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Climate change litigation – science, evidence and strategy.

Bond University Faculty of Law invites you to the upcoming Twilight Seminar

Climate change litigation – science, evidence and strategy.


Climate change is an existential threat to the earth system as we know it.  Our system of government, law and culture has – for most of us – developed in and because of the benign biosphere created by the Holocene.  Climate change risks that very biosphere.  The physical process leading to climate change operates in is uniquely global.  It matters not where carbon is emitted – the effects of the changes that it induces are felt everywhere – albeit inconsistently.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our legal system struggles to deal with a problem of this kind.  Climate change challenges our ideas of causation, foreseeability, public and private responsibility and standing.

Climate change litigation sometimes feels like banging one’s head against a brick wall – but the wall is starting to respond.  This talk will use two climate change-based court challenges to mega coal mines that happened 6 years apart to show the evolution of science, evidence and litigation strategy, including the potential for analysing climate change impacts through a human rights lens.  The first is the Adani coal mine challenge in 2016 (which was lost) and second is the current challenge to Clive Palmer’s Waratah coal mine.