITRAL texts on electronic commerce.  Emerging issues such as smart contracts and the use of distributed ledger technology (blockchain) will also be discussed.

Associate Professor Emily Hudson

LAWS5206/LAWS7206 Copyright Law    

Copyright law grants rights in relation to a range of intellectual, artistic and cultural works. In Australian law the economic rights enjoyed by the copyright owner vary between different types of work, but include such things as reproduction, public performance, and communication to the public (eg, making a work available online). The possibility of copyright infringement arises where someone undertakes one of these acts in relation to a non-trivial amount of a work and without the permission of the copyright owner. In addition to granting rights to copyright owners, the Copyright Act 1968 also, inter alia: gives authors the moral rights of attribution and integrity; grants certain protections to performers; and sets out enforcement mechanisms for technological protection measures.

Copyright, like other forms of intellectual property, has grown in commercial, cultural and political significance. Knowledge of intellectual property law is crucial for those interested in commercial law because of the number of businesses for whom copyrights, patents and trademarks are the most valuable assets. Normative questions arise about the appropriate scope of property-style rights, especially having regard to their possible anti-competitive effects and their impact on artistic endeavour, innovation, research and access to information, and freedom of speech. Many uses of digital technologies implicate copyright in ways not imagined during copyright’s history. And the linkage between intellectual property and trade has changed the rubric of international copyright law.


Professor John Swinson

LAWS5225 Special Topic C

Topic: Business, Law & Technology in a Borderless World


Mr Malcolm Holmes QC

LAWS7028 International Commercial Dispute Resolution            


Professor Jonathan Fulcher

LAWS7805 Natural Resources Law          

The mining and natural resources industries are central to the Australian economy. The industries depend heavily on exports and are exposed to the volatile pricing of commodities in international markets. Australian companies are active in exploration and production throughout the world and particularly in developing countries. They are thus subject to international trends that neither country can control, but that will shape the future course of all natural resource industries.

The course will be taught in a framework which problematizes the Enlightenment approach to the natural world as a thing eminently available for exploitation. It will examine this approach in light of ‘green’ post-Enlightenment philosophies such as radical ecology, anthropocentric philosophy, rights of nature and earth jurisprudence and indigenous world views. It will ask what contribution if any positivist law can make to reshape a post-Enlightenment approach given the fundamental challenges of climate change and environmental damage.

This course will introduce participants to the broad regulatory framework applicable to natural resource industries in Australia with occasional comparisons to the Canadian responses to similar problems. The framework will consider the framework against the background of the overriding global challenges of climate change and indigenous rights, which will inevitably affect the future of natural resource industries in both countries. The course will focus in particular on the regulatory regimes that apply to mining, hydrocarbon production, forestry and water resources and how industries can cope with emerging challenges.

The course will include presentations by lawyers who are experts in the mining and water sectors. The topics covered in the course may include (but are not limited to):

  1. Enlightenment attitudes to nature and the post-Enlightenment reaction
  2. overview of mining and natural resources industry;
  3. overview of Queensland, Australian Commonwealth and international regulatory models with respect to the mining, hydrocarbon, forestry and water sectors.
  4. common investment and management structures and standard industry agreements (farm-ins, joint ventures, operating agreements); 
  5. access to land, compensation agreements and overlapping interests and tenures; 
  6. trade practices in mining and petroleum ventures especially as they seek to eliminate corrupt practices; 
  7. climate change and environmental management in the resources sector;
  8. Native title and cultural heritage.

Ms Anne-Marie Rice

LAWS7851 Mediation & Conflict Management 


Ms Michelle Healy

LAWS7853 Law of the World Trade Organisation             

This course will introduce the international legal rules, principles and institutions of the World Trade Organization. Students who undertake this course will gain an understanding of the WTO legal regime through the major WTO Agreements as well as of substantive WTO law, drawing heavily on reports of the WTO Appellate Body and panels. The course will cover the basic principles relating to trade in goods and trade in services, as well as some of the more specialised WTO Agreements. These will be examined through a consideration of the WTO Agreements and the legal disputes that

Dr Serge Loode

LAWS7841 Theories in Dispute Resolution          

This course provides an overview of dispute resolution processes (with a focus on non-litigation dispute resolution processes), including negotiation, facilitation, mediation, conciliation, case appraisal, expert determination and arbitration. These processes will be discussed and compared with respect to their purpose and justifications as part of the Australian justice system. More generally, the course will also examine emerging and significant theories underlying dispute resolution practice and conflict analysis and will provide a critical response to traditional Western liberal ideas such as the rule of law and adversarial justice. While the course is interactive and features a variety of learning activities including discussion, role play simulation and mini-lectures, it is not a skills course and does not teach particular models or processes in detail.


Ms Anne-Marie Rice

LAWS7851 Mediation & Conflict Management 


Professor Jonathan Fulcher

LAWS7908 Native Title Law and Practice             

This course provides an opportunity for the study of Native Title law in Australia. The course covers the common law concept of native title as recognized in the important decisions by the High Court in Mabo, WikWard and Yorta Yorta and it focusses on the statutory regimes for dealing with native title, under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). It will cover issues of proof of native title, extinguishment of native title and the important future dealings regime in the Native Title legislation. Interaction between cultural heritage and native title will be examined as well as Aboriginal statutory title lands. Comparative references will be made to Indigenous land rights in other common law jurisdictions including Canada, the USA and New Zealand. This course aims to equip students to critically review and assess current laws and policies governing Native Title lands in Australia.


Professor Frank Garcia

LAWS7987 International Law & Development  

This course is designed to introduce students to the challenges of development in a globalizing world.  In this course students will critically examine the phenomenon of globalization, and the related changes currently underway in contemporary international relations and international economic law, with an emphasis on how they affect the possibility of development. A particular focus of the course is on the role of international economic law institutions such as the WTO, IMF and World Bank.  These institutions play key roles in development, yet face enormous internal and external challenges as they grapple with the many new issues which globalization has thrust onto their agendas.  Throughout the course we consider whether development is even possible, what it means, and whether we might have to reform or transcend the idea of development itself if we are to make any progress.  Development is thus yet another site for us to consider how globalization is changing the nature of international law, international society and global governance.