Please direct all emails to: Law.Dean@curtin.edu.au
Throughout his professional career, he has engaged with the law in his capacity as both legal practitioner and academic.
As a legal practitioner Robert's efforts have concentrated on the provision of legal advice, court advocacy and education within Community Legal Centres and the not-for-profit sector. In his barrister practise within Murray Chambers he specialises in Federal Court matters with an emphasis on matters such as corporate law, consumer protection, native title and intellectual property. He also works in international trade law. As part of his active interest in public interest advocacy, Robert provides legal advice and representation to not-for-profit organisations. He is a director of the Australian Pro Bono Centre.
In academia Robert's pursuits have primarily focused on the manner in which the law interfaces with international trade, ecological sustainability, corporate governance and information governance. He has published numerous academic journal articles and books, as both sole-author and co-author, primarily in the fields of corporate law, intellectual property and international trade law.
Robert is the author of Information Environmentalism: a governance framework for intellectual property rights published by Edward Elgar. The book applies analytical frameworks derived from environmental theory to construct a governance framework for the regulation of information in the 21st century. Reviews of this work can be found in the Oxford University Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property and the Review of European & International Environmental Law. The book was summarily presented at an Australian Digital Alliance Conference at the National Library of Australia and it is also the subject of a presentation by Professor James Boyle from Duke University.
Robert has been embedded within various universities as a research scholar including the University of New South Wales, Melbourne University, Australian National University, University of California (Berkley), New York Law School, and Queen Mary College (London).
Along with a PhD from the Australian National University, he holds a Master of Laws (Hons), Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Graduate Certificate of Legal Practice from the University of Technology Sydney.
Robert maintains teaching commitments in Corporate Law and Corporate Governance at Curtin Law School; International Commercial Law and World Trade Organisation Law at Ghent University Law School in Belgium; as well as Information Environmentalism at select universities.
Select Publications Include:-
Cunningham R. (forthcoming), A Shock to the System: Taser Use and Abuse in Western Australia and Accompanying Institutional Failures
Chapple, Wong, Baumfield, Copp, Cunningham, Kamalnath, Watson and Harpur (2019), Company Law: an interactive approach, Second Edition, Wiley
James, Chapple, Wong, Baumfield, Copp, Cunningham and Harpur (2016), Business and Company Law, First Edition, Wiley,
Wong, Baumfield, Copp, Cunningham and Harpur (2016), Company Law: an interactive approach (ed. Professor Ellie Chapple), First Edition, Wiley
Cunningham R. (2014), Information Environmentalism: a governance framework for Intellectual Property Rights, Edward Elgar Publishing
Cunningham R. (2018), Climate Change and Open Data: An Information Environmentalist Perspective, in Intellectual Property and Clean Energy: The Paris Agreement and Climate Justice, Springer Publication
Cunningham R. (2017), Information Environmentalism and Biological Data: A Thought Experiment, in Law as if the Earth Really Mattered: The Wild Law Judgment Project, Routledge Press
Cunningham R. (2007), The Road of Computer Code: Political Economic Dimensions of Copyleft and Legal Analysis of the General Public License, Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic and Social Perspectives, Edited by St.Amant K. and Still B., Idea Group Inc., USA
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:
Anawaratna, Atkins, Cunningham and Tania (in progress), Special and Different? A Consideration of Special and Difffential Treatment Provisions within the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Framework
Anawaratna, Atkins, Cunningham and Tania (in progress), Tired of Trade? Local Remedy Exhaustion within International Investment Arbitration
Allcock, Carpenter and Cunningham (in progress), Worker Representation on Corporate Boards: unattainable pipedream or success prerequisite?
Carr and Cunningham (in progress), A Step Too Far? The Stepping Stone Approach Reconsidered
Cotton and Cunningham (in progress), Information Pollution is Destroying the Planet and Making Us Sick: deploying an information governance framework to reconceptualise misinformation and privacy violation
Cunningham R. (in progress), The Taser Paper: Evaluating Institutional Responses to Taser Abuse in Western Australia
Cunningham R. and Carr C. (2019), A Step Too Far? Analysing the stepping stone approach of section 180(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), 34(1) Australian Corporate Law Journal 58
Cunningham R. and Vindedzis S. (2018), Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad? Animal Welfare vs the World Trade Organisation (featuring Article XX of GATT and Article 2 of TBT), 38(2) Adelaide Law Review 311
Cunningham R. (2017), An Information Environmentalism Almanac: And Intellectual Property Governance Principles Here and There, 41(2) University of Western Australia Law Review 119
Cunningham R. (2010), The Separation of (Economic) Power: A Cultural Environmental Perspective of Social Production and the Networked Public Sphere, 11 Journal of High Technology Law 1
Cunningham R. (2010), The Tragedy of (Ignoring) the Information Semicommons: A Cultural Environmental Perspective, 4(1) Akron Intellectual Property Journal 1
Lucas T., Cunningham R. and Lamberton G. (2009), Small Business Engagement with Sustainability in Regional Australia, 13 (1) Journal of Economic and Social Policy 3
St. Amant K. and Cunningham R. (2009), Examining Open Source Software in Offshoring Contexts, 56(4) Technical Communication 361
Cunningham R. (2006), The Social Ecology of Information Ecosystems: Computer Code, Copyleft and the General Public Licence, 24(4) Copyright Reporter 208
Cunningham R. (2006), Predicting the Predicament: The World Trade Organisation and Biotechnological Agriculture via the EC - Biotech Case, 3 Macquarie Journal of Business Law 99
Cunningham R. (2005), The ABCs of GMOs, SPS & the WTO: a critical analysis of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement, 9 SCU Law Review 19
Cunningham R. and Lamberton G. (2005), Industrial Ecology and the Development of Eco-Industrial Estates, 3(1) Australasian Journal of Business and Social Inquiry
Cunningham R. (2010), Gifts: A Study in Comparative Law, 20(2) Anthropological Forum 171
Select Conference Presentations:-
Cunningham R. (2019), A Shock to the System: Taser Litigation, Rule of Law and Resilience, Duxton Hotel, Perth, Legal Aid WA Civil Law Day, 26 February 2019
Cunningham R. (2019), Teaching Information Environmentalism, Australasian Intellectual Property Scholar Conference, University of Tasmania, 12-13 February 2019 (forthcoming)
Cunningham R. (2018), Separation of Economic Power Doctrine, Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, University of Wollongong, 12-15 December 2018
Cunningham R. (2018), Information Environmentalism: An Introduction, North South Pacific Medical & Legal Conference, Whistler Canada, 7-14 January 2018
Cunningham R. (2017), Information Environmentalism and Biological Data: a hypothetical judgment, IP Academic Conference, Sydney University, 20-21 July 2017
Cunningham R. (2016), Information Environmentalism: an overview, Information Environmentalism Conference, Fremantle, 4-5 February 2016
Cunningham R. (2016), Information Environmentalism and Digital Data, Australian Digital Alliance, National Library of Australia, 18 March 2016
Cunningham R. (2015), Information Environmentalism and Climate Change, Intellectual Property and Climate Change: the Paris Accord, ANU College of Law
Cunningham R. (2014), Information Environmentalism: a thought experiment, Symbiotica, University of Western Australia
Cunningham R. (2013), Information Environmentalism: a governance framework for intellectual property rights, IP Academics Conference, Griffith University, February 2013
Cunningham R. (2012), Should the Information Commons Have Standing? Applying the Ecology Analytical Framework to IPRs, IP Academics Conference Adelaide University,13 July 2012
Cunningham R. (2011), Separation of (Economic) Power: Social Production and the Networked Public Sphere, IP Academics Conference UNSW, 4 February 2011
Cunningham R. (2010), Cultural Environmentalism and Creative Commons, Creative Commons Road Show Perth, State Library of Western Australia, 2 September 2010
Cunningham R. (2009), After the Crisis: A Paradigm Shift in Risk versus Return, Panelist, Green New Deal, The University of Western Australia, 18 September 2009
Cunningham R. (2009), The Social Ecology of Information Ecosystems: Computer Code, Copyleft and the General Public License, Impacts of Globalisation, Australian Global Studies Research Centre, The University of Western Australia, 13-14 August 2009
