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Climate Justice Network

The Climate Justice Network was launched in 2017 to explore issues of ethics, justice and law in responses to climate change. It is based at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tasmania.

Its aims are to be a platform bringing together researchers from across disciplines to share their research, to inform climate policy development with justice and equity perspectives, and to promote engagement with government, local communities, business, younger people and students.

We undertake research into issues of ethics, justice and law that arise at the international, regional and local levels in responding to the challenge of climate change and the transition to a low carbon future. Such research is inherently multidisciplinary and collaborative, and has the potential to contribute to informing policy development and public discussion.

In 2018, the Conference Imagining A Different Future: Overcoming Barriers to Climate Justice Conference was held in Hobart by the University of Tasmania, with support of its Faculty of Law, the University of Utrecht Ethics Institute, the Institute for the Study of Social Change, Asia Institute, Faculty of Medicine, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science (IMAS). The Conference had more than 80 speakers and its associated events included a community forum focussed on Tasmanian issues and a series of arts events and a concert of climate music. The recordings of the presentations and a Conference Report are available as a resource for researchers, teachers and students at the Climate Justice Network.

It contains an introduction to some of the key issues of climate justice and articles that explore themes raised in the Conference, such as climate litigation, justice and climate transitions, ecocide as a proposed crime, individual moral duties, a case study of government efforts to contain so-called lawfare, and the role of music and activism in the Anthropocene.

Current research includes looking at the representation of future generations and young people in climate change responses and planning and more broadly. A meeting of experts on institutions, and sustainability and human rights governance will consider models for representation of future generations and young people on 28 June 2019. The meeting is being held by the Faculty of Law, with support of the University’s Environment, Resources and Sustainability theme, and the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute. It will be preceded by a workshop for younger people and a public forum at Hobart Town Hall.

We support the research of students and early career researchers.

The Network is convened by Peter Lawrence and Jan Linehan, with a steering committee of researchers, students, and community representatives. The ongoing support of the Faculty of Law and public interest student initiatives, such as the Student Environment and Animal Law Society (SEALS) and the International Justice Initiative (IJI) is acknowledged.