UTS Law has again excelled in the latest round of the competitive Australian Research Council (ARC) funding grants, highlighting the Faculty’s ongoing strength in legal research.
Faculty academics Professor Katherine Biber, Professor Andrew Mowbray and Dr Michael Rawling secured funding for research projects in the respective areas of legal history and legal information. Professor Biber received a prestigious Discovery Project grant for her research on infamous Australian outlaw Jimmy Governor, while Professor Mowbray and Associate Professor Rawling were awarded a Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant for research work in the field of Australian industrial and workplace relations systems.
Professor Biber’s project, “The Last Outlaw: making a nation from the crimes of Jimmy Governor”, will examine the crimes and subsequent punishments of Aboriginal bushranger, Jimmy Governor, in the historical context of Australian Federation.
By critically examining the legal processes applied to Governor, Professor Biber’s research will improve our understanding of Australia’s enduring legal institutions – founded under the new nation – and the extent to which they were influenced by acts of criminal dissidence.
“This project aims to discover the extent to which law-making was generated by extreme acts of law-breaking,” Professor Biber said.
“Whilst several accounts have been written of his crimes and the hunt that led to Governor’s capture, there is no account of the legal processes applied to him, and these are important because the law enables us to see the emerging state from an entirely different perspective.” The project will be funded for $239,000 over three years.
Professor Andrew Mowbray, Director of AustLII and an expert in computerised legal research, and Dr Michael Rawling were awarded $450,000 in funding for the collaborative project “Comprehensive free access to Australian industrial and workplace law”. UTS is the lead institution in this grant which includes 7 other partner universities.
Categorised as a LIEF project – a funding scheme that enables researchers to undertake collaborative initiatives to develop research infrastructure – the project aims to help improve research in the field of Australian industrial and workforce relations systems.
Using AustLII as a platform, a group of researchers from a number of cooperating universities and other organisations will work to develop an ‘Australian Industrial and Workplace Relations Law Library’. Such a library will centralise all relevant law so that it is searchable in one location, as well as digitising “all decisions contained in the major industrial law report series published since Federation”.
“I am delighted by UTS Law’s two significant successes this year,” Associate Dean, Research, Professor Brian Opeskin said. “They are wonderful achievements for the applicants and for the Faculty, and round out several years of impressive achievements in competitive research funding.”
Story by: Tess Gibney