International Affairs

The practice of law is increasingly becoming global in nature. Knowing how public and private international law impacts decision-making and achieves outcomes globally, as well as across specific multiple jurisdictions, is essential for ensuring that public and private actions are conducted confidently and effectively.

In addition, better understanding of comparative legal approaches to common issues from various national and international perspectives sharpens choices made regarding legal transactions and informs meaningful legal reform.

International affairs

Law remains a powerful tool for realizing common goals. Adelaide Law School has a long tradition of excellence in international and comparative legal research. Current University of Adelaide Law School research projects include focus on the exploration, security and use of outer space; the lawful and ethical application of military force in tactical and strategic contexts; the promotion and protection of human rights; the conduct of commercial transactions in times of crisis and emergency; the conduct of legal transactions and models for legal optimization across multiple transnational jurisdictions and the achievement of meaningful justice outcomes across the globe.

Our researchers are working on a wide range of projects that enhance the reach and effectiveness of law in both the public and private spheres.  The areas of research strength relate to:

  • Public International Law.
  • Private International Law (also known as ‘Conflict of Laws’).
  • Comparative Law.

Our research units and groups working in this area

  • Lead researchers in this area are focused on

    • The drafting of an International Manual of International Law Applicable to Military Conflict in Outer Space (‘The Woomera Manual Project’) with partners UNSW-Canberra and Exeter University in the UK (Prof Melissa de ZwartProf Dale Stephens & Assoc Prof Matthew Stubbs).
    • The research and publication of the Annual Space Security Index Volume in conjunction with a range of international partner universities (Prof Melissa de Zwart and Prof Dale Stephens).
    • Research into the Protection of Cultural Property in a time of Armed Conflict and advocacy of Australian Ratification of the two Hague Protocols (Prof Dale Stephens and Assoc Prof Matthew Stubbs)
    • Research into Operational Commercial Law (Dr Colette Langos and Dr Mark Giancaspro)
    • International peace.  This project uses as a starting point the international  corporate social responsibility framework to compare the creations from technology leaders. Centring on practical stories of those that use high end engineering, technology and design capacities to develop projects which practically generate peace. (Dr Rebecca LaForgia)
    • Research into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (which is the coming use of technology in all aspects of life). The research considers how research on an international rights-based response can protect international society from the effects of this revolution. (Dr Rebecca La Forgia & Dr Chris Reynolds)
    • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is the first multilateral bank initiated by China.  This research on the AIIB centers on the new AIIB policy governing complaints.  The research considers the opportunities that this policy of the AIIB potentially has. The centering on one aspect only that of “accessibility.”  Accessibility includes the use of adaptive technology in the implementation of the AIIB policy. For example the capacity of the public to use visual, audio, video and translation technology in order to communicate easily with the AIIB when they are affected by infrastructure projects. This project merges international legal interpretation of international policy and adaptive technologies. (Dr Rebecca La Forgia)
    • Research into international human rights institutions and protections (Assoc Prof Matthew Stubbs and Assoc Prof Laura Grenfell)
    • Comparative approaches to the corporate form (Aust, NZ, UK) and regulation of companies in relation to their private or public status (Aust, NZ, Canada, South Africa, Singapore) (Dr Beth Nosworthy)
    • Comparative investigations on the role and impact of private international law in reforming and transforming domestic contract law (European Union, Australia).  (Mrs Jessica Viven-Wilksch).