Professor Richard Johnstone

National Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (NRCOHSR)
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Labour Law 180118
  • Criminal Law And Procedure 180110
  • Law And Society 180119
  • Access To Justice 180102
  • Environmental And Occupational Health And Safety 111705

Research interests

Richard's empirical research into OHS regulation has focused principally on OHS enforcement, with a major study on OHS prosecution in Victoria, (Occupational Health and Safety, Courts and Crime, Federation Press, 2003), and smaller studies on enforcement in New South Wales, and in the construction industry in Queensland. His current research includes Australian Research Council-funded projects on compliance with OHS, anti-discrimination and dismissal law; and (with Michael Quinlan) on the implementation of OHS process standards in four Australian jurisdictions: Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. He is also examining the regulation of OHS in non-employment relationships, including work on road freight, contractors and sub-contractors, labour hire, and franchise arrangements. With Neil Gunningham, Richard has conducted major policy studies for the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission, the Department of Minerals and Energy, New South Wales and the WorkCover Authority of Ne w South Wales. The WorkCover Authority of New South Wales study was further developed, and was published as Regulating Workplace Safety: Systems and Sanctions, in the Oxford Socio-Legal Studies Series in 1999. Richard has also published a leading general text, Occupational Health and Safety Law and Policy (Thompson Law Book, 1997 and 2nd ed 2004).

He has also published five books and a dozen articles or chapters on various aspects of law teaching. Each of these publications has been the result of a genuine engagement with educational theory and research.


Richard Johnstone was the foundation Director of the National Research Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and is now an Adjunct Professor in the Regulatory Institutions Network within Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, and a member of the National Research Centre. He is also a Professor in the Griffith Law School, where he is the Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Research and Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Unit, within the Socio-Legal Research Centre.


Return to top

Updated:  18 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers