ARC Discovery Projects

Researcher(s)Duration Project number and titile
Dr Kate Seear 2016-2020 DE160100134
Addiction in the Australian Legal System: A Sociological analysis.
Harms associated with alcohol and other drugs (AOD) cost Australia over $25 billion per year. The law plays a central role in managing these harms. Legal responses to AOD and the key concept of ‘addiction’ are often inconsistent. These variations have unintended and often adverse, economic, social and health implications. Using an international comparative method involving Australia and Canada, this research seeks to critically analyse legal approaches to addiction, isolating the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. This project aims to inform more productive legal responses to addiction, and is expected to produce recommendations for improving AOD-related outcomes in Australia.

Prof Suzanne Fraser (Curtin University)
Prof David Moore (Curtin University)
Dr Kate Seear (Monash University)

2017-2019 DP170100302
Understanding PIED injecting in Australia.

The use of performance and image-enhancing drugs (PIEDs) is rising in Australia. PIED use is associated with a range of serious health issues, including the transmission of blood-borne viruses, especially hepatitis C (HCV), due to PIED injecting. Little is known about PIED injecting in Australia, and the nation's existing harm reduction framework is unprepared to meet the unique challenges it poses. This qualitative interview-based project will generate new knowledge on PIED use, the meanings associated with it, and the health information needs of PIED injectors. It will directly inform policy and practice, potentially helping to avert an epidemic of HCV in this rapidly emerging, hitherto neglected population of people who inject drugs.
A/Prof Catherine Mills (Faculty of Arts)
A/Prof Karinne Ludlow
Prof Robert Sparrow (Faculty of Arts)
Dr Narelle Warren (Faculty of Arts)
2017-2019 DP170100919
Legal and ethical issues in the inheritable genetic modification of humans.

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to investigate the legal and ethical implications of technologies that allow inheritable modifications of the human genome. The use of these technologies in human embryos is fast becoming an international reality, and this project aims to be the first to rigorously examine the implications of this in the Australian context. The intended outcomes of the Project are to clarify the current legal status of inheritable
genetic modification technologies in Australia, provide a comprehensive analysis of the ethics of these new technologies, and, building on this, propose a set of recommendations for regulatory reform to guide Australia’s response to international scientific and legal developments.

Monash University is the administering organisation, unless otherwise indicated.

Completed projects



Project number and title

Prof Jeff Goldsworthy
Dr Dale Smith (University of Melbourne)
Dr Patrick Emerton


Construing statutes: the interaction between a statute’s linguistic content and principles of statutory interpretation

This project will reveal the way in which other legal rules and principles influence the effect that a statutory provision has on the content of the law. This will resolve some central debates in statutory interpretation, and in doing so provide guidance to judges and a better understanding of how statute law works in Australia.

Prof Stephen Barkoczy
Prof Ann Monotti
Prof Bryan Horrigan
Dr Colin Campbell


Designing world-class venture capital programs to support commercialisation of Australian research during and beyond an economic crisis.

Prof Jeffrey Goldsworthy
Dr Dale Smith
Dr Patrick Emerton with

Partner investigators:

Dr Stephen Barker (University of Nottingham)
Mr Richard Ekins (University of Auckland)



A principled theory of legal interpretation.