Learn about our key focuses and researchers leading the way in the making the law fairer, more coherent and effective.
Our research addresses the understanding, creation, use and exploitation of intellectual property and emerging technologies. International and interdisciplinary in nature, we draw on mixed research methods (including legal theory and empirical studies) to guide law reform and generate evidence-based policy.
We have a particular research focus on intellectual property law, with experts on copyright, trademarks, branding and advertising, patents in the pharmaceutical industry and relationship between IP and competition law.
Our current partners include:
Sentencing and criminal justice is a key research area of the Swinburne Law School.
Our research aims to influence government policy and judicial case-law through implementing reforms that will make sentencing and the criminal justice system fairer and more efficient.
This commitment to fair and equitable justice is also reflected in the work of Swinburne Law School with a key research partner, Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy (Ltd). Alongside this not-for-profit partner, Swinburne Law supports projects to build the evidence base for legal reform to sexual consent and rape law to address the recognised shortcomings of the criminal justice system as a mechanism of responding to sexual violence.
Our partners include:
Evidence-Based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project
The Evidence-Based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project aims to makes sentencing fairer and more efficient through innovative law reform. The focus of the Project is to provide solutions to the following problems:
- Reducing incarceration levels in Australia and the United States, by implementing new criminal sanctions which track the actions and movements of offenders.
- The over-representation of Indigenous Australians and African Americans in prison.
- The need for the sentencing system to abandon the pursuit of objectives that are unattainable, such as general and specific deterrence.
- The need to making the sentencing system more transparent and predictable.
Corporate governance and commercial law is a key research area of the Swinburne Law School.
The evolution and wider global context of corporate governance in Australia acts as a function of social and technological change. We research efficient technological solutions to meet the changing nature of compliance and supervision. We also study the impact of disruption and social change on models of corporate governance.
Board diversity and remuneration
We are aiming to provide new and richer insights into the issue of female representation on ASX listed companies. To achieve this we are undertaking network analysis in these companies in association with the Social Network Lab within Swinburne Centre for Transformative Innovation and academics from the Swinburne Business School.
Regulation and public enforcement
This project will provide in-depth insights and understanding into the ways ASIC (companies regulator) and APRA (banking regulator) use their powers and take action against parties who breach the laws they administer. It involves empirical studies of socio-legal analysis of the public enforcement of Australia’s corporate and banking executive accountability laws.
AI, technology and data governance in the boardroom
We aim to have greater clarity of the role and impact of new technologies, and pursue opportunities for their development and use. In particular, we are researching the expanding role of AI and technology in corporate governance and data governance.
Disruption and social change
Disruption and social change often lead to a reassessment of corporate governance and commercial law. An ongoing field of research interest of the Swinburne Law School is to consider current manifestations of disruption and social change and its implications for corporate governance and commercial law.
Current issues considered under this focus area include shareholder stewardship; social license to operate, legal aspects relating to integrated reporting; and corporate purpose and transnational commercial law.
Commercial law and financial regulation
The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (2018-2019) has focused attention on the regulation of banking, insurance, superannuation and financial services. An ongoing field of research interest of the Swinburne Law School is the operation and design of the current regulation, the scope for improvement, and more effective enforcement of corporate regulation and commercial law.
Current issues considered under this focus area include banking, insurance, superannuation and the regulation of financial markets.