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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.

Honorary Professor Nadja Alexander

In Semester 2, 2016, Professor Alexander will teach:

LAWS7932 Special Topic E – Cross-Border Mediation Law and Practice

Cross-border Mediation Law and Practice deals with the rapidly growing area of private international mediation.  Imagine the following scenario: An Australian mediator is asked to mediate a professional negligence dispute.  The plaintiff is based in England, the defendant accounting firm is in Hong Kong, and the defendant’s insurer has its headquarters in the United States.  All agree to attend mediation in Singapore. The preliminary discussions and meetings, however, take place via email and video-conference with all parties in their home countries.  The mediation occurs and the parties reach a settlement, which the parties’ legal representatives draft into contractual form.
Such cross-border mediations involve:

  • international and intercultural competencies;
  • online and face-to-face mediation protocols; and
  • knowledge of private international law in relation to the substantive and procedural aspects of mediation.

This course offers participants a framework for understandingly cross-border mediation law (private international law of mediation).  Here particular attention will be paid to the issue of enforceability of  mediated settlement agreements, currently the focus of UNCITRAL deliberations. In addition, the course will provide participants with an international overview of practice and trends in this field.  Finally, participants will have the opportunity to build specialised mediation skills relevant to cross-border settings.



The Hon J L B Allsop AO, Chief Justice, Federal Court of Australia; Peter McQueen; and Drew James

In Semester 2, 2016, this team will teach:

LAWS7865 Maritime Law

The course covers maritime liabilities, including those arising from collisions, salvage, towage, pollution, carriage of passengers and wreck, as well as statutory limitation of liability. It will consider how these liabilities arise in national law, international conventions and under standard form contracts in use worldwide.



Pat Cavanagh

In Semester 2, 2016, Pat Cavanagh will teach:

LAWS7851 Mediation

LAWS7851 involves the study of mediation theory and practice. By the end of the course, students should understand the role of mediation as a dispute management process. They should also possess the basic skills necessary to conduct an effective mediation in a legal context.

This course aims to provide a grounding in mediation theory, policy and practice.

Content should assist potential users of mediation services, advocates and supporters in mediation, lawyers, as well as mediators and other dispute resolution professionals, and academics.



Mr Michael Creedon

In Semester 2, 2016, Mr Creedon and a team from Minter Ellison will teach:

LAWS5225/7225 Special Topic C – Construction Law

The course will provide an introduction to and examination of contracts and law related to the construction industry in Australia.  The course will examine: standard form contracts; performance obligations and usual contractual provisions related to time, cost and quality; insurance; legislation related to the construction industry; torts in relation to construction work; and dispute resolution processes used in construction contracts.

The construction industry is a significant driver of economic activity in Australia.  The estimate for total construction work done in Australia annually is approximately $200 billion.  Construction contracts provide the underlying commercial framework for this work.

This course has been tailored by practicing construction lawyers who are pre-eminent in their fields to provide an introduction to construction law.  It will provide specialised legal knowledge and give students a unique opportunity to gain an introductory understanding of this area of law and its interaction with the construction industry.



Professor Frank Garcia

In Semester 2, 2016, Professor Garcia will teach:

LAWS7987 International Law and Development

This course is designed to critically examine the phenomenon of globalization, and the related changes currently underway in contemporary international economic law. A particular focus of the course is on the role of international economic law institutions, such as the WTO, IMF and World Bank, as they grapple with the many new issues which globalization has thrust onto their agendas. How is globalization changing the nature of international law, international society and global governance?



Sarah Holland

In Semester 2, 2016, Sarah Holland will teach the following elective course in the Bachelor of Laws program:

LAWS5127 Media Law

This course considers the law as applied to the media and media organisations. A major focus will the how the law balances freedom of speech against other competing interests such as the individual’s right to protect his or her reputation and or privacy. The importance of the media’s reporting of parliamentary and judicial proceedings will also be highlighted at the same time as considering the restrictions imposed on the freedom to report in these contexts. In more general terms, the issue of sources of information available to journalists and the journalist’s ethical standards in relation to sources will also be examined. Finally, specific legislative provisions regulating the media and media ownership will be canvassed.



Mr Ken Horsley

In Semester 2, 2016, Mr Horsley will teach:

LAWS5139/7139 Insurance Law

“We live in a society which has been almost revolutionised by growth of all forms of insurance.”

per Lord Radcliffe in Lister v Romford Ice & Cold Storage Co Ltd (1957) AC 555, 591.

The study of Insurance Law involves the development of a clear understanding of the nature of the contract of insurance, regulations pertaining to insurance, the formation of the contract of insurance and an understanding of the concept of insurable interest. It also involves a study of the doctrine of utmost good faith (uberrima fidei), the manner in which the Insurance Contracts Act (1984) (Cth) affects the duty of disclosure, misrepresentation conditions and warranties as well as rules relating to policy construction. Common types of commercial insurance cover such as Motor Insurance, Professional Indemnity Insurance, Liability Insurance Life Insurance, Workers Compensation and Property Insurance are also dealt with for the student to develop a better understanding of the scope of coverage and exclusions. The principles of liability insurance and claims processes are dealt with, to develop a better understanding of the features which trigger policy liability and the procedural rules and substantive law relating to the making and handling of claims respectively. The course ends with an examination of the principle of subrogation and an introduction to Marine Insurance.



