Modern slavery, business and human rights; corporate social responsibility; corporate ethics; international human rights law;
Field of Research (FoR)
Justine Nolan is a Professor in the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW Sydney and Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute. Justine's research focuses on the intersection of business and human rights, in particular, supply chain responsibility for human rights and modern slavery. Her 2019 co-authored book Addressing Modern Slavery examines how consumers, business and government are both part of the problem and the solution in...view more
Justine Nolan is a Professor in the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW Sydney and Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute. Justine's research focuses on the intersection of business and human rights, in particular, supply chain responsibility for human rights and modern slavery. Her 2019 co-authored book Addressing Modern Slavery examines how consumers, business and government are both part of the problem and the solution in curbing modern slavery in global supply chains (see review in The Australian or other reviews here). Other recent books include The International Law of Human Rights (OUP, 2017) and Business and Human Rights: From Principles to Practice (Routledge, 2016). She teaches international human rights law and related courses on global law, development, globalisation and business and human rights. Justine works closely with business, government and civil society and has been a key driver of the Australian business and human rights movement. In 2019 she was named 'Academic of the Year' at the Australian Law Awards. From 2016-2019 she served as Associate Dean Academic at UNSW Law. She is an Associate of the Australian Human Rights Institute (UNSW) and a Visiting Professorial Scholar at NYU's Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.
Prior to joining UNSW in 2004, she worked as the Director of the Business and Human Rights program at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First) in the USA. This work examined ways in which to prevent and redress corporate violations of human rights. During this time Justine advised both companies and civil society organisations on effective strategies to protect human rights in the corporate sphere and was closely involved in the establishment of the Fair Labor Association.
She has also worked in both public interest and private legal practices. She has held various expert advisory roles. In 2020 Justine was appointed to the Australian Government's Modern Slavery Expert Advisory Group. Other appointments include the Australian Government's Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group on Business and Human Rights (2017) and a the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade & Ausaid's Human Rights Grants Scheme Expert Panel (2009-2013) which provided practical financial support for small community-based projects to promote and protect human rights in developing countries. She was an advisory member of NSW Legal Aid's Human Rights Panel (2012-2017). Justine has given guest lectures at a number of universities including more recently Yale, NYU, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Geneva, Columbia University, City University Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong. She has consulted to a range of organisations including UNICEF and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR). From 2006-2017 she was the Deputy Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Business and Human Rights Journal.
Areas of expertise
2018 CPA Australia, Global Research Perspectives Program: 'Regulating Transparency and Disclosures on Modern Slavery in Global Supply Chains' $61,000
2014 UNSW Labour Migration Recruitment Industry: A Human Rights Based Approach $6,000 (with Bassina Farbenblum)
2009 UNSW Corporate Accountability for Human Rights and Codes of Conduct: evaluating the mechanisms of protection $7,000
2007 UNSW Early Career Researcher grant ‘Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Violations’ $11,000
2006 UNSW Early Career Researcher grant ‘The legal liabilities of multinational corporations regarding human rights’ $8,500
MPP University of California, Berkeley
UNSW Arc Postgraduate Outstanding Research Supervisor Award (2020)
Academic of the Year, Australian Law Awards (2019)
UNSW Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (2018)
UNSW Plus Alliance Fellow (2019-2020)
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Business and Human Rights
International Human Rights
I am currently supervising several doctoral students on subjects including: Human rights protection in manufacturing supply chains and multi-stakeholder initiatives, t; Extraterritorial Processing of Refugees; the Lithium extractive sector and corporate human rights compliance and Remedying corporate human rights violations.
Interview with ABC Radio Perth Focus program on modern slavery 5 July 2018
Interview with Radio Adelaide on modern slavery, 4 July 2018
'Modern Slavery Bill a step in the right direction - now business must comply' The Conversation 29 June 2018
''Rana Plaza: Five Years On and Australians still benefit from modern slavery every day' ABC News, 24 April 2018
'Corporate Dependence on Outsourcing is Resulting in Modern Day Slavery' Global Trade, May 17, 2016
'Business as usual is not an option' The Drum, April 23, 2014 . Also in The Sydney Morning Herald, April 24 2014
'Companies shouldn't be able to hand-pass footballs made by children' The Sydney Morning Herald September 24, 2012
‘Legal, not just moral, liability is key to child labour outrage’ The Canberra Times, September 24, 2012
‘Global scourge of corporate buck-passing on workers' rights’ The Sydney Morning Herald June 10, 2010. (Also featured in The Age and The Canberra Times)
‘On CSR, Human Rights and the State of Play in Australia’ Law Society Journal July 2009 Vol 47 No. 6 pp22-25
'Free Tibet (Just not on the IOC's time)' May 19 2008, On Line Opinion
'Games spirit stifled under an iron fist' The Age August 4, 2008
'Chasing an ideal through Olympic rings of hope' The Canberra Times Aug 5 2008
On 25 April 2007, AHRC Deputy Director Justine Nolan was interviewed for Radio Australia regarding a landmark lawsuit that has been filed against Yahoo in the district court of California, USA alleging the internet giant's practices in China have led to human rights violations. Wang Xiaoning and his wife Yu Ling filed the suit and accuse Yahoo of being directly responsible for Wang's arrest, 10 year prison sentence and alleged torture. Justine Nolan discusses the human rights responsiblities of companies like Yahoo and the legal loopholes that currently exist in the field of corporate responsibility. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/
'Corporations Behaving Badly: firm rules needed' Nov 29 2006 The Canberra Times. View Article
'Ingrained Culture' Nov 28 2006 The Courier Mail. View Article
'Style over substance clouds corporate value judgements' April 9 2005 The Age. View Article
'Brought to account: the business of honour in the boardroom', Sydney Morning Herald, July 23, 2004. View Article
'What is a good company?' Opinion, The Age, July 26, 2004. View Article
Nolan. J, 'Foreword' University of New South Wales Law Journal Vol. 40 2017 No. 3 1171-1174.
‘Is the World Cup Worth Dying For?’ Human Rights Defender Vol. 23 Issue 1 April 2014 26. Also published in UNSW Uniken Issue 73, Spring 2014 (co-authored with Bassina Farbenblum).
'If I were AG.... Companies must uphold human rights' Human Rights Law Centre HRLC Bulletin Vol 79 - November 2012
'A new frontier in human rights protection: human rights, NGOs and business' (co-authored with Michael Posner) Human Rights Defender Vol 17 Issue August 2008 2-4
Materiality and the Australian Policy Landscape' AccountAbility Forum, Winter 2006 Vol 11
Contribution to (peer review of survey) "Commerce, crime and conflict: Legal Remedies for Private Sector Liability for Grave Breaches of International Law' by Anita Ramasastry and Robert C Thompson, Sept. 2006
'New Mechanism to hold corporations accountable for human rights' Issue 13/1 2004 19 Human Rights Defender
'Human Rights, the Environment and Business' Law Society Journal July 2004 Vol 42 No 6 66
Course taught include:
- International Human Rights Law and Advocacy (LAWS3182)
- International Human Rights (LAWS8181)
- Business and Human Rights (LAWS8189)
- Human Rights Law in Practice (New York) (LAWS3146)
- Law in the Global Context (LAWS2270)
- Law, Rights and Development (LAWS8192)
In 2018 I received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence.