Climate Conscious Lawyering
95 Australian Law Journal 51 (2021)
16 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2021
Date Written: October 24, 2021
Climate change is a multi-scalar problem with both global and local dimensions. Climate change is a global problem, with the combined effect of many local actions contributing to global climate change. It is also a local problem as the impacts of climate change are experienced locally. This interaction between scales highlights how local actors and action can influence global, national, subnational and local governance. Lawyers are one group of actors who can meaningfully contribute to climate change action. Climate change places a responsibility on lawyers to adopt a climate conscious rather than a climate blind approach in their daily legal practice. A climate conscious approach requires an active awareness of the reality of climate change and how it interacts with daily legal problems. Consistent with legal ethics, there are at least five ways in which lawyers can implement this climate conscious approach in their daily legal practice. Each of these ways challenges common conceptions (or rather misconceptions) about the role and duties of a lawyer.
Note: This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in the Australian Law Journal and should be cited as Hon Justice Brian J Preston SC, Climate Conscious Lawyering, (2020) 95 ALJ 51.
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Keywords: Climate change, lawyers, legal ethics
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation