Manfred Nowak

OPCAT series: Australia’s obligations under OPCAT: The challenging task of establishing an effective NPM in a federal state

Monday, 16 December 2019

Our guest speaker and former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, outlines the history of the battle to eradicate the persisting practice of torture and ill-treatment around the world, and the unique potential of and risks around the implementation of OPCAT in Australia.

Holly Cullen

OPCAT series: Implementing OPCAT in Australia: Negative globalism resurgent?

Monday, 16 December 2019

Against the backdrop of the Australian Government’s increasingly sceptical position towards what has been termed as “negative globalism”, Holly Cullen cautions how such a sentiment could pose obstacles to the country realising the full potential of an effective implementation of OPCAT in preventing human rights abuses.

Steven Caruana

OPCAT series: The need for formal partnerships between civil society and the National Preventive Mechanism

Monday, 16 December 2019

Steven Caruana highlights the crucial role that civil society plays in the successful creation of a National Preventive Mechanism - from consultation processes to the designation of the adequate body. He stresses that substantial engagement with civil society organisations is not only international best practice, but also ensures that the systems to be set up are transparent, inclusive and efficient.

Professor Shamit Saggar

OPCAT series: Preventing torture and abuse: can we afford to rely on a complaints-based system?

Monday, 16 December 2019

UWA PPI Director Shamit Saggar examines the suitability of complaints-based monitoring mechanisms for the successful detection and, importantly, prevention of instances of torture and ill-treatment. He suggests that there are unique characteristics to the phenomenon of torture that need to be taken into account in the design of a preventative mechanism.

Aidan Storer

Federal economic policy – perspectives from WA: Australian Treasury’s stakeholder engagement in Western Australia

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Aidan Storer outlines the role of the Australian Treasury’s Office in furthering a better understanding of WA’s economic and business conditions and the impact of Commonwealth policy on WA businesses, government and the community and the importance of well-functioning stakeholder engagement in doing so.

Jessica Shaw

Federal economic policy – perspectives from WA: Keystart ‘low deposit’ home loans and WA’s housing market

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Governments around Australia are grappling with the challenges posed by a lacklustre housing construction market and tightened access to finance. Jessica Shaw argues that in developing any national response, federal policymakers must be mindful of the significant role the State Government plays in the Western Australian market through its unique Keystart loan scheme.


Public expenditure in targeted portfolios can be a powerful means to simultaneously pursue social and economic policy outcomes.

Georgina Molloy

Federal economic policy – perspectives from WA: The need for better access to justice services for consumers

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Georgina Molloy highlights some of the shortcomings of the WA consumer protection system, and puts forward practical suggestions around law reform and community education to fix them.


Western Australian consumers often face barriers that prevent them from enforcing their consumer rights. People across Australia have rights under the Australian Consumer Law, but we often see in Western Australia that consumers face impediments when it comes to enforcing these rights.

What are these barriers in Western Australia?

Nicky Cusworth

Federal Economic Policy - perspectives from WA: Challenges for modern regulators

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Nicky Cusworth outlines the complexities around regulating the fast-changing energy market in Western Australia, which serves as an apt example for the overall challenges that regulators face as technological innovations are transforming markets at an unprecedented rate. She suggests that rising to the challenge must involve rethinking not only hard rules, but also the ‘soft architecture’ of regulation.

Professor Rod Tyers

Trade War Series: Resolving the US-China Tariff Conflict

Friday, 8 November 2019

Building on a macro model of the global economy, Rod Tyers & Yixiao Zhou highlight key patterns that emerged from elevated US tariffs against China and their possible implications for a resolution of the US-China trade war. 

Jonathan Coppel

Trade War Series: Will the US-China trade war change the rules-based trading order?

Friday, 8 November 2019

Our speaker Jonathan Coppel looks at the long-term effect the trade war may have on the global rules-based trading order and the efficacy and architecture of its core institution, the World Trade Organisation – and calls on Australia to continue to defend free trade and the rules-based system that it requires.