• CSU
  • University of Melbourne

This research centre ceased operation on 31 December 2016. This website is archived. There will be no further updates to this site.


Economics and Innovation

The program focuses on central ethical issues arising in the economic sphere. These include the justice of national and global economic arrangements, such as taxation, fiscal, labour and property law, and financial and trading regimes. Specific areas include markets in education and the economics of climate change. The program also examines corporate responsibilities in the spheres of finance, profitability, sustainability and human rights, and distributive justice. It aims to make a major contribution to the ethical understanding of innovation and technology. Program members realize that technical, scientific, legal and social science expertise is vital, and work with practitioners in the relevant professions.


Research in this program examines a range of issues that arise from the nature and value of the natural, and also the artificial environment, and our relationship with them. These include issues of justice and responsibility in relation to possession of, access to, and exploitation of land, water, and other (renewable and non-renewable) natural resources, ethical issues in climate change mitigation and adaptation, including those involving geo-engineering, and the human role in the anthropocene. 


This program addresses issues in bioethics, healthcare ethics, and public health ethics. This includes conceptual work on the ethics of procreation, the ethics of providing medical treatment to vulnerable groups such as children, dual use issues in the biological sciences, and the distinction between medical treatment and human enhancement. It also includes work on practical ethical issues arising in healthcare, including moral and regulatory challenges of experimental therapies, difficulties facing medical research ethics committees, and the problem of determining when conscientious objections are legitimate in healthcare.


This program addresses a variety of conceptual and practical ethical issues that are generated for the most part by the phenomena of war, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, crime and corruption. These include the nature and application of Just War Theory, morality and self-defense, principles of criminal liability, justification for police use of force, ethics of counter-terrorism tactics, anti-corruption systems and ethical issues in cyber-security.


2015 Annual Report [.pdf]

CAPPE Events

Seminar 28th September

Norvo Lo - La Trobe University

This paper discusses social attitudes towards feeding neighbourhood wild birds. It connects different and often opposing attitudes on the issue to three schools of philosophy regarding animals and nature. These include animal liberation ethics, wilderness preservation ethics,and anthropocentrism. 

Contact CAPPE for more information.


Professor Seumas Miller

Institutional Corruption and The Capital Markets  More

Fixing the Fix - Benchmark Reform and the Future of Financial Regulation  More

Designing-in-Ethics: A Compulsary Retirement Savings System  More

Dr Stephen Clarke

On Religious Violence, ABC Western Plains 'Mornings', radio interview  More

Past media events

Professor Suzanne Uniacke

Criminal Justice Ethics
Ethical Issues of Privacy, Security, Defence and Retaliation

Biomedical Ethics
Telephone +61 (02) 6272 6292

BA (La Trobe), MA (La Trobe), PhD (Sydney)


Suzanne Uniacke is Director of the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra. Prior to taking up this position in July 2013, she worked in philosophy departments at a number of universities in Australia and England. She has also held research fellowships at the University of St Andrews, Harvard University, and the University of Stirling. She was Joint and then Chief Editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy, 2001-2013, and Foundation Director of the Institute of Applied Ethics at the University of Hull (2003-2007).

She has been a visiting speaker in numerous countries including Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, and Croatia, and has published widely on issues of applied ethics, normative moral theory, philosophy of law and political and social philosophy. She is especially interested in the role of moral theory in the discussion of issues of practical concern.

Fields of special interest

  • Applied ethics
  • Philosophy of law
  • Moral and legal justification and excuse
  • Responsibility and obligation

Selected Publications

Uniacke, S. 'The Value of Applied Philosophy', in k. Brownlee, D. Coady, and K. Lippert-Rasmussen (eds), The Blackwell Companion to Applied Philosophy (Oxford: Wiley), chapter 3 (in press).

Uniacke, S. ‘Terrorism’, in S. Lazar and H. Frowe (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of War (Oxford University Press), chapter 26 (in press).

Uniacke, S. 'Responsibility, Expertise and Trust: Institutional Ethics Committees and Science', Humana.Mente: Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (2015): 169-185

Uniacke S. 'Criminalising Unknowing Defence', Journal of Applied Philosophy (first published online 11 December 2015) doi: 10.1111/japp.12171

Uniacke, S. ‘Opportunistic Terrorism’, Journal of Moral Philosophy, 11 (2014): 395-410. Uniacke, S. 'Self-Defense', in Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Uniacke, S. 'Self-Defence, Just War and a Reasonable Prospect of Success', in Helen Frowe and Gerald Lang (eds.), How We Fight (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Uniacke, S. 'Punishment as Penalty', Criminal Law and Philosophy, [online ahead of print] (2013).

Uniacke, S. 'Respect for AutonomyMedical Ethics', in David Archard, Monique Deveaux, Neil Manson, and Daniel Weinstock (eds.), Reading Onora O’Neill (London: Routledge, 2013).

Uniacke, S. 'Proportionality and Self-Defense’, Law and Philosophy 30, 3 (2011): 253-272.

Uniacke, S. 'Responsibility, Intention and Consequence', in John Skorupski (ed.), Routledge Companion to Ethics (London: Routledge, 2010).

Uniacke, S. 'On Getting One’s Retaliation in First', in Henry Shue and David Rodin (eds.), Preemption: Military Action and Moral Justification (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Uniacke, S. 'Emotional Excuses', Law and Philosophy 26, 1 (2007): 95-117.

Uniacke, S. 'Responsibility and Obligation: Some Kantian Directions', International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 13, 4 (2005): 461-475.

Uniacke, S. 'A Critique of the Preference Utilitarian Objection to Killing People', Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 80, 2 (2002): 209-217.

Uniacke, S. 'Was Mary’s Death Murder?', Medical Law Review, 9, 3 (2001): 208-220.

Uniacke, S. 'Absolutely Clean Hands? Responsibility for what’s allowed in refraining from what’s not allowed', International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 7, 2 (1999): 189-209.

Uniacke, S. 'Replaceability and Infanticide', Journal of Value Inquiry, 31, 2 (1997): 153-166.