Climate Change and the Constitution

Wednesday, 25 May, 2022 - 17:30 to 19:00
New South Wales


Chair:               The Hon Justice Anna Mitchelmore, NSW Court of Appeal


Speakers:          The Hon Justice Rachel Pepper, Land and Environment Court of NSW

                         Zelie Heger, NSW Bar

                         Harry Hobbs, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney


Both in Australia and internationally, litigants continue to bring judicial proceedings that seek to improve environmental outcomes and tackle climate change by challenging legislative and administrative action. Minister for the Environment v Sharma [2022] FCAFC 35 is one recent high profile example. Many such cases raise interesting constitutional issues. How, if at all, does the Australian Constitution recognise and protect environmental rights? Is the position any different at State and Territory level? What is the appropriate role of the judicial branch in fixing the Government with duties to guard against climate change? Who has standing to challenge environmental policy or inaction in federal jurisdiction? How are these matters dealt with in other jurisdictions?


The AACL is delighted to welcome the Hon Justice Rachel Pepper, Zelie Heger and Harry Hobbs to present on these topical issues. We are also honoured that the Hon Justice Anna Mitchelmore will chair the event.


Date:                             Wednesday, 25 May 2022


Time:                             5.30–7:00pm


Venue:                           Court 1, Level 21, Federal Court of Australia, Queens Square, Sydney


Registration:                Not required (but note capacity constraints below) 



Please note that the following restrictions apply: you must be fully vaccinated; masks are recommended when 1.5m social distancing cannot be maintained; if you are unwell, you must not attend.


The current capacity of Court 1 is 102 people. Although registration is not required, once capacity is reached, admission will not be permitted.