Rights of Nature Mock Trial

Great Barrier Reef Sues the Queensland Government in AELA’s Mock Trial

On Friday evening, 27 September (Day 1 of the Conference), AELA will be hosting a Mock Rights of Nature Trial, to explore how Rights of Nature legislation might work in the Australian context. The event is FREE but bookings are essential. It will be held in the same venue as the Wild Law Conference – the Ian Hangar Recital Hall, Queensland Conservatorium, Southbank, from 7pm to 8.30pm. You can book your place by visiting our TryBooking on-line booking system: http://www.trybooking.com/CQJS

Join us for an interesting and educational event, which will be performed by a mix of lawyers and law students.


In 2023, after 10 years of worsening environmental conditions and Australia’s first food shortage, the Australian community voted via a referendum to change the Federal Constitution and create sweeping Federal powers to protect the environment. These powers have enabled the Federal Government to create a new Federal Environment Act which grants Rights to Nature.

The first case testing these new powers is about to be heard: ‘Great Barrier Reef vs Queensland Government’. The GBR is claiming damages and restorative action from the Government for allowing coal ports and other destructive developments that have critically damaged its capacity to function as an ecosystem.

The case will explore the extent of the new Rights of Nature legislation, including the following issues:
• What ‘rights’ does the Great Barrier Reef have?
• On what grounds would the Reef sue the government ?
• What damages or restoration might the Reef seek from the government?