In recent weeks, the Executive Dean of the Professions, Professor Christopher Findley AM approved the establishment of the Adelaide Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE). RUMLAE is headed by Associate Professor Dale Stephens CSM and Co-Deputy Directors, Professor Melissa de Zwart and Dr Rebecca LaForgia. Adelaide Law School Academic staff members include A/Prof Matthew Stubbs, Dr Judith Bannister, Ms Marg Castles, Ms Kellie Toole and Mr Paul Leadbeter.
The Research Unit is established to examine legal and policy issues relevant to military and security matters with a particular focus on ethical aspects relevant to the use of force. It seeks to take advantage of the scholarship being generated through the existing institutional relationship Adelaide University Law School has with the ANU College of Law and Defence Legal in Canberra. Research Associates including Ms Caitlyn Georgeson, Ms Sarah Brown and Ms Beatrix Van Dissel have already contributed significantly to the early work of RUMLAE.
A formal launch event is being planned for later in the year. In the meantime, it was an honour that the University invited A/Prof Dale Stephens to deliver an ANZAC day address on 24 April commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and the unveiling of the new plaque acknowledging the sacrifice of Adelaide University staff and students in the First World War. The event was led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Warren Bebbington and also saw the attendance of the Chancellor of the University, Rear Admiral the Hon Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN-Rtd.
RUMLAE has already hit the ground running in undertaking a number of intensive research and teaching activities. These include considerable work by the team on the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), ‘Cyberwar, Surveillance and Security’ which launches this week (May 21) and has over 10,000 students enrolled; development of a ‘Strategic Space Law’ course with McGill University in Montreal that is planned to run alternatively each year between Adelaide and Montreal and work with the China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval War College that will lead to a joint workshop to be run later this year.