Chris Dent  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr Chris Dent

    Associate Professor

    About me

    I am a Murdoch graduate who has returned to the fold after carrying out research for the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia and the Victorian law Reform Commission as well as working at the Melbourne Law School, for 12 years, with the Centre for Media and Communications Law and the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia.

    Teaching area


    BJU200 Research Methods for Law

    LLB580 Honours Thesis in Law (Unit Coordinator)

    LLB582 Legal Research Methods for Honours

    LLM614 Health Law

    Research areas

    I have two broad areas of academic interest. The first relates to the operation of the intellectual property system – with a particular focus on the use of patents. The second relates to the relationship between the individual and the law – a socio-legal exploration of how we, as members of society, are regulated on a daily basis. To carry out this work, I use historical, empirical and critical approaches (usually the work of Michel Foucault) to interrogate the law we have and the law that existed before.

    Awards and grants

    ARC DP0987637: ‘“Nothing Can Be Created Out of Nothing”: Workers, Their Know-How and the Employment Relationships that Support Them’; Discovery Grant.

    CIs: Chris Dent, William van Caenegem, Chris Arup and John Howe.

    ARC DP0987570: ‘Drug Companies, their Patenting Strategies and High-Cost Pharmaceuticals: An Empirical Investigation’; Discovery Grant.

    CIs: Andrew Christie, David Studdert, Peter McIntyre and Chris Dent.

    ARC LP0882034: ‘“The fingers of the powers above do tune the harmony of this peace”:  Australia and the Harmonisation of Patents’; Linkage Grant.

    CIs: Andrew Christie and Chris Dent.



    • Dent, C., (2020),Regulating the artist: Laws norms and practices,In: Research Handbook on Art and Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, .


    • Dent, C., (2020), The Introduction of Duty into English Law and the Development of the Legal Subject, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 40, 1, .
    • Dent, C., (2020), The Introduction of Duty into English Law and the Development of the Legal Subject, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 17 Jan 2020, , .
    • Dent, C., (2019), Regulating interactive creativity for the bad: Camgirls, video games and fake news, Interactive Entertainment Law Review, 2, 1, .
    • Dent, C., (2019), Nineteenth-Century Law, Literature and Opium, Open Library of Humanities, 5, 1, .
    • Dent, C., (2019), Regulating interactive creativity for the bad: camgirls, video games and fake news, Interactive Entertainment Law Review, 2, 1, pages 3 - 22.
    • Dent, C., (2018), A Law Student-Orientated Taxonomy for Research in Law, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 8, 42, October 2017, pages 371 - 388.
    • Dent, C., (2018), THE LOCUS OF DEFAMATION LAW SINCE THE CONSTITUTION OF OXFORD, Monash University Law Review, 44, 3, pages 491 - 519.
    • Dent, C., (2018), New insights in patent history: an application of evolutionary theory, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, 8, 3, pages 171 - 190.
    • Dent, C., (2018), Taking the Human Out of the Regulation of Road Behaviour, The Sydney Law Review, 40:39, March 2018, pages 39 - 62.
    • Dent, C., Haigh, Y., (2018), Oligopolist Speech and the Public Interest in Pharmaceutical Patent Law Reform, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 33, 1, pages 1 - 20.
    • Brown, M., Dent, C., (2017), Privacy Concerns Over Employer Access to Employee Social Media, Monash University Law Review, 43, 3, pages 796 - 827.
    • Dent, C., (2017), The Reasonable man, his Nineteenth-century Siblings, and their legacy, Journal of Law and Society, 44, 3, pages 406 - 432.
    • Dent, C., (2017), The 'Reasonable Man', his Ninteenth-century 'Siblings' and their Legacy, Journal of Law and Society, 44, 3, pages 403 - 432.
    • Dent, C., (2017), Restrain me not: Mitchel V Reynolds and Early 18th Century Patent Law, University of Western Australia Law Review, 41, 2, pages 4 - 23.
    • Dent, C., (2017), Religion and the early modern patent system - 1560-1660, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 6, 3, pages 580 - 599.
    • Dent, C., (2017), The Purpose of Patents for Invention: Regulation of Exchange Versus Incentive, Intellectual Property Quarterly, , 3, pages 245 - 261.
    • Dent, C., (2016), The Rise in References to 'Knowledge' in 19th Century English Law, Legal History, 16, 1, pages 27 - 58.
    • Christie, A., Dent, C., Liddicoat, J., (2016), The Examination Effect: A Comparison of the Outcome of Patent Examination in US, Europe and Australia, The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, 16, 1, pages 22 - 43.
    • Dent, C., (2016), Nineteenth-Century Patent Law and ClassicalEconomics: Patents as Exchangeable Sites of Value, Intellectual Property Quarterly, , 2, pages 103 - 116.
    • Dent, C., (2016), Decisions around innovation and the motivators that contribute to them: patents, copyright, trade marks and know-how, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, 6, 4, pages 435 - 453.
    • Dent, C., (2015), Nordenfelt v Maxim-Nordenfelt: An Expanded Reading, Adelaide Law Review, 36, 2, pages 329 - 354.
    • Dent, C., (2015), Confusion in a legal regime built on deception: the case of trade marks, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, 5, 1, pages 2 - 27.
    • Dent, C., (2013), A Regulatory Perspective on the Interests and Motivators of Creative Individuals, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 23, 2 (2013), pages 261 - 276.

    Dent, C. – The Purpose of Patents For Invention: Regulation of Exchange vs Incentive. Intellectual Property Quarterly [2017](3) 245-61.

    Dent, C. – The “Reasonable Man”, his Nineteenth-Century Siblings and their Legacy. Journal of Law and Society 44(3) (2017) 406-32.

    Dent, C. – ‘Legal Academics, Our Creativity and Why We do it: Insights from Foucault’. Law Teacher 48(3) (2014) 1-19.

    Dent, C. – ‘Registers of Artefacts of Creation – from the Late Medieval Period to the 19th Century’. Laws 3(2), 239-81. doi:10.3390/laws3020239 (2014).

    Dent, C. – ‘A Regulatory Perspective on the Interests and Motivators of Creative Individuals’. Asia Pacific Media Educator 23(2) (2013) 265-280.

    Dent, C. – ‘Stepping Back from the Property Line: A Perspective from Regulatory Theory’. Journal of Law and Medicine 21 (2013) 330-334.

    Arup, C., Dent, C., Howe, J. & van Caenegem, W. – Restraints of Trade: The Legal Practice. University of New South Wales Law Journal 36(1) (2013) 1-29.

    Dent, C. – (Potential) Regulatory Function of Contractual Clauses: Restraints of Trade and Confidential Information in Employment Contracts. Australian Journal of Labour Law 26(1) (2013) 1-19.

    Christie, A., Dent, C., McIntyre, P., Wilson, L. & Studdert, D. – Patents Associated with High-Cost Drugs in Australia. PLoS One 8(4): e60812. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060812 (2013).

    Dent, C. – ‘Relationships between Laws, Norms, Practices: The Case of Road Behaviour’. Griffith Law Review 21(3) (2012) 708-27.

    Dent, C. – The Possibilities of a Regulatory Approach to Answer the Question: Should Genetic Inventions be Patentable? Journal of Law, Information and Science 22(1) (2012) 16-31.

    Dent, C. – Negotiating Control of Artefacts of Creation: Intellectual Property, Know-How, Confidential Information and Contracts. International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 43(3) (2012) 248-266.

    Dent, C. – ‘Grey, Meticulous and Patently Documentary’: Foucaultian Historical Methods and the Patent System. Journal of Sociology 47(3) (2011) 297-312.

    Dent, C. – Compensation and/or Correcting the Record: A Framework for the Regulation of (Defamatory) Speech. Media and Arts Law Review 16 (2011) 123-143.

    Weatherall, K., Rotstein, F., Dent, C. & Christie, A. – Patent Oppositions in Australia: The Facts. University of New South Wales Law Journal 34(1) (2011) 93-135. 

    Dent, C. – The TRIPS Agreement and an Experimental Use Exception for “Research Tools”. Australian Economic Review 44(1) (2011) 73-8.

    Dent, C. – Opposing What? Nature, Purposes and Questions of Reform of the Opposition Decision in the Patent System. Flinders Law Journal 12(2) (2010) 1-39.

    Dent, C., Fenwick, C. & Newitt, K. – Legal Incentives to Promote Innovation at Work: A Critical Analysis. Economic and Labour Relations Review 21(2) (2010) 27-50.

    Christie, A. & Dent, C. – Non-Overlapping Rights: A Patent Misconception. European Intellectual Property Review 32(2) (2010) 58-66.

    Dent, C. – Copyright as (Decentred) Regulation: Digital Piracy as a Case Study. Monash University Law Review 35(2) (2010) 348-375.

    Dent, C. – “Generally Inconvenient”: The 1624 Statute of Monopolies as Political Compromise. Melbourne University Law Review 33(2) (2009) 415-453.

    Hall, E., Dent, C. & Christie, A. – Patent Attorney Privilege in Australia: Options for Reform. Australian Intellectual Property Journal 20(3) (2009) 178-193.

    Dent, C. – Not All Practices Are Equal: An Exploration of Discourses, Governmentality and Scale Free Networks. Social Semiotics19(3) (2009) 345-361.

    Rotstein, F. & Dent, C. – Third Party Challenges in Europe, the United States and Australia: A Comparative Analysis. Journal of World Intellectual Property 12(5) (2009) 467-499.

    Dent, C. – Copyright, Governmentality and Problematisation: An Exploration. Griffith Law Review 18 (2009) 129-150.

    Dent, C., Hall, E. & Christie, A. – For the Health of the Economy and Patent System: Rationale and Scope of Patent Attorney Privilege. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice 4(1) (2009) 23-32.

    Dent, C. – Patents as Administrative Acts: Patent Decisions for Administrative Review? Sydney Law Review 30(4) (2008) 691-714.

    Dent, C., – An Exploration of the Principles, Precepts and Purposes that Provide Structure to the Patent System. Intellectual Property Quarterly 2008 (4) 456-477.

    Dent, C. – ‘“Journalists are the Confessors of the Public” Says One Foucaultian’. Journalism 9(2) (2008) 200-219.

    Dent, C. & Cook, I. – Stare Decisis, Repetition and Understanding Common Law. Griffith Law Review 16(1) (2007) 131-150.

    Dent, C. – To See Patents As Devices Of Uncertain (But Contingent) Quality: A Foucaultian Perspective. Intellectual Property Quarterly (2007) (2) 148-163.

    Dent, C. – Patent Policy In Early Modern England: Jobs, Trade And Regulation. Legal History 10 (2006) 71-95.

    Dent, C. – Patent Oppositions and the Constitution: Before or After?. Australian Intellectual Property Journal 17 (2006) 217-231.

    Dent, C. & Weatherall, K. – Lawyers’ Decisions In Australian Patent Dispute Settlements: An Empirical Perspective. Australian Intellectual Property Journal 17 (2006) 255-276.

    Dent, C. – Decision-making and Quality in Patents: An Exploration. European Intellectual Property Review 28 (2006) 381-388.

    Dent, C. – The Privileged Few and the Classification of Henwood v Harrison: Foucault, Comment and Qualified Privilege. Griffith Law Review 14(1) (2005) 34-60.

    Dent, C. & Kenyon, A. – Defamation Law’s Chilling Effect: A Comparative Content Analysis of Australian and US Newspapers. Media & Arts Law Review 9 (2004) 89- 111.