Female genital mutilation and human rights. Australian Social Work, 1995, 48, 27-33.
The paper specifically considers the consequences if claims of cultural relativism were extended to FGM, this would have a deleterious outcome as the practice could be justified as culturally mandated.
Such an outcome would mean that Australia and other jurisdictions would thereby fail to recognise FGM as a transgression of a number of universal human rights contained in instruments ratified under the aegis of the United Nations, to which many countries, including Australia, are signatories.
Click here to view or download a PDF version (229k) of this article.
Note: Some of these papers do not contain up-to-date information and are included only for potential historical value or interest.
Swensen (1995) Drug offender diversion: A review of some of the issues
The paper discusses the establishment of formal diversion schemes for drug dependent offenders & canvasses a number of advantages of these schemes, including minimisation of the stigma and ostracism associated with conviction.
The paper also outlines a number of reservations about diversion schemes, including they may be experimental in nature, been setup for non-therapeutic purposes or to access Commonwealth funded health services.
Click here to view or download a PDF version [176k] of this paper.
Swensen (1994) Expert opinion and the battered woman syndrome
The paper examines developments in Australian law (until 1994) relating to the admission of novel expert evidence through acceptance by courts of defences grounded in the Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) to overcome difficulties involving female defendants who have experienced intimate partner violence. Cases before and after the landmark case of Runjanjic and Kontinnen v R will be reviewed and the rules of expert evidence that have been most influential in this development will be identified, to illustrate the need for courts to more actively assess the reliability of scientific evidence.
Click here to view or download a PDF version [148k] of this paper.
Swensen (1994) Aboriginal law in action. A brief report on a field trip to Aboriginal sacred sites in Perth, September 1994
This paper (with photos) describes a one-day guided tour of sites of significance in the Perth metropolitan area in September 1994.
‘Many of the sites had only survived because of very determined efforts by small numbers of activists and concerned scientists who had helped to build flimsy dikes around tiny fragments of the former diverse cultural matrix that had existed throughout the metro area before British ‘settlement’ in 1829. Over time, up to the present day, these remnants had been continually overwhelmed by ‘progress’.’
Click here to view or download a PDF version [276k] of this paper.
Swensen (1989) To regulate or not: Politicians, prostitution & the police
This paper was written in September 1989 and considers the implications of WA’s containment policy which had developed by the police over a number of years to regulate prostitution in WA, by maintaining a system of preferred operators.
Click here to view or download a PDF version [192k] of this paper.