ACJI hosts a variety of public lectures, seminars, events and executive and continuing education featuring experts from Australia and overseas.

Upcoming Events...


Date: 14-15 February 2019
Presented by: Faculty of Law, Monash University and Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
Sponsors: Australian Centre for Justice Innovation and the Health Law and Wellbeing Group

View the flyer here.

The Call for Papers is now open and closes on Thursday 20 December 2018.

Day 1: Wellbeing in Legal Education: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street Carlton.

Day 1 Will include colleagues from medicine and health sciences to share experiences and learning on wellness and the tertiary learning experience and transition to professional life.

Day 2: Wellbeing in the Profession: Faculty of Law, Monash University, Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Day 2 will include keynote speakers and panels with members of the judiciary, practitioners and
researchers on wellbeing in the profession. Attendees at Day 2 may be eligible for 6 CPD units.

Registration will be available separately for each day, so that attendees can choose to attend either
or both days. A dinner option is available on Day 1, with a cocktail function to conclude Day 2.

Register here.

Recent Events...

Mental Health Courts: What can we learn from the US experience?

Magistrate Felicity Zempilas from Western Australia's mental health court, the START Court, will speak about the findings from her recent Churchill Fellowship which saw her travel to the United States in 2018. She reflects on latest practice and policy developments in the United States mental health courts that will be relevant to those working in mental health courts and other problem-oriented courts, and those interested in therapeutic jurisprudence and responses to offenders with mental illness. Magistrate Zempilas' talk will be followed by a panel discussion of magistrates and other experts.

Date: Thursday 11 October
Time: 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Auditorium
Event Flyer

About Magistrate Felicity Zempilas

Felicity Zempilas graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia in 1993. She was admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in December 1994.

After completing articles, Felicity commenced as a lawyer in the criminal section of the Aboriginal Legal Service in Perth. She took up a position as a state prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1996, during which time she also completed a year’s secondment to the Office of the State Coroner in 2000. Felicity later commenced permanently as Counsel Assisting the State Coroner in 2003 and worked part time in that position, assisting in a large number of inquests. During that time she had two children; Max (born 2002) and Poppy (born 2006).

Felicity was appointed as a Magistrate in August 2009 and worked in the Goldfields, Esperance and Western Desert Regions until early 2014, hearing matters involving criminal, civil, family and mining law and covering a broad geographical area. This included presiding in the Aboriginal Sentencing Community Court. She then worked as a Magistrate in Perth, focussing mainly on criminal, civil and mining law and, since the beginning of 2017, is now the dedicated Magistrate in the Adult Mental Health Diversion (Start) Court. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2017 to study mental health courts in the United States.

Rethinking drug policy in Victoria

With Associate Professor Kate Seear, Fiona Patten MLC, Mick Palmer AO APM, Magistrate Tony Parsons and Associate Professor Becky Batagol as MC. 

Monash Law’s Australian Centre for Justice Innovation and Law, Health & Wellbeing Group have partnered to host a panel discussion exploring the justice system implications of the Victorian Parliament's recent inquiry into drug law reform. This landmark inquiry recommends major reforms to Victoria's approach to alcohol and other drug use, with a strategy that focuses on prevention, harm reduction and improved health outcomes. It provides a roadmap towards implementing significant changes to the state's drug policy, and a move away from traditional criminal justice responses.

Our panel of experts will talk about some of the most significant recommendations in the report, reflect on their implications for health outcomes, social policy, policing and law enforcement. They will also consider how the suggested reforms sit against other recent developments in Victoria's drug policy, such as the development of the state's first supervised injecting facility and the expansion of specialist drug courts. The panellists will also analyse the potential of the inquiry's recommendations to improve social, economic and health outcomes for people who use alcohol and other drugs in Victoria.

Date: Monday 30 July 2018
Time: 5:30-7pm
Venue: Monash Law Chambers
555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Register here

About the speakers

Kate Seear

Associate Professor Kate Seear

Associate Professor Kate Seear is a lawyer, and academic in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. She is also the Academic Director of Springvale Monash Legal Service. She holds a prestigious Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship. Through this research she explores how Australian and Canadian law understands alcohol and other drug ‘addiction’. She is the author of numerus books, articles and reports on alcohol and other drug policy and law, the relationship between drug law and public health, stigma and human rights.

Tony Parsons

Magistrate Tony Parsons

Tony Parsons is the Supervising Magistrate at Melbourne’s Drug Court and a member of the Premier’s Ice Action Task Force. After completing his LLB at the University of Melbourne in 1984, Tony became principal of Slades Barristers & Solicitors in 1987 and specialised in criminal law.  In 2000 Tony was appointed Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid and in 2008 he was appointed as a Magistrate. For thirty-eight consecutive years and counting has been a member of the Melbourne Football Club.

Mick Palmer

Mick Palmer AO APM

Mick Palmer was a Director of Australia21 from 2012-2016 and also served as Deputy Chair during that time. He is a 33 year career police officer with extensive experience in police leadership and reform in community, national and international policing. He served as Commissioner of the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Service agency from 1988-1994 and as Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) from 1994 until March 2001.

Fiona Patten MLC

Fiona Patten is the leader of the Reason Party, and Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for the Northern Metropolitan region. She came to politics after 20 years of lobbying for the rights of organisations involved in the sexual rights movement – including small businesses, sex workers, HIV/AIDS organisations, adult media and online anti-censorship groups. Since being elected in 2014, Fiona has campaigned for evidence-based policies including drug law reform, safe access to abortion clinics and voluntary assisted dying.

Becky Batagol
Event MC - Associate Professor Becky Batagol

Dr Becky Batagol is an Associate Professor of Law at Monash University. She is a researcher and teacher with a focus on family law, family violence, non-adversarial justice, dispute resolution, therapeutic jurisprudence, gender, child protection and constitutional law. Becky is the co-author of Non-Adversarial Justice (2nd ed, 2014).  Becky is a Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation and co-convener of the faculty's Feminist Legal Studies Group.


(Re)assessing the “Grand Bargain”: The history and current status of compensation for work injury in the U.S.

The U.S. system of workers’ compensation insurance is generally governed by state-based regulation, privately funded by employers, and vulnerable to local political forces. There have been two attempts to have a national conversation regarding issues of adequacy and equity within the system. The first was initiated under the same national legislation that established the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and culminated in a report by the National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Laws in 1972 which found that the system was neither adequate nor equitable. The second was an attempt in the waning years of the Obama Administration to raise concerns about the growing inadequacy of these state systems.

This talk will outline the history and current status of workers’ compensation in the U.S., with a review of some of the contextual forces that continue to shape the contours of the programs in the states.

Date: Tuesday 31 October 2017
Time: 5.00pm arrival for a 5.15pm start
Venue: Monash Law Chambers,
555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP: 26 October 2017

Register here

Professor Emily Spieler About Emily Spieler

Emily Spieler is the Edwin W. Hadley Professor of Law and Emeritus Dean at Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.  She has written and spoken extensively on issues related to workers’ compensation and workplace safety, and she has twice testified before the U.S. Congress regarding workers’ compensation and safety-related workplace retaliation. Professor Spieler is currently a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, a Fellow of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, a member of the Workers’ Compensation Data Study Panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Chair of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Labor, and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, Canada.  Prior to beginning her academic career, Professor Spieler practiced labor and employment law in Boston, Massachusetts, and in West Virginia, where she also served as commissioner of the WV Workers’ Compensation Fund, an exclusive state fund.

Class actions, litigation funding and access to justice

The Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) is currently inquiring into access to justice issues arising in connection with class actions and litigation funding. In this lecture, A/Prof Michael Legg (UNSW Law) will address selected questions raised in the VLRC's discussion paper dealing with the regulation of litigation funders and lawyers, including common fund orders and contingency fees, the certification of class actions and the settlement of class actions.

Commentary will be provided by Dr Tania Penovic (Monash Law) and Mr David Burstyner (Adley Burstyner).

About Michael Legg

Michael Legg is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the IMF Bentham Class Actions Research Initiative at UNSW Law. He specialises in civil and regulatory litigation, class actions, and litigation funding.  He is the author of Case Management and Complex Civil Litigation (2011) published by Federation Press, co-author of Annotated Class Actions Legislation (2014) and editor of Resolving Civil Disputes (2016), both published by LexisNexis. His research has been cited in judgments from the Federal Court of Australia, Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Supreme Court of Victoria, and in law reform reports by the Australian Law Reform Commission, NSW Law Reform Commission and Victorian Law Reform Commission. Michael is a member of the Law Council of Australia's Class Actions Committee. Michael has 18 years of experience as a legal practitioner having worked with leading Australian and US law firms.

Date: 7 September 2017 
Time: 6-7:15pm
Venue: Monash Law Chambers

Responding to the litigant in person challenge: Where to from here?

Presented by Dr Bridgette Toy-Cronin and Justice Kevin Bell AM

The Australian Centre for Justice Innovation is delighted to host a public lecture about future directions for policy and practice regarding self-represented litigants.

The rise of self-represented litigants has been recognised as a phenomenon across the common law world. The last decade has seen increasing attention given to the issue by policy makers, researchers, lawyers and the judiciary. This discussion will consider the evidence base and responses developed to date and ask, "where should we go from here"? This question will be considered in terms of future directions for research, policy, and practice, with particular reference to Justice Bell’s decision in Matsoukatidou v Yarra Ranges Council [2017] VSC 61.

Date: Tuesday 19 September 2017
Time: 5:30-7pm
Venue: Monash Law Chambers,
555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Dr Bridgette Toy-Cronin About Dr Bridgette Toy-Cronin

Dr Bridgette Toy-Cronin is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of the Legal Issues Centre, University of Otago New Zealand. Bridgette studied law and political studies at the University of Auckland and has an LLM from Harvard Law School, where she studied as a Frank Knox Fellow. She has worked as an intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a High Court Judges' Clerk, as a human rights lawyer at Cambodian Defenders Project in Phnom Pehn and as a civil litigation in New Zealand and Australia. In 2015 she completed her PhD examining litigation in person in the New Zealand civil courts. Bridgette’s research has an empirical focus, investigating access to justice, the legal profession, judging, dispute resolution and civil procedure.

Judge Bell

About Justice Kevin Bell AM

Justice Kevin Bell AM has been a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria since2005.  Before that, his Honour was a barrister for twenty years, eight as Queens Counsel.  He has delivered many leading judgments in the human rights field and the duty of courts towards self-represented persons, including Matsoukatidou v Yarra Ranges Council [2017] VSC 61 (28 February 2017), which examines the subject from the point of view of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic).  In the Australia Day Honours List, Justice Bell was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the law and the judiciary, human rights and native title, and the community.