Dr Olivia Ball
Olivia graduated with her PhD in 2014. Her thesis was entitled All the Way to the UN: Is Petitioning a UN Human Rights Treaty Committee Worthwhile? As part of her doctoral research, Olivia located and interviewed most of the authors of the first 33 successful cases brought against Australia alleging breaches of international human rights law (1994—2013). Olivia identified the value of procedural remedies to victims, as well as the challenges in securing effective substantive remedies.
In 2014, Olivia and Nick Toonen founded the national human rights organisation, Remedy Australia which monitors implementation of UN human rights committee decisions concerning Australia and advocates for authors of successful complaints to obtain their right to an effective remedy.
Dr Noel Villaroman
Noel’s thesis analyses the limits of local planning processes in Australia when they already burden the ability of religious groups to fully exercise their right to manifest their religion or belief as a result of spatial constraints – that is, their inability to appropriate sufficient physical space for their worship and other needs. In his thesis, the analysis is centred on the structural constraints to religious freedom occasioned by the exercise of a regulatory power by a secular authority. The inquiry is focussed on how local planning processes impede the enabling role played by tangible space – epitomised by places of worship – in the enjoyment of intangible faith or belief. Noel is the author of a forthcoming book, based on his PhD thesis to be published by the prestigious international publisher, Brill│Nijhoff. For more information, click here.
Mhamed commenced his doctoral studies in early February 2015. His thesis examines the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to deliver infrastructure services in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. He will be undertaking empirical research to examine the processes that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE have used to introduce and implement PPPs on infrastructure projects. His research will consider how the various actors (decision-makers, consultants and other agents) have applied their knowledge and experience of PPPs in other countries to the domestic contexts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.
Alan’s research considers whether youth justice/group conferencing as the primary expression of restorative justice practiced in Australian jurisdictions is compatible with, and/or reflective of, children’s rights. It seeks to balance questions about the efficacy and efficiency of youth conferencing with an evaluation of its compliance with international children’s rights standards. More broadly, Alan’s research considers the utility of using children’s rights as a standard against which to evaluate youth justice systems and individual youth justice programs. His research questions include whether the evolution of ‘more rights’ for children over the past 25 years can be equated to mean ‘better rights’ for children when considered in the context of restorative justice conferencing initiatives? And whether the effectiveness of these restorative processes comes at the expense of children’s rights?
Geeta’s research examines the legal classification of animals as property in Australia, and investigates whether this status is consistent with modern community values. Geeta questions whether the historical foundations of the property status of animals remain relevant today and explores the need for the law to reflect prevailing community values.
Empirical research undertaken as part of Geeta’s research makes a modest but important contribution to the scarce body of knowledge on the topic of the legal status of animals in Australia. Geeta surveyed almost 300 respondents in Melbourne and regional Victoria to ascertain whether the participants were aware of the property status of animals and whether they agreed with the status.
Geeta has authored The legal status of animals: The world rethinks its position (2015) 40(4) Alternative Law Journal 266-270.
Aaron’s PhD thesis is in the field of animal law. In particular, it examines the regulations affecting the treatment and protection of jumps horses and whether they lack democratic or judicial accountability. It explores how the existing regulatory regime can be made more accountable, enabling the public to have a greater influence on the use of horses in society.
Faz’s research examines the history of courtship traditions in Iran, with particular attention to the customs of Khastegari within Persian migrant families, in order to determine whether the position of women as right holders is affected by the rules pertaining to such customs. Building on the long-standing troubled relationship between law and culture, Faz is investigating whether contemporary notions of human rights can protect a woman’s consent to wed based within conventional cultural practices. Faz has co-authored an article with Paula Gerber entitled Burqa: Human Right or Human Wrong? (2014) 39(4) Alternative Law Journal.