Law as if Earth Really Mattered: The Wild Law Judgment Project, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Law as if Earth Really Mattered

The Wild Law Judgment Project, 1st Edition

Edited by Nicole Rogers, Michelle Maloney


385 pages

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This book is a collection of judgments drawn from the innovative Wild Law Judgment Project. In participating in the Wild Law Judgment Project, which was inspired by various feminist judgment projects, contributors have creatively reinterpreted judicial decisions from an Earth-centred point of view by rewriting existing judgments, or creating fictional judgments, as wild law. Authors have confronted the specific challenges of aligning existing Western legal systems with Thomas Berry’s philosophy of Earth jurisprudence through judgment writing and rewriting. This book thus opens up judicial decision-making and the common law to critical scrutiny from a wild law or Earth-centred perspective.

Based upon ecocentric rather than human-centred or anthropocentric principles, Earth jurisprudence poses a unique critical challenge to the dominant anthropocentric or human-centred focus and orientation of the common law. The authors interrogate the anthropocentric and property rights assumptions embedded in existing common law by placing Earth and the greater community of life at the centre of their rewritten and hypothetical judgments. Covering areas as diverse as tort law, intellectual property law, criminal law, environmental law, administrative law, international law, native title law and constitutional law, this unique collection provides a valuable tool for practitioners and students who are interested in learning more about the emerging ecological jurisprudence movement. It helps us to see more clearly what a new system of law might look like: one in which Earth really matters.

Table of Contents



1The Wild Law Judgment Project

Nicole Rogers and Michelle Maloney

2 Writing judgments 'wildly'

Justice Brian Preston

PART I Standing and wellbeing of non-human species

3 Green sea turtles by the representative, Meryl Streef v The State of Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia

Justice Brian Preston

4 Great Barrier Reef v The Australian Federal and State governments and others

Cormac Cullinan

5 The fraught and fishy tale of Lungfish v The State of Queensland

Benedict Coyne

6 Attorney-General (Cth); Ex Rel McKinlay v The Commonwealth

Tom Round

7 Wild negligence: Donoghue v Stevenson

Bee Chen Goh and Tom Round

8 Shaw v McCreary

Edward Mussawir

PART II Mining, climate change and communities

9 Coal mines and wild law: a judgment for the climate

Felicity Deane and Katie Woolaston

10 Quantifying the environmental impact of coal mines: lessons from the Wandoan case, Xstrata Coal Queensland Pty Ltd v Friends of the Earth Brisbane Co-op

Julia Dehm

11 Coast and Country Association of Queensland Inc v Minister for Environment and Heritage protection

Kate Galloway

12 Exploring fundamental legal change through adjacent possibilities: the Newcrest mining case

Aidan Ricketts

13 Metgasco Limited v Minister for Resources and Energy

Cristy Clark

PART III First Nations law

14 Aboriginal laws of the land: surviving fracking, golf courses and drains among other extractive industries

Irene Watson

15 Reimagining Aboriginal land rights: Crown, Country and custodians. Mabo v Queensland (No 2)

Stephen Summerhayes

16 Nuclear waste dump: sovereignty and the Muckaty mob

Greta Bird and Jo Bird

PART IV International law

17 Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan: New Zealand intervening)

Hope Johnson, Bridget Lewis and Rowena Maguire

18 Restoring the transboundary harm principle in international environmental law: rewriting the judgment in the San Juan River case

Afshin Akhtar-Khavari

PART V Criminal law and environmental activism

19 Stand with Jono: culture-jamming, civil disobedience and corporate regulation in an age of climate change

Matthew Rimmer

20 Magee v Wallace

Susan Bird

21 Duck rescuers and the freedom to protest: Levy v Victoria

Nicole Rogers

PART VI Looking ahead

22 Information environmentalism and biological data: a thought experiment

Robert Cunningham


About the Editors

Nicole Rogers is based in the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University, Australia.

Michelle Maloney is the National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, and teaches Earth jurisprudence at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

About the Series

Law, Justice and Ecology

In an age of climate change, scarcity of resources, and the deployment of new technologies that put into question the very idea of the 'natural', this book series offers a cross-disciplinary, novel engagement with the connections between law and ecology. The fundamental challenge taken up by the series concerns the pressing need to interrogate and to re-imagine prevailing conceptions of legal responsibility, legal community and legal subjectivity, by embracing the wider recognition that human existence is materially embedded in living systems and shared with multiple networks of non-humans.

Encouraging cross-disciplinary engagement and reflection upon relevant empirical, policy and theoretical issues, the series pursues a thoroughgoing, radical and timely exploration of the multiple relationships between law, justice and ecology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Environmental
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Legal Writing
LAW / Natural Resources
LAW / Essays
NATURE / Ecology
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection