Research news

Making important contributions to both Australian and international legal research, the TC Beirne School of Law is ranked by the ARC as above world standard. View our recent research news, or browse feature stories by category.


The School produces three well-respected publications – the UQ Law Journal, the LAWASIA Journal and the Australian and New Zealand Maritime Law Journal. Our academics regularly edit and contribute to books on important legal issues.

UQ Constitutional Law Professor Nicholas Aroney, together with Professor John Kincaid (Lafayette College, USA), has edited the just-released Courts in Federal Countries: Federalists or Unitarists?
AWASIA is an international association representing the legal profession across the Asia-Pacific region with members drawn from 50 countries.
The measures that can be taken to prevent terrorism and other crimes remains a perennially relevant topic. While the subject first received substantial attention in the aftermath of September 11, the last few months have seen dramatically stronger surveillance laws in the UK, and a continuing debate around immigration policy.

Australian law and policy

Our research investigates legal topics relevant to modern social issues including domestic violence, immigration, disability policy, the environment, crime and corruption, parliamentary elections and biotechnology.

Since the resurgence of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party in the 2016 Federal Election, public debate has intensified over the role of Shari’a law in the Australian legal system.
Police and activists needed a clear and consistent legal framework to minimise clashes and potentially life-threatening damage to energy infrastructure during protests according to UQ’s Director of the Centre for International Minerals and Energy Law, Professor Jonathan Fulcher.
While the Australian Government has argued for corporate tax cuts, collaborative research by the UQ law and business schools suggests that the largely unincorporated small business sector needs more assistance than simple tax relief.

International collaboration

The School frequently collaborates with other academics and institutions from around the world, in areas including South Pacific law, migrant smuggling, human rights and federalism.

A University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law PhD graduate has received a prestigious grant that will see her work with UQ researchers to develop her PhD thesis recommendations into practical guidelines for law reformers in the Pacific Islands.
The Ministry of Justice of Austria commissioned UQ law Professor Andreas Schloenhardt – also a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Vienna, to prepare a full translation of all 324 provisions of the Austrian Criminal Code.
The atrocities of the 20th Century, particularly the Holocaust, led to the creation of international criminal law. Starting with the Nuremberg Tribunal and culminating in the International Criminal Court, justice has allowed survivors and their families to receive compensation, create memorials and move towards reconciliation.

In the media

Our academics are often asked to make contributions to popular media platforms, especially in areas of constitutional law, domestic violence and disability assistance.

Earlier this month, the High Court disqualified Family First Senator Bod Day from holding office, on grounds that his election was invalid due to a perceived conflict of interest. ABC Radio's Law Report interviewed Professor Graeme Orr on the implications of this case.
Professor Heather Douglas, ARC Future Fellow at the TC Beirne School of Law, today had an article published in the Courier-Mail. Titled Drag Queensland's abortion laws out of the 19th century, argues that abortion must be made legal in Queensland so that women can undergo the procedure safely in major hospitals.
Last night, our resident disability assistance expert Dr Paul Harpur was featured on Channel 10’s The Project.

RHD and student research

We encourage our undergraduates to pursue research early in their legal careers, and our PhD candidates to investigate socially-relevant, important topics.

Mark Deng has joined the UQ School of Law as a PhD student on an Australian Postgraduate Award. After spending four years in a Kenyan refugee camp, Mark arrived in Australia as a teenage refugee from South Sudan.
Zoe Brereton, an undergraduate at UQ Law and New Colombo Plan Fellow, was recently published in the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, ‘Perpetuating myths of women as false complainants in rape cases in India: culture versus the law’.
A UQ student will present the results of a business project aimed at strengthening Queensland school student participation in ballet at the Australian Association for Research and Education Conference in Melbourne this week.