Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Research

Strategic Research Area Name: Law, Justice and Resilience

Strategic Research Area Leader: Dr Emma Colvin

  • Overview
  • Members
  • Projects
  • Current Students
  • PhD/DBA Topics
  • Publications
  • Events

Overview

The Law, Justice and Resilience Strategic Research Area in the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences focuses on creating and maintaining an inclusive and just society for individuals and communities. Our research contributes to and enhances the Flourishing Communities and Resilient People research spheres of the Charles Sturt University Research Narrative. Research in this area aims to address inequalities in society through improving access to justice and examine the impact of inequality in the criminal justice system, and society more broadly, and exploring means to overcome disadvantage and marginalisation. Our research has been published in high impact academic journals such as the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, the British Journal of Criminology and Police Practice and Research. Our academics have attracted funding from the Criminology Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

We are actively engaged in high-profile, high-impact research projects that influence government policy and practice. We engage in legal and community advocacy. We contribute to law reform debates and advance scholarly debate in criminology, law and related disciplines. Our research aims to not only focus on addressing inequality and overcoming disadvantage - it extends to weighing up individual rights, such as privacy, and community rights, such as public safety, for all members of the community.

Our members are driving research in a number of important areas. These include examining the impact of discourses, policies and practices of the securitisation of migration and the criminalisation of irregular migration. Further, our research examines issues of human security such as the balance between community and individual interests in relation to the use of new technology, particularly biometrics, in criminal justice and health contexts. Other research in this area explores how both the praxis and processes by which state and non-state agencies and actors provide security can enable or impede aspirations for a just and inclusive society. A key strength of our research program is our projects that focus on the over-representation of people with experience of out of home care in the justice system. Additionally, we are leading research nationally on the incorporation of Indigenous cultures, histories and contemporary social realities in law and justice curricula and building the skills of legal and criminal justice professionals.

SRA Members

Name

Image

Title/Position

Location

Dr Phil Birch

 

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Port Macquarie

Dr Emma Colvin

 

Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Bathurst

Dr Ruth Delaforce

 

Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Bathurst

Dr John Gaffey

 

Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Bathurst

Annette Gainsford

 

Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Bathurst

Associate Professor Alison Gerard

 

Director, Centre for Law and Justice

Bathurst

Dr Kath McFarlane

 

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Bathurst

Dr Piero Moraro

 

Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Bathurst

Dr Marcus Smith

 

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Law and Justice

Canberra

Current Funded Projects

Project Name

Brief Description

Partners/Funding Bodies

Investigators

May the Force Be With You: Furthering Fresh Futures for NSW Police Psychological Strengths, Wellbeing and Retention

There is international emphasis on cultivating the well-being of police but there is little research explicating key psychosocial drivers. Fresh solutions are urgently needed to address complex issues underpinning unsustainable rates of NSW Police medical leave, retirement & psychological stress that adversely impact on well-being & capacity to safeguard Australians. Capitalising on powerful longitudinal design, gold standard statistics & cutting-edge interdisciplinary & multi-method theory/research we will explicate psychosocial drivers of NSW Police well-being, commitment, resilience & retention & critical characteristics of effective police command units to further fresh futures & enrich the international research agenda.

The purpose of this research is to generate research-derived strategies for improving NSWPF wellbeing, resilience, and retention. We propose to:

(1) Undertake longitudinal, large-scale temporal ordering modelling studies to test the effects of psychosocial determinants on key outcomes (e.g. burnout, PTSD, medical leave/retirement, stress, conflict, trauma) and protective factors that mitigate these problems for the retention of new recruits and long-serving officers;

(2) Test anecdotal evidence that there is substantial variation among the 76 NSWPF command units in terms of key outcomes (e.g., wellbeing; sick leave; medical retirement; retention plans; psychological strengths);

(3) Identify critical organisational characteristics (e.g. culture/climate, managerial style) evident in the most successful commands that can serve as a blueprint for a paradigm shift in the NSWPF away from a paramilitary approach, to one of autonomy, competence, and collaborative supportive leadership (e.g. Atkins, 2008; 2011);

(4) Juxtapose perceptions of new recruits and long serving officers in order to provide a basis for making NSWPF more attractive to the substantial number of new recruits who leave within the first five years of service;

(5) Adapt, validate, and extend existing psychometrically sound measures and newly developed positive psychology measures of wellbeing and psychological strengths and test their psychometric properties for the total sample and sub-groups (new recruits, longer serving officers) to create an innovative suite of research-demonstrated measures to assess psychosocial drivers of success in NSWPF and enrich and drive international research in this critical field; and

(6) Explicate novel and innovative solutions to critical limitations in existing policing research, thereby contributing significant new knowledge and a model paradigm to the international research literature.

By clarifying these issues and offering novel and methodologically sound evidence-based approaches, our research will improve NSWPF capacity to protect and serve the community, elucidate the psychosocial drivers that seed success in enhancing NSWPF wellbeing, build Australian human capital by retaining police officers, and enrich and advance the international police research agenda in relation to theory, research, and practice.

Australian Research Council and NSW Police

($542,610)

Dr Phil Birch (CSU)

Non CSU Co-Investigators

Professor Rhonda Carven, Professor Herbert Marsh,

Australian Catholic University, Associate Professor Alexandre Morin, University of Quebec - Outaouais, University of Sherbrooke and Australian Catholic University, Dr Paul Atkins Australian Catholic University, Dr Philip Parker Australian Catholic University, Dr Philip Birch, Charles Sturt University, Mr Peter Gallagher, NSW Police Force, Professor Felicia Huppert

University of Cambridge, UK and and Australian Catholic University, Professor John Meyer, University of Western Ontario, Canada, Professor Richard Ryan, University of Rochester, USA and and Australian Catholic University, Ms Charlene York, NSW Police Force

Children in Out-Of-Home-Care (OOHC) in the criminal justice system: The view of Frontline Criminal Justice Professionals

Aims:

Young people in Out-of Home-Care are over-represented in the criminal justice system (McFarlane 2010, 2016; Weatherburn 2007, 2016). A paucity of research exists on the drivers and dynamics of over-representation and on what constitutes international best practice in decriminalisation innovation. Thus, this research aims to:

  • Identify perceptions of  frontline criminal justice professionals - NSW Police Force, Department of   Juvenile Justice, Department of Family and Community Services, OOHC service   providers, lawyers, Magistrates - on processes of criminalisation of young   people in OOHC in the criminal justice system;
  • Identify international best   practice in OOHC and decriminalisation;
  • Identify perceptions of   Indigenous community/organisational representatives on the problem and   solutions to the over-representation of Indigenous young people in the   criminal justice system; and
  • Identify regional   disparities in over-representation of young people in OOHC in the criminal   justice system across regional/metropolitan areas.

Criminology Research Council ($47,496)

Dr Kath McFarlane, Associate Professor Alison Gerard, Dr Emma Colvin, Dr Andrew McGrath (School of Psychology)

Bail decision-making and pre-trial services: A comparative study of magistrates courts in four Australian states

This research project looks at how bail decisions are made in Magistrates Courts. The central principle is that bail is granted on the basis that the defendant will answer bail, and will not offend in the intervening time in a way that will harm the community.

A central policy question that has interested researchers and funding agencies is how to reduce the growing remand population, while maintaining confidence in the courts.  In addition, every criminal justice agency recognises that an increasing proportion of defendants have social problems, and some have multiple problems such as mental illness, homelessness, drug use and poverty.   This study will add to our understanding of bail decision making and how bail orders are working.   It will also assist criminal justice agencies in documenting a need for more resources and better services to address the needs of defendants.

Criminology Research Council

($39,370)

Dr Emma Colvin (Co-Investigator)

Non-CSU Co-Investigators: Dr Max Travers (Principal Investigator, University of Tasmania), Professor Rick Sarre (University of South Australia), Dr Isabelle Bartkowiak-Theron (University of Tasmania), Dr Christine Bond (Griffith University),

Professor Andrew Day (James Cook University)

Review of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998

The Review of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 involved advising the State’s child welfare regulatory body on a model to improve the safety and wellbeing of children in OOHC, particularly those at risk of involvement in the justice system.

Category 2 grant 0000102112

$55,000

Dr Kath McFarlane

PhD Students

Name

Award

Topic

Supervisor

Tracey Kerr

PhD

State Crime and the Right to Health: Accountability for Australia’s Pathogenic Immigration Detention Regime

Associate Professor Alison Gerard

Tasia Power

PhD

Irregular migration and delivery Australia’s humanitarian aid

Associate Professor Alison Gerard

Nadia David

PhD

Consent to bodily harm: Sexually submissive heterosexual women in sadomasochistic relationships and the criminal law

Dr Phil Birch and Dr Emma Colvin

Ineke Romeyn

PhD Pathways of child poly-victimisation: A study of repeat victimisation of children reported to NSW Police for child abuse

Dr Phil Birch and Dr Andrew McInnes

Louise (Lulu) Sicard PhD Music Therapy and treatment interventions for offending behaviour and complex needs

Dr Phil Birch and Professor Tracey Green

Leighann Spencer

PhD

The role of identity and territory in vigilantism and state complicity

Dr Piero Moraro

Prospective PhD Topics

Supervisor

Topic

Dr Phil Birch

Criminal and Community Justice Policy and Practice

  • Police, Probation and   Parole Policy and Practice;
  • Assessment, Treatment and   Management of Offenders;
  • Gender and sexuality   inclusive Domestic and Family Violence (DFV)/Inter-partner Violence (IPV).

Sex and Deviancy Studies

  • Sex Work, Sex Workers and   Procurement;
  • LGBTI Criminality and   Deviancy.

Dr Emma Colvin

  • Bail
  • Court processes and procedures
  • Access to justice
  • Prisons and remand imprisonment
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence and 'problem' solving initiatives
  • Risk and social control
  • Care-experienced people and the criminal justice system

Dr Ruth Delaforce

  • military-crime nexus
  • private military and security companies
  • insurgency and counterinsurgency studies

Dr John Gaffey

  • Crime and the media
  • Crime and popular culture
  • Media and discourse

Associate Professor Alison Gerard

  • The securitisation of migration and refugee women
  • Criminalisation of young people in out-of-home care
  • Asylum seeking in Hong Kong
  • Prisons, privatization and the prison-industrial complex
  • Sex work, labour and mobility
  • Feminist legal theory and intersectionality
  • Gender and punishment
  • Conflict transformation

Dr Kath McFarlane

  • Care-criminalisation
  • prisons and community   corrections
  • women and punishment
  • institutionalisation;
  • youth justice;
  • sentencing;
  • indigenous social justice   issues; and
  • human rights.

Dr Piero Moraro

  • Ethics, Law And Political   Philosophy;
  • Civil Disobedience

Dr Marcus Smith

  • Evidence law
  • Health law
  • Biometric identification
  • DNA evidence

Publications (since establishment of the Research Area in July 2016)

Books

Ireland, J.L., Birch, P. and Ireland, C.A. (eds.) (2018) Routledge International Handbook on Human Aggression: Current issues and perspectives London: Routledge.

Ireland, J.L., Ireland, C.A., and Birch, P. (eds.) (in press – due September 2018) Violent and Sexual Offenders: Assessment, Treatment and Management (2nd ed.), London: Routledge.

Smith, M., Mann, M. and Urbas, G. (2018). Biometrics, Crime and Security. New York: Routledge.

Vecchio, F. and Gerard, A (Eds) (2018) The Entrapment of Asylum Seekers: Social, Legal and Economic Precariousness, Palgrave MacMillan, London.

Book Chapters

Auhl, G., Gainsford, A., Hill, B., Zundans, L. (2017). Promising Practices in Indigenous Teacher Education - Indigenous Cultural Competence: The Why, What, Who and How of Building Coherent Courses in Teacher Education, Springer Publishing

Birch, P. and Prenzler, T. (2017). Community-based Crime Prevention in Prenzler, T. (eds.) Understanding Crime Prevention: The Case Study Approach. Queensland: Australian Academic Press.

Ireland, J.L, Birch, P. and Ireland, C.A. (2018) Human Aggression: How far have we come? in International Handbook on Aggression: Current issues and perspectives, Ireland, J.L., Birch, P. and Ireland, C.A. (eds.), London: Routledge.

Birch, P. Ireland, J.L. and Ninaus, N. (2018) Treating Stalkers: A framework for understanding process components in International Handbook on Aggression: Current issues and perspectives, Ireland, J.L., Birch, P. and Ireland, C.A. (eds.), London: Routledge.

