Completed Postgraduate Research

Emma Barrett: Hurt people who hurt people: Violence among substance users with comorbid post traumatic stress disorder

Substance use disorders (SUD) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have independently been associated with high rates of violent behaviour. It is likely that the combination of SUD and PTSD symptoms in individuals with this comorbidity may increase susceptibility to violence. Very little research has been conducted examining the validity of this claim. The current project investigates violent behaviour among participants involved in a nation-wide randomised controlled trial of the efficacy of an intervention for PTSD among illicit drug users.

Sharmila Betts: The role of expert medical testimony (EMT) and gender stereotypes in criminal trials for multiple intra-family infanticide

A series of experimental studies are being conducted contrasting EMT type (clinical vs. research expert), infanticide type (SIDS vs. Shaken Baby Syndrome) in a written simulated trial format. The Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion is the core theoretical framework for investigating the effects of EMT, case type, and pre-existing stereotypes in mock juror individual decision making in these criminal trials.

Tracey Booth:Victim Participation in the Sentencing of Homicide Offenders in NSW - a 'Decivilising' Trend in Criminal Justice?

Garland argues that victim participation in sentencing by way of victim impact statements (VIS) is part of the general reactionary movement of the 'discovery' of the victim as a political subject and concomitant attempts to appease victims are part of the 'culture of control'.

In his view a political projection of the victim has been used by governments to serve punitive policies and procedural measures such as VIS derogate from the rights of the offender to a fair trial and detract from the administration of justice. VIS have led us into unfamilar territory where the ideological lines are far from clear and traditional assumptions an unreliable guide.

Our sense of how things work needs to be revised and the point of my research is to examine how victim participation works in the sentencing of homicide offenders in NSW. I aim to test Garland's argument at an empirical level by: Interviewing family victims about their experiences of the sentencing process and observing the submission of VIS in the sentencing of homicide offenders in the NSW Supreme Court.

Cynthia Fernandez Roich:

My study aims to explore and analyse the correlation between the reality of crime and the media representation of crime in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (Argentina) during the period 1990-2000 and subsequently, to compare this correlation with the levels of fear of crime among the population for the same period of time.

Maggie Hall: The Relationship between Sentencing, Risk and Correctional Administration: Serious Offenders and Barriers to Redemption.

This project seeks to identify and document the relationship between the remarks and recommendations made at sentencing with the subsequent progress of the inmate through the correctional system, with a focus on the risk assessment process and the place of rehabilitation in the sentencing regime.

Teri Libesmann: Human Rights, Cultural Rights and Indigenous Child Welfare

Kirsty Martire: Efficacy of Eyewitness Expert Evidence

Erin Mackay: Regulating Sexual Violence: What may Therapeutic Jurisprudence offer Indigenous Women who have Experienced Sexual Violence? recipient of the inaugural UNSW PhD Excellence Award.

Ana Rodas: Private & Public Policing at Football Grounds


Phillip Snoyman: Using multilevel modelling to understand how people with Mental Health Disorders and Cognitive Disability are caught up in the Criminal Justice System

Stephen Thomson: Sentencing Appeals in NSW

The thesis examines the theory and practice of Crown appeals against inadequacy of sentence since its introduction in NSW in 1924 to the modern day, including an analysis of the rise of Crown appeals and continued strong success rates for this type of appeal in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal despite the (until now) orthodox judicial view that such appeals "should be a rarity".  The enactment of the legislation, against the backdrop of a discredited mandatory minimum sentencing scheme in NSW introduced in the 1880s, and a large "spike" in Crown appeals in the mid-1970s under the Government of Sir Robert Askin, are discussed and contrasted to the modern day environment of complex sentencing legislation, an independent DPP with responsibility for launching Crown appeals and a visible victims' movement supported by State politicians and the media.