David Spencer

Biographical Information

David Spencer joined the Thomas More Law School on 11 February 2019. He has been at ACU since 2012 and was previously: Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Law and Business (2017-2019); Deputy Provost of the University (2012-2017); Executive Dean (Acting) in the newly established Faculty of Law and Business (2014). Prior to his work at ACU he was: Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at La Trobe University (2008-2012); and Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning) of the Faculty of Law at Macquarie University (2002-2008); Senior Lecturer-in-Law at Western Sydney University (2000-2002); Lecturer-in-Law at the University of Technology Sydney (1996-2000); and, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia (1992-2006).

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and a Master of Laws (by Research) from the University of Technology Sydney. David's main areas of research include contract law, civil procedure, dispute resolution and Higher Education theory and practice. He has authored: over 100 articles 7 books and monographs 4 book chapters over 80 case notes in refereed journals and, has been awarded several research grants.

In 2005 David won the Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor's Outstanding Teacher Award. In 2006 he won a Macquarie University Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning and in the same year a national Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the Carrick Institute.


Selected Bibliography (most recent)

Books and Research Monographs:

  • Spencer D, Essential Dispute Resolution (Sydney: Cavendish Publishing Ltd, 2nd ed, 2005)
  • Spencer D and Brogan M, Mediation Law & Practice (Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • Napier J & Spencer D, Deaf Jurors' Access to Court Proceedings via Sign Language Interpreting: An Investigation (Sydney: NSW Law Reform Commission, Research Report No.14, March 2007)
  • Spencer D, Law Briefs: Contract Law (Sydney: Pearson Education, 2008)
  • Brogan M & Spencer D, Becoming a Lawyer: Success at Law School (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 3rd ed, 2014)
  • Spencer D, Principles of Dispute Resolution (Sydney: Thomson Reuters Law Book Co., 2nd ed, 2016)
  • Spencer D, Barry L & Ojelabi LA, Dispute Resolution in Australia: Cases, Commentary & Materials (Sydney: Thomson Reuters, 4th ed, 2019)

Book Chapters:

  • Napier J, Spencer D & Sabolec J, "A shared responsibility in the administration of justice: A pilot study of sign language interpretation access for deaf jurors", in Hale S, Slayter H & Stern L (eds), Quality in Interpreting: A Shared Responsibility- Proceedings of the 5th International Critical Link Conference (Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co, December 2007).
  • Napier J & Spencer D,"Guilty or not guilty? An investigation of deaf jurors access to court proceedings via sign language interpreting", in Russell D & Hale S (eds.) Interpreting in Legal Settings (Washington DC: Gallaudet University Press, 2008).
  • Contributing author on Contracts and Dispute Resolution to Oxford Australian Law Dictionary, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • Spencer D, "Was Moses Peer Observed? The Ten Commandments of Peer Observation of Teaching", in Sachs J and Parsell M (eds), Peer Review of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Springer Netherlands, 2014).
  • Laws of Australia, Title 13.2: Mediation, (Sydney: Thomson Reuters, 1 April 2015 loose leaf update No.307).

Articles in Refereed Journals:

