The CJLP was set up to shine a light on the connection between climate change and social inequality. We are amplifying the voices of people and communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, and using the law to empower Victorian communities to advocate and litigate for climate justice.
The climate crisis brings into sharp focus the need to redesign Victoria’s laws, institutions, policies and services so they work for all Victorians. The CJLP recognises that all attempts to address climate change must also create a fairer and more just world in the process. This includes empowering communities to create climate solutions that work for them, and addressing economic insecurity, access to healthcare, child and elder care, gender discrimination and systemic racism.
During this disruptive time of worsening climate change, the community legal sector has an opportunity to influence the legal system and to be responsive to the needs of our shared environment upon which social justice and human rights outcomes depend.
In this critical decade for action, we have no choice but to move quickly, fairly and strategically, to build our climate consciousness and our capacity to assist those who stand to lose the most from the climate crisis. As the law alters in response to the climate crisis, our collective understanding of inequality and legal protections against furthering climate injustice also need to evolve, including increasing regulation on emissions to reduce climate harms.
What does the CJLP do?
The CJLP is committed to transforming the legal system so that it addresses systemic injustice and fulfills climate justice.
The CJLP helps lawyers and other practitioners better identify the impacts of climate change on the rights and justice of individuals and communities to ensure equity and access to justice.
The project collaborates with partners and legal sector stakeholders to ensure the impacts of climate change are factored into legal and policy considerations. CJLP also seeks to ensure that climate justice is recognised and supported across the community.
The Climate Justice Legal Project works to:
- Empower people accessing Community Legal Centres in Victoria to seek climate justice – even when their legal problems might not initially look caused by climate change
- Train and support community lawyers to identify and address the impacts of climate injustice. Tracking trends in Community Legal Centre data will inform public interest climate litigation, and in turn shape legal and policy reform.
- Identify issues with our current laws, services and institutions – then taking action in the courts and before government and corporate decision-makers to drive faster, fair and more ambitious policy that serves communities in a climate impacted world.
- Support communities to build resilience and agency as they prepare for and respond to climate disasters.
For more information on the Climate Justice Legal Project please contact Dr Bronwyn Lay.