Call +61 2 9371 1893

SoCLA National Conference 2024 – Call for Papers

Location: Zinc, Fed Square, Melbourne VIC 3000
Date: 13 - 15 June 2024, 3:00 pm

"Cranes, Trains and Little Lanes"

13 - 15 June 2024, Melbourne

In 2024 we meet on the banks of the Birrarung, near to the iconic ancient and modern meeting places (the Birrarung Marr and the Melbourne Cricket Ground). 

As we prepare to meet to share stories from the past and seek to learn for the future we acknowledge the continuing connection to country of the elders of the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. 

The SoCLA Conference Subcommittee is calling for papers for its 2024 National Conference to be held at Melbourne on 13-15 June 2024. 

Melbourne is known for many things, coffee, single speed bikes, sporting events of all shapes and sizes and most recently (with the glut of infrastructure projects under construction) cranes, trains and (of course) its little lanes. 

So, with that inspiration in mind, the SoCLA Conference Subcommittee is calling for abstracts for papers to be submitted for one of the following streams:

  • Like lemmings.  Government stimulus meant that the post-COVID insolvency cliff was further away than expected.  However, the number of recent insolvencies in the construction industry suggest that the artificial EOT has run its course and, in an industry where cash-flow rules, the tap has turned off.  Papers in this stream will investigate the interaction between insolvency and construction law.  What can the insolvency profession learn from those who practice construction law or (perhaps more importantly) what can “team construction” learn from “team insolvency”. 
  • Back in town.  The next pandemic may be just around the corner, but for now we’re back in town (at least on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).  Have we exhausted the discussion about the long-term impacts of COVID on the construction industry?  The prevalence of COVID clauses in construction contracts suggests not.  Papers in this stream will grapple with the ongoing impacts of COVID, WFH and might even offer some lessons for navigating the next pandemic with less disruption and delay. 
  • …and automobiles.  The governments of the land played the obvious card and built their way out of COVID.  With the plethora of nation-building giga projects underway and due to start soon the organisers ask “what have we leant and what can we do differently (today) to make the road ahead smooth.  
  • The price is right.  Adam Smith posited that the invisible hand would, through a free market economy,  incentivise rational economical actors to produce what is societally necessary.  Perhaps because of this, economists (and parenting experts) believe, fervently, in the power of incentives.  Is this working in construction contracting?  If so, how do we know?  If not, what is getting in the way and how can we as an industry get out of the way of the hand we cannot see? 

The questions posed above only cover a small sample of the myriad issues the SoCLA Conference Subcommittee hope to see addressed this year.  However, all abstract submittals should carefully consider and focus on the role that construction law will (or should) play as we seek answers to these questions. 

While the preference is to have papers in the streams described above, the SoCLA Conference Subcommittee reserves the right to allow abstracts into the conference that are within the general scope of the conference even if they do not talk directly to one of the above streams. 




Submissions must be made before 5pm WST on the due date. 

Abstracts and/or papers received after the advertised closing date and time may not be accepted in the SoCLA Conference Subcommittee's absolute discretion.

All abstracts submitted will be subject to a blind peer review process which will guide the committee on acceptance of abstracts for presentation.  Peer reviewers will assess abstracts against the following criteria:

  • Academic merit of the work;
  • Originality of the work;
  • Completeness of the information, including the description of results;
  • Relevance to the conference theme; and
  • Appropriateness for presentation (eg: not a company ‘advertisement’). 


Abstracts and/or papers received after the advertised closing date and time may not be accepted in the

By submitting an abstract the submitted confirms his or her agreement to comply with these rules for Abstracts and Papers.   

  1. The abstract must be submitted online at SoCLA National Conference 2024 - Call for Papers (this webpage) via the online form below.
  2. The abstract must be uploaded to the online submission page in an anonymised form to enable to peer review process to be properly undertaken.  There should be no way to identify the author from the abstract itself.  The abstract will be separated from the details collected on the online submission page during the peer review process and the peer reviewers will only review anonymous abstracts. 
  3. All abstracts and papers should comply the formatting and citation requirements of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed). 
  4. Abstracts should be entered into the online form under the headings:
    (a) Title of Presentation (one sentence)
    (b) Abstracts Theme
    (c) Alternative Abstract Theme
    (d) Background (max 150 words)
    (e) Approach (max 150 words)
    (f) Take Home Message (max 100 words)
    (g) Description of Presentation (for Program/App - max 150 words)
  5. Word limits will not be strictly enforced but abstracts and/or papers that fall outside the word limits may be rejected.  That is the case even if an abstract has been accepted. 
  6. The title of the abstract and paper must clearly characterise the issue to be presented.
  7. The paper should identify (and be relevant to) the theme of the conference and a stream of discussion identified above. 
  8. The paper must be an original work, not having been published elsewhere.  Although the committee reserves the right to accept previously published work where it is relevant and of exceptional quality. 
  9. Where it is proposed to present the results of any empirical research the approach and the results must be clear from the paper.  In any event the paper must draw a clear conclusion.
  10. The paper must contain sufficient information so that if published it will be a complete report independent of the presentation to be given at the conference. 
  11. Papers containing brochures or advertising material will be rejected.  However, authors may associate themselves with a firm / company / university or other brand in the paper and during the presentation. 
  12. Where the abstract is accepted:
    1. All of the author(s) who intend to present the paper at the conference must register (and pay) to attend the conference by the date stated in the call for abstract.  Failure to register (and pay) to attend the conference may result in the acceptance being withdrawn and the presentation spot being offered to another author(s). 
    2. The author(s) must submit a fully developed paper in accordance with these rules and any accompanying presentation to the conference committee by the date stated in the call for abstracts or such further date as may be agreed. 
    3. The paper must be presented at the conference by the presenter authorised by the committee.  Replacements or proxies are not permitted without the permission of the committee (which will not be unreasonably withheld where there are extenuating circumstances such as illness or other unforeseeable circumstances). 
    4. The author(s) authorises the conference committee to publish the paper and any accompanying presentation to the conference attendees and on the website and/or on the conference USB. 
    5. The presenters will be responsible for their own accommodation, transportation and other fees or costs associated with attending the conference. 
    6. The first author named in the abstract submission will be the point of contact with the committee. 
    7. The committee will allocate the presentation time in the committee's absolute discretion. 
    8. The author(s) acknowledge that the conference committee may arrange for the presentation of the abstract to be recorded (video and audio).  The author(s) give SoCLA permission to publish the recording on the website or such other website as SoCLA decides in its absolute discretion. [If you do not agree to this clause you should note that clearly in the "other comments" section of the online submission page.]

Please email should you have any questions in relation to this event. We look forward to receiving your submission soon.


Section A: Personal Details

Please complete ONE form per Abstract.

Section B: Presenter Details

Section C: Abstract Submission

Should your abstract be successful, your presentation will be grouped together with one of these suitable themes.
Please select an alternate theme should your presentation cover two areas.
Describe the identified issue/problem and its relevance. Spelling out acronyms in full the first time they appear.
What methods/strategies were used to address the problem?
What will we learn from your presentation? What should others know?

Section D: Presentation Details

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 4 files.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Only abstracts submitted in English will be reviewed.
  2. Abstracts will be original work and must be submitted using the online form, by the presenting author.
  3. All abbreviations must be spelled out on first use.
  4. Abstracts should be thoroughly checked for correct spelling and grammar.
  5. Abstracts must be submitted by Saturday 2 March 2024 for consideration by the Conference Organising Committee. Authors will be notified of provisional acceptance of abstracts by 22 March 2024.
  6. To be formally accepted, abstract authors must be registered and paid to attend the Conference by 1 May 2024.
  7. If successful, the Organising Committee reserve the right to:
    – Upload the paper to the conference app, conference USB and SoCLA website as a member-only resource
    – Upload video of presentation and powerpoint to SoCLA website as member-only resources
    – Upload audio of presentation to be a SoCLA podcast