Mr Shaun McCarthy

Mr Shaun McCarthy

Director

Newcastle Law School

Career Summary

Biography

Shaun is the Director of University of Newcastle Legal Centre (UNLC) and Program Convenor of the Practical Legal Training Program at the University of Newcastle.  He provides clinical supervision to law students at the UNLC and teaches into the Law School's Practice Program, Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor degrees.  Shaun has acted in multiple high profile public interest cases at the UNLC including the police shooting of Roni Levi, inquiry into the detention of Cornelia Rau and the Kathleen Folbigg case.  He conducts high profile public interest casework in anti-discrimination law and intensive research into asylum protection cases.  He has been involved in the UNLC flagship clinic 'Law on the Beach' at Newcastle Beach since its inception in 2004.  Shaun has developed an app titled Know the Law specifically designed for international students about the law in Australia.  He is an investigator in a National Health and Medical Research Foundation grant titled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records - Charting the Course for Successful Healthcare Transitions in Young Adults with Communication Disabilities.  Shaun is involved in the delivery of Planning Ahead seminars to community groups and undertaking research regarding how people respond to such information in dealing with their legal affairs and client capacity.  He is also undertaking research regarding how lawyers deal with elder financial abuse and whether screening tools could assist in combating such exploitation.  Shaun has recently co-hosted a Symposium with the Hunter New England Local Health District on Capacity Assessment.         

Program Convenor of Newcastle Law School's Practice Program (Practical Legal Training Program)

Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia

Unrestricted Practising Certificate from the Law Society of NSW

AWARDS: Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning awarded by the Australian Awards for University Teaching; NSW Premier's Public Sector Award Commendation for Services to Regional and Rural NSW; Newcastle Law School award for Teaching Excellence in Public Interest Advocacy and Social Justice Clinic; University of Newcastle Excellence in Teaching Award Outstanding Clinical Teacher in Law; University of Newcastle Work Integrated Learning Staff Member Award in the Faculty of Business and Law in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, performance and contribution to the University of Newcastle and wider community; University of Newcastle Faculty of Business and Law Excellence in External Engagement Staff Award; University of Newcastle Faculty of Business and Law International Engagement Award; University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence and Contribution to Student Learning; University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor's Award for International Engagement

Research Expertise
Public Interest Advocacy, Miscarriage of Justice cases, Clinical Legal Education, Client Capacity, Disability Law, Tribunals, Professional Conduct.
Submission to Productivity Commission Access to Justice Arrangements Report 2014; Submission to Commonwealth Senate regarding asylum seekers in Nauru Regional Processing Centre and Manus Regional Processing Centre; Submission to Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Elder Abuse; Submission to the Commonwealth Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee regarding The circumstances in which Australians' personal Medicare information has been compromised and made available illegally on the 'dark web'. Submission to the NSW Department of Justice Community Legal Centre Review.  Submission to the NSW Law Reform Commission on access to digital assets after death and incapacity.

ORCID 0000-0002-7515-6419

Teaching Expertise
LAWS 4007/LAWS 6011 Professional Conduct - Course Co-Ordinator

LAWS 5037/LAWS 6029 Public Interest Advocacy - Course Co-Ordinator

LAWS 4054A/LAWS 4054B/LAWS 6014A/LAWS 6014B Legal Practice 1 - Course Co-Ordinator

LAWS 4055A/LAWS 4055B/LAWS 6015A/LAWS 6015B - Legal Practice 2 - Course Co-Ordinator

Practical Legal Training Clinical Legal Education modules

Administrative Expertise
Program Convenor, Practice Program, Newcastle Law School

Member, Program Management Group, Newcastle Law School

Member, Australasian Professional Legal Education Council (APLEC)

Member, Law Society NSW and Newcastle Law Society

Member, Priority Research Initiative in Evidence Based Law and Practice, Newcastle Law School

Member, Disability Research Network, University of Newcastle

Member, Australasian Law Teachers Association

Member, Australian Collaborative Education Network

Member, Global Alliance for Justice Education

Member, Global Legal Empowerment Network


Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws, Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Macquarie University

Keywords

  • Disability Law
  • Legal Ethics
  • Clinical Legal Education
  • Public Interest Advocacy
  • Professional Conduct

