Work, Health and Environment
We are at a critical juncture in human history. The sustainability of our environment, disruptive medical technology and the future of work are uncertain and contested.
Our research responds to the myriad significant and pressing legal questions arising from the changing nature of work, health and environment. Our team of researchers interested in Work and Employment Regulation includes some of the leading labour lawyers in Australia and the world. To mention just a few of our current projects, we are the forefront of investigating how to respond to new forms of work in the gig economy, the rise of unpaid work and internships (view report) and the increasingly global movement of workers through the phenomenon of temporary labour migration.
Our ground-breaking research into Health Law explores the key bioethical and medical questions confronting humanity today. We investigate the inclusion of vulnerable populations in advance care planning and the regulatory challenges associated with the increasing influx of disruptive medical technology.
The future of our planet, the earth and our environment is at the heart of our research into the Environment and Natural Resources. We examine:
- The adequacy of laws and regulation for environmental protection in the mining and petroleum industries, and legal frameworks for the development of renewable energy.
- The broader scientific, policy, ethical and normative debates that overlay and add context to the legal measures and solutions undertaken to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
- The ways in which we might re-conceive our relationship to the environment, beginning with what it means to 'own' land and other natural resources.
- Changing environmental governance regimes in the Arctic and Antarctica.
- Sustainable legal futures in the context of the Anthropocene and in particular the enabling role of law in shaping new relationships between humans and biodiversity.
Our research units and groups working in this area
- Work and Employment Regulation (WER)
- Environmental and Natural Resources Law Research Unit (ENREL)
Our lead researchers
- Professor Paul Babie
- Associate Professor Peter Burdon
- Associate Professor Anne Hewitt
- Associate Professor Joanna Howe
- Mr Paul Leadbeter (Adjunct Senior Lecturer)
- Professor Suzanne Le Mire
- Emerita Professor Rosemary Owens
- Professor Alex Reilly
- Associate Professor Bernadette Richards
- Professor Andrew Stewart
- Dr Alex Wawryk
- Dr Gabrielle Golding
- Hewitt A, Owens R, Stewart A & Howe J, ‘Are work experience participants protected against sex discrimination or sexual harassment?’ Alternative Law Journal (2021) 46(2):115-119
- Stewart, A, Owens R, O’Higgins, N & Hewitt A (eds) 2021, Internships, Employability and the Search for Decent Work Experience (Edward Elgar and ILO)
- Anne Hewitt, Andrew Stewart, Rosemary Owens and Joanna Howe, 'Protecting Students at Work: Australian Universities and Regulating for Quality Work Experience' (University of Adelaide report, 2021)
Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?
We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to graduates of law and business graduates (with some possible further legal study required). If you are interested in work, health and environment, consider furthering your research career with us.