Postgraduate Students
"Democratisation and the Diffusion of Information Rights". (Commenced February 2008)
 "FOI Reform in China: Information Flow Analysis". (Commenced August 2007)
 "Right to Legal Representation for the Mentally Ill". (Commenced March 2009)
“Regulation and protection of the right to informative self-determination and the registration of biometric profiles in Australia, Mexico, United States and Spain.” (Commenced February 2010)
"A Tale of Two Systems / A Clash of Cultures: The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) and the Tasmanian Regional Forestry Agreement".

Sarah Hiller


(read on)

Silvana Fumega


(read on)

Vanessa Diaz Rodriguez
Commence February 2010
Completion February 2013
Vanessa Diaz Rodriguez  “Regulation and protection of the right to informative self-determination and the registration of biometric profiles in Australia, Mexico, United States and Spain.”
 Currently researcher at Instituto de Investigaciones
Jurídicas de la UNAM
Derecho de la Información
Mexico City

Tom Baxter


Tom Baxter  Thesis Topic “A Law Unto Themselves: Australian Regulation of Forestry Operations”.


Tom is an alternate chair of the University's Discipline Panel and a Fellow of Chartered Secretaries Australia. After graduating from UTAS Tom worked for Hobart law firm Dobson, Mitchell & Allport from September 1997 until December 1999. From January 2000 to May 2003 he was Legal Officer for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Government statutory authority responsible for management of the Great Barrier Reef. In June 2003 he returned to UTAS as a lecturer in the School of Accounting and Corporate Governance. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the High Court of Australia in 1998, and as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2002, but no longer maintains a current legal practising certificate.

Research Interests

Corporate Governance and Accountability; Environmental and Planning Law


Commercial Transactions
Corporate Regulation and Accountability

Valerie Williams

 Valerie Williams - Right to Legal Representation for the Mentally Ill

Commenced March 2009

Completion March 2012

Valerie was awarded a BA/LL.B from the University of Tasmania in 1994 and a LL.M from the University of Northumbria (UK) in 2007. Her interests lie in human rights, administrative law and social justice.  She considers herself fortunate to have worked as a barrister and solicitor for the Aboriginal Legal Service, as the last Deaths in Custody Officer for Tasmania, and for the past 10 years, the Mental Health Advocate. She has developed a number of innovative Tasmanian programs over the years including the Mental Health Tribunal Representation Scheme which has been providing free, competent representation for the past 6 years to Tasmania’s mentally ill.  


Her thesis in on the right of the mentally ill to legal representation when appearing before mental health tribunals, boards of review and courts on civil commitment and involuntary treatment orders in Australia, USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand and it will explore why, in some jurisdictions, people are unable to exercise their right. The thesis will examine the future direction of legal representation through a therapeutic jurisprudential lens with a focus on clinical legal education.

Rhys Stubbs
Rhys Stubbs - PhD study _ Democratisation and the Diffusion of Information Rights

 Commenced February 2008
Expected Completion February 2011

The thesis concerns the spread of freedom of information law within the context of global democratisation.

Freedom of information law has spread rapidly since the 1990s. What began as seemingly isolated transmissions has quickly expanded into a case of world-wide diffusion.

The thesis addresses the question of why is this expansion has occurred. It does so from a political science viewpoint and must therefore take into consideration broader questions of socio-political change.

From this perspective, the explosion of information rights must be considered in relation to global democratization. The spread of freedom of information law is part of a wider process of political change that has occurred over the past fifty years, namely the diffusion of political democracy.

With this in mind, the study addresses two key questions. What forces are driving global democratisation (i.e. what relative roles do domestic and international factors play in the spread of democracy)? And are such forces apparent in the expansion of freedom of information law?

The central argument of the thesis is that the contemporary spread freedom of information law and democracy is largely a top-down process, driven by a dialectical relationship between domestic and international factors.
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