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
180199 Law not elsewhere classified 100
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (10 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Walsh L, Hill S, Allan M, Balandin S, Georgiou A, Higgins I, et al., 'A content analysis of the consumer-facing online information about My Health Record: Implications for increasing knowledge and awareness to facilitate uptake and use.', Health information management : journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia, 1833358317712200 (2017)
DOI 10.1177/1833358317712200
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Isabel Higgins
2017 Walsh L, Hemsley BA, Allan M, Adams N, Balandin S, Georgiou A, et al., 'The ehealth literacy demands of Australia¿s My Health Record: a heuristic evaluation of usability', Perspectives in health information management / AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association, Fall 1-23 (2017) [C1]
Co-authors Isabel Higgins
2017 McCarthy SG, Meredith J, Bryant L, Hemsley B, 'Legal and Ethical Issues Surrounding Advance Care Directives in Australia: Implications for the Advance Care Planning Document in the Australian My Health Record', Journal of Law and Medicine, 25 136-149 (2017) [C1]
2016 McCarthy S, Maguire AM, Elton A, 'Executive Detention: Still no effective review for detainees', Alternative Law Journal, 41 249-253 (2016) [C1]
Co-authors Amy Maguire
2016 Ries NM, Johnston B, McCarthy S, 'Legal education and the ageing population: Building student knowledge and skills through experiential learning in collaboration with community organisations', Adelaide Law Review, 37 495-522 (2016) [C1]
Co-authors Briony Johnston, Nola Ries
2016 Hemsley BA, McCarthy S, Adams N, Georgiou A, Hill S, Balandin S, 'Legal, ethical, and rights issues in the adoption and use of the My Health Record by people with communication disability in Australia', Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, (2016)
2016 Ries NM, Johnston B, McCarthy S, 'Technology-Enabled Legal Service Delivery for Older Adults: What Can Law Learn from TeleHealth? Findings from an International Review of Literature', Elder Law Review, 10 1-14 (2016) [C1]
Co-authors Briony Johnston, Nola Ries
2015 Hemsley B, Georgiou A, Balandin S, Carter R, Hill S, Higgins I, et al., 'The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) for Adults with Severe Communication Impairments: Findings of Pilot Research.', Studies in health technology and informatics, 214 100-106 (2015) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 3
Co-authors Isabel Higgins, Paulette Vanvliet
2014 McCarthy SG, 'The Rise and Rise of Tribunals ¿ Engaging Law Students in Tribunal Advocacy', International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, 21 42-68 (2014) [C1]
2006 McCarthy S, 'Jill Anderson (ed), The Australian Pro Bono Manual: A Practical Guide and Resource Kit for Law Firms, Melbourne: Victoria Law Foundation and National Pro Bono Resource Centre, (2nd Edition, 2005) - Book Review 176-178 (2006)
Show 7 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Blakemore TJ, Howard A, McCarthy S, Ross N, 'Interprofessional Work Integrated Learning : Exploring Opportunities for Social Innovation in Australian Tertiary Education', Kyoto , Japan (2015)
Co-authors Tamara Blakemore, Amanda Howard, Nicola Ross
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 15
Total funding $1,040,767

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20183 grants / $758,495

Perpetrator Package - Young Perpetrators activity$582,361

Funding body: Department of Social Services

Funding body Department of Social Services
Project Team Doctor Tamara Blakemore, Doctor Kylie Agllias, Doctor Chris Krogh, Mr Shaun McCarthy, Professor Penny Jane Burke, Steve Larkin
Scheme Community Grants Hub
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1800632
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Best practice and trends in family counseling and mediation services in NSW: A colloborative case study of Uniting$154,634

Funding body: Uniting (NSW, ACT)

Funding body Uniting (NSW, ACT)
Project Team Doctor Tamara Blakemore, Doctor Chris Krogh, Associate Professor Amanda Howard, Doctor Milena Heinsch, Mr Shaun McCarthy, Doctor Graeme Stuart
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1800349
Type Of Funding C3112 - Aust Not for profit
Category 3112
UON Y

Endeavour Mobility Program$21,500

Clinical Legal Education in China

Funding body: Commonwealth Government

Funding body Commonwealth Government
Project Team

Bin Li

Scheme Asia Bound Student Mobility Program
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON N

