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In_print

In_print

By Law Institute Journal

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This month’s books cover Blockchain, petroleum resource management, habeas corpus and family mediation. Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World Mark Van Rijmenam and Philippa Ryan, 2019, Routledge, pb The rise of interest in Blockchain is not surprising. As a digital revolution it has made its mark as a true transformative technology. Notwithstanding the tumultuous ride of Bitcoin over the last year, Blockchain still holds great potential. And it is on this basis that this book seeks to engage you. As expected the book starts by reviewing the underlying technical aspects of Blockchain (also known as distributed ledger technology). The explanations are not overly technical and the case studies are informative. The section relating to smart contracts will be of particular interest to lawyers. From there the book goes on to describe how Blockchain can assist in solving some of the world’s most “wicked problems”. These include the usual suspects of currency and identity, through to more surprising applications relating to government administration and voting. And, as if to show the extraordinary power of Blockchain, there are also discussions on how it can tackle problems such as poverty and climate change. For lawyers, what this book does particularly well is situate Blockchain in the techno-legal paradigm. It does this in a way that it can be understood by those who don’t have an in-depth understanding of the relationship between technology, the law and society. For those lawyers who do have such an understanding, this book will reveal some of the lesser-known potential of Blockchain that may, sooner or later, prove to be the equivalent of the hype afforded to it. Fabian Horton, lecturer, College of Law Petroleum Resource Management John AP Chandler, 2018, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018, hb If you are on the lookout for a densely footnoted legal text on petroleum law, this is not it. However, this book is a valuable addition to a resources law practitioner’s library in that it explains and discusses context – understanding the multitude of interconnected issues that affect the business of a client in the petroleum sector (commercial, legal, regulatory and environmental, to name a few). A major aim of the book, which the author achieves with admirable brevity and precision, is to identify the common features of systems of government and policy frameworks applicable to offshore petroleum resource management in Australia, Norway and the United Kingdom against the backdrop of the most significant commercial, environmental, social and regulatory challenges faced by stakeholders in the petroleum industry. The three countries covered in this book share essential common features that drive the author’s comparative analysis – an established track record of attracting and managing private sector investment in the petroleum industry, major offshore producing basins reaching maturity, comparable licensing systems, dealing with environmental, sustainability and climate change considerations and resource management policy. Chapters of the book which may be of particular interest to lawyers are Regulators and Regulatory Structures (Chapter 3), Resource Rent, Value and Stewardship (Chapter 5), Resource Management Policy (Chapter 7) and Production Sharing Contracts (Chapter 8). Rudi Cohrssen, barrister Habeas Corpus: Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific David Clark and Gerard McCoy, 2nd edn, 2018, Federation Press, hb $150 Habeas corpus is a term that most of the population, including lawyers, believe they understand prompting the writers of this book to remark in their opening line that it is like a classic that “everyone has heard of but no one has actually read”. This book provides a definitive outline and explanation of common law and statute as it applies to the use of habeas corpus in the jurisdictions of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, which relevantly for Australia includes jurisdictions such as Nauru, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other places of interest in Australia’s relationships. Consider then that there are obvious high profile cases dealing with detention of criminals, illegal immigrants or people wanted by overseas authorities. On a more mundane level even a suburban solicitor might have to give advice regarding a disgruntled aged parent forced into a nursing home or hospital, ill patients in care for mental issues, or a child forced to stay with a guardian. Interestingly, with the development of statute in the area of family law and bailment, a writ of habeas corpus may not be appropriate. This is a text designed as the ultimate resource on habeas corpus. The meticulous research and collation of case law and statute is evident in the bibliography and extensive footnoting throughout the book commends itself to any serious practitioner seeking some guidance on the applicability of habeas corpus in Australia and its near neighbours. David Parker, lecturer and tutor in law Mediating with Families Mieke Brandon and Linda Fisher, 4th edn, 2018, Thomson Reuters, pb $140 It is interesting reading a book that is now in its fourth edition, not only for seeing the developments both in law and research but also the people involved in endorsing the book (the preface to the first edition was by Laurence Boulle). My view is that a thorough and properly conducted intake process can really set a mediation on the right path. The practice of family law can be beset by emotion. Where children and money are involved, power imbalances can lead to a rights based approach which can lead to a protracted process with an unworkable outcome. Perhaps one of the most exciting areas of developing practice in family law is collaborative practice. A practice of mediation which negotiating parenting must include is how to listen to the child. What is the importance of the voice of a child in relation to parenting matters? What about developing a parenting plan? There is a chapter on Child Inclusive Practice. I take the view that any practitioner must keep up to date with current thinking via case studies and examples. There are numerous case studies and good examples which are useful to both experienced lawyers and the novice. It is a feature of the law that this book is so specialised. It will appeal to those students, lawyers and mediators involved in family law practice mediations with a primary focus on family dispute resolution and alternative dispute resolution in the Family Court. Tasman Ash Fleming, barrister and mediator

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