New Domestic Violence Graduate Certificate


The School of Justice in the Faculty of Law at QUT has launched Australia’s first Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence. Students can choose to study two units a semester or take one unit at a time. Full details about the course are available here.

Read the news release here.

The four units are:
JSN204 Working with Domestic Violence
JSN203 Reducing Lethal Risk
JSN202 Children and Family Violence
JSN201 Dynamics of Domestic Violence

The course is offered online for flexible learning and is available to students across Australia. It supplements research with multimedia, discussion with other students, guest speakers, and tutorials with the lecturers.

The Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence is designed to provide an in-depth look at the latest studies to inform research, policy, and practice in the field. It is a truly interdisciplinary course, drawing from criminology, law, social work, sociology, psychology, health, and economics. The course was designed after extensive community consultation with more than 100 community organisations and stakeholders.

JSN201 Dynamics of Domestic Violence is focused on the different types of violence and abuse, including its prevalence and distribution based on Australian official data sources and studies. It investigates the contributing factors that shape abuse and its impact, including perpetrator beliefs and behaviours. This unit provides critical skills training for interpreting research and an introduction to domestic violence measurement. It also reviews relevant state and national laws as well as major reports and action plans from government.

JSN202 Children and Family Violence centres on the implications of domestic violence for children. It includes domestic violence against pregnant women, the overlap between domestic violence and child abuse, and the latest research on trauma and the impact of exposure to adult violence. It includes skills training around interviewing children. This unit reviews law and policy related to child abuse reporting, including the Hague child abduction convention. The unit looks in depth at domestic violence in context of family law, including consideration the Best Interests of the Child. It also reviews issues related to “failure to protect.”

JSN203 Reducing Lethal Risk is focused on preventing domestic violence homicide. It reviews the research on domestic violence related homicide and suicide, including risk factors for child fatalities. The unit covers risk factors like separation, stalking, and strangulation and provides skills training in assessing lethal risk and safety planning. It also looks at domestic violence fatality reviews and death investigation.

JSN204 Working with Domestic Violence Victims is all about domestic violence services. It reviews the landscape of services in Queensland and will provide practical information about referral networks. This unit also includes information about integrated response teams and other coordinated models for domestic violence response. This unit emphasises the best available tools for screening. It also looks at meeting the needs of diverse communities, from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to immigrant, disabled, rural, and LGBT communities. This unit also contains a section on vicarious trauma and self-care and an individualised professional development project.

Pending final approval by the University Academic Board, the first cohort of students will begin study in February 2016.

QUT also offers an undergraduate unit JSB286 Domestic Violence


Upcoming event: Romantic Terrorism – How He Gets into Her Head


Please join us at the next Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series for Romantic Terrorism – How He Gets into Her Head
with Associate Professor Sharon Hayes.

Thursday 7 May 2015
3.00pm – 4.30pm, afternoon tea provided
Room C412, Level 4, C Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St, Brisbane Read more

Outdated journal rankings and the ERA exercise



Professor Rick Sarre, School of Law, University of South Australia, and President, Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC)

Professor Kerry Carrington, Head of School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology.

Professor Reece Walters, Assistant Dean of Research, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology.

Forthcoming PacifiCrim, ANZSOC Newsletter, May 2015

As the results of the latest Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) exercise come closer to being announced, universities around Australia are holding their collective breaths.  The ERA claims to be an assessment of research strengths and quality at Australian universities. While it is not supposed to produce a set of league tables, ultimately that is what tends to happen.

Almost a decade ago, policymakers began the search for credible research performance indicators.  Bibliographic metrics tables were born.  In 2009 the Australian Research Council (ARC) published a set of journal rankings based on advice and feedback from various academic and professional associations.  Journals were ranked A*, A, B or C. The rankings were based on an academic assessment of journals published from 2001 to 2006. The exercise did not last long. Two years later, the rankings were discarded by then Minister Kim Carr for two reasons: first, because it became apparent that evaluation committees were tending to rely upon their own knowledge, and second, because the rankings were deemed to have become outdated.  Moreover, the Minister said there was evidence the rankings were being ‘deployed inappropriately within some quarters of the sector’ and ‘in ways that could produce harmful outcomes, and based on a poor understanding of the actual role of the rankings. One common example was the setting of targets for publication in A and A* journals by institutional research managers.’ (Carr, K quoted in Mazzarol and Soutar)

The news was welcomed by the Australian Academy of Science Secretary for Science Policy, the Academy of Social Sciences, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and Margaret Shiel, the then CEO of the ARC. Indeed, journal rankings were not used in the 2012 ERA exercise. Instructions to applicants and reviewers for ARC grants consistently state that one should not use these rankings as measures of quality. Finally, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is concerned about the misuse of any ERA journal ranking in performance management, and state unequivocally ‘that its continued use as a measure of research performance or in any other context is illegitimate.’

Notwithstanding all of the above, these out-dated lists continue to enjoy the favour of many Australian university managers. This gives rise to some unfortunate consequences. For example, researchers are discouraged from publishing in new and innovative journals that were ranked less than an A in 2006. Schools are now unwilling to begin new publication ventures because new journals will remain unranked for a not insignificant period of time.

There is another worrying aspect to this as well; one that has global consequences. It is no accident that journal citations and ranking measures place journals from US and UK (and sometimes Europe) at the top of lists, with one apparent measure being sheer longevity. Newcomers from the global south, such as Australia and Latin America, have, in the last twenty years especially, used open access, clever marketing and innovation to challenge the dominance of the big players. Traditional (global north) journal publishers are likely to attempt to manipulate the ranking lists to counter these trends.  The Scopus Journal Ranking system includes only 7 journals from Australia in criminology and law, which all rank in the lower quartiles. ANZ Journal of Criminology, Current Issues in Criminal Justice and International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, do not appear in the system. Australian journals cannot compete on a level playing field with the journals from the densely populated northern hemisphere. Yet it is important that we support our own journals from the global south.

Why do managers in Australian universities persist in using outdated journal rankings in arranging and assessing their submissions to ERA 2015 or, indeed, for anything else?  These rankings are officially dead, so why have they not been buried? The answers are not immediately clear. But we do know that, until the relevant funerals are held, younger tertiary institutions, new journals, newer disciplines and early career researchers will continue to be seriously disadvantaged.

Professor Rick Sarre, School of Law, University of South Australia, and President, Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC)

Professor Kerry Carrington, Head of School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology.

Professor Reece Walters, Assistant Dean of Research, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology.