Adam Webster’s PhD thesis – entitled ‘Defining Rights, Powers and Limits in Transboundary River Disputes: A Legal Analysis of the River Murray’ – has passed examination unconditionally.
Since Federation, the allocation of water from the River Murray between States of Australia has always been determined by political agreement. Adam’s thesis provides a legal analysis of how the water of a river that flows through or forms the border between two or more States of Australia is to be shared between those States in the absence of an intergovernmental agreement. Historically, the legal question has been framed in terms of the ‘rights’ of the States. The thesis argues that the solution to the problem instead lies in an examination of the limits on State legislative and executive power.
Adam’s thesis was supervised by Professor John Williams, Dean of the Adelaide Law School, and Adjunct Professor Martin Hinton QC, Solicitor-General of South Australia.