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.
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.
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.
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.
Dirk Baur encourages us to think beyond the detriments of the US-China trade war on the global economy and to consider possible positive effects of a little less trade for Australia’s workers and its economy.
Recent headlines including the words ‘trade war’ sound scary and consequently alarmed many people including commentators, politicians and investors. War is bad so a trade war must also be bad. But the time before trade war was not a time of ‘trade peace’ illustrated by the long list of trade disputes brought to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
What does the policy community look like from the other end of the telescope? In academia, assumptions abound: that evidence speaks for itself; that policy levers are linear and in abundance; and that political will is a given if the evidence is robust in itself. Here, Stephen Meek, formerly from Whitehall and now heading up a major policy institute, probes further and paints a highly nuanced picture of the practice of policymaking. His observations will help academics refine what the challenge of policy engagement actually is. Shamit Saggar
Perhaps universities have been underestimating their potential strengths in shaping public policy? It seems like a strange assertion. The grounds are based on understanding the rise of university policy institutes: how able are they in safeguarding independence and trust, delineating roles and operating nimbly in synch with policy cycles? Bobby Duffy, new-ish to academia, reflects here on this initial spell heading up the Policy Institute at King’s, London. Shamit Saggar
Research-led universities have often stood in the shadows of modern thinktanks in influencing policy agendas nationally and internationally. Until now. The past few years have seen the rapid growth of university ‘policy shops’ of various kinds, many of which have successfully begun to shape policy thinking and policy design. What lies behind this turnaround? Patrick Diamond, a former special advisor and now an academic political scientist, sheds light on the story in the United Kingdom, and posits that the future looks promising for university policy engagement. Shamit Saggar