Research Unit for the Study of Society, Ethics & the Law (RUSSEL)

The Research Unit for the Study of Society, Ethics & the Law (RUSSEL) represents a diverse group of researchers all interested in the intersection of ethics, law and society.


Research Unit is diverse in its scope of research with the principle objective being to create a space for dialogue on significant issues involving the relationship between ethics and the law, our researchers do not only consider what the law is but openly ask: What ought the law be?

Our researchers specialise in

  • The law and ethics of innovative medical treatment;
  • Medical decision-making;
  • The principles underpinning criminal law;
  • Corporate behaviour;
  • The relationship between social movements and law reform;
  • Distributive justice; and
  • Climate change.

We are happy to broaden our research community and are looking to establish a seminar series, research discussions and of course, continue with our annual oration.


  • We encourage participation from all disciplines to foster a greater understanding of the relationship between society, law and ethics.
  • We embody and advocate the virtues of tolerance, openness and respect in working with people from different academic disciplines.
  • Our research informs a better understanding of the relationship between society, law and ethics and we actively encourage postgraduate research in this area.
  • We encourage open engagement within the University of Adelaide, Australian governments, society and community organizations to stimulate discussion of practical solutions to contemporary social and legal problems. We plan to host seminars, debates and public forums. We also supervise a number of HDR students and invite expressions of interests from other students.
  • We will engage with experts from all academic disciplines and faith groups in order to ensure the integrity and accuracy of our work.

Key contacts