PhD Student Achievements

PhD Completions

Antony ColafellaBA (Monash), LLB Hons (Monash)

'The mixed philosophy of Australia’s prohibition against monopolisation and the misuse of market power: a historical analysis of the development of section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and its predecessors'
(Mel Marquis)

Mr Colafella’s thesis examines the legislative history of Australia’s prohibition against the unilateral abuse of market power. It contends that the prohibition’s core objective was to protect market forces, but its ability to do so was hampered by a political desire not to restrict the commercial conduct of large enterprises. Accordingly, the thesis advocates that the legality of a firm’s use of market power should be assessed by its impact on active competitors and consumer choice, as they help prevent the exclusionary conduct of big business which harms the competitive process.

Dariel De Sousa, BE (Mech) Hons (Monash) LLB (Hons) (Monash) BCL (Oxford) MBA (Yale)

‘Regulating Systemic Risks: Lessons from the Regulation of Climate Change Risks to Australian Infrastructure’
(Graeme Hodge/Arie Freiberg)

Ms De Sousa’s thesis seeks to determine how systemic risks, particularly those associated with climate change, can be regulated most effectively. The research includes an empirical evaluation of the way in which risks to Australia’s infrastructure, caused by climate change, are currently regulated.

Rangika Palliyaarachchi, PhD (Monash University)  LLB (Hons) (University of Colombo)

'Constructing Meaning through Organisations and Law: An Analysis of the Due Diligence Defence for Prospectus Misstatements and Omissions Liability in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia'
(Graeme Hodge/Emmanuel Laryea)

Research Area: Securities and Corporations Law

The thesis adopted the Legal Endogeneity framework of Lauren B Edelman to examine the legal and organisational construction of the content and meaning of due diligence defence for prospectus misstatements and omissions liability in Australia, United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US).

Thai, Lang, PhD (Monash University)

'Shareholder litigation and the statutory derivative action'
(Normann Witzleb /Jennifer Hill)

Research Area: Corporations law
Julian Scarff, PhD (Monash University), LLM (Regulatory Studies) (Monash University), LLB (Hons) (University of Melbourne)

'Are Chinese courts determining the injunction applications of standard-essential patent (SEP) owners according to law?'
(Ann Monotti/John Duns/Chenxia Shi (BLT))

Research Area: Patent Law

Applications that communicate wirelessly – from smart phones to smart infrastructure – use technical standards that are themselves critically reliant on proprietary patents. Focussing on China, the thesis compared its regulation of SEPs to corresponding regimes in the United States, the European Union, South Korea and Japan – finding that the major differentiator between jurisdictions is in their assessment of licensing negotiations conduct.

PhD Candidates

Chathuri Gajaweera ArachchigeLLB (Hons) (University of Colombo), LLM (Kotelawala Defence University in Colombo, Sri Lanka), MMgt (Accounting) (University of Melbourne)

'Causation and legal responsibility: Analysing the approaches to establishing loss in securities market misconduct' (Normann Witzleb/Steve Kourabas)

Ms Chathuri's thesis investigates the different approaches taken to establish causation in securities market misconduct cases in Australia. It explores the possibility of creating an investor-friendly approach to causation in such cases.

Stephanie Derrington, LLB (Hons I) QUT); MSc Law and Finance (Dist) (Oxon)

’Directors’ duties and the fiduciary obligations of investment intermediaries'
(Jennifer Hill/Tim Bowley)

With reference to what is required of Australian company directors by their common law and statutory duties, this thesis will examine the extent to which the pursuit by investment intermediaries (including superannuation funds) of anything other than long-term financial returns is constrained by their fiduciary obligations.  The thesis will examine the purpose and benefits of investment intermediaries and how the relevant fiduciary obligations help achieve that purpose and the identified benefits.

Tien (Dat) Hoang, LLB (Valedictorian/1st Class Hons) (Vietnam National University), BA (English) (Hons) (Vietnam National University), LLM (University of Melbourne)

'The Inner Mechanism of Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A Case Study of Vietnam'
(Andrew Mitchell/Caroline Henckels)

This research aims to understand the complex interrelation of investment treaty law, legal transplantation, and domestic legal system on this matter to identify the loophole of the dispute prevention mechanisms (‘DPMs’) in Vietnam. As such, it will critique the inadequacy and inefficiency of the DPMs in Vietnam and in light of the findings, consider the possibility to set up a better mechanism to prevent and minimise investment disputes arising against Vietnam and also other countries.

Michael Lishman, B.Juris; LLB and BA (University of Western Australia) and LLM (University of Melbourne)

'The Law of Governance of Australian Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies'
(Jennifer Hill/Tim Bowley)

Mr Lishman's thesis aims to examine the corporate governance mechanisms that apply to State and Commonwealth statutory corporations and government owned companies including: the statutory duties of directors (and  as fiduciaries) and whether these duties are “ fit for purpose”;  the impact of government ownership on governance, including the relevance of Government policy and the political interests of Ministers; where the line is between appropriate Ministerial oversight and interference that affects governance; the selection of board members; and the role of representative directors.


Emmanuel MaaloufBEng (Civil) (AUB); MEnv (University of Melbourne); JD (Sydney University); GDip Leg Prac (College of Law); LLM (ANU)

'Extended Producer Responsibility'
(A/Prof Gerry Nagtzaam/Dr Elizabeth Anne Sheargold)

The objective of Mr Maalouf’s thesis is to investigate laws and schemes related to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and analyze the specific responsibilities assigned within these laws. By evaluating the responsibility framework within EPR laws and examining how it impacts the effectiveness of such schemes, this study aims to provide valuable insights for policy outcomes and the development of legislation. The research will draw on examples of existing EPR laws and operational schemes that primarily focus on packaging and the treatment of pollutants in water.

Caroline MorganBA LLB (Hons) (Melb) LLM (Monash) SJD Candidate (Monash)

‘Procedural Fairness and (Legal Regulation) - Getting the Balance Right’

(Maria O'Sullivan/Nahum Mushin/Eric Winholz)

Ms Morgan’s thesis examines procedural fairness in a regulatory context (namely the regulation of the legal profession). It investigates how to get the balance right between procedural fairness and regulatory objectives such as effectiveness and efficiency.

Anna Moskal, LLM (Hons), Jagiellonian University

'Integrating Digital Economy and Green Economy – opportunities for sustainable development of collaborative platforms and digital technologies'

(Andrew Mitchell/Thomas Schultz, KCL)

Ms Moskal's thesis examines the complex nexus of new technology, law and economy. The main objectives of my thesis are to explore the impact of new digital technology on economic growth, examine the role of national governments and international organisations in shaping the digital economy, and to provide practical de lege postulates to make existing regulations more effective and sustainable. Overall, I aim to find the best hypothetical model of regulating the digital economy in order to achieve optimal efficiency in the market and to mitigate the disruptive socio-environmental impacts of digital platforms.


Christopher Nyinevi, LLB (KNUST, Ghana); LLM (Int’l Law & Justice, Fordham University, USA), QCL (GhSL, Ghana)

'From “Investor” through “Host State” to “Host People’s” Legitimate Expectations?'
(Emmanuel Laryea/Caroline Henckels)

Mr Nyinevi’s PhD research examines the liability of a foreign investor under international law for the harms that an investment project or business operation may cause to local communities in the host country of the investor. It aims to develop a legal theory by which foreign investors (mostly corporations) may be held accountable, within international law, for investment-related injuries to host state communities.

Neerav SrivastavaBComm, LLB (Hons) (UL), PCLL (CUHK) LLM (University of Melbourne)

‘The Law of Digital Matchmaking’
(Normann Witzleb/Janice Richardson)

Mr Srivastava’s thesis investigates the law and principles regarding the 21st century phenomenon of digital matchmaking - that is when a platform such as Uber, Airbnb, Airtasker, and Tinder, brings strangers together. The thesis places particular emphasis on the legal responsibilities owed by the platform to both the guest (eg passenger) and the service provider (eg driver).

