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The criminology team at Deakin are engaged in a range of research projects that span our four key research themes – Crime, Surveillance, Security and Justice.


Associate Professor Darren Palmer and Dr Ian Warren
Darren PalmerDr Ian Warren
  • Privacy and criminal justice – Part of the ongoing work of Darren Palmer and Ian Warren involves examining the various contexts of privacy law in light of the growing use of digital technologies in contemporary justice and crime prevention strategies. This includes comparative examinations of the different approaches to privacy as a protection against police or administrative surveillance, drawing on developments under Canadian and United States law. This area of examination involves several surveillance technologies, including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), CCTV, and ID scanning. Much of this research is being undertaken with collaborative partners at the University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada), and the University of Winnipeg (Ontario, Canada)
Dr Richard EvansRichard Evans
  • Was William Moxley wrongly hanged? William Cyril Moxley was hanged for a gruesome double murder in Sydney 1932. A forthcoming article will contend that Moxley, a petty criminal, was almost certainly the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
  • Does the drug-trade act as a ‘resource curse’ for disadvantaged migrant communities? Do criminal economic activities, such as trading in drugs, have a similar effect on migrant communities to the so-called ‘resource curse’, by which developing nations actually suffer because they own valuable resources, such as oil? An article exploring this question is currently under review by an international journal.
  • Surveillance as a form of media – This project explores the insights which can be gained by applying media theory to surveillance systems. It is argued that ubiquitous surveillance represents a new media form, an inversion of broadcasting, which I term ‘harvest media’.
Dr Kate Fitz-GibbonDr Kate Fitz-Gibbon
  • Homicide Law Reform and the Partial Defence of Provocation – This project examines divergent approaches taken to reforming the law of provocation. Focusing on questions of gender and justice, the research draws from an analysis of relevant cases and interviews conducted with over 100 members of the Victorian, NSW and English criminal justice system. The Australian and UK research findings have been published in Homicide Law Reform, Gender and the Provocation Defence (2014, Palgrave MacMillan). In 2015 Kate is extending this research to consider the impact of the abolition of provocation in New Zealand.
  • Legal Responses to Children who Commit Lethal Violence – This project examines current legal responses to children who kill in the Victorian and English criminal justice systems from the perspectives of legal practitioners involved in the daily operation of the law. The research critically examines debate surrounding the age of criminal responsibility and the defence of doli incapax with a focus on questions relating to justice, law reform and theories of responsibility. This project is funded by the Deakin Central Research Grant scheme.
  • Legal Responses to One-Punch Homicide – This project critically analyses the viability of several reforms introduced to improve legal responses to one-punch lethal violence.  Drawing on the experiences of those involved at a policing and criminal court level, the research examines how the law can best respond to this unique context of lethal violence. This project is funded by Deakin Central Research Funding.
Dr Pete Chambers
  • Border Security – This research addresses border security as a way of understanding the co-emergence of offshore detention and onshore enclaves. The normative focus of this work develops the implications of border security, offshore, and enclaving for global mobility and political justice.

Dr Wendy O’Brien

Wendy O'Brien BW

  • Australia’s Digital Policy Agenda: Adopting a Children’s Rights Approach: This project critically examines Australia’s digital policy framework, identifying the role that discourses of risk, security, and protection play as putative justification for increased surveillance and interference with the right to privacy. This work identifies the key features of a rights-based approach that might redress the dominance of narratives that elide children’s interests and the right to privacy more generally. This research will be published in The International Journal of Children’s Rights, (forthcoming in 2014).
  • Attenuating human rights: at what expense? This project involves a critical reading of a strain within contemporary moral philosophy that seeks to attenuate human rights. Underpinned by a practical empiricism, and highly critical of the ubiquity of utopian rights discourses, these philosophical accounts seek to redress the gulf between the proclamation and fulfillment of rights by excising those rights that cannot be practically fulfilled. Whilst such a move might achieve a ‘tidier’ list of human rights, I argue that conceptual clarity of this kind would come at too great a cost. To give this analysis focus, I discuss the means by which the proposed rights attenuation would impact, in particular, on the already imperiled second generation rights – to the detriment of women. In response, this project will also explore pluralistic philosophical approaches to rights that obviate the need for a circumscription of either the rights agenda or the means by which we pursue its fulfillment.
Dr Adam MolnarAdam Molner Adam Molnar’s research examines practices of surveillance and privacy in policing and national security, and currently involves three main strands of research:

  • First, his research examines the surveillance and privacy implications of the domestic application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Canada and Australia.
  • Second, Adam examines the security and policing of major events, which includes a special focus on current trends in public-order policing, civil police-military partnerships (the militarisation of policing), as well as law enforcement use of social media.
  • And third, Dr Molnar continues to examine the surveillance and privacy implications of cross-border lawful access regimes in policing and counter-terrorism initiatives.

All of this work questions the social, legal, and privacy implications of new surveillance technologies in law enforcement initiatives, and develops comparative analyses between Canada, Australia, and the United States.

Dr Diarmaid HarkinDiarmaid profile pic BW
  • Diarmaid’s doctoral research examined the effectiveness of using consultation forums for communities to discuss local issues directly with police representatives. This was a tactic tried by police in Edinburgh (Scotland) and over the course of his PhD Diarmaid observed these meetings and conducted interviews with those involves to examine whether the forums met their goal of improving police-public relations. Diarmaid is currently in the throes of publishing the findings of that research.
Dr Andrew Groves

AG - BnW

  •  Rural ‘ice’ scourge – This research addresses the recent increases in the distribution and use of crystal methamphetamines or ‘ice’ in many rural and regional Australian towns, particularly in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. The paper critically examines the social, political, economic and geographical determinants that have contributed to its rapid growth in these rural areas and among what are arguably vulnerable populations, with a focus on understanding the roles of context and individual and/or group perceptions of risk in such forms of use, as well as the need to challenge traditional conceptions of illicit drug use and the illicit drug user. This work identifies a series of recommendations apposite to researchers, healthcare practitioners, law enforcement agents and other community service workers that might help to address the current scourge of methamphetamines in rural Australia.











October 17, 2013

Last modified: July 21, 2015 at 12:06 pm

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