The Australian Drug Law Reform Initiative (ADLaRI) is a UNSW-based working group that pursues a variety of pathways towards drug law reform, education and the achievement of social justice. ADLaRI embraces the philosophy of harm minimisation and is committed to a multidisciplinary approach to drug policy and law reform which aims to:

  • encourage the development of evidence-based policy, law and practice;
  • contribute to public education about appropriate regulation of drugs;
  • assist in the dissemination of resources for use in tertiary education about drug law reform in law, criminology, medicine and other disciplines; and
  • facilitate links with other institutions for the exchange of research and teaching materials and the development of new approaches.

In addition to researchers from the UNSW Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, and the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at the UNSW National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), ADLaRI’s members include: Nick Cowdery AM QC, Visiting Professor, UNSW Law, and former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions; and Dr Alex Wodak, President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and former Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent's Hospital.

Project Researchers
2022-2025 - Judges' work, place and psychological health - a national view (ARC Discovery Project: DP220100585)

Jill Hunter, Prudence Vines, Natalie Skead, Kylie Burns, Sharyn Roach Anleu, Catherine Warner, Richard Kemp, Terese


2022-2024 - Sentencing to create just outcomes: impact of trauma and strength of culture: Evaluating the impact of the Bugmy Bar Book Resources – the first 3 years (Australian Institute of Criminology Indigenous Justice Research Program Grant)


Jill Hunter, Luke McNamara


2021-2024 - Violence, Risk and Safety: The Changing Face of Australian Criminal Laws (ARC Discovery Project: DP210101072)


Luke McNamara, Julia Quilter, Arlie Loughnan, Russell HoggDavid Brown, Lindsay Farmer


2020-2023 - Intoxication Evidence in Rape Trials: A Double-Edged Sword? (ARC Discovery Project: DP200100101) 


Julia Quilter and Luke McNamara


2019-2025 - Australian violence: understanding victimisation through history (ARC Discovery Project: DP190100322)


Andy Kaladelfos, Mark Finnane, Susanne Karstedt
2019-2024 - Creating perceptual experts in Australia's policing and security agencies (ARC Linkage Project: LP170100086)
Jason Tangen, Rachel Searston, Matthew Thompson, Gary Edmond, Kevin Eva, Scott Osborn, Duncan McCarthy, Robert Hayes


2019-2022 - Juries, justice and citizenship (ARC Discovery Project: DP190100940)


Jill Hunter, Penelope Russell, Diane Kirkby, Alecia Simmonds


2019-202 - Access to justice in interpreted proceedings: the role of Judicial Officers (ARC Linkage Project: LP180100366)


Ludmila Stern, Sandra Hale, Stephen Doherty, Melanie SchwartzGeorge Bisas


2018-2020 – Reconceptualising Indigenous access to justice in civil law (ARC Discovery Project: DP180101152)


Chris Cunneen, Melanie Schwartz, Larissa Behrendt


2017-2020 – Criminalisation of poverty and homelessness in Australia: A national study (ARC Linkage Project: LP160101543)


Tamara Walsh, Luke McNamara, Julia Quilter, Thalia Anthony


2017-2020 – Conceptions of Police Intelligence: Building a Cross-National Comparative Analysis of Practices and Frameworks (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant, Canada)


Carrie Sanders, Lyria Bennett Moses, Janet Chan, Simon Mackenzie, James Sheptycki, Gavin Smith


2017-2018 – The use of big data for social policy: benefits and risks (ARC Learned Academies Special Projects: LA170100011)


Janet Chan, Peter Saunders, David Abramson, Janeen Baxter, Ross Homel, Sheila Shaver, Mark Western


2017-2019 – The Rethinking Community Sanctions Project (ARC Discovery Project: DP170100893)


Julie Stubbs, Chris Cunneen, David Brown, Eileen Baldry, Melanie Schwartz


2016-2018 – Improving the communication of forensic science evidence to courts (ARC Linkage Project: LP16100008)


