Our research

Our initial proposal referred to the research interests of members being linked to sustainability as a multi-faceted concept. The Sustainable Legal Practice Group would provide the structure and impetus for members to explore the complex and diverse ways in which faltering globalization is coming up against burgeoning artificial intelligence and digital disruption, while ensuring that we reshape legal practice models and efforts to improve access to justice.

As a group of scholars, we are interested in multiple understandings of sustainability. The world of legal work is changing dramatically and we are concerned that innovation needs to be underpinned by the maintenance of professional values. The ethics of professionalism, with its commitment to the rule of law, open justice and procedural fairness, should always inform the adoption of new technologies and the development of 2 of new organisational structures for legal work. Without a strong commitment to professional sustainability, the professional dimensions of the work done by lawyers will be undervalued and undermined.

Key goal

Our key goal is to systematically explore the range of issues related to broad sustainability of legal practice and, in so doing, to strengthen the Monash presence in research on issues related to the legal profession and access to justice and legal services. We wish to achieve this over an initial horizon of two years.

Faculty Strategic Plan

The Group's activities are well-aligned with the Faculty Strategic Plan. In particular, we note the alignment with the first three hallmarks of being a Greater Law Faculty:

Hallmark 1

Identifies the importance of world class research in our specialty areas, including social justice, rule of law, non-adversarial justice, clinical legal education, ethics and the legal profession. The Group would enable colleagues to collaborate and share their expertise, most particularly in research with the Faculty’s community legal centres.

Hallmark 2

Addresses the Law Faculty’s commitment to providing the best experiential legal education in Australasia. Group members plan to engage in research drawing on their expertise in experiential legal education. This research would harness the Faculty’s rich heritage of clinical legal education as well as addressing new initiatives such as those related to the proposed ‘Clinical Guarantee’ and Jean Allain’s plans for an Anti-Slavery Clinic in Malaysia, working in Asia more generally.

Hallmark 3

Relates to the Faculty’s commitment to service. Our Group's activities will enable close engagement with key communities that we serve, most notably our students, the legal profession and the judiciary.