Personal details

Professor Richard Johnstone
Faculty of Business & Law,
School of Law
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 2078
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Doctor of Philosophy (University of Melbourne)

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


Professor Richard Johnstone’s research and teaching interests lie in labour law (particularly work health and safety), regulation, socio-legal research and legal education. The principal theme in his research is whether and how the health and safety of workers is protected by work health and safety regulation. His work largely critically evaluates the way in which regulation is designed and implemented, but he has also contributed to normative debates about the design and reform of work health and safety regulation, and effective enforcement approaches. He has researched state enforcement of work health and safety statutes; standard setting; worker participation in work health and safety; and the working conditions of precarious workers (for example, outworkers, labour hire workers, contractors and sub-contractors, and workers in franchise arrangements). Richard has been awarded six Australian Research Council grants, has completed at least eight major empirical studies on work health and safety regulation, one on protected industrial action ballots under the Fair Work Act, and one on learning, teaching and curriculum in Australian Law Schools, which resulted in Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Development in Law, a report commissioned by the Australian Universities Teaching Committee (AUTC) (2003, with Sumitra Vignaendra). Richard has authored, co-authored or edited 18 books, including five leading books in work health and safety regulation, and the widely cited The Quiet Revolution: Improving Student Learning in Law (1994, with Marlene Le Brun). From 2012 to 2019 he was an Editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Law, and from 2006 to 2008 an editor of the Legal Education Review.

Richard was the founding Director, and until 2016 a Director, of the National Research Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Regulation at the Australian National University. From 2003 to 2010 he was the Director of the Socio-Legal Research Centre at Griffith University, and from 2014 to 2017 the Director of Research in the QUT Law School. Since 2012 Richard has been a member of the Australian Law Schools Standards Committee. He was a co-founder of the ALTA Law Reaching Workshop in 1988. He played a leading role in founding the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand in 2006, and was President of the Association from 2007-2009. Since 2010 he has been a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

This information has been contributed by Professor Richard Johnstone.


LWN304  Legal Research Methodologies

LLB246 Principles of Labour Law

LLB348   Socio-Legal Research Methods

This information has been contributed by Professor Richard Johnstone.


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