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Dr Ben Gussen

Lecturer, Law


Dr Engr Benjamen (Gus) F Gussen, SMIEEE, ΒΓΩ, Esq,

BScEE (hons) (KSU) BCom (hons) LLB (hons) (Auckland) MScEE (Arizona) MBA (Otago) PostGradDipTerEd (AUT) PhD (Auckland)

Dr Benjamen F Gussen is a tenured constitutional jurist at the Swinburne School of Law. He was admitted to the legal profession in New Zealand in 2011, and in Australia in 2014. His main area of research is comparative constitutional law-and-economics. He is an expert on the principle of subsidiarity and its application in unitary and federal polities. Dr Gussen is the President of the Australian Law and Economics Association ( His other research interests include law-and-technology, law-and-development (with emphasis on smart and charter cities), the amelioration of Australian federalism, the application of constitutional economics to constitutional designs, the comparative analysis of sub-national constitutions, and the application of complexity theory to the analysis of legal pluralism. Dr Gussen has already published in journals such as Comparative Law, Public Law, Monash University Law Review, University of Melbourne Law Review, Constitutional Political Economy and the Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review. His first monograph (Ranking Economic Performance and Efficiency in the Global Market) was published in 2018. His second monograph was published in May 2019 (Axial Shift: City Subsidiarity and the World System in the 21st Century, Springer Nature).

Dr Gussen is a New Zealander, with Samaritan ancestry (ࠔࠠࠌࠝࠓࠩࠉࠌ) from the cities of Shech (שְׁכֶם), as well as Dutch-German ancesrty from the cities of Breda and Hermaringen. He holds graduate degrees in law (PhD and LLB(hons), Auckland), economics (BCom (hons), Auckland), engineering (BScEE, KSU; MScEE, Arizona), business administration (MBA, Otago) and education (Post Grad Dip Ter Ed, AUT). 

He is a member of La Melburna Esperanto-Asocio, La Aŭstralia Esperanto-Asocio (AEA) and has a working knowledge of biblical Hebrew and classical Arabic. Prior to joining Swinburne, Dr Gussen taught at the University of Southern Queensland, the University of Auckland and the Auckland University of Technology. Before embarking on his academic career, Dr Gussen worked in government and industry in the United States, the Persian Gulf, and New Zealand.


2019 winner of the Swinburne University of Technology Outstanding Early Career Researcher Award

2016 winner of Partial scholarship for the Coase-Sandor Institute (University of Chicago)

2016 winner of the University of Southern Queensland Publication Excellence Award in Law

2015 winner of the University of Southern Queensland Publication Excellence Award in Law

2014 winner of the Alan and Virginia Green Prize in Environmental Law

2012 winner of the University of Auckland Doctoral Publication Award 

2011 winner of the University of Auckland PhD Scholarship


2018 Hongik University (Seoul, South Korea) for delivering the keynote speech at their seminar on the sharing economy: 'On the Governance of Sharing Cities: Lessons from the sharing economy in Seoul' (15 June 2018).

2017 Straits Times newspaper for: 'A proposal for a Singaporean "Charter City" in Australia' , Straits Times (Singapore), 24 January 2017, A21.


Megan Adams, Comparative Free Speech Law, Truth, and Falsity in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia (2018-  )

Sam Alexander, The Laws to Make Australia's Silicon Valley (2018-  )

  • Sam Alexander, ‘A Quiet Harbour: Finding a Balanced Approach to the Copyright Liability of Online Service Providers’ (2020) 32 Bond Law Review 91.
  • Sam Alexander, ‘Reforming Australia’s Safe Harbour for Internet Intermediaries’ in Margaret Jackson and Marita Shelly (eds), Legal Regulations, Implications, and Issues Surrounding Digital Data (IGI Global, 2020), forthcoming.

Jonny Sakr, Personhood: Ontologically Dependent on the Mother’s Will – A Legal Construct (2019- )

Brendan Walker-Monro, Australian Criminal Regulators, Disruptors and the Need for Innovation Intelligence (2018-  ). PhD publications:

  • Brendan Walker-Munro, ‘Disruption, regulatory theory and China: What surveillance and profiling can teach the modern regulator’ (2019) 8 Journal of Governance & Regulation 1, 23-40.
  • Brendan Walker-Munro, ‘Regulating disruption and the development of the disruption calculus’ (2019) 46(1) University of Western Australia Law Review 111.
  • Brendan Walker-Munro, ‘A Shot in the Dark: Australia’s Proposed Encryption Laws & the “Disruption Calculus”’ (2019) Adelaide Law Review, in proof.
  • Brendan Walker-Munro, ‘A Case for Systemic Design in Criminal Law Techno-Regulation’ (2019) 43 Criminal Law Journal 4, in proof.
  • Brendan Walker-Munro, ‘Use of Big Data Analytics by Taxation Authorities’ in Emeritus Professor Margaret Jackson (ed.), Legal Regulations, Implications, and Issues Surrounding Digital Data (IGI Global, 2020).


Authored books

Gussen, Benjamen, Axial Shift: City-Subsidiarity and the World System in the 21st Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

Scholarly book chapters

Gussen, Benjamen, ‘On the Hardingian Renovation of Legal Transplants’ in Vito Breda (ed), Legal Transplants in East Asia and Oceania (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Gussen, Benjamen Franklen, ‘Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Peoples in New Zealand and Ecuador’ in Simon Young, Jennifer Nielsen and Jeremy Patrick (eds), Constitutional Recognition of First Peoples in Australia: Theories and Comparative Perspectives (Federation Press, 2016) 247.

Refereed journal articles

Gussen, Benjamen Franklen, ‘Reflections on La Fata Morgana: Watsonian “Prestige” and Bagehotian “Efficiency”’ (2017) 12(1) The Journal of Comparative Law 80.

Gussen, Benjamen Franklen, ‘A Comparative Analysis of Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal Peoples’ (2017) 40(3) Melbourne University Law Review 867.

Benjamen Gussen, ‘Two Strategies for Diffusing Tension in the Middle East’ (2016) Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy 8.

Gussen, Benjamen Franklen, ‘Australian Constitutionalism between Subsidiarity and Federalism’ (2016) 42(2) Monash University Law Review 383.

Gussen, Benjamen Franklen, ‘The State is the Fiduciary of the People’ (2015) 3 Public Law 440.

Gussen, Benjamen F, ‘The Evolutionary Economic Implications of Constitutional Designs: Lessons from the Constitutional Morphogenesis of New England and New Zealand’ (2014) 6(2) Perspectives on Federalism E319.

Gussen, Benjamen F, ‘On the Problem of Scale: Hayek, Kohr, Jacobs and the Reinvention of the Political State’ (2013) 24(1) Constitutional Political Economy 19.

Research interests

Constitutional law; subsidiarity; charter cities; sharing cities; Judeo-Islamic jurisprudence; Leopold Kohr

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Associate Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Constitutional Law - 180108
  • Applied Economics Not Elsewhere Classified - 140299
  • Comparative Law - 180106

Teaching areas


Further information

  • 55445777200


Also published as: Gussen, Ben; Gussen, B.; Gussen, Benjamen; Gussen, B. F.; Gussen, Benjamen F.; Gussen, Benjamen Franklen
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2018: Lessons from Sharing City Seoul for Melbourne's Sharing Economy *; DFAT Australia Korea Foundation

* Chief Investigator