Discover one of Australia’s leading centres for environmental law and climate change expertise.
The Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law is world renowned for interdisciplinary research, education and public engagement in these areas of law.
Our researchers have outstanding international and domestic reputations, as well as strong connections with eminent scholars at international institutions. The centre also has enduring links with leading members of the legal profession, including the judiciary, who contribute to the teaching and seminar programs and, at times, research activities.
Visit Dr Kate Owens' academic profile.
Visit Dr Laura Schuijers' academic profile.
Visit Professor Lyster's academic profile.
Visit Associate Professor Couzens' academic profile.
Visit Professor Tim Stephens' academic profile.
Visit Associate Professor Nicole Graham's academic profile.
Each year, the centre hosts an array of eminent international scholars who teach, present seminar/conference papers and undertake research in the area of climate and environmental law. The centre also conducts and sponsors international and domestic conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures and other similar activities.
Members of the centre have established wide networks of relationships with researchers around the world, including within Columbia Law School, Berkeley Law School, Tilburg Law School, Maastricht Law School, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa and the National University of Singapore.
The centre attracts and supervises to completion high-quality postgraduate students, and develops innovative units of study in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
A key aspect of the centre’s governance structure is the Advisory Board, which comprises members appointed by the Dean on the advice of the Executive Committee. The Advisory Board consists of individuals with a strong interest in environmental law, including judges, practitioners, scholars, representatives of industry and members of the wider community who have made an important contribution to the field, both in Australia and overseas. The Chair of the Advisory Board is the centre director. The board meets at least once every year in order to advise the co-directors and Sydney Law School on all aspects of the activities of the centre.
The Advisory Board currently comprises the following members:
Financial responsibility for the centre’s activities is vested in the Dean. The centre’s funds are held in an account maintained by Sydney Law School. The Dean exercises financial responsibility by approving budgets for the centre, prepared by the Director in consultation with the Executive Committee, and by exercising broad oversight of budgetary performance. Day-to-day administration of finances is entrusted to the co-directors in consultation with the Executive Committee.
About the Internship Program
ACCEL is committed to supporting the next generation of environmental law scