Earth Jurisprudence: building theory and practice

From 16-18th September 2011, Griffith University and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) hosted Australia’s Third Wild Law Conference.   More than 100 delegates came from across Australia and around the world – including South Africa, USA, Austria, India and New Zealand - to explore and build the theory and practice of Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence.   The conference brought together a diverse mix of people, including researchers, regulators, legal practitioners, activists, students and interested members of the community.

Key note speakers were Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe AO and Cormac Cullinan (author of 'Wild Law' and co-founder of The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature). Other Day 1 speakers included Professor Brendan Mackey (ANU), Professor Klaus Bosselmann (University of Auckland), Professor Douglas Fisher (QUT), Dr Peter Burdon (University of Adelaide), Senator Larissa Waters, Jo Bragg (EDO Qld) and Dr Chris McGrath (UQ).

Wild Law Conference Poster, Griffith University, Brisbane, 2011.

Conference Themes and Presentations

The Conference invited speakers and participants to explore the theory and practical implications of earth jurisprudence and wild law.  Themes included: wild law and climate change, wild law in a post-growth world, indigenous perspectives, wild law and science, the relationship between Wild Law and animal law, environmental activism and regulatory critiques.  Theoretical papers examined posthuman animality, anthropocentrism and ecocentrism and a range of other themes.

Two Wild Law Publications Launched

The Conference saw the launch of two Australian publications on Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence:

  • Dr Peter Burdon and Cormac Cullinan launched “Exploring Wild Law: The Philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence”, Wakefield Press 2011. The book brings together voices from the leading proponents of Wild Law around the world. It introduces readers to the idea of wild law and considers its relationship to environmental law, the rights of nature, science, religion, property law and international governance.
  • Dr Alessandro Pelizzon announced the publication of the Southern Cross University Law Review’s 2011 Special Edition on Earth Jurisprudence.  The Journal features many of the papers from the 2010 Wild Law Conference in Wollongong.

Launch of Australia’s Wild Law networks

The Conference also saw the official launch of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) and the Southern Cross University’s Earth Laws Research Network.

The Earth Laws Research Network is a new research network created by the Southern Cross University. It aims to provide academic staff, students and collaborators with a platform to inform interdisciplinary education and research in the emergent areas of Earth Jurisprudence, Wild Law and related areas. For further information, contact Dr Alessandro Pelizzon -

Next Steps

The final session of the Conference enabled conference delegates to discuss next steps for developing Wild Law in Australia.  Many of these ideas have now been integrated into AELA’s agenda for work over the next 12 to 18 months.

With the launch of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance and Earth Laws Network, Wild Law Discussion Groups announced in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide and a fourth Australian Wild Law conference being planned for 2013, the Wild Law movement is growing from strength to strength in Australia.  If you’d like to find out more, or get involved, please get in touch anytime:


Media coverage and blogs

Powerpoint presentations from the conference can be downloaded here, listed alphabetically by speaker: