Australian Centre for the Rights of Nature

The Australian Centre for the Rights of Nature (ACRN) has been created by AELA to focus on creating model rights of nature laws for Australia’s legal system and also for a number of iconic ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef, Great Artesian Basin, Blue Mountains National Park and a number of major rivers and forests in Australia.  These model laws will be available for communities and Earth advocates to use as a template for Rights of Nature campaigns.  The ACRN works closely with the CELDF’s International Center for the Rights of Nature.

To read more about Rights of Nature laws around the world, please click here.


Please click here to visit our ELSN webpage

Exploring the Legal Status of Nature is an ACRN project (2017-2018) that aims to bring together academics, legal practitioners, First Nations Peoples and environmental and animal protection activists and groups in Australia, to explore innovative laws from around the world and legal approaches in Australia. The goal is to create an accessible analysis of existing laws and create normative frameworks and proposals, about how the legal status of nature could be transformed in Australia.

The project includes workshops in Perth, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Sydney and Brisbane between June and November 2017.  A major symposium will be held in mid-late 2018, to bring participants together to share their research and an edited collection of papers from the project will be published in late 2018 or early 2019.  The published research will offer a unique set of materials that community groups, activists and lawyers can use to advocate for the Rights of Nature.

Click here to visit our facebook page

Click here for a copy of the project flyer

If you would like further information, please email:


Communities around the world are actively resisting unwanted mining, fracking, logging and the destruction of their local waterways and biodiversity. In Australia, State and Federal laws often don’t help – in fact, much of the time they permit the environmental destruction that communities are fighting to stop.  So can we change the way our legal system works?

In the USA, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (  have helped local communities pass three dozen local ordinances that assert community and nature’s rights and stop unwanted development.  For information about CELDF’s work please click here.  These laws are part of a global Earth democracy and Earth laws movement, where people are combining peaceful civil disobedience with local law making, to protect what they love and change our legal culture.

AELA is working with communities in Australia to explore the potential of using this community organising strategy in Australia.

If your community is interested in finding new ways to protect the environment and wants the right to say “no” to unwanted developments and “yes” to a positive, healthy future – please get in touch with AELA.  We can connect with your community and explore alternative ways of organising and challenging destructive development in your region –

 Fact sheet – Local law making to assert community and natures rights