20175 grants / $125,272

Pop-Up Clinics and Know the Law app$35,000

SSAF

Funding body: The University of Newcastle

Funding body The University of Newcastle
Scheme Community Development
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

New Colombo Plan Mobility Project - Clinical Legal Education in China$33,000

Clinical Legal Education in China

Funding body: Commonwealth Government

Funding body Commonwealth Government
Project Team

Bin Li

Scheme Asia Bound Student Mobility Program
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON N

Action on Elder Abuse: A pilot project to improve screening and intervention through health-legal collaboration$27,272

Funding body: NSW Department of Family and Community Services

Funding body NSW Department of Family and Community Services
Project Team Ms NOLA Ries, Associate Professor John Anderson, Doctor Elise Mansfield, Mr Shaun McCarthy
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1700701
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Juvenile Justice and Education Equity in the Hunter Region$20,000

Funding body: Centre for Excellence in Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE)

Funding body Centre for Excellence in Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE)
Project Team

Tamara Blakemore

Scheme Seed Grant Funding
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning awarded by the Australian Awards for University Teaching$10,000

Funding body: Commonwealth Government

Funding body Commonwealth Government
Scheme Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON N

20163 grants / $53,000

Pop-up clinics and Know the Law digital resource$30,000

Know the Law digital resource updating and pop-up legal advice clinics to Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Scheme SSAF
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Evidence Based Law and Practice Priority Research Initiative$20,000

The Evidence-Based Law and Practice Priority Research Initiative (PRI) will provide a coherent organising theme for research activity to be conducted within four thematic areas: Legal Education, Equity & Scholarship; Health, Justice & Social Affairs; Human Rights & International Affairs; and Business, Regulation & Compliance. The work undertaken as part of this PRI will help build a distinctive and innovative profile for research at Newcastle Law School.

Funding body: Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Nola Ries, John Anderson, Tim Connor, Katherine Lindsay, Nicola Ross, Shaun McCarthy

Scheme Faculty Research Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Teaching & Learning Seed Grant: Developing a Technology-Enabled Legal Outreach Service$3,000

This seed grant supports developmental work for a technology-enabled legal outreach service to connect the University of Newcastle Legal Centre with rural, regional and remote communities in New South Wales. 

Funding body: Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Shaun McCarthy and Nola Ries

Scheme Priority Research Initiatives
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20151 grants / $55,000

Know the Law app and pop-up legal advice clinics$55,000

Provision of 'Know the Law' app to provide legal rights and regulation information to international students

Funding body: The University of Newcastle

Funding body The University of Newcastle
Scheme SSAF
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20142 grants / $39,000

Pop Up Clinics for legal advice to students at Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses$35,000

Provide legal services to students at Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses through pop-up clinics

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Scheme SSAF
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Community Engagement and Research Impact Case Study$4,000

Law on the Beach case study

Funding body: Newcastle Innovation

Funding body Newcastle Innovation
Scheme Faculty of Business and Law Community Engagement and Research Impact Case Study
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20111 grants / $10,000

Tenancy Resource Project$10,000

Create a tenancy resource kit for social housing tenants

Funding body: Samaritans

Funding body Samaritans
Scheme Samaritans
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N
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Research Projects

Action on Elder Abuse 2017 -

This project will bring together health and legal service providers in the Newcastle and Hunter regions of New South Wales to design and pilot test an intervention to support elder abuse screening for community-dwelling older adults and the use of referral pathways for timely and effective action to address suspected situations of abuse. The intervention will be piloted with: legal practitioners recruited from law firms and community legal centres; and healthcare providers recruited from a general medical practice and aged care assessment teams (ACATs). Feedback from the pilot will inform the development of a specific screening tool, which will also be designed to identify older adults at risk of abuse so that preventative measures can also be considered as part of an overall action strategy in relation to appropriate referral pathways and support mechanisms.

 

AIMS:

(1)  To examine legal practitioners’ and healthcare providers’ knowledge and attitudes in relation to screening for and acting on situations of elder abuse; and

(2)  To examine the feasibility and acceptability of an elder abuse screening and interprofessional

workshop intervention delivered through legal practices, a general medical practice and ACATs, including:

(a)   practitioners’ satisfaction with interprofessional, health-legal training on elder abuse screening and action;

(b)  feasibility and acceptability of a brief elder abuse screening tool for legal practitioners and healthcare providers; and

(c)   the use of local and state resources and referral pathways to deal with both ongoing and potential elder abuse situations.