Serge Loode

In Semester 2, 2016, Serge Loode will teach:

LAWS7841 Theories in Dispute Resolution

Specific forms of dispute resolution such as negotiation, mediation, conciliation, mini-trial, case appraisal, arbitration and private judging will be critically and comparatively considered with respect to their purpose and justification as well as the consequences and results of their application. More generally, the course will also examine emerging and significant theories of dispute resolution within community and political contexts.



Mr Stuart MacGregor

In Semester 2, 2016, Mr MacGregor and a team from Clayton Utz will teach:

LAWS5182/7182 Special Topic A – Mining & Petroleum Law

Mining and petroleum are important industries in Queensland. Specific purpose legislation has been enacted to regulate certain aspects of these industries. Other commercial aspects of these industries are shaped by contractual relationships. These industries are also shaped by laws relating to the environment, native title, cultural heritage and safety. This course will examine the regulation of the mining and petroleum industries in Queensland and will also examine some of the emerging legal issues in the energy and resources sectors including uranium mining, nuclear law, climate change geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage and underground coal gasification.



Professor Ben McFarlane

In Semester 2, 2016, Professor McFarlane will teach:

LAWS7850 Special Topic B – Equity in Commercial Law: An International Perspective

Much commercial litigation is concerned with the application of equitable doctrines to commercial practice. This subject will involve advanced study of some key equitable doctrines, focussing on recent judicial developments in Australian and English law. We will also consider what those doctrines can tell us about the role of equity in modern legal systems, and in doing so we will draw on North American as well as English and Australian scholarship.



Samantha Traves

In Semester 2, 2016, Ms Traves will teach:

LAWS5136 Commercial Law

Commercial law is designed to equip students with a thorough grounding of the fundamental principles of commercial law. A number of topics will be covered in the course including:

  1. The nature of commercial law
  2. The drafting and construction of commercial agreements
  3. The law of representation at common law and misleading and deceptive conduct
  4. The law of sale of goods and the transfer of title, property and risk in goods
  5. The law of bailment
  6. Statutory regulation of business to business transactions
  7. Franchising
  8. Insurance law
  9. Competition law
  10. Guarantees

Commercial law enables students to proceed to advanced studies in commercial law, whether at LLB, LLM or PhD level. It is a course that introduces studies in courses such as Consumer Protection, Competition Law, Financial Services Regulation, Insurance and Maritime Law.


Dr Geoff Airo-Farulla

In Semester 1, 2017, Dr Airo-Farulla will teach:

LAWS7977 Advanced Administrative Law

Administrative law is central to the functioning of Australian governments. This course is aimed at students who practice, or are interested in practicing, in administrative law, whether in the private profession, as government lawyers, in or the not-for-profit sector. It is organised around four themes:

  • Administrative law's definition, role, values and impact;
  • 'Internal' administrative law - the foundations of governance of administrative agencies;
  • recent developments in administrative law; and
  • investigation in detail of some key doctrinal principles.

Geoff Airo-Farulla is Director, Operations North and FOI in the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office, where he has worked since 2004. Prior to this, he served as senior lecturer in the Griffith Law School and Director of the Governance and Regulation program within the Socio-Legal Research Centre, Griffith University. He has also served terms on the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Queensland Gaming Commission.



Honorary Professor Nadja Alexander

In Semester 1, 2017, Professor Alexander will teach:

LAWS7930 Special Topic C – Conflict Coaching

This course will introduce you to the conflict coaching process and its skills. It will provide you with the models, techniques and skills to manage workplace conflicts in an effective and constructive manner through conflict coaching techniques. It will also show you how to encourage a positive culture around conflict and change.

Conflict can occur in any number of situations including within our private sphere of family and friends as well as professional contexts and the workplace. Yet despite the significant time investment we make in disagreements and disputes, many of us are ill-equipped to engage with conflict constructively and confidently. The course will address this issue.



Pat Cavanagh

In Semester 1, 2017, Pat Cavanagh will teach:

LAWS7851 Mediation

LAWS7851 involves the study of mediation theory and practice. By the end of the course, students should understand the role of mediation as a dispute management process. They should also possess the basic skills necessary to conduct an effective mediation in a legal context.

This course aims to provide a grounding in mediation theory, policy and practice.

Content should assist potential users of mediation services, advocates and supporters in mediation, lawyers, as well as mediators and other dispute resolution professionals, and academics.



Michelle Healy

In Semester 1, 2017, Michelle Healy will teach:

LAWS7853 Law of the World Trade Organization

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 have arisen under those agreements. Students will be asked to think critically about the effect of the WTO’s legal regime on Australia, and on developing countries. Although not a prerequisite, students are advised that some knowledge of international law, international relations and/or economics would be a distinct advantage.

This course will be taught by Ms Michelle Healy. After graduating from the University of Queensland in 1990, Michelle worked as an Associate to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Sir Anthony Mason. She completed an LL.M. degree at Columbia University in 1993 before spending several years working as a corporate attorney at U.S. law firms in New York and London. She returned to the TC Beirne school of law in 2002 and 2003, lecturing in competition and company law, before moving to Switzerland to undertake postgraduate studies. She is currently a Counsellor with the WTO Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, in the area of disputes between Member states relating to subsidies, safeguards and the imposition of anti-dumping duties.



Sarah Holland

In Semester 1, 2017, Ms Holland will teach:

LAWS5131/7131 Planning Law

The course consists of a detailed study of the Integrated Planning Act, 1997 including the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) established under the Act. Specific topics include the role and legal status of plans, the centrality of environmental concerns and the jurisdiction of the Planning and Environment Court.



Mr Malcolm Holmes QC

In Semester 1, 2017, Mr Holmes will teach:

LAWS7868 International Commercial Arbitration Law

This course is concerned with an international process. The course first analyses the basic concepts in international commercial arbitration and considers how it has developed into the coherent system of choice to resolve disputes in cross border transactions. The nature and history of the major international instruments governing international arbitration are explained. The legal environment of an international commercial arbitration and the resulting award is considered. The course then addresses the practice and procedure of an international arbitration from the viewpoint both of legal representatives of the parties and of the members of an arbitral tribunal from the time of the dispute up to the making of the award. The course also includes a comparative introduction to investment treaty arbitration and an explanation of the issues involved in drafting an international arbitration agreement. 



Dr John de Groot

In Semester 1, 2017, Dr de Groot will teach:

LAWS7704 Estate Litigation

This course is an advanced level examination of the regulation and practice of litigating disputes over estates in Australia, including family provision claims, disputes about testamentary capacity, suspicious circumstances, and the use of mediation in the context of estate litigation. The course seeks to develop students’ ability to articulate clearly and coherently the legal and policy issues in relation to estate litigation, formulate and investigate problems, create solutions, innovate and suggest reform improvements in relation to the law.



Christopher Johnstone and Matthew Osborne

In Semester 1, 2017, Christopher and Matthew will teach:

LAWS7711 Laws of War

This course will focus on selected topics in the law of war (or international humanitarian law). This body of law centres on the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their two Additional Protocols of 1977. We will examine issues such as the definition of armed conflict, the doctrine of military necessity, the significance of prisoner of war status, the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights standards, and issues concerning implementation and enforcement. The course will consider the challenges posed to international humanitarian law by the changing character of armed conflict, the fragmentation of international law, and the evolving character of international relations. We will consider historical and current case studies to examine how humanitarian rules operate in practice.



Mr Tom Joyce

In Semester 1, 2017, Mr Joyce will teach courses:

LAWS7708 Intellectual Property Law

In a period of unprecedented technological change and global economic development, a solid understanding of intellectual property has never been more important.

Whether it be issues relating to copyright in an age of unfettered electronic commerce and communication or the role to be played by patenting in DNA testing, the issues are dynamic and make the study of intellectual property especially rewarding.

The primary focus of the course will be on copyright, trademarks, patents and registered designs, but the course will also examine confidential information, passing off, plant breeders' rights, circuit layout protection and database protection. The course will focus on Australian legislation and caselaw, while placing that within a contemporary international context.

By successfully completing the course, a student will obtain a useful 'toolkit' upon which they can build in-practice expertise in one or more areas, or the foundations for detailed future study.



Professor Rob Merkin QC

In Semester 1, 2017, Prof Merkin will teach:

LAWS7951 Marine Insurance Law

The course will outline the legal principles relating to marine insurance, the marine insurance market and the special rules which distinguish marine insurance from other forms of insurance. The course is suitable for postgraduate students and for practitioners.



Professor David Percy

In Semester 1, 2017, Professor Percy will teach:

LAWS7805 Natural Resources Law

This course undertakes a detailed examination of relevant legislation and practice with respect to mining and natural resources law in Australia and internationally. The course seeks to develop students' ability to solve complex legal problems relevant to the mining and resources industry.



Ms Anne-Marie Rice

In Semester 1, 2017, Ms Rice will teach the following elective course in the Bachelor of Laws program:

LAWS5121 Family Law

Family Law is a complex and broad jurisdiction and this course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the relevant issues covered by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and associated legislation. The course primarily deals with the laws relating to marriage and de facto relationships and particularly the consequences of relationship breakdown (divorce; parenting arrangements; property settlements; maintenance; child support) and the means of resolving inter-personal disputes (mediation, ADR, litigation). The extent to which family law intersects with aspects of other LLB courses (including criminal law, contract, equity and trusts, property, tax, corporations and partnership law and jurisdictional/conflicts of laws) will be explored. The course also considers the application of the law to the changing face of families and examines the relevance of the social sciences (psychology, social work) in resolving interpersonal disputes and particularly the impact of parental conflict on children.

Find out more about the visiting research fellows program at the TC Beirne School of Law.

Learn more