From 2018 research of across the University was consolidated into the VU Research portfolio. Much of the research previously undertaken by College of Law & Justice researchers is undertaken by college research fellows in the Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities.

Areas of research

We focus on research development in four particular areas, namely:

  • Governance and Regulation
  • The Scholarship of Legal Education
  • International Law
  • Courts and Justice.

Governance research program

The governance research program sits within the College of Law and Justice, and aims to improve governance of the private and public sectors through the use of independent academic research, consultancies and postgraduate teaching.

The VLS encourages research that involves working with industry partners to solve real-world problems. Research is undertaken by academic staff members and research students in the college's disciplinary groups.

Research students

Our College has a large cohort of both domestic and international PhD students, researching a wide variety of interesting and topical subjects.

Our students are at the forefront of empirical and comparative research in such areas as:

  • corporate law and regulation
  • international environmental law
  • the regulation of electronic contracts in the Gulf Cooperative Council
  • foreign investment law in Saudi Arabia
  • alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in securities markets
  • Islamic finance
  • disciplinary tribunals in professional sport,
  • and more.

We currently have approximately 45 PhD/DBA students enrolled in our programs, coming from diverse cultural backgrounds such as Australia, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Research degrees can be obtained by undertaking a Master by Research, PhD or Professional Doctorate.

To find a supervisor with similar research interests to you, email law.school@vu.edu.au.

Find out about applying for a research degree, or becoming a research student.

Our researchers

Key researchers

  • Dr Matt Harvey has developed a reputation as one of the leading researchers in "Wine Law" and has authored two published books in this dynamic and emerging area of law.
  • Adjunct Professor Michael Longo is the recipient of a research grant to investigate emerging issues in international law.
  • Professor Andrew Clarke is involved in several research projects on governance of small businesses and developing best practice governance arrangements in a rising China.
  • Emeritus Professor Anona Armstrong has several corporate governance-related projects running at any one time through the College's Governance Research Program. She also edits the Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics.

Our researchers on The Conversation website

Our researchers are regular contributors to The Conversation, an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.

View what some of our staff have been saying on The Conversation:

Matt Harvey

Research projects in the college

The following are some of the research projects our staff have undertaken.

Developing a responsive regulatory system for Australia’s small corporations

Emeritus Professor Armstrong and Professor Andrew Clarke were awarded an ARC Linkage grant to study the impact of corporate regulation directed at regulating the governance of Australia’s small corporations by  Corporations Law. The project will develop a responsive regulatory model for small corporations by drawing together the experiences of small corporations owners/managers, CEOs of industry associations, regulators, the Federal Treasury, industry leaders and academic experts.

The ARC Linkage partners were: The Australian Federal Government Department of the Treasury and the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA).

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Dr Kumi Heenetigala and Dr Chitra De Silva were awarded an internal grant to investigate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Measures of Listed Mining Sector Companies in Australia. This study aims to develop an index to measure environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures for Australian metal and mining Industry.

Australian Criminology Research Council Grant 2014

Armstrong, A., Dussuyer, I., Heenetigala, K., Clarke, A & Smith, R.,” Victimisation of whistleblowers in the private sector – who is most at risk of retaliation/consequences/are they worse off/are the effects worse in the private sector?” supported by the Ombudsman’s Office and StopLine is due to commence in 2014.

Central Research Grant Scheme 2014

Adjunct Professor Michael Longo, Dr Inez Dussuyer and Emeritus Professor Armstrong - “Environmental Crime: Effectiveness of Enforcement strategies across Australian Jurisdictions and New Zealand”.