This paper reviews the recent work by Australian labour lawyers that has embraced the ‘new regulation’ and in particular the idea of law as regulation. This approach has recast the academic study of labour law as being concerned with regulation of the labour market. While much of this work has concentrated on expanding the field of labour law to include many areas of law affecting the labour market (beyond the employer-employee relationship), the work has also developed the view of law as a mechanism of state regulation. The paper examines how the ‘regulatory turn’ in Australian labour law has affected the accounts it provides, and assesses the connection between seeing the labour market as the field of study and the adoption of a regulatory perspective to the study of labour law.
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This article was originally published as Frazer, AD, Reconceiving Labour Law: The Labour Market Regulation Project, Macquarie Law Journal, 8, (2008), 21-44.