Birch, P., Ozanne, R.L. and Ireland, J.L. (2018) Homophobic and Non Homophobic Aggression: Examining its portrayal in print media in International Handbook on Aggression: Current issues and perspectives, Ireland, J.L., Birch, P. and Ireland, C.A. (eds.), London: Routledge.

Birch, P. and Veljanova, I. (2018) Raising awareness, improving victim safety: Exploring the efficacy of DFV proactive prevention measures in International Handbook on Aggression: Current issues and perspectives, Ireland, J.L., Birch, P. and Ireland, C.A. (eds.), London: Routledge.

Birch, P., Vickers, M., Galovic, S. and Kennedy, M. (in press – due September 2018). Cultivating wellbeing amongst police officers: Examining challenges in the workplace in M. De Guzman & D. K. Das (eds.) Urban Security: Challenges for 21st Century Global Cities and policing. Florida: CRC Press.

Birch, P. and Wintle, E. (in press – due September 2018) Sex Offender Registration and Public Protection: Rethinking the management of sex offenders in the community in Violent and Sexual Offenders: Assessment, Treatment and Management (2nd ed.), Ireland, J.L., Ireland, C.A., and Birch, P. (eds.), London: Routledge.

Birch, P and Ireland, J.L. (in production, due October 2018) Working with offenders convicted of violent offences: what works? in The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice, P. Raynor, F. McNeill, F.Taxman, C. Trotter, P. Ugwudike and H. Graham (eds), London: Routledge.

Delaforce, R (2016) ‘Plural Policing and Private Security.’ In McGarry, R and S Walklate (eds) The Handbook of Criminology and War, Palgrave MacMillan, London

Evans, M., Gainsford, A., George, R. (2018).Indigenous postgraduate education: Intercultural perspectives – Respect and Challenge: Relational leadership through Indigenous research postgraduate supervision. Information Age Publishing USA

Gerard, A. Gainsford, A. & Bailey, K. (2018) ‘Embedding Indigenous Cultural Competence in a Bachelor of Laws at the Centre for Law and Justice, Charles Sturt University: A case study’ in The Future of Legal Education, Thompson Reuters.

Gerard, A. (2017) ‘Contesting entrapment: women asylum seekers in Hong Kong’ in Vecchio, F. & Gerard A., Entrapping Asylum Seekers, Palgrave MacMillan, London.

Gerard, A. &Vecchio, F. (2017) ‘Entrapping Asylum Seekers’ in Vecchio, F. & Gerard A., Entrapping Asylum Seekers, Palgrave MacMillan, London.

Gerard, A., & Kerr, T. (2016), 'Gendered and Racialised Violence in Australia's Offshore Detention Centres: Interrogating Official Accounts' in Fitzgibbon, K & Walklate, S (eds) Murder, Gender and Responsibility, Routledge.

Journal Articles

Baumgaertner, R., Colvin, E. and Birch, P. (2018) ‘Moral Panic and Perceptions of Community Fear: A local community study examining drug use’. Salus 6(2).

Birch, P., Vickers, M., Galovic, S, and Kennedy, M. (2017) ‘Wellbeing, Occupational Justice and Policing Practice: An ‘affirming environment’?. Police Practice and Research: An international journal 18(1): 26-36.

Birch, P., Baldry, E. and Hartley, V.H. (2017) ‘Procuring sexual services: Evidencing masculinity diversity and difference through sex work research’. Sexuality and Culture, 21(4): 1106–1119.

Birch, P., Ozanne, R. and Ireland, J.L. (2017) 'Examining the portrayal of Homophobic and Non Homophobic Aggression in print media through an Integrated Grounded Behavioural Linguistic Inquiry (IGBLI) approach'.  Journal of Forensic Practice 19(3): 239-244.

Colvin, E. (2017). Bail Justices in Victoria: Perceptions and Experiences. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 29(2), 123-136.

Colvin, E., McFarlane, K., Gerard, A., & McGrath, A. (2018). ‘We Don’t do Measure and Quotes’: How Agency Responses Criminalise and endanger the Safety of Children Missing in Care in New South Wales, Australia. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice 57(2): 231-49.

