The TC Beirne School of Law offers undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in the UQ Summer & Winter Research Scholarship Programs over the summer and winter vacation periods. 

This experience provides students with the opportunity to work with a researcher in a formal research environment so that they may experience the research process and discover what research is being undertaken in their field of interest at the School.

Applications are now open for the UQ Summer Scholarship Program 2017

The TC Beirne School of Law offers undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in the UQ Summer Research Scholarship Program over the summer vacation period (from November to February). This experience provides students with the opportunity to work with a researcher in a formal research environment so that they may experience the research process and discover what research is being undertaken in their field of interest at the School.

For more information, contact Ruth Delaforce.

Available projects

Project title

The balance between equality and occupational safety and health: the impact of anti-discrimination law positive duties

Project duration

8 Weeks (20 November 2017 to 19 January 2018)

Expected hours per week

25 hours per week

Commencement date

20 November 2017

Description

It is difficult to ascertain the impact of negative anti-discrimination duties upon how employers approach the interaction between equality and occupational health and safety (OSH) measures.  There are positive duties found under the Canadian human rights charter and limited positive duties in the Equality Act 2010 (UK) s 149 (public sector equality duty) and the Australian State of Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) Part 3.  These positive measures generally operate alongside negative duties and have less enforceability; nevertheless, it is possible that OSH practices where such positive anti-discrimination laws operate could be different than OSH practices where purely negative anti-discrimination duties regulate conduct.  By reviewing reviews of the public sector equality, the Equality Act 2010 (UK), Harpur (2017) concluded that s 149 had a limited impact upon the capacity of persons with print disabilities to access the written word in such jurisdictions. 

Expected outcomes and deliverables

A similar and expanded analysis will be performed for this project that reviews reports on the positive measures and OSH policies in employers that are subject to such positive duties, as well as analysing relevant statute, regulations and case law.

Suitable for

Project suitable for students who have completed, or have an interest in, anti-discrimination, human rights or labour law.

Primary Supervisor

Dr Paul Harpur

Further info

Students are welcome to email Dr Harpur if they wish to discuss the project: p.harpur@law.uq.edu.au

Project title

Child protection and youth justice: Pathways between the two systems

Project duration

8 weeks (20 November 2017 to 19 January 2018)

Expected hours per week

Approximately 20 hours per week

Commencement date

20 November 2017

Description

It is well known amongst lawyers and youth workers that children subject to child protection interventions are disproportionately represented in the youth justice system. In 2016, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that children receiving child protection services are between 13 and 23 times more likely to be under youth justice supervision. The AIHW also reported that in 2013/14, 26% of young people in detention were in the child protection system. The association between child protection intervention and youth justice involvement is particularly significant for Indigenous children. For example, in 2013/14, 11% of Aboriginal males and 7% of Indigenous females who were in out of home care were also under youth justice supervision.

This project aims to investigate this association.  Issues to be investigated include:

  • What kinds of offences young people in the child protection system tend to be charged with;
  • What kinds of care arrangements, and child protection experiences, tend to be associated with offending behaviour;
  • What else is happening in young persons' lives that increases their risk of offending (e.g. mental health difficulties; intellectual impairment; lack of access to education and training);
  • What kinds of youth justice supervision children receiving child protection services are subject to;
  • What people who work with vulnerable young people believe could be done to reduce the number of children in care who are charged with criminal offences.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The student scholar will assist with qualitative and quantitative data collection, liaising with government departments who collect justice statistics and community organisations who work with vulnerable young people.  He/she will be involved in the organisation of focus groups with community legal centres (including possible attendance) and analysis of results.  Other tasks will include documentary research, culminating in an annotated bibliography on relevant international literature on associations between child protection intervention and youth justice supervision, and statistical data analysis.

Suitable for

Particularly suitable for students with some qualitative and statistical research experience (perhaps within another discipline) or interest

  • Students towards the end of their degree
  • Students with an interest in socio-legal/action research
  • Students with an interest in young people

This is a cross-institutional project, in partnership with Prof Ben Mathews (QUT Law), so there may be some need to travel to QUT a couple of times during the project.

