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Pat O'Malley

Bio: Pat O'Malley is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Empirical legal studies & Sociological theory. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 4 citations.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The sociological analysis of law in the Australian social order has been overwhelmingly carried out by lawyers as mentioned in this paper, and this has resulted in the stifling of a sociology of law, at least in the sense of a body of data expressly articulated with one or other of the varieties of sociological theory.
Abstract: It is overwhelmingly the case that the analysis of law in the Australian social order has been, and still is, carried out by lawyers. Moreover, a considerable proportion of this research originates from agencies either dominated directly by the legal profession (for example, law foundations) or by the ideologies of law (for example, law faculties). As will become clear, this has not meant that such work is to be dismissed as universally conservative and legalistic. However, the situation has resulted in the stifling of a sociology of law in Australia, at least in the sense of a body of data expressly articulated with one or other of the varieties of sociological theory. In its place has developed a strong tradition of empiricist research geared to issues of legal policy such as correctionalism and law reform. Only in the past few years has there been any significant challenge to this atheoretical mode, and while the current trends are promising the sociology of law still occupies a fairly marginal role in the field of legal studies. In this paper an attempt will be made to account for this situation in terms of the broader political and intellectual trends in post-war Australia, and to outline the principal problematics which have emerged over the past twenty years.

4 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The foundations of modern Australian criminology were formed in a conservative social milieu in which a professionalising project for the discipline was pursued by allying it with academic lawyers and state criminal justice and correctional officials. Nevertheless, the fact that criminology is 'tainted' by the inclusion of disreputable social sciences (i.e. sociology), has meant that its protagonists have succeeded only in creating a quasi-profession, formally autonomous as a knowledge, but in practice policed by state officials and members of the legal profession. Despite various 'police actions' and organisational constructions designed to constrain the critical potential of the discipline, and despite the belated development of sociology as an academic discipline in this country, Australian criminology has begun to generate a genuinely critical discourse during the 1980s.

24 citations

DissertationDOI
01 Feb 1999
TL;DR: In this article, the authors take a 1990 official report into the problems facing legal aid in Australia as its starting point and propose a general question: is fair and effective access to hiw a feasible expectation ofcitizens or governments in the Australian welfare state?
Abstract: In the 1970s Australia, like a number of comparable countries, reorganised the provision of legal aid. Within a few years, however, new 'problems' had emerged in 'access to justice'. In 1993, the Federal Government responded by charging a committee to identify 'solutions', some of whi£h were adopted in mid-199 5. Yet, the 'problems' of 'access to justice', and access to law, remain. This thesis considers whether these problems are capable of resolution. It begins by posing a general question: is fair and effective access to hiw a feasible expectation of citizens or governments in the Australian welfare state? In addressing this question, the thesis takes a 1990 official report into the problems facing legal aid in Australia as its starting point. This report left a legacy of unanswered questions. In retrospect, moreover, its questions highlighted the ongoing social significance of the problems in access to law for governments, business and citizens in post-war Australian society. The opening contention is that revisiting the origins and significance of the post-war experience of legal aid holds the key to determining the feasibility of achieving fair and effective access to law. The thesis nominates two major justifications in support of this contention. First, it asserts that revisiting the post-war experience will improve our understanding of 'why' Australia acted to enhance access to legal aid in the 1970s. Secondly, the thesis asserts that improving our understanding of the legal aid response will improve our capacity to understand the 'access to justice' response, and thereby the feasibility of any future reforms towards fair and effective access to law. Part I begins by explaining the history behind the national legal aid scheme, the reasons why it emerged in 1973-76 and its ideological context in modem Australian society. In doing so, it answers some of the unanswered questions of the 1990 report. However, Part II also demonstrates the limitations of institutional and ideological history in explaining the post-war experience, concluding that 'missing' parts of the story remain to be told. Thus, Part II begins by revisiting - in a crossnational context - the existing ideas which explain the post-war experience. It develops an alternative theory of the origins and significance of modem legal aid, which it proceeds to apply in revisiting - in the context of the Western world - the origins and significance of its post-war development. Part III proceeds to demonstrate 'why' and 'how' the lessons of revisiting the postwar experience enable us to better assess the feasibility of achieving fair and effective access to law. It begins by applying the insights, 'benchmarks' and analytical methodology of Part II to reconsider the origins of the new 'problems' in 'access to justice', the jettisoning of the legal aid response and the significance of the 1993 'access to justice' response. Part III concludes by briefly considering the implications of the thesis for the feasibility of…

11 citations

DissertationDOI
01 Jan 2013
TL;DR: The authors explored how the church and state relationship in contemporary Australia has been influenced by constitutional, legal and historical arrangements, focusing on the spheres of education, the law and legal system as these are the most common areas of contention.
Abstract: Today, freedom of religion is important for faith leaders in Australia and also in Europe, the United States and other parts of the world. My study aims to explore how the church and state relationship in contemporary Australia has been influenced by constitutional, legal and historical arrangements. My focus is on the spheres of education, the law and legal system as these are the most common areas of church-state contention. I argue that pragmatic changes to the church and state relationship are increasingly recognising the value of religious freedom but not always protecting it as an existing human right. My data comprise a sample of nineteenth and twentieth century newspaper articles, interviews with Australian faith leaders, public submissions received from two national consultations and six court cases, all from Australia. My study is a contribution to existing scholarship on the church and state relationship in contemporary Australia. My study found that from European settlement to the twenty-first century the church and state relationship has been characterised by four different arrangements: establishment, plural establishment, liberal separationism, and pragmatic pluralism. Australia has no overriding legal or policy principle to guide state limitations on freedom of religion. State neutrality as an aspirational goal is not fully realised in contemporary Australia, as state neutrality can be used as a vehicle to discriminate against some or all faith groups. Against a backdrop of increasing religious diversity, the aspirational goal towards state neutrality is not just an academic question but an every-day reality that has consequences for Australia and Australians. Two recommendations are made. First, that a range of stakeholders from faith leaders to policy makers and academics convene a national forum with a view to reaching agreement on an overarching church-state framework that can accommodate the growth of religious diversity in contemporary Australia. Second, that as part of these national discussions, the government considers the need to reconceptualise the principles and institutions of liberal democracy that are important for accommodating religious diversity.

4 citations