Kristy Martire, Gary Edmond, Bryan Found, Richard Kemp, Kaye Ballantyne


2016-2017 – Practical perspectives on a balanced, enabling regulatory framework for data-based decision-support technologies used by law enforcement and national security in Australia (Data to Decisions CRC)


Louis De Koker, Lyria Bennett Moses, Janet Chan


2016 – Guiding principles in the design, regulation, implementation, governance and oversight of data-based decision-support technologies for law enforcement and national security (Data to Decisions CRC)


Lyria Bennett Moses, Janet Chan


2015-2019 – Technology and data science in policing: a study of crime analysts in Canada (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant, Canada) 


Carrie Sanders, Janet Chan


2015-2017 – A Future Beyond the Wall: Improving Post-release Employment Outcomes for People Leaving Prison (ARC Linkage Project: LP140100329)


Eileen Baldry, Leanne Dowse, Jesse Cale, David Bright, Joseph Graffam, Andrew Day, Jane MacGillivray


2014-2017 – Positive life pathways for vulnerable adolescents: The role of a life management program approach (ARC Linkage Project: LP140100429)


Sally Nathan, Patrick Rawstorne, Andrew Hayden, Joanne Bryant, Eileen Baldry, Megan Williams, Mark Ferry


2014-2016  Data Technology and National Security: Comparative International Perspectives on Strategy, Policy and Law in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada (Data to Decisions CRC)


Janet Chan, Louis de Koker, Danuta Mendelson, David Vaile


2014-2015 – Knowledges of "intoxication" and Australian Criminal Law: Implications for Addressing Alcohol and Other Drug-Related Harms and Risks (AIC: Criminology Research Grant)


Julia Quilter, Kate Seear, Luke McNamara, Robin Room


2013-2017 – The Comparative Youth Penality Project (ARC Discovery Project: DP130100184)


Chris Cunneen, Eileen Baldry, Melanie Schwartz, Barry Goldson, David Brown


2013-2015 – The role of cultural factors in the sentencing of Indigenous sex offenders in the Northern Territory (ARC Discovery Indigenous Project: IN130100054)


Kyllie Cripps, Megan Davis, Annie Cossins


2013-2014 – Justice Reinvestment in Australia: conceptual foundations for criminal justice innovation (ARC Discovery Project: DP130101121)


Julie Stubbs, Melanie Schwartz, Chris Cunneen, David Brown


2012-2015 – Forensic reasoning and uncertainty: identifying pattern and impression expertise (ARC Linkage Project: LP120100063)


Jason Tangen, Gary Edmond, Geoffrey Norman, Kevin Eva, Itiel Dror, Brian Lovell, Duncan McCarthy, Bruce Comber


2012-2015 – Participation in the administration of justice: deaf citizens as jurors (ARC Linkage Project: LP120200261)


Sandra Hale, Jemina Napier, Mehera San Roque, David Spencer, Debra Russell


2012-2014 – Creating a Supportive Culture for Legal Services: A Study of Work Stress, Workplace Culture and Wellbeing Programs for Lawyers and Support Staff (ARC Linkage Project: LP120200328)


Janet Chan, Suzanne Poynton, Jasmine Bruce


2012-2014 – Participation of Victims of Crime in NSW Court Processes (Department of Justice and Attorney General, NSW)


Tyrone Kirchengast, Suzanne Poynton, Laura Boseley


2012-2013 – Blacklists and the (de)criminalisation of conflict resolution(Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust)


Vicki Sentas, Louise Boon-Kuo, Ben Hayes, Gavin Sullivan


2011-2013 – Legal Culture, Work Stress and Professional Practice: A Study of Australian lawyers (ARC Discovery Project: DP110101000)


Janet Chan


2010-2013 – Indigenous Australians with mental health disorders and cognitive disability in the criminal justice system (ARC Linkage Project: LP100200096)


Eileen Baldry, Patrick Dodson, Leanne Dowse, Devon Indig, Julian Trollor


2010-2012 – Restorative Justice for Victims & Serious Offenders (ARC Linkage Project: LP100100382)