Mapitso RaswokoLLB (NUL) (MBA (CSU) MSc Law & Finance (University of Leeds)

‘The Volcker-Vickers Solution: An Elixir for the Safety of the Financial System?
(Steve Kourabas/Jennifer Hill)

Ms Raswoko’s thesis investigates the regulation of commercial banks’ market-based credit intermediation and its effectiveness in attaining stability and efficiency in the financial system. It evaluates the impact of the US Volcker Rule and UK Retail Bank Ring-Fencing securitisation regimes, with a particular focus on mitigating banks’ exposures to market risks and interdependence in the financial system.

Michael Anthony Robson, LLB (1st Class Hons) BSc (Phys)

'The contemporary role of shareholder ratification and authorisation of breaches of directors’ duties'
(Dr Normann Witzleb, Dr Susan Barkehall-Thomas)

Shareholders of companies have the power to authorise conduct that would otherwise be in breach of directors’ duties or to ratify such conduct after it occurs. Mr Robson’s Thesis addresses the question of whether the doctrine of ratification remains relevant and appropriate to companies governed by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). While the doctrine of ratification provides a range of benefits to companies and their shareholders, the law is in significant respects uncertain and raises some public policy problems.

Lushanthi VithanageLLM (Hons) (London) DipAML (Manchester) DipComp (Manchester)

'Cross-Border Bank Failure: Issues Faced by Depositors in Host Countries' 
(Weiping He/Steve Kourabas)

Ms Vithanage's thesis explores the availability of deposit insurance to depositors in host countries in a cross-border banking failure. It investigates home country deposit insurance schemes and insolvency laws, and international standards on deposit insurance, to ascertain whether the issues relating to deposit insurance are adequately addressed in cross-border banking, and if not, how they can be improved.

Duncan Wallace, BA PPE (Hons) (University of Manchester) PGD Economics (University of Melbourne) JD (University of Melbourne)

‘Natural Entity Theory: Implications for Corporate Ownership’
(Genevieve Grant/Julian Sempill)

Duncan Wallace’s doctoral research is about the history and philosophy of corporate legal personhood. He is particularly interested in the ‘natural entity’ theory – or ‘organic’ theory – of the corporation, which understands the corporation as a kind of organism.

Estelle Wallingford(DipL., BA(Hons) (University of Melbourne), JD (Sydney University), GDip Leg Prac (ANU))

'Assigning Legal Liability in the Context of Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence'
(Janice Richardson/Maria O’Sullivan)

Ms Wallingford’s thesis explores how artificially intelligent machine learning systems should be characterised under the law. Her research further considers who should be held legally liable for the actions of, or consequences arising from the use of these systems.

Tamara Wilkinson, Arts Law (Hons), G Dip Leg Prac

'Government venture capital incentives'

(Stephen Barkoczy/Bryan Horrigan)

Tamara is an Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, and teaches mainly in the areas of private investment law and corporations law. She is the co-author of two books on venture capital and angel investment: Incentivising Angels: A Comparative Framework of Tax Incentives for Start-Up Investors (Springer, 2019) and Innovation and Venture Capital Law and Policy (Federation Press, 2016). Tamara is currently completing her thesis on the topic of government venture capital incentives. She is also the Executive Producer of The Scarlet Letter, the podcast of the Feminist Legal Studies Group at Monash University's Faculty of Law.

Jeremy Williams, BA LLB (First Class Honours) (Monash University), GradDipAppFin (Kaplan Professional),
LLM (University of Sydney)

'Australia’s insider trading laws: lawful access to and use of commercial or proprietary information'
(Jennifer Hill/Steve Kourabas)

The research aims to examine whether Australia’s insider trading law affords sufficient protection to the lawful access to and use of commercial or proprietary information.