New research explores law and justice in Aussie films

Calls for chapter submissions are now open for a new book exploring the unique space Australian film and television occupies in world cinema, with a particular focus on representations of law and justice ‘Down Under’.

Griffith Law School’s Dr Kieran Tranter wants to explore the unique space Australian film and television occupies in world cinema through a new book titled, Law and Justice through Australian Lenses: Bushrangers, Battlers and Bastards.

Dr Tranter says most Australians are unaware of the special place Australia plays in cinematic history.

“Most Australians are unaware the first full-length narrative feature film ever produced, was made in Melbourne, giving the Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), a special place in cinematic history by retelling another history, that of the infamous outlaw Ned Kelly,” he says.

“Australia creates a range of films and television fixated on issues of law and justice. From the ‘ocker’ Kerrigans in The Castle, to several versions of the bushranger Ned Kelly, all set against our striking and sometimes bleak landscape.”

The new research project will examine the legacy of Australian film and television and critically examine representations of law and justice ‘down-under’. The project is in conjunction with Griffith Law School’s PhD candidate Kim Weinert whose thesis is on the framing of freedom of speech in Australian film.

A particular focus of the book is the representations and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as well.

“We want to examine the way in which Australian films and television have sharply illuminated what it means to live with the legacy of deep injustice and the way in which First Australians have lived with the violence of the rule of law,” says Kieran.

Researchers are encouraged to submit a chapter proposal for consideration by 31 May 2018. The edited volume is tentatively scheduled for publication in late 2019.

For more information on how to submit, download the call for papers flyer (PDF).