UQ academic Andreas Schloenhardt has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to help Australian law enforcement agencies fight the $15 billion problem of organised crime.
The TC Beirne School of Law project will examine the application and effectiveness of anti-organised crime laws in Australia, the UK and France.It is one of 107 Australian and 20 Queensland community- focused projects awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2011.
Dr Schloenhardt said he was looking forward to engaging with overseas criminal law experts and law enforcement agencies to compare anti-organised crime laws and cases with those emerging in Australia.
“Learning from their experiences will enable me to assess Australian responses to organised crime more critically and open my mind to new ideas to prevent and suppress this phenomenon more effectively,” he said.
According to figures from the Australian Crime Commission, organised crime costs Australia an estimated $10-$15 billion per year and causes significant harm to individuals and the broader community.
Dr Schloenhardt’s research aims to raise awareness of the problems associated with these crimes and the laws designed to combat them. It will also be used to encourage policy makers to rethink existing counter measures and contribute to ongoing policy development and legislative reform proposals.
“The outcomes of this research will be presented to relevant stakeholders, including the Australian Government, international organisations, scholars and law enforcement agencies,” Dr Schloenhardt said.
Dr Schloenhardt is a widely recognised researcher in the field of organised crime and has consulted for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and also the Australian Federal Police.
His most recent project was a Human Trafficking awareness campaign and he has published extensively on the law and effects of organised crime, including human trafficking, motorbike gangs, drugs and the illegal timber trade.
Churchill Fellowships are awarded by the Winston Churchill Trust, an organisation established in honour of its namesake after his death in 1955.
The trust provides Australians with an opportunity to travel overseas to conduct research in their chosen fields using sources not readily available in Australia.
Recipients and projects are selected for their commitment to make a tangible difference to the community.
“This year’s Churchill Fellows, like their predecessors, are dedicated, inspiring Australians who will make a difference to our country over the coming decades. I congratulate them and look forward to supporting them on their immediate journey and future endeavours,” Chief Executive Officer of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Paul Tys said.
The Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, will present the Churchill Fellowship award at a ceremony at Government House in Brisbane on August 5.
Media: Associate Professor Andreas Schloenhardt (07 336 5619 firstname.lastname@example.org) or Melissa Reynolds (07 3365 2523, email@example.com)