Dr David

Dr David Wishart

Senior Lecturer

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

La Trobe Law School

Melbourne (Bundoora)


B. Com; LLB (Hons.); LLM; PhD



Membership of professional associations

Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia

Area of study


Brief profile

After a brief stint in practice, David completed a Masters by thesis from Melbourne University.  During his candidature, he was a tutor in the Legal Studies Department of that institution.  He then became a law lecturer in the Department of Accounting at Monash University.   In 1986 he joined the Faculty of Law at Universiti Malaya, from whence he moved to the Faculty of Law at the University of Canterbury.  During this time he wrote a number of articles on consitutional law and company law in both jurisdictions, including his book, Company Law in Context (OUP, 1994) in relation to New Zealand company law.  He became interested in matters to do with indigenous peoples.  In 1993 he joined the then School of Law and Legal Studies (now Law School) at La Trobe University.  He has published extensively in corporations law, and to a lesser extent in consitutional law, and law and indigenous peoples.  Recently he has entered on a project considering the issues surrounding digital evidence and has been deeply involved in considering competition policy and law from various theoretical perspectives.  His most recent book, Corporations Law Guidebook (OUP, 2008) is a study in theory as well as an innovative perspective on learning corporations law.  His successful PhD thesis, 'Australia's National Competition Policy 1995-2005' was completed in 2014.

Research interests

Corporations and Corporate Governance

- Please contact me to discuss a topic.

Teaching units

Corporations Law: LAW4COR

Competition Policy and Law: LAW2CPL

Law of Business Association: LST2LBA

Principle of Public Law LAW1PPL



Recent publications


(ed.) ‘Intellectual Property and New Technologies (a Special Edition of Law in Context 2013, Vol. 29(1)) Federation, Leichhardt, 2013 (132 pp)

Corporations Law Guidebook, OUP, Melbourne, 2009; 2nd ed forthcoming May 2016.

(ed.) Competition Policy with Legal Form — reviewing Australian and overseas experience (a Special Edition of Law in Context 2002, Vol. 20(1)) Federation, Leichhardt, 2002 (with Christopher Arup) (183 pp)

Company Law in Context, OUP, Auckland, 1994


 ‘Snark Hunting: Progressive transformative possibilities in Australia’s corporate law’ (2013) 28 Australian Journal of Corporate Law 16-34

'Resetting the Boundary between State and Market’, 2011 LAWASIA Journal 39.

'A Reconfiguration of Company and/or Corporate Law Theory', (2010) 10 Journal of Corporate law Theory 151-78

‘Email age strains the law’ (with Craig Macaulay and Blare Sutton) (Winter 2006) Australian Law Management Journal 12-13.

‘Forensics and the Practitioner’ (2006) 4/18 Australian Insolvency Journal 18-22

Contract, Oppression and Agreements with Indigenous Peoples’, (2005) 28 The University of New South Wales Law Journal 780-820.

'Arguing Against the Economics of (say) Corporations Law', (2003) 26 The University of New South Wales Law Journal 540-566.

‘Theory, Politics and the Reform of Corporations Law (or Corporations Law as a Glob)’, (2002) 6 Law Text Culture 87-106

‘Critiquing Law and Economics’ (2002) 14 Australian Journal of Corporate Law 74-87

 'Corporate Law Reform: Process and Program', (2000) 52 Australian Company Secretary 140-6

'The Absent Discussion in Australian Corporations Law', (1998) 15 Law in Context 142-65

'Simplification and Motherhood', [1996/2] Butterworths Corporations Law Bulletin 16-9

'Does the High Court Understand Corporations Law?' (1996) 6 Australian Journal of Corporate Law 424-41

'Resuscitating Popper: Critical Theory and Corporate Law', (1996) 3 Canberra Law Review 99

'Anthropomorphism Rampant: Rounding Up Executive Directors' Liability', [1993] New Zealand Law Journal 175-9

'Models and Theories of Directors' Duties to Creditors', (1991) 14 New Zealand Universities Law Review' 323-74

'Malaysia: Dr Mahathir's Thinking on Constitutional Issues', with Prof. R H Hickling, [1988-9] Lawasia 47-79


A yearly contribution 'From our Australian Correspondent' in the New Zealand Company and Securities Law Bulletin; for example, 'Curiosities of 2009' (February 2010), 'David and Goliath' (April 2009),'Two Unlikely Headline Cases' (February 2007), ‘The inquiry into the James Hardie transactions: whitewashing some very dirty linen’, (April 2005), ‘Responsible behaviour, corporate culture and the Australian Wheat Board’, (April 2006)

'The Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy", The Age, 12 March, 2009, Opinion

‘Executive pay a fraud on society’ The Age, 1 December 2006, Value Added.

 ‘Email shock a business horror’, (with Craig Macaulay) The Age, 24 April 2006, Value Added.


Research projects

National Competition Policy

Discovery of Electronic data.

Regulating corporate culture in the banking industry.