Primary Supervisor

Assoc Prof Tamara Walsh

 

Further info

Please contact supervisor prior to applying: t.walsh@law.uq.edu.au

Project title

Smuggling of Migrants' Offences in Myanmar

Project duration

8 weeks (20 November 2017 to 26 January 2018 – two-week break over Christmas/New Year)

Expected hours per week

20 hours per week

Commencement date

20 November 2017

Description

The student participates in a research project advising and assisting the Government of Myanmar with the drafting of migrant smuggling legislation.  This project, led by Professor Andreas Schloenhardt, will be undertaken in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific and may involve travel to Bangkok, Thailand and Yangon and Nay Pyi Daw, Myanmar in January 2018.  The student will gain experience in researching existing laws, their application and interpretation, requirements under international law, and she/he will be involved in drafting the text for new smuggling of migrants offences and writing explanatory notes.  The project will also involve engagement with key national agencies in Myanmar and international organisations working in this field.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

At the end of the project, draft legislation along with explanatory notes will be presented.  A detailed work plan for the student will be developed in October 2017.

Suitable for

Students must have completed Criminal Law and Procedure (A+B).  For visa purposes, the student must be an Australian citizen. It would be desirable if the student is a dual degree student in Law and International Relations with a keen interest in international law, refugee law, and international affairs.  Foreign language abilities and prior research experience in the fields of smuggling of migrants or trafficking in persons are advantageous.

Primary Supervisor

Prof Andreas Schloenhardt

Further info

For further information, please contact Professor Andreas Schloenhardt: a.schloenhardt@law.uq.edu.au

Project title

Admissibility Compared:  Bitemark Evidence in Australia, the United States and Canada

Project duration

6 to 8 weeks

Expected hours per week

30 hours per week (20 November 2017 to 19 January 2018)

Commencement date

20 November 2017

Description

Use of forensic bitemark evidence as inculpatory evidence in criminal trials has been widely criticized in both the U.S. and Canada. Indeed, the National Academies of Science and U.S. Presidential Council of Scientific Advisors recently found that forensic bitemark analysis does not provide valid results and is deeply unreliable. The analysis has been linked to wrongful convictions in the U.S. and Canada. Australia, despite lack of a strong legal standard towards unreliable evidence has been a leader in the common law world regarding exclusion of bitemark evidence from courts. The student will research the rise and fall of bitemark evidence in Australia and apply this experience to the struggle in American and Canadian courts. This comparison and critical analysis may provide insight into how other forms of unreliable evidence can be effectively excluded in Australia, and how American and Canadian courts may be persuaded to stop using bitemark evidence.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

A publishable manuscript

Suitable for

A law student who has taken criminal law and/or evidence law. A student with a background in science (including psychological science) may find the topic especially interesting.

Primary Supervisor

Dr Jason Chin

Further info

For further information, please contact Dr Jason Chin: j.chin@uq.edu.a

Project title

The Convergence of the Australian Consumer Law and the UN Convention on International Sale of Goods – (Section 68 ACL and article 6 CISG)

Project duration

6 weeks (20 January 2017 to 5 January 2018)

Expected hours per week

20 hours per week

Commencement date

20 November 2017

Description

There is uncertainty regarding the convergence of the CISG with the ACL.  Division1 of Part 3-2 of the ACL contains “guarantees” with regard to the sale of goods and supply of services.  Section 64 mandates that provisions in contracts purporting to exclude these “guarantees” will be void.  Notwithstanding that the application is limited to consumers, there are circumstances where these “guarantees” overlap with the international sale of goods. Article 6 of the CISG permits parties to derogate from the CISG provisions (party autonomy) including “warrantees”.  Section 68 ACL provides that where there is a conflict between the two, the CISG prevails.  Article 6 and section 64 conflict.  The issue that needs research and resolution is whether a provision in a contract governed by the CISG which contains an exclusion clause can (where there is overlap) exclude the operation of one or more of the ACL “guarantees”.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

This will result in original research, with a publishable paper, resolving conflicts in the application of the CISG

Suitable for

Suitable for LLB student in his or her final years.  The commencement and finishing dates will be flexible, depending on the student's commitments.

