The Victorian Environmental Law Student Network (VELSN) is preparing a submission to the NEPC during the review’s 12-week public consultation process, and we want YOU to be involved! If you’re feeling down about Australia’s current environmental agenda, this is a great way to get directly involved in advocating for environmental change!
For more information on the details and importance of the NEPC’s review, check out our post under 'Blog'.
We are planning on hosting two working groups to refine our policy stance, find out what students’ concerns may be around the issue of air quality, and to assist with the research process. Prior knowledge is NOT required, only an interest in environmental policy and public health, as well as enthusiasm to contribute. VELSN team members will be steering the working groups and no preparation will be required.
There will be 2 working groups taking place at Melbourne Law School over the winter break:
Tuesday 9 July 2019
Monday 22 July 2019
Sessions will run from 5:30PM – 8:00PM.
If you would like to get involved, please fill in an expression of interest form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17f-UfTHkttDHvDoHBWFt2m0cNlRaMrV8fbZrIOm82jE/edit.
Also, follow us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/velsn2016/
This will enable us to keep you in the loop about updates on the review and the working groups sessions. There is no obligation for you to attend either of the working groups at this stage!
We hope to hear from you!
In what could prove to be a landmark case, community group Friends of the Leadbeater's Possum — represented by Environmental Justice Australia — is challenging VicForests in the Federal Court. They challenge VicForests' logging practices in the habitat of the Greater Glider and Leadbeater's Possum — practices which are destroying crucial habitats and placing those species in grave danger of extinction.
This litigation represents a great opportunity to save these animals from extinction. If successful, this case could set a national precedent for changing how forests in Australia are managed and regulated so that they afford greater protection to critically endangered species.
The Court is open to the public to watch proceedings.
The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Vic) is one of Victoria's main acts focusing on environmental protection. The Victorian Government are currently reviewing the FFG Act. It is quite outdated and not in line with the current scientific understandings of conservation. The VELSN committee has decided it would be great to make a submission. That is where you come in!
We are going to write a submission based on research done in group research sessions. So we will all be together in a room brainstorming and working together. Then the VELSN committee will go away and consolidate the research into a submission. You are welcome to do research outside the group sessions, but that is not required.
For those who have never worked on a policy submission before, knowing the current state of the law is key to making suggestions regarding change. Have a browse of the Act, consultation paper and Environmental Justice Australia’s critique of the current laws. Links to these are below.
The first research session will be on the 16 March, 5:30 to 8pm
Submission due: Tuesday 28 March
Resources to review before the research session --
All Victorian law students are invited to join VELSN's inaugural International Environmental Treaty Negotiation to be held at Melbourne Law School on Saturday 1 October over 5-6 hours.
The negotiation will be focused on creating a treaty for banning microplastics. It is designed to help students appreciate the difficulties of negotiating an international legal instrument, which is one way environmental standards and laws are frequently created.
Participants will represent countries in teams or individually. The task will require some research prior to attending, and a one-page submission containing your allocated country's objectives and interests in creating the instrument is required. The problem — written by the VELSN committee in conjunction with the Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning — will be released on Wednesday 28 September.
Students of all year levels are encouraged to sign up. No previous understanding of International Environmental Law is required.
** Registration closes at 10:00am on Monday 26 September **
Hope to see you there!
How can the legal system allow us to effectively advocate for the environment and what are the major barriers?
Join us to hear a panel of professionals discuss this question by referring to their own experiences. The panellists will also be talking about their particular area of interest, and how the current legal system enables and restricts their cause
Environmentalism is a concept that unites a wide range of groups and causes. We seek to maintain the multi-faceted nature of the concept by representing a variety of these views on the panel.
We encourage you to come with questions for the panel, and to stick around afterwards to enjoy wine and cheese with the panellists and other law students.
Time: Thursday, 1 September 2016 from 6:30–8 pm
Venue: Room 102, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton. Room: TBC.
Graeme McEwan — Graeme has been a practicing barrister for over 25 years and is also the President of the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel (BAWP), a Bar Association of the Victorian Bar that focuses on law reform and strategic litigation. In the past Graeme been a part-time lecturer at Melbourne Law School teaching Animal Law.
Jo Slater — Jo has been working as a lawyer for Ashurst for over 5 years in the Environment, Energy and Resources area. She is also a volunteer lawyer and member of the executive for Lawyers for Animals, an organisation dedicated to improving the welfare of animals through education and law.
Stephanie Niall — Stephanie is a Research Fellow, sessional lecturer and PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School. She worked at Ashurst (then Blake Dawson) for several years before completing her Masters of Environmental Management and Climate Policy at Yale University. Stephanie also has management consulting experience working in a leading dedicated sustainability advisory service.
Lee Godden — Lee is the Director of the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law based at the The University of Melbourne and lectures and co-ordinates subjects in the Juris Doctor and Masters degrees atMelbourne Law School. She has extensive research, writing and teaching experience in the areas of environmental law, natural resources law, water law, and Indigenous people’s land and resource rights. Lee’s considerable contribution to environmental conservation and social justice has been recognised by invited membership of leading national and international environmental organisations.
The recent Panama Papers leak uncovered global tax evasion on a vast scale. But what other structures exist to facilitate such evasions of the law? Join us in exploring these issues by watching The Corporation (2003), a film that asks whether corporations are structurally built to enable tax evasion and circumvent other laws – like the ones protecting environmental systems.
Come over to The University of Melbourne's Parkville campus to meet the VELSN team over some pizza. We are keen to discuss with you news about upcoming events, new positions that are opening up, and how we intend to provide interested law students with networking opportunities in our focus fields.
Time: Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 5:30 pm
Room: The Arts Hall — Room 222, Level 2, Old Arts Building, The University of Melbourne