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Professor Ben Mathews

Faculty of Law,
Law School

Personal

Name
Professor Ben Mathews
Position(s)
Professor
Faculty of Law,
Law School
Discipline *
Law
Phone
+61 7 3138 2983
Fax
+61 7 3138 2121
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Qualifications

PhD (Queensland University of Technology), BA (Hons) (Queensland University of Technology), LLB (James Cook Uni. of North Qld)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Australian Lawyers Alliance
  • Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth
  • Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association
  • Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland
  • Professionals Against Child Abuse (UK)
Keywords

Child Abuse and Neglect, Children and Medical Law, Children's Rights, Civil Liability for Child Abuse, Criminal Justice Systems and Children, Cultural Violence: Female Genital Mutilation, Law and Children, Mandatory Reporting Laws, Schools and the law

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Dr Ben Mathews is a Professor in the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and is Senior Research Fellow in the QUT Faculty of Law. He is also a Professorial Fellow to the Australian Government Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He was Director of Research in the School of Law in 2012-13, and is Co-Director of the Children’s Health Program in the Australian Centre for Health Law Research: http://www.qut.edu.au/research/achlr. In 2015, he was appointed as a Member of the World Health Organization Guideline Development Group (Department for the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Injury and Violence Prevention) to produce Guidelines for the health sector response to child maltreatment. He was also appointed as a Member of the World Health Organization Guideline Development Group (Department of Reproductive Health and Research) to produce Guidelines for the health sector response to children who have experienced contact sexual abuse and/or assault.

Dr Mathews has published over 60 scholarly works, mostly on issues concerning children and the law, with a focus on interdiciplinary research at the interface of child maltreatment and law. He has published  in national and international journals with collaborators from Australia, the USA, Canada, the UK, France and India. He is co-editor with Donald C. Bross of a major new book on mandatory reporting laws, which was published by Springer in 2015: Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect (http://www.springer.com/us/book/9789401796842).  He is now writing a new book entitled New international frontiers in child sexual abuse: theory, problems and progress, to be released in 2017.  He is a member of the editorial boards of Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Abuse Review, and the QUT Law Review. He gained his PhD in 2002, studying the law of children’s criminal responsibility.

Current major research areas involve four key topics concerning law and children:

  1. Law and child abuse and neglect (mandatory reporting laws, systemic responses to child maltreatment, civil liability and legal remedies for child abuse, institutional child abuse, sexual abuse, redress schemes, statutes of limitation, law reform, policy reform, regulatory reform);
  2. Children and medical law (children’s health generally, consent to treatment, medico-legal issues);
  3. Children’s rights (generally, and including cultural violence eg female genital mutilation);
  4. Law in school contexts (student discipline, peer to peer relations, student and staff welfare).

Government research and empirical studies. In recent years Ben has undertaken major studies of the law, theory and practice of mandatory reporting laws. In 2014 he completed a research project for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse entitled Mandatory reporting laws for child sexual abuse in Australia: A legislative history (http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/policy-and-research/published-research). In 2013-14, he also led the first national longitudinal study of reporting of all types of child abuse and neglect by all reporter groups, entitled Child Abuse and Neglect: A Socio-Legal Study of Mandatory Reporting in Australia, producing a 9 volume national report (in press). Ben has been involved in the two largest empirical studies of mandatory reporting in Australia: a study of Queensland nurses’ reporting of all types of child abuse and neglect; and a 3 year ARC-funded study of teachers reporting child sexual abuse in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. Results of the ARC study influenced changes to Queensland legislation, and policy and teacher training in three States. 

External research funding.

  1. Oversight and Regulatory Mechanisms Aimed at Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse: Understanding current evidence of efficacy (Professor Ben Mathews) Australian Government (Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse), 2015 ($130,000)
  2. Australian Government (Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse) ($200,000) – Prevalence of child abuse and neglect in Australia: Scoping project 2015 (Prof I Katz, Prof F Arney, A/Prof K Walsh, Prof B Mathews, Prof M Dunne, Dr D Higgins)
  3. A history of mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse in Australia (Associate Professor Ben Mathews) Commonwealth of Australia (Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse), 2013 ($74,260)
  4. Child Abuse and Neglect: A Socio-Legal Study of Mandatory Reporting in Australia (Associate Professor Ben Mathews, Associate Professor Leah Bromfield, Associate Professor Kerryann Walsh, Professor Graham Vimpani) Commonwealth Department of Social Services, 2013-2014 ($90,000)
  5. Educating Mandated Reporters: a randomised controlled trial (Associate Professor Ben Mathews) Penn State University, 2013 ($20,574)
  6. Teachers Reporting Child Sexual Abuse: Towards Evidence-based Reform of Law, Policy and Practice (Professor Des Butler, Associate Professor Ann Farrell, Dr Ben Mathews and Dr Kerryann Walsh), Australian Research Council Discovery Projects Grant, 2006-08 ($250,000)

PhD supervision. Ben has supervised five PhD students to completion, and now supervises 10 PhD students.

This information has been contributed by Professor Ben Mathews.

Teaching

Courses currently taught: IF49 Doctor of Philosophy LWN165 Children’s Health and the Law (Master of Laws) LLH201 Legal Research (Honours unit)

This information has been contributed by Professor Ben Mathews.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Membership of a Statutory Committee
Reference year
2016
Details
This group will provide recommendations for health care workers, primarily from low-income and middle-income countries, who encounter and are involved in identifying, assessing, referring, and providing care to children (0-18 years old) who are victims of physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse and neglect. The group will also provide recommendations to prevent the recurrence of child maltreatment.
Type
Membership of a Statutory Committee
Reference year
2016
Details
This Group will develop Guidelines for the health sector response to children who have experienced contact sexual abuse and/or assault, with a focus on middle income countries and low income countries.
Type
Appointment to Prestigious Positions
Reference year
2015
Details
Professorial Fellow, Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Australian Government
Type
International Collaboration
Reference year
2013
Details
Adjunct Professor, Penn State University, Department of Pediatrics
Type
Advisor/Consultant for Community
Reference year
2007
Details
Retained as consultant to Queensland Department of Communities regarding content, structure and mechanism of $100 million Redress Scheme introduced in 2007 (compensating former residents of State institutions for abuse and neglect suffered as children)

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Young people and sexting in Australia: Ethics, representation and the law
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
2011
Keywords
Australian Law, Ethics, International Law, Sexting, Youth Affairs
Title
Teachers' Reporting Child Sexual Abuse: Towards Evidence-based Reform of Law, Policy and Practice
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP0664847
Start year
2006
Keywords
Mandatory reporting laws, Child sexual abuse, Conforming with law, Teachers and schools, Detection and reporting, Negligence.

Supervision