 

 

METHODS:

Study design, setting, and participants: A large general medical practice in the Newcastle region has agreed to participate in this project and a minimum of three ACATs within the area health service and approximately ten local legal practitioners will also be recruited to participate. Eligible participants will be agreeable to: participating in a half-day interprofessional training workshop; incorporating a brief elder abuse screening tool into their practice; and completing several short surveys over the course of the project. Participants will include legal practitioners, especially those whose practice focuses on wills, estates and elder law (identified from the NSW Law Society membership records and the Committee on Elder Law, Capacity and Succession); general medical practitioners, nursing professionals, and social workers. The study will have three main steps:

 

Step 1 - Selection of an elder abuse screening tool: The research team has already undertaken an international-in-scope literature review to identify existing questionnaire tools used to screen for elder abuse among community-dwelling older adults.[i] Such tools ask questions like: “Has anyone tried to force you to sign papers or to use your money against your will?”; “Do you trust most of the people in your family?”; “Have you relied on people for any of the following: bathing, dressing, shopping, banking, or meals?”; “Have you been upset because someone talked to you in a way that made you feel shamed or threatened?” We have also identified and examined ‘legal-health checks’ developed by community legal service providers for use by health practitioners to screen patients for legal concerns.[ii] We have also examined the risk factor assessment checklists available as part of the NSW Elder Abuse Toolkit at the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit website, which provide useful information to assist in developing standardised questions to allow legal and health professionals to begin a conversation with older adults about existing or potential elder abuse. In consultation with our project advisory committee (described below), we will select a set of screening questions for use in our pilot project. The choice of tool will be guided by strengths and limitations reported in the literature, including a need to balance ease of use with accuracy and comprehensiveness, as well as appropriateness of questions for clients who may have some degree of cognitive impairment. Our aim in this step is to overcome the barrier of what questions to be asked by using the available literature, information and existing tools to develop a short series of questions that represent the best medium for accurate and comprehensive screening of older adults for existing or potential elder abuse.

 

Step 2 – Interprofessional workshop and resources for participating care providers: In collaboration with the Hunter Dementia Alliance, the Reference Group on Elder Abuse in the Hunter and the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit (who are also working with Justice Connect), we will deliver interprofessional, health-legal training workshops for the participating, legal practitioners, GP practice and ACATs. The workshop will provide education on elder abuse, how to use the screening tool, and steps to take if situations of potential or suspected abuse are detected. Attendees will be educated on Hunter-specific and state-level resources and referral pathways to support timely intervention and follow-up. These resources include those available through the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit and a recently established Reference Group on Elder Abuse in the Hunter, which offers an interprofessional case consultation service for practitioners seeking guidance on how to deal with situations of potential elder abuse. The workshop will be registered with professional organisations offering Continuing Professional Development points. We have already planned an interprofessional workshop on capacity assessment scheduled for May 2017.

 

Step 3 – Pilot testing of the screening tool: The participating legal practices, GP practice and ACATs will incorporate the elder abuse screening questions into their consultations with older clients. Healthcare providers will add these questions to assessments they currently perform with older clients, such as the Medicare Health Assessment for Older Persons (75+). It is estimated that at least 200 older clients will be screened during a six-month pilot testing period.

 

Project advisory committee: We will establish a project advisory committee that includes members of the Hunter Dementia Alliance, the Reference Group on Elder Abuse in the Hunter, the Hunter Elder Abuse Interagency Collaborative, the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit and consumer representatives. The Dementia Alliance and the Reference Group include geriatricians, health practitioners employed in ACATs, professional staff of the Newcastle office of Alzheimer’s Australia, and legal practitioners with expertise in elder law. This advisory committee will provide advice throughout the project. 

 

MEASURES:

We will collect quantitative and qualitative data through voluntary surveys involving practitioners from the legal practices, the GP practice and ACATs. Participants may also be invited to take part in a focus group or follow-up interviews to further explore findings from the surveys. An interview guide or focus group questions will be developed based on the survey results. Ethics approval for all research activities will be sought from the Hunter New England Local Health District and University Ethics Committee as required.

 

Knowledge and attitudes in relation to screening for and acting on situations of elder abuse: Prior to the workshop, participants will be sent a link to a 10-minute online survey that will ask questions about their knowledge, attitudes and intentions concerning elder abuse (e.g., self-perceived competence in identifying and managing elder abuse situations; interest in and perceived barriers to using a screening tool; knowledge and use of existing state and local resources).

 

Satisfaction with interprofessional, health-legal training on elder abuse screening and action: At the end of the workshop, participants will be asked to complete a short paper survey with questions on the usefulness of the training and the resources identified, and any recommendations for improvement.

 

Feasibility and acceptability of a brief elder abuse screening tool: At the end of the six-month pilot testing period, participants will be sent a link to a 15-minute online survey that will seek feedback on the use of the screening tool. Data collected will include: number of clients screened; time taken to ask screening questions; impressions on use of the tool; impact on attitudes and perceived competence in relation to screening; and recommendations for improvement. We will contact participants at months two and four of the pilot testing period for an informal check on the progress of the intervention.

 

Use of local and state resources and referral pathways to deal with elder abuse situations: The post-intervention survey will also ask about: number of situations where potential and existing abuse was identified during the pilot period; types of abuse situations detected; local and state resources accessed; outcomes, where known (e.g., police involvement; change in accommodation and/or care arrangements for the client; preparation of new legal instruments, such as new enduring power of attorney appointments[iii]); and actual experiences with referral pathways, resources and support.

 

Dissemination of findings: We will analyse the data and prepare final pilot project findings that will be disseminated to reach a wide range of relevant audiences, including health and legal practitioner groups and community organisations serving older Australians at risk of elder abuse. If the screening tool is found to be good practice then we will publish the availability of the tool for broader use across NSW. We will produce: one or more scholarly articles that contribute to high-quality, peer-reviewed literature on the topic of elder abuse; articles for professional newsletters and online sources to reach health, aged care and legal practitioners; and presentations for conferences and other events.


[i] L De Donder, N De Witte, D Brosens, E Diercks and D Verte, Learning to Detect and Prevent Elder Abuse: The Need for a Valid Risk Assessment Instrument. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 2015;191:1483.

[ii] Legal Health Checks, http://legalhealthcheck.org.au/legalhealthcheck/.

[iii] Whole of Government response, above n 4, 17 (Recommendation 7 as to Powers of Attorney Act 2003 and further consideration required as to the need for changes and options to enhance safeguards in respect of powers of attorney).

Grants

Action on Elder Abuse: A pilot project to improve screening and intervention through health-legal collaboration

Funding body: NSW Department of Family and Community Services

Funding body NSW Department of Family and Community Services
Project Team Ms NOLA Ries, Associate Professor John Anderson, Doctor Elise Mansfield, Mr Shaun McCarthy
Scheme Research Grant

Collaborators

Name Organisation
Ms Nola Maria Ries University of Newcastle
Mr Shaun Gerard McCarthy University of Newcastle

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News

Law on the Beach

December 11, 2017

Academic honoured for making the law accessible to all

September 15, 2017

UON academic Shaun McCarthy recognised for his quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning.

Complementary legal service hits the beach for those feeling the heat

January 20, 2017

Law on the Beach, a free legal service for the community, will be held at Newcastle Beach over January and February

Legal program at Newcastle Beach riding a wave of success

January 29, 2015

A free legal clinic, metres from the crashing waves at Newcastle Beach, is pushing law students into new learning experiences.

Kathleen Folbigg case review bid challenges SIDS evidence

October 9, 2014

Shaun McCarthy discusses an evidence challenge of the Kathleen Folbigg case

Hit the surf and source legal advice

January 20, 2014

Young people are encouraged to tap into expertise of the University’s Legal Centre when it hits the sand for its annual Law on the Beach.

Mr Shaun McCarthy

Position

Director
University of Newcastle Legal Centre
Newcastle Law School
Faculty of Business and Law

Contact Details

Email shaun.mccarthy@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 8666
Fax (02) 4921 8866

Office

Room X-528
Building NeW Space
Location City Campus

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