  • "Costs sanctions against parties refusing to mediate" (2005) 16 Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 15, 15-29.
  • "Judicial Mediators: Is the time right? Part I" (2006) 17 Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 130, 130-139.
  • "Judicial Mediators: Is the time right? Part 2" (2006) 17 Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 189, 189-199.
  • "Deal or no deal: teaching on-line negotiation to law students" (co-authored with Dr Samantha Hardy from UQ) (2008) 8(1) QUT Law & Justice Journal 93, 93-117.
  • "The decline of the trial in Australia" (2011) 30(2) The Arbitrator and Mediator 1, 1-10.
  • "Curriculum mapping to embed graduate capabilities" (2012) 31 Higher Education Research & Development 217, 217-231.
  • "Landing in the right class of subject to contract agreements" (2015) 26 Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 75, 75-85.
  • "Jury instructions: comparing hearing and deaf jurors: Comprehension via direct or mediated communication (co-authored with Professor Jemina Napier) (2017) 24(1) International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 1-29.
  • "Deaf citizens as jurors in Australian courts: participating via professional interpreters" (co-authored with Professors Sandra Hale and Jemina Napier and Ms Mehera San Roque) (2017) 24(2) International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 151-176.
  • "Justice is blind as long as it isn't deaf - excluding deaf people from jury duty: an Australian human rights breach" (2017) 23(3) Australian Journal of Human Rights, 332-350.
  • “Looking Backwards to Move Forwards: Reviewing Sir Laurence Street's First Scholarly Contribution to the ADRJ” (2018) 29(2) Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 90, 90-97.
  • “Changing the International Justice Landscape: Perspectives on Deaf Citizenship and Jury Service” (2019) 19(2) Sign Language Studies 240, 240-266. (Co-authored with Napier J, Hale S, San Roque M, Shearim G and Russell D).


Competitive Research Grants:

2005    -    Macquarie  Research Development Grant - Vanishing Trial Phenomenon - $12,000
2008    -    La Trobe University Curriculum Renewal Competitive Grant – Curriculum Mapping Project - $100,000
2009    -    La Trobe University Faculty of Law & Management competitive grant - Developing skills based education - $20,000
2009    -    Co-Investigator on Australian Learning & Teaching Council Project with Griffith University - Developing program leader networks and resources to enhance learning and teaching in multi-campus universities - $250,000
2009    -    Collaborative partner in Australian Learning & Teaching Council Fellowship with fellow Professor Stephen Billett from Griffith University - Curriculum and Pedagogic bases for effectively integrating practice-based experiences - $339,685
2012    -    Co-Investigator, Australian Research Council Linkage Grant - Deaf Jurors Investigation, with University of New South Wales, Heriot Watt University and the University of Alberta - $268,000

Research Awards:

  • Winner of the 2017 Andrea Durbach Award for Human Rights Scholarship awarded by the Australian Human Rights Institute and the Australian Journal for Human Rights for the article, "Justice is blind as long as it isn't deaf: Excluding deaf people from jury duty - an Australian human rights breach" (2017) 23(3) Australian Journal of Human Rights 332, 332-350 (awarded 22 March 2018).


Former practising Solicitor admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia. Associate member of the Law Institute of Victoria. Accredited mediator and Associate of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia.

Professional memberships

Membership of Editorial Boards:

  • Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal (Thomson Reuters), 2003-present
  • Appointed Chief Editorial Consultant to the Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal – November 2018-present
  • Laws of Australia (Thomson Reuters) – Title 13.2 Mediation, 2009-present
  • Contributing author on Contracts and Dispute Resolution to Oxford’s Australian Law Dictionary, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 3rd ed, 2017)
  • ADR Bulletin (Bond University), 1998–2011
  • Series Editor of Pearson Law Briefs – a new series of introductory law texts covering all the core units in law programs (Pearson Education), 2008-2011
  • Guest columnist – World Arbitration and Mediation Report 2004-2005.

Recent Invitations to Referee Journal Articles:

  • ERA 2015 and 2018 Peer Reviewer
  • ARC Assessor 2012-present
  • Sydney University Law Review (2010)
  • Melbourne University Law Review (2009)
  • Legal Education Review (2006-2008)
  • Queensland University of Technology Journal of Law & Justice (2006)
  • Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal (1999-current)

Membership of Associations & Professional Bodies:

  • Associate Member of the Law Institute of Victoria, 2015-present
  • Associate of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia (now Resolution Institute), 2005-present
  • Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, 2008- present (currently a member of the Victorian Chapter Executive Committee)
  • Australian Collaborative Education Network 2009-present
  • Golden Key International Honour Society - Honorary Membership awarded by the ACU St Patrick’s Campus Golden Key International Honour Society, 2014-present
  • Australasian Law Teachers Association, past member
  • Australian Professional Legal Education Council, past member
  • NSW Law Society, past member (1992-2006)

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