14 September 2020

GreenLaw recognised in Australian Pro Bono Centre’s 2020 Pro Bono Guide to the Climate Crisis

GreenLaw, founded by Annika Reynolds, has recently been recognised as a key civil society organisation tackling climate change by the Australian Pro Bono Centre. The Centre’s latest guide has been formally endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment and outlines critical avenues that legal organisations can take to contribute towards climate justice.

The guide aims to inform legal professionals worldwide on the actions they can take to advance environmental goals and combat the climate crisis, focusing on practical ways to impact existing organisations and campaigns. It describes key civil society groups in the climate space as well as the kinds of work they do and the contributions they have made towards climate justice in Australia.

GreenLaw was discussed as one example of establishing a leading climate justice clinic in collaboration with a university. The guide outlines how GreenLaw has made major government submissions such as the Independent Review into the Environmental and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), which later formed the basis of a peer-reviewed article published in the Environmental and Planning Law Journal in July 2020.

GreenLaw’s ongoing and future projects were also recognised by the Guide, which have been supported by Teams Manager Sarah Mack. Special mention was accorded to our current work on a Practical Guide to Law and Protests in the Australian Capital Territory, due for public release next month, as well as an exciting new initiative planned with the Farmers for Climate Action organisation. These initiatives have the support of legal academics and private sector partners, bridging the divide between academia and private practice. 

The Australian Pro Bono Centre recognises the niche which GreenLaw occupies as an organisation founded at a premier Australian university and notes how the intersection of students and experienced academics creates a culture of expertise as well as a focus on the future. The legal capacity of law students has so far been underutilised in environmental law reform spaces, but GreenLaw’s mission is to use the strengths of young people to influence climate justice and lasting policy reform.

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