Research

ACJI engages and works with a broad range of project partners in the areas of program design, piloting, monitoring and evaluation of justice system innovation and approaches. We explore justice innovation issues from the perspectives of all stakeholders, including legal help-seekers, clients, litigants, courts, practitioners, judicial officers and other decision-makers, and policy-makers. For more information on work with us, click here.

We are committed to producing research of the highest quality and translating our findings for a broad range of audiences. We also seek to build capacity for empirical research amongst research staff and students at Monash University and in our project partners.

ACJI’s current research program includes the following projects:

Developing the Evidence Base on Underpayment Recovery and Civil Justice (A/Prof Genevieve Grant, Dr Jackie Weinberg and Dr Tania Penovic (ACJI) and Ashleigh Newnham, Kris Wallwork and Korina Leoncio (SMLS))

Project partners: Springvale Monash Legal Service (SMLS) and Victoria Law Foundation

Overview:  This project generates a profile of the civil justice problem of wage theft and underpayment recovery through analysis of administrative data about clients, services and outcomes in these actions at SMLS. It will inform better client service, advocacy and data practices whilst building sustainable research capacity at SMLS. The project is funded by a 2021 Victoria Law Foundation Knowledge Grant.

Remote Justice: Lawyers’ Experiences of Remote Hearings During the Pandemic (A/Prof Genevieve Grant)

Overview:  This project uses interviews with barristers and solicitors conducted during Melbourne’s 2020 COVID-19 lockdown to explore practitioner perspectives on the new landscape of remote civil justice.

Preliminary findings from this research were shared in a Victorian Bar In Conversation event with The Hon Justice Rita Incerti (Supreme Court of Victoria), Claire Harris QC (President of the Commercial Bar Association) and A/Prof Grant. A recording of that event can be found here: https://www.vicbar.com.au/news-events/publications/conversation-series

Profiling Oppression Proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria (A/Prof Genevieve Grant and Esther Lestrell)

Project partner: Supreme Court of Victoria

Overview: This project uses qualitative and quantitative data from court files at the Supreme Court of Victoria to build an empirical profile of the claims and parties involved in Oppression Remedy proceedings under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Legal Service Use in Injury Compensation Systems (PhD Project, Clare Scollay)

Project partner: Centre for Research Excellence in Recovery After Road Traffic Injury and the Transport Accident Commission

Overview:  Clare Scollay’s doctoral research investigates the use of lawyers by transport crash compensation claimants, using analysis of claims data and interviews with claimants. Clare’s research is funded by an NHMRC CRE PhD Scholarship and an ACJI Empirical Research Top-Up Scholarship. Clare’s supervisors are A/Prof Genevieve Grant, A/Prof Janneke Berecki (Director, Monash Injury Surveillance Unit), A/Prof Becky Batagol and Prof Luke Connelly (Health Economics, University of Queensland). Publications arising out of Clare’s research can be found here:

Problem Solving After Death: Identifying Processes to Best Assist Families Involved in Coronial Investigations and Inquests (PhD Project, Naomi Burstyner)

Project partners: Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Coroner’s Court of Victoria

Overview:  Naomi Burstyner’s doctoral research explores opportunities for incorporation of Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) principles and processes into medico-legal death investigations, to ensure the optimal satisfaction of parties involved. Families of deceased person typically go through a series of stages which span from the time that the death is identified as ‘reportable’ (ie comes under the remit of the coroner), through to the point where a decision is handed down by a coroner. In the course of this process, some families might have complaints, or disputes might arise. In many cases, the complainants are acutely bereaved and may be in a state of deep grief, stress and confusion. It can be challenging to address complaints to the satisfaction of the complainants and also those professionals who are in any way involved in the complaint. ADR principles, such as therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, interest-based mediation and problem solving seek to nurture the human interests of involved parties. Because these processes are underpinned by principles of party participation and procedural fairness, they have been shown to address emotional wellbeing of people in disputes by providing early resolution, just outcomes and sustainable agreements which meet parties’ interests. The research will explore the application of ADR to complaints and disputes in coronial matters, with a view to developing an ADR framework for best practice complaints management and problem solving in coronial settings. Naomi’s supervisors are A/Prof Genevieve Grant and Dr Yee-Fui Ng.