Return to Our Programs

Anthropocene Judgments Project

Beach fire from the 2019-2020 bushfires

Photo by Martin Von Stoll. Reproduced with permission.

Invitation to collaborate

AELA is pleased to invite lawyers, legal researchers, speculative fiction writers and scientists to engage with the 2022/2023 Anthropocene Judgments Project.

The project is being hosted by Associate Professor Nicole Rogers, Southern Cross University (SCU) and Dr Michelle Maloney, Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA).

To express interest in participating in the project and/or attending the first Scoping Workshop on 17 February 2022, please email: Michelle Maloney or Nicole Rogers

Workshop schedule for 2022

  • Scoping workshop for interested contributors
    Thursday 17th February, 12noon to 2pm AEST (Queensland time)
  • Other collaborative workshops will be held during 2022 – to be advised

About the Anthropocene Judgments Project

The Anthropocene Judgments project is an interdisciplinary, collaborative, visionary initiative, in which participants engage in futuristic modelling and write judgments of, and for, the future: constructing innovative pathways of legal reasoning to address the unprecedented socio-legal and environmental challenges of the Anthropocene. Existing legal systems are struggling to address such challenges, of which the climate crisis is, arguably, the most urgent and compelling.

Climate change has been described as ‘legally disruptive’.[1] The present and future dimensions of this crisis transcend existing laws and existing legal scholarship. The Anthropocene itself is legally disruptive in the most profound sense: will existing legal systems be able to adapt to the multiple challenges of the Anthropocene?

The Anthropocene Judgments Project will be a creative intervention, a futuristic shaping of law: a collaborative effort on the part of legal scholars, writers of speculative fiction, climate scientists and others to anticipate what lies ahead, and to create a published collection of judgments in which future challenges are addressed by a hypothetical judiciary. It draws upon a similar critical methodology to that used in the growing suite of critical judgment projects,[2] but departs from existing judgment rewriting projects in its interdisciplinary reach and futuristic orientation. This is about creating the judgments of the future, not rewriting the judgments of the present and the past.

The following themes and issues might inspire judgments in the collection:

  1. Statelessness caused by disappearing territory and the legal implications for national sovereignty and cultural integrity;
  2. The implications of statelessness for individuals;
  3. The legality of external and internal hard borders to deter climate refugees
  4. The legality/necessity of acts of property destruction targeting sources/infrastructure associated with greenhouse gas emissions;
  5. The judicial development of Earth laws, Earth jurisprudence and ecological law in the face of the Anthropocene;
  6. Multispecies judging and multispecies judgments;
  7. Implementation of First Nations laws and recognition of First Nations sovereignty;
  8. Extra-terrestrial issues pertaining to the colonisation of other planets, and the development of the Moon;
  9. Developments in DNA technology which allow for the revival of extinct species such as Neanderthals, and the legal status of individuals thus created;
  10. Regulation of AI and the rights of AI;
  11. Judging by an AI;
  12. Intergenerational judgement, in which the as yet unborn sit in judgement upon this generation for its complicity in planetary degradation;
  13. State controls over women’s reproductive rights, on the basis that overpopulation must be curbed.



[1] Elizabeth Fisher, Eloise Scotford and Emily Barritt, ‘The Legally Disruptive Nature of Climate Change’ (2017) 80(2) Modern Law Review 173. Available at: