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PANEL: Becoming a Climate Conscious Lawyer - a grass roots approach to changing legal education

Julia Dehm, Kate Galloway, Nicole Graham, Margaret Davies


This panel-format session provides an overview of a major new open- access legal education book entitled Becoming a Climate Conscious Lawyer: Climate Change and the Australian Legal System (edited by Julia Dehm, Nicole Graham, Zoe Nay, published by LTU eBureau). This online book is a grass-roots response of legal educators around Australia to the growing demand for student learning materials on the impact of climate change on the discipline and profession of law, and how law is itself changing in response to a climate-changed world. Most legal educators’ research expertise sits outside the field of 'climate law', and yet climate change is increasingly relevant to all areas of the core law curriculum, as well as many electives, due to the innovative uses of existing legal concepts, doctrines, and rules to promote climate mitigation and adaptation. The panel brings together some editors and authors of the book to consider strategies for curricular innovation which both satisfy the need for Priestley compliance and take seriously the plasticity of law as an agent for change. The panel will discuss how legal educators can support the next generation of lawyers to practise as ‘climate conscious’ legal professionals with the relevant expertise and competencies to deliver legal services and promote climate justice to a wide range of clients in a climate transformed world.