Dr Francina Cantatore is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the Bond University Faculty of Law. She is admitted to practice on the Rolls of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. Prior to practising as special counsel with a local law firm and joining the Bond Faculty of Law, she was the in-house legal adviser for an Australian finance company and previously practised as a solicitor and barrister in South Africa. Her specialty areas of research are law and technology, legal education, clinical legal education (CLE), intellectual property (IP) law, commercial and consumer law, media and communications law, internet law and property law.
She holds a PhD from Bond University in copyright law and teaches in the areas of Property Law, CLE, IP Law and Media and Communications Law, as well as foundational JD and LLB courses. She has published four books and numerous book chapters and refereed academic articles related to her research areas. She is also the founding Co-Editor of the Australian Journal of Clinical Legal Education and the recipient of external grant funding in multiple partnered projects relating to legal education and internet law research.
Dr Cantatore established and is currently the Director of the Bond Legal Clinics Program, a law clinic program consisting of eight Pro Bono clinics with a focus on commercial law, public interest matters and access to justice. Francina is the recipient of a number of teaching and research awards, including an Australian National Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.
She is an Executive Member of the Australasian Law Academics Association and the Centre for Professional Legal Education Committee. She is also an Executive Board Member of Bond Limited, Faculty representative on the Bond Academic Senate, and a member of the Bond University Human Research Ethics Committee.
Francina is interested in supervising PhD and Masters students researching in areas related to her teaching and research.
Dr Cantatore has published extensively in the areas of law and technology, intellectual property (IP) law, clinical legal education, consumer law, media and communications law and property law. Through her pro bono and social justice involvement in law clinics for more than ten years, and her ongoing research in these areas, she is committed to exploring practice-based solutions to promote employability skills and experiential learning for law students, as well as investigating the positive benefits of incorporating pro bono service and access to justice initiatives in higher education. Professionally, she is admitted to legal practice on the Rolls of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia as well as South Africa. Having been a legal practitioner for more than 25 years, both as a barrister and solicitor in South Africa and Australia, she currently holds the position of Special Counsel with Cronin Miller Litigation.
In 2013, she established and continues to manage the Bond Law Clinic Program as Director of Clinics. The Program is a Faculty run clinical pro bono program consisting of eight pro bono law clinics, which adopt various models of legal service within the community, including an on-campus advice clinic, placements and project-based technology clinics. The on-campus Bond Law Clinic, a flagship initiative of the Faculty of Law, provides free legal advice to the community, including small businesses and non-profit organisations.
Dr Cantatore was Chief Investigator in a project funded by the Queensland Law Society, dealing with "The job readiness of law graduates and entry level solicitors", which investigated the views of legal practitioners on legal education, practical legal training and continuing professional development on the job readiness of newly admitted lawyers. She is currently involved in comparative research with Australian and UK universities on clinical legal education, and is also Co-Chief Investigator in a project funded by the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) on "Enhancing the efficacy of internet connectivity legal frameworks in the Asia-Pacific region".
She is currently researching in the following areas:
- Law and technology
- Work integrated learning and graduate employability
- Integrated skills development in legal education
- The intersection of pro bono law clinics and access to justice with job readiness in law students
- AI creativity and IP law
- Blockchain and property law
- IP and defamation law on the internet
- Copyright and publishing in the digital sphere
- Internet law and online communications
She was awarded the Faculty of Law Research Excellence Award in 2022. In addition to her legal education research, she maintains a strong interest in IP related issues in AI research. She is also the co-founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary Australian Journal of Clinical Education, and serves on the executive boards of the Australasian Law Academics Association, Bond University Limited, the Centre for Professional Legal Education and the Bond University Human Research Ethics Committee.
Property Law, Personal Property Transactions, Copyright Law, Media and Communications Law, Property Law A, and Competition and Consumer Law.