Janet Chan & Jane Bolitho


2010-2012 – Making demonstrably reliable forensic voice comparison a practical everyday reality in Australia (ARC Linkage Project: LP100200142)


Geoffrey Morrison, Julien Epps, Eliathamby Ambikairajah, Gary Edmond, Joaquin Gonzalez Rodriguez, Daniel Ramos, Cuiling Zhang


2010-2011 – The impact of hate speech laws on public discourse in Australia (ARC Discovery Project: DP1096721)


Luke McNamara, Katharine Gelber


2009-2012 – Suspect sciences: Enhancing emerging identification technologies and forensic expertise (ARC Future Fellowship: FT0992041)


Gary Edmond


2009-2010 – Challenges, Possibilites & Future Directions: A National Assessment of Australia's Children's Courts (ARC Discovery Project: DP0987175)


Jane Bolitho & 16 other researchers from across Australia


2008-2011 – The Australian Prisons Project (ARC Discovery Project: DP0877331) 


Eileen Baldry, Chris Cunneen, David Brown, Alex Steel & Mark Brown 

Obstacles to Effective Support of People Released from Prison

CCLJ members involved: Sophie Russell (UNSW), Eileen Baldry (UNSW), David Brown (UNSW), Chris Cunneen (UTS), Julie Stubbs (UNSW).

The Comparative Youth Penality Project

CCLJ members involved: Professor Chris Cunneen (UTS), Professor Eileen Baldry (UNSW), Emeritus Professor David Brown (UNSW), Sophie Russell (UNSW).

Since the 1980s, prison expansionism has defined criminal justice policy in many western jurisdictions, particularly Australia and England and Wales. Research into this phenomenon has primarily been directed at adults rather than juveniles, with limited attention paid to comparative analysis.

The Comparative Youth Penality Project (CYPP) aims to fill a substantial gap in our knowledge about youth penal culture and practice. The CYPP will produce a comprehensive documentation and overview of changes in penal policy and practice across selected Australian states and England and Wales over the past 30 years.

The Australian Justice Reinvestment Project

CCLJ members involved: Emeritus Professor David Brown (UNSW), Professor Chris Cunneen (UTS), Professor Julie Stubbs (UNSW), Courtney Young (UNSW), Sophie Russell (UNSW).

Justice Reinvestment is a recent development in criminal justice enjoying a spectacular rise onto the political and policy agenda internationally. In Australia, the idea has gained traction among politicians and community advocates, with particular emphasis on its potential in the Indigenous context. The AJR Project draws together senior researchers across the disciplines of law and criminology to examine justice reinvestment programs in other countries and analyse whether such programs can be developed in Australia.

The Australian Prisons Project

CCLJ members involved: Professor Chris Cunneen (UTS), Professor Eileen Baldry (UNSW), Emeritus Professor David Brown (UNSW).

The Australian Prisons Project is national research investigating the re-emergence of the prison as the primary criminal justice strategy in Australia since the 1970s. 
The project draws together senior researchers across the disciplines of law, criminology and social science to explore a number of themes relating to the prison, including trends in sentencing and bail, the experience of vulnerable populations in the prison system, terrorism, ‘risk' paradigms and post-release initiatives.

The Australian Prisons Project was funded by a grant from the Australian Research Council from 2008 - 2010.


Rethinking Community Sanctions Project

CCLJ members involved: Professor Chris Cunneen (UTS), Professor Eileen Baldry (UNSW), Emeritus Professor David Brown (UNSW), Professor Julie Stubbs (UNSW), Sophie Russell (UNSW).

The Rethinking Community Sanctions Project is a three year (2017-2019) Australian Research Council funded project which aims to understand the place, role and purpose of community sanctions in criminal justice in three Australian jurisdictions (NSW, NT and Vic), in order to contribute to the development of theory, policy and more equitable justice outcomes especially for people who are over-represented or whose numbers are growing within the prison system, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women and people with mental health disorders and cognitive disabilities, as well as those at these intersections.