15 October – Regional Chamber, Rights of Nature Tribunal, Brisbane – Great Barrier Reef Case

On 15th October 2015, AELA hosted a Regional Chamber of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal.  Expert witnesses provided evidence for inclusion in the Great Barrier Reef Case, which was one of the first cases admitted to the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature.

  • To find out more about the Great Barrier Reef Case and its admittance to the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, please click here.
  • To watch video footage from this Regional Chamber of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, please visit AELA's youtube channel by clicking here.
  • For a copy of the flyer from this event, please click here.
  • This Tribunal was held in conjunction with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature "Earth Rights Days of Action", which features events and activities hosted around the world from 2-19 October.  For further information about the Earth Rights Days of Action, please click here.


Wednesday 15th October, 6pm to 8pm

QUT Gardens Point, Room E207  - Brisbane


The Great Barrier Reef currently faces unprecedented threats, including sea port development , an increase in shipping due to the expansion of coal extraction in the Galilee Basin, land based marine pollution and the impacts of climate change.

This Tribunal is part of an international series of “People’s Tribunals” (or “citizen’s tribunals”) which examine and make formal observations on the violations of nature’s rights with regard to issues that have  remained outside the consideration of formal government institutions. The findings and judgment from this Tribunal will form part of the Great Barrier Reef Case, which is one of nine cases being heard in Lima, Peru in December 2014 in parallel with the UNFCCC COP 20 meeting.

In addition to examining the plight of the Great Barrier Reef, this Tribunal will also place on trial current legal and economic systems that legalize and monetize the destruction of nature.

Prosecutors on behalf of the Great Barrier Reef include Earth lawyers Michelle Maloney and Benedict Coyne.

Expert witnesses will include indigenous representatives, environmental lawyers and marine scientists.

Tribunal Judges included:

  • Senator Larissa Waters
  • Sam Watson, Indigenous community leader
  • Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe AM
  • Adjunct Professor Noel Preston AM
  • Professor Brendan Mackey
  • Youth representative, Janelle Fabio

To view video footage from the Regional Chamber hearing, please visit AELA's youtube channel, by clicking here.