Cunningham R. (2009), The Tragedy of (Ignoring) the Information Semicommons, IP Academics Conference, 26-27 June 2009
Cunningham R. (2009), The Unwritten Exceptions, Discussant, Copyright Future Copyright Freedom, Canberra, 27-28 May 2009
Cunningham R. (2008), Critical Hardware Infrastructure and Open Source Innovation, Creating Value: Between Commerce and Commons, Brisbane, 25-27 June 200
Choon v Chen WAD 463 of 2019, counsel in Federal Court; instructor, Martin Koshy, Tang Law
Australian Securities & Investments Commission v Hutchison WAD 469 of 2018, lead counsel in Federal Court with Brian Nugawela; instructor, James Xenedis, LFS Lawyers
Kado Muir & Ors (Manta Rirrtinya) v State of Western Australia WAD 453 of 2017 – junior counsel with Raelene Webb QC; instructor, Sally Davis, Australian Government Solicitor
Joanne Plumb v Ace Mark Pty Ltd (acting as trustee for the Subiaco Property Trust)(2017); instructor, Rosaline Tan, John Curtin Law Clinic
Ponzio v Department of Commerce Consumer Protection (CC1050 of 2016); instructor, Tim Owen, Clayton Utz
Woodcock v The State of Western Australia & Orc (CIV233 of 2013) – junior counsel with Christopher Barry QC; instructor, Maithri Pagoda, Carrol & O’Dea
Select Special Cases:-
State of Western Australia v Cunningham  WASCA 207
Cunningham v Traynor  WADC 3
State of Western Australia v Cunningham  WASCA 197
Traynor v Cunningham  WASCA 159
Traynor v Cunningham  WASCA 125
State of Western Australia v Cunningham  WASCA 119
Cunningham v Traynor  WADC 168
Select Special Reports:-
Unfinished business: The Corruption and Crime Commission's response to the Committee's report on Dr Cunningham and Ms Atoms, Joint Standing Committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission, Report No 7, November 2017
Parliamentary Inspector's report on a complaint by Dr Robert Cunningham and Ms Catherine Atoms, Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission (WA), 4 October 2017
Parliamentary Inspector's Report Concerning the Procedures Adopted by the Corruption and Crime Commission when Dealing with Complaints of the Excessive Use of Force by Police, Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission (WA), 8 September 2011
Select Other Public Output:-
Future of law schools, Beg Your Pardon (podcast), 30 July 2020
Information environmentalism: an interview, Faculti.net, 10 July 2020
CCC condemned for rejecting tasered couple case, 6PR, 12 October 2017
Courts consider use of tasers by police, Law Report: Radio National, 28 February 2017
Information environmentalism: towards a digital ecology, 16 September 2014
PhD (ANU) LLM (Hons) LLB (Hons) B Bus (Accounting) GradCertLP
- Cunningham, R., and C. Carr. 2019. "A Step Too Far? Analysing the stepping stone approach of section 180(1) of Corporations Act 2001." Australian Corporate Law Journal 58 58: TBA-TBA.
- Cunningham, R. 2018. "Climate Change and Open Data: An information environmentalism perspective." In Intellectual Property and Clean Energy TBA, T. B. A., 449-472 Singapore: Springer.
- Wong, A., R. Baumfield, R. P. Copp, R. Cunningham, P. Harpur, and E. Chapple. 2017. "Company Law An Interactive Approach 1E." Australia: Wiley.
- Cunningham, R. L. 2017. "Information environmentalism and biological data: A thought experiment." In Law As If Earth Really Mattered: The Wild Law Judgement Project Rogers, N., and M. Maloney., 355-375 Oxon, UK; New York, USA: Routledge.
- Cunningham, R. L. 2017. "An information environmentalism almanac: And intellectual property governance principles here and there." University of Western Australia Law Review 41 (2): 119-138.
- Cunningham, R. L., and S. Vindedzis. 2017. "FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD? ANIMAL WELFARE VS THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (FEATURING ARTICLE XX OF THE GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE AND ARTICLE 2 OF THE TECHNICAL BARRIERS TO TRADE)." Adelaide Law Review 38 (2): 311-349.
- Cunningham, R. 2017. "CCC condemned for rejecting taser couple case,
- Cunningham, R. 2017. "Tasers and Police, Law Rep
- Cunningham, R. 2014. "Information Environmentalism: A Governance Framework for Intellectual Property Rights." UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
- St. Amant, K., and R. Cunningham. 2009. "Examining open source software in offshoring contexts: A perspective on adding value in an age of globalization." Technical Communication 56 (4): 361-369.
- Cunningham, R. 2007. "The road of computer code featuring the political economy of copyleft and legal analysis of the general public license." In Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives, 348-362