Primary Supervisor

Dr Alan Davidson

Further info

Please contact Dr Davidson if you require further information: a.davidson@law.uq.edu.a

Project title

The Consequences Of Remoteness For Law And Legal Processes In The Borderlands

Project duration

6 weeks (20 November 2017 to 5 January 2018)

Expected hours per week

30 hours per week

Commencement date

20 November 2017 (negotiable)

Description

The Torres Strait is a 150 kilometre passage between far north Australia and the southern border of Papua New Guinea (‘PNG’). It comprises 100s of islands, islets and reefs, approximately 22 of which are inhabited by about 8000 people, with village populations ranging from about one hundred to two thousand. Thursday Island, the administrative centre for the Torres Strait Islands is about 2200 kilometres from Brisbane, the State capital. The area is governed by a unique Treaty signed between Australia and PNG in 1978, establishing different boundaries for different purposes. But it is more than a simple border agreement. It is also concerned with protecting the environment and the way of life of the traditional inhabitants. To this end, the Treaty establishes a Protected Zone and a system of free movement for traditional inhabitants of certain islands in the Strait and in some of the PNG coastal villages adjacent to it on the Southern coast of PNG (collectively referred to as the Borderlands). Traditional inhabitants may travel across the border between Australia and PNG without passports or visas to carry out traditional activities within the protected zone and nearby areas. They are subject to a complex patchwork of laws including national laws and local laws and customs, not only from their own country, but also, for those who choose to cross the border, from the other side. The remoteness of this unique environment, with its small, widely dispersed population poses challenges for local communities and for the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Communities are often left to their own devices with no access to the formal law or state legal institutions. This project looks at the consequences of this remoteness for law and legal processes. It considers how small village communities have adapted to respond to the challenges of remoteness and whether this has any lessons for the national legal systems.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The Summer Research Scholar will be required to:

  • Carry out a literature review
  • Analyse relevant primary and secondary sources
  • Produce short reports summarising areas of law and other findings
  • Prepare and check footnotes in AGLC or other styles; and
  • Assist with other legal and administrative tasks arising.

There may be an opportunity to collaborate on a research publication.

Suitable for

This project is open to students with a background in law.  An interest in development studies and/or inter-disciplinary studies would be an advantage.

The project will be closely supervised by Prof Corrin, who is currently researching in this area with Prof Mark Moran from ISSR, funded by an ARC Discovery Grant.

Primary Supervisor

Prof Jennifer Corrin

Further info

For further information, please contact Professor Jennifer Corrin: j.corrin@law.uq.edu.a

Project title

Comparative Federalism: A comparative analysis of federal constitutions and their interpretation

Project duration

10 weeks (20 November 2017 to 15 February 2018)

Expected hours per week

30 hours per week

Commencement date

20 November 2017

Description

Production of an analytically precise comparison of the formative grounds, representative institutions, distribution of powers and amendment procedures of a selection of federal constitutions – focussing on the texts of the relevant constitutions and judicial interpretation of the those texts. Countries that may be analysed include: Germany, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, USA and Canada.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

There may be an opportunity to collaborate on a research publication.

Suitable for

Students with strong research and analytical skills who have completed Introduction to Public Law and Constitutional Law.

Students with language skills in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian or Malay ideal, but not essential.

Primary Supervisor

Prof Nicholas Aroney

Further info

For further information, please contact Professor Nicholas Aroney: n.aroney@law.uq.edu.au

 

Please check back in March 2018 for more information.
 

More information

Dr Ruth Delaforce
Research Admin Officer

+61 7 3365 7903