2017 Kirby Seminar List

Seminar Recordings

A copy of the Seminar recordings are available at the 2017 Kirby Seminar Series Echo Centre.

Seminar Abstracts

Professor Emeritus Helmut Koziol presents

Professor Emeritus Helmut Koziol

Helmut Koziol, born 1940 in Vienna, studied law in Graz (Austria) and received his degree (Dr. iur.) in 1963. He worked as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Bonn (Germany) from 1963 to 1967, afterwards in Vienna (Austria) and qualified 1967 as a Universitätsdozent (non-tenured associate professor) of private law. In 1967 he was awarded a tenured professorship in private law in Linz (Austria) and he held a full professorship post at the University of Vienna from 1969 to 2000. Koziol has presided over the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law (ECTIL) as Managing Director since its establishment in 1999 and he acted as Managing Director of the Institute for European Tort Law (ETL) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.


Common Law – Civil Law; Tort Law – “Schadenersatzrecht”

Between the common law systems, in Europe of England and Ireland, on the one side, and civil law systems, i.e. all Continental European legal systems, on the other hand, there are fundamental differences. It seems worth the effort to investigate whether these differences have decisive effects on the ways of thinking and thus on discussions and solutions of many problems.  The lecture further intends to show that the common equating of Continental European “Schadenersatzrecht” (law of compensation of damage) with the term “tort law” is highly dubious. The civil law term and the common law term are based on different concepts and different ways of thinking. If this is not adequately taken into account, the risk that wrong conclusions will be drawn is very real.

Dr Rahmat Mohamad presents

Dr Rahmat Mohamad

Professor Dr Rahmat Mohamad of Malaysia, was appointed the fifth Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) on 20 June 2008. During his tenure, Rahmat Mohamad has seen to fruition his work to revitalize the Organization, as well as his work in promoting the codification, dissemination and development of international law and ensuring Asian-African participation in these processes. In his capacities as both the Secretary-General of AALCO as well as a respected scholar of international law, Rahmat Mohamad has participated in several conferences and seminars in addition to maintaining a busy lecture schedule. Under his supervision, AALCO has also organized various conferences on topics as far-ranging as the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Competition Law. Dr Mohamad also introduced on the agenda of the Organization subjects of contemporary relevance such as International Law in Cyberspace, Legal Regime governing Marine Biodiversity and Legal Aspects of Violent Extremism and its manifestations. Dr Mohamad also currently holds several Adjunct Professor positions both in Malaysia and abroad. Rahmat Mohamad is married and has four children. He currently resides in the Diplomatic Enclave of Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, India


Marine Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction:  Asian and African Perspectives.

Professor Matthew Harding presents

Professor Matthew Harding

Matthew Harding is a professor and Deputy Dean of the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne.  He has taught and published widely in the fields of equity and trusts, land law, and the law of charities and not-for-profit organisations. Matthew is the author of Charity Law and the Liberal State (CUP 2014), and has co-edited major collections of essays on private law and not-for-profit law.  He is an editor of the Journal of Equity and the Chair of the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand.  He has held visiting appointments at the University of Otago, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Toronto and the University of the Western Cape.


Equity and the Value of Certainty in Commercial Life

This seminar questions the proposition that certain aspects of equity are inconsistent with the value of certainty in commercial life.  Professor Harding considers equity’s role in imposing legally enforceable norms on commercial parties.  To the extent that equity does this, it might be thought that equity interrupts and interferes with freely formed bargains and injects a degree of uncertainty into those bargains as a result.  Professor Harding argues that in some cases where equity imposes norms on commercial parties, uncertainty is generated not by equity but rather by contract law. Further, Professor Harding argues that in other cases, far from undermining commercial certainty, equity’s imposition of norms might in fact contribute to it.  Professor Harding will also consider the role of judicial discretion in equity.  To the extent that findings of liability in equity and the award of equitable remedies turn on exercises of judicial discretion, it might be suggested that in equity the outcomes of litigation are in some significant sense uncertain because they are unpredictable; and this unpredictability might be thought especially unwelcome to commercial parties who are repeat users of the courts and seek to factor litigation risk into their business planning.  Professor Harding will argue that there are reasons to question the proposition that equity tends to undermine commercial certainty because of the judicial discretion that is entailed in it.  These reasons point to the institutional settings in which equity is practised.

Dr Michael Faure presents

Prof. Dr Michael G. Faure

Prof. Dr Michael G. Faure LL.M. became Academic Director of the Maastricht European Institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO) and Professor of Comparative and International Environmental Law at the law faculty of Maastricht University in September 1991. Prof. Dr Faure still holds both positions today.
In addition, Prof. Dr Faure is Academic Director of the Ius Commune Research School and member of the Board of Directors of Ectil. Since 1 February 2008, he is half time Professor of Comparative Private Law and Economics at the Rotterdam Institute of Law & Economics (RILE), of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and Academic Director of the European Doctorate in Law and Economics (EDLE) programme.

Since 1982 Prof. Dr Faure is equally attorney at the Antwerp Bar.

Prof. Dr Faure publishes in the areas of environmental (criminal) law, tort and insurance and economic analysis of (accident) law.


Financial compensation for victims of disasters: a law and policy point of view

This seminar will discuss the efficiency and effectiveness of providing compensation to victims of disasters. On the one hand climate change increasingly poses challenges as a result of increasing floods and hurricanes; on the other hand terrorism also creates an additional demand for compensation. The crucial question is how compensation mechanisms can be designed that provide recovery ex post but still provide accurate incentives for disaster risk reduction ex ante. A variety of solutions (ad hoc compensation by government, compensation funds, compulsory insurance, re-insurance by the government and liability rules) will all be compared from a multidisciplinary perspective, using insights from insurance, economics and accident law.

Dr Georgina Lloyd Rivera presents

Dr Georgina Lloyd Rivera

Dr Georgina Lloyd Rivera is the Director of the SFS Center for Conservation and Development in the Lower Mekong in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Georgina has spent the last 10 years living in Siem Reap during which time she has conducted research on environmental law and policy, heritage law, heritage and tourism management, and the development of good environmental governance. She has conducted both doctoral and postdoctoral research on intangible cultural heritage at Angkor. During this time she has been the recipient of an Endeavour doctoral research fellowship and UNESCO research fellowship. Her doctoral research examined legal and policy approaches for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage across Asia and particularly in Cambodia. During her postdoctoral fellowship she collaborated with the management authority for the Angkor World Heritage Site, the APSARA Authority, to develop a safeguarding policy for intangible cultural heritage. Georgina’s recent research has focused on community based natural resource management, traditional practice and environmental governance in Cambodia.


Continuing Governance Challenges for Community Based Conservation in Cambodia

In recent years, Cambodia has experienced rapid rates of deforestation and privatization of land. In response to the loss of common pool resources, and to provide access to natural resources upon which many local communities depend, there has been an increased push for community based conservation. Community participatory conservation models include the designation of Community Forests, Community Fisheries and Community Protected Areas. While these sites seek to provide an avenue for sustainable natural resource management, there remain a number of challenges that need to be addressed. Through an examination of two Community Protected Areas within Phnom Kulen National Park and a Community Fishery near Prek Toal Core Area of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve, it is shown that such sites are often characterised by complicated governance. Community management zones are often nested within a mosaic of protected areas with different designated governing bodies. Research into the current community use of and access to natural resources, existing community input and management infrastructure, and the interest of community members in conserving or accessing the protected areas, has revealed discrepancies between legal frameworks and ongoing management. Limited human and financial resources to implement effective management of these sites has resulted in current gaps in enforcement, leading to increased pressure on the natural resources (such as in Prek Toal) or encroachment into areas (as in Phnom Kulen). The multiple enforcement agencies operating within and around community conservation areas and the limitations on enforcement powers of community members can lead to further discrepancies in the consistent implementation of regulations developed to ensure sustainable management of resources. Clearer governance responsibilities alongside a reassessment of enforcement powers and improved mechanisms for financial and technical support could reduce complexities to enable successful community based conservation.

Professor James Allan presents 'The Senate and Bicameralism in Australia are Broken'

After a quick potted history of the Australian Constitution (with references to James Madison as often as possible) Allan will consider the arguments for and against bicameralism and why, in the speaker’s view, bicameralism in this country is broken. Consideration will then be give as to what can be done to remedy this situation.

Professor Ben Richardson presents 'Time and Environmental Law'

Disciplined by industrial clock time, modern life distances people from nature’s biorhythms such as its ecological, evolutionary, and climatic processes. The law is complicit in numerous ways. It compresses time through ‘fast-track’ legislation and accelerated resource exploitation. It suffers from temporal inertia, such as ‘grandfathering’ existing activities that limits the law’s responsiveness to changing circumstances. Insouciance about past ecological damage, and neglect of its restoration, are equally serious temporal flaws: we cannot live sustainably while Earth remains degraded and unrepaired.

This presentation explores how to align law with the ecological ‘timescape’ and enable humankind to ‘tell nature’s time’. Lending insight into environmental behaviour and impacts, it pioneers a new understanding of environmental law for all societies, and makes recommendations for its reform. Minding nature, not the clock, requires regenerating Earth, adapting to its changes, and living more slowly.