Freedom of Association Seminar

On 6th November 2012 the IRSWA co-hosted a freedom of association seminar with Curtin University titled 'The Development of the Freedom of Association Provisions in Australian Federal Industrial Relations Law'.

The early freedom of association laws in Australian federal industrial relations law promoted trade union security.  The interests of individuals were viewed as being adequately protected through the organisation of collective groups. The resilience of this belief was remarkable as it dominated the content of the federal laws from 1904 up until the mid-1970s.  However from the mid to late 1970s onwards the ideology of individualism and freedom of choice dominated much of the debate concerning industrial relations.  This weakened the rights of collective groups.  The negative right of association was then incorporated in 1996 by the John Howard government to sit side by side with the positive rights of association which had developed over time. 

The presentation examined the development and explored the legal construct of the current freedom of association provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), with a particular focus upon the recent High Court decision of Board of Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education v Barclay [2012] HCA 32.

Slides from the seminar can be found here.

When:              Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 5.30pm.

Where:             Curtin Graduate School of Business, Curtin University, 78 Murray Street (corner of Murray & Pier Streets), Perth WA.

Presenter:        Victoria Lambropoulos, Deakin University.

Victoria Lambropoulos is a lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne where she teaches Labour Law and Company Law to law and business students.  Victoria is also a general editor of Thomson Reuters’ Annotated service of the Fair Work Legislation 2012. Victoria has a BA/LLB from Monash University and an LLM from the University of Melbourne.  She is currently enrolled in a professional doctorate at Monash University where she is examining the Freedom of Association laws in Australian and the United Kingdom. Victoria’s research and teaching strengths lie in industrial relations however she has also published on the topic of ‘Green Jobs’ and has a keen interest in the intersections between labour and environmental issues. Victoria is a committee member of the Australian Labour Law Association and co-convenor of the Victorian chapter and is on the executive committee of the Industrial Relations Society of Victoria.  Victoria is also a member of the Victorian Bar and a member of the Industrial Bar Association of Victoria.

The Society thanks Curtin University for co-hosting this seminar.