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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
The University of Western Australia Public Policy Institute (UWA PPI) today launched its latest publication, Let Every Stage Advance: Policy Ideas for Australia’s Fiftieth Parliament, at Parliament House in Canberra.
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
What about efforts at counter-radicalisation in societies with a prevailing commitment to managing social, ethnic and religious diversity? This involves operationalising pluralist ideas in ways that address sources of alienation and the potential ‘minoritisation’ of Islam. Shamit Saggar
De-radicalisation is a broad term that comprises many ideas and practical actions. It is important to examine what is involved at a more granular level and here Raafia Raees Khan describes a specific, multi-faceted program in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in the country’s far north. There may be scope for policy learning and borrowing for other countries, including multi-ethnic, multicultural societies such as Australia. Shamit Saggar
The nature of radicalisation is changing rapidly. The phenomenon is increasingly atomised, nested in grievances, motives and everyday lives that are difficult to penetrate for policymakers. Here Michele Grossman examines these shifts and the perceived asymmetry between Islamist-inspired and far-right violent extremism. She concludes that a credible strategy to tackle these challenges relies, more than ever, on community based responses alongside criminal justice ones. Shamit Saggar