Professor Elise Bant
Started at UWA: 2020
Homecoming professor of private law and commercial regulation
I have always formed my research projects out of my teaching. I find that it is only when tested against sharp and enquiring student minds that the fallacies in the law – and in my developing theories – are truly exposed!Professor Elise Bant
Professor Elise Bant is a teacher and researcher of private law and commercial regulation at the UWA Law School. She is passionate about developing a more just system of private law, where ‘like’ cases are treated alike and on a principled basis. Her scholarship speaks to judges and legislators, regulators and the profession, who are at the front line in applying and developing the law.
Professor Bant currently teaches the Juris Doctor elective subject of ‘Unjust Enrichment’ at the UWA Law School. She also teaches a Master’s level subject ‘Commercial Applications of Equity’ in the Melbourne Law Masters at the University of Melbourne. Her discipline research strengths include unjust enrichment and restitution law, contract and consumer law, property, equity and trusts, economic torts and remedies.
During 1997-1998, Professor Bant studied at Oxford University under Professor Peter Birks, who was influential in inspiring her chosen career in academia and a “life of wrestling with some of the most fascinating, complex and challenging legal issues of our time”. After later completing her Doctor of Philosophy at Oxford University, Professor Bant joined the University of Melbourne Law School in 2008 to take up an appointment as an Associate Professor, before her promotion to Professor in 2012. Professor Bant has finally returned home to ‘close the loop’ and restarted at UWA at the start of 2020.
The human cost of unchecked corporate and commercial misconduct and the need to find better legal mechanisms to deter and remedy wrongdoings, as exemplified in The Financial Services Royal Commission, has inspired Professor Bants’ ARC-funded projects on unconscionable conduct in commerce and the challenges of holding corporations responsible for that wrongdoing. Professor Bant’s research is developed in close collaboration with the profession, including in her role as consultant to HFW Perth.
Professor Bant currently plays an integral role in the Private and Commercial Law Research Cluster, and has research associations with the UWA Modern Slavery Research Cluster (MSRC), Government Regulation Hub, Centre for Social Impact and the UWA Public Policy Institute.
- Bachelor of Arts – Bachelor of Legislative Law (Honours) (BA LLB), The University of Western Australia
- Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL), University of Oxford
- Doctor of Philosophy (Law), University of Oxford
- Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Law School
- Consultant, HFW Perth
- Fellow, Australian Academy of Law
- Member of the advisory panel to the Australian Law Reform Commission review of Corporate Criminal Liability, 2019-2020 and Financial Services Legislation review (2020-ongoing)
- Editor, Journal of Equity
Future Fellowship to examine corporate liability for serious commercial misconduct (2020).
Publication of PhD thesis on Change of Position Defence with Hart Publishing, influential in the development of law in Australian and other Common Law jurisdictions (2009).
ARC-funded research projects with Professors Michael Bryan and Jeannie Paterson (2010-current).
An options paper on Corporate Criminal Liability
The UK’s Law Commission has published an options paper for the Government on how it can improve the law to ensure that corporations are effectively held to account for committing serious crimes. The report includes discussion on Professor Bant’s research and her ‘systems intentionality’ model.Read more
Perth Royal Commission into Crown Casinos
The Perth Casino Royal Commission have tabled their final report in Parliament. The report, which cites Professor Elise Bant at several points, includes 59 recommendations to facilitate remediation work rather than a stripping of the licence.Read more
Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence
The report with recommendations by the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence, presented to the Governor of Victoria in October 2021, adopts Professor Bant’s model of ‘systems intentionality’, and cites her public submission to the Commission at several points.Read more
ACCC VS BIG TECH: ROUND 10 AND COUNTING
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking on Big Tech again – this time it’s Meta – with a focus on dismantling a key Big Tech defence tool.Read more
Charging dead clients is dishonest. Really? Who knew?
The news that Australia’s financial services regulator will take five AMP group companies to court over them charging life insurance and advice fees to dead people is a wake-up call to corporations.Read more
Privacy erosion by design: why the Federal Court should throw the book at Google over location data tracking
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has had a significant win against Google. The Federal Court found Google misled some Android users about how to disable personal location tracking. Will this decision actually change the behaviour of the big tech companies? The answer will depend on the size of the penalty awarded in response to the misconduct.Read more
I am constantly learning. The law is fascinating and challenging. And what I do matters. If I can make a small but real contribution to a better legal system, for the benefit of those subject to it, I will consider my professional life a success!Professor Elise Bant
Unravelling corporate fraud
This project aims to reform the ancient laws of common law and equitable fraud that underpin commercial regulation in Australia. These laws are vital to supporting a fair and efficient economy, but have failed to evolve to address the rise of corporate actors. Drawing upon a collaborative network of experts, this project intends to develop models of liability that address and overcome the existing ‘state of mind’ and ‘attribution’ hurdles to holding corporations liable for fraudulent conduct. The intended outcome is a road map for comprehensive judicial and legislative law reform, which should offer significant legal, economic and social benefits by supporting more just, effective and efficient regulation of corporate fraud.
Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship
- Grant for ‘Unravelling Corporate Fraud: re-purposing ancient laws for modern times’, $919,150.
Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant 180100932
- Grant for ‘Developing a rational law of misleading conduct’ with Professor Jeannie Paterson, Melbourne Law School, $271,467.
Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant DP140100767
- Grant for ‘Remedies under the Australian Consumer Law and the Common Law: Evolution and Revolution’ with Professor Jeannie Paterson, Melbourne Law School, $244,690.
Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant DP1093327
- Grant for ‘The Principles of Proprietary Remedies’ with Emeritus Professor Michael Bryan, $168,000.