Gainsford, A., Evans, M. (2017). Indigenising Curriculum in Business Education, Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, Volume 20 (1) 57-70

Gerard, A., McGrath, A., Colvin, E. and McFarlane, K (2018) "‘I’m not getting out of bed!’ The criminalisation of young people in residential care", Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology

Ireland, J.L., Birch, P., Kolstee, J. and Ritchie, A. (2017) ‘Partner abuse and its association with emotional distress: A study exploring current LGBTI relationships’. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 54:107-117.

Kennedy, M. and Birch, P (2018) ‘Changing the perception of police culture: Recognising masculinity diversity and difference in a ‘dirty hands’ vocation’.  Journal of Forensic Practice, 19(1): 1-6.

McFarlane, K., Colvin, E. McGrath A. & Gerard, A (in press) “‘Just another policy document?’ Can a protocol end the criminalisation of kids in care?” Alternative Law Journal.

McFarlane, K. (2017). Care-criminalisation: the involvement of children in out-of-home care in the NSW criminal justice system. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 51(3), 412-433

McFarlane, K. (2017). Criminalisation of children in out-of-home care: findings from an Australian research study. The Chronicle: journal of the International Association of Family Judges and Magistrates, July 2017, 61-66.

McFarlane, K. (2017). Improving data collection to better support children in out-of-home care at risk of offending. Child Family Community Australia, 1-1.

Moraro, P. (2018) “On (not) Accepting the Punishment for Civil Disobedience”, The Philosophical Quarterly, 68 (272): 503–520

Moraro, P. (2018) “Against Epistocracy”, Social Theory and Practice, 44(2): 199-216

Moraro, P. (2018) “Is Boss-napping Uncivil?”, Raisons Politiques (Special Symposium on “Uncivil Disobedience”)69(1): 29-44

Smith, M. (2018). Three stages in the development of DNA evidence in Australia. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences. 50(6).

Smith, M. (2018). Universal forensic DNA databases: Balancing the benefits and individual rights considerations. Alternative Law Journal. 43(2) .

Smith, M. (2018). The contribution of the Senate to criminal law reform.  Criminal Law Journal 42(1).

Journal Special Issues

Birch, P., and Crofts, N. (2017) Law Enforcement and Public Health: Papers from the 3rd Annual Law Enforcement and Public Health Conference 2016.  Special Edition - Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice 3(3): 1-54.

Research Reports/Submissions

Birch, P and Emmerton, E, (2017) ‘Immediate Response Service Provision for Victims of Violent Crime: An Examination of Good Practice’. Research Report for Windermere Victim Support Service, Victoria. Port Macquarie: Charles Sturt University.

McFarlane, K. (2017). Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: Submission. Australian Law Reform Commission.

McFarlane, K. (2017). Report to the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian: The efficacy of the current functions of the Children’s Guardian in protecting the safety and wellbeing of children in out-of-home-care. Bathurst: Charles Sturt University.

Book Reviews

Birch, P. (2018) ‘Higher Education and Police’, Edited by C. Rogers and B. Frevel.  Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, special issue on Higher Education in Policing.

Events

From Nagle to Now: 40 Years of Prison Reform & Rehabilitation

Sponsored by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC), the Centre for Law and Justice presented its keystone Residential School event From Nagle to Now: 40 years of prison reform and rehabilitation in August 2018.

More about this event

The Hon. Michael Kirby visits Bathurst

In January 2018, the Centre for Law and Justice was privileged to host a Public Lecture, delivered by The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG, at its Bathurst campus. Upon his retirement from the High Court of Australia in February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia's longest-serving judicial officer, whose stellar legal career included roles as the President of the International Commission of Jurists, UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia, the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights, the Advisory Council of Transparency International, the Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in North Korea for 2013-2014, and the UNAIDS/OHCHR's panel on the overreach of criminal law.

More about this event

Claire O'Connor addresses CSU

On Monday 28th August 2017 CSU’s Exploration Series saw renowned advocate Claire O’Connor address CSU Law students on high profile litigation and the use of class actions and discrimination as a vehicle for social change.

More about this event

Margaret Beazley Launches Law Degree

The Centre for Law and Justice officially launched its new law degree in August 2016. The occasion was marked by an address to CSU law students delivered by Her Honour Justice Margaret Beazley, President of The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA).

More about this event