Recognising Diversity and Promoting Excellence
Scrutiny of the nature and quality of research undertaken in Australian universities, including in law schools, is intensifying. The emergence of the Australian Government's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative, controversies regarding the integrity and relevance of quality 'proxies' such as journal rankings, the rise of international league tables for universities (including attempts at increasingly fine-grained discipline specific analyses) ... all of these developments engender a degree of anxiety, at personal, faculty and institutional levels. This effect has the potential to be especially unsettling in law schools, at a time when law's emergence as a confident academic discipline is hitting its stride. A key challenge at this time is for law school researchers to articulate discipline-relevant markers of research quality that have integrity and currency. The legal academy should approach this task with enthusiasm and confidence in its knowledge of the quality and diversity of the research and scholarship flourishing in Australian law schools today.
Professor Luke McNamara
Dean of Law, University of Wollongong
Professor Luke McNamara is the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Wollongong and Chair of the Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD). In his 20 years as a teacher and researcher he has specialised in criminal law and justice administration, and human rights law, policy and practice. He is currently working (with Associate Professor Kath Gelber, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland) on an ARC Discovery Project study of the impact of hate speech laws on public discourse in Australia. He is a member of the UOW Faculty of Law's Legal Intersections Research Centre and Co-Managing Editor of that Centre's interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, Law Text Culture. From 2003-2007 Professor McNamara was a Legal Adviser to the NSW Parliament's Legislation Review Committee, and in 2010 he was a member of the Academic Advisory Panel for the NSW Law Reform Commission's report on Complicity (Report 129, 2011). He is the author of Human Rights Controversies: The Impact of Legal Form (Routledge-Cavendish, 2007) and a co-author of Criminal Laws: Materials and Commentary on Criminal Law and Process of New South Wales (Federation Press, 5th edition, 2011).
06 September 2012
Faculty of Law
Legal Skills Building
Case Study 2 (room 4.3.41)