Neil Gunningham has degrees in law and criminology from Sheffield University, UK, is a Barrister and Solicitor (ACT) and holds a PhD from ANU. Although initially trained in law, his subsequent post-graduate work was in interdisciplinary social science, and for the last fifteen years he has applied that training principally in the areas of safety, health and environment, with a focus on regulation and governance. He joined RegNet in January 2002 and is currently a Director of the National Research Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Previously he was Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Environmental Law at ANU, Visiting and Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley, and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics.
Academic highlights: Fulbright Senior Scholar, University of California, Berkeley; Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.
Labour law; Natural resource management; law and society; Environmental and occupational health and safety; Environmental and natural resources law; Other law and legal studies; Environmental science and management; Sociology
Neil's research has been concerned to identify the contribution that broader, innovative forms of regulation can make to safety, health and environmental policy. His work on regulatory pluralism demonstrates the potential for resources outside the public sector to be harnessed in furtherance of government policy, and how combinations of public and private orderings and can be integrated into an overall optimal regulatory mix. He has also sought to test empirically, the value of different approaches, and to identify the comparative advantage of different instruments in different institutional, economic and social contexts.
Most recently Neil's work on occupational health and safety regulation has focused on the mining industry and on the relationship between management systems based approaches, trust and workplace culture. The insights generated apply to other industry sectors and resonate for other areas of regulation. One particular concern (though the APEC Ministers Responsible for Mining) has been OHS in the broader Asia Pacific region.
Another research agenda concerns climate change governance, examining how individual states and key actors within them, international institutions and key non-state actors, perceive the challenges and their negotiating possibilities and options. NeilI and colleague Peter Drahos aim to gain a deeper understanding of the key obstacles to co-operation between states and means to overcome them. This will enable them to develop strategies capable of increasing levels of cooperation. One focus is on the options for Australian coalition building, particularly within the Asia Pacific.
Neil's most recent books are Mine Safety: Law, Regulation, Policy (2007), Shades of Green, Business, Regulation and Environment (2003, with Kagan and Thornton) and Leaders and Laggards: Next Generation Environment Regulation (2002, with Sinclair). I am on the editorial Board of the international journals Law and Policy and Regulation and Governance and an editor of the Environmental and Planning Law Journal. I am a regular keynote speaker at international conferences, a past consultant to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and to various environmental and occupational health and safety regulatory agencies in Australia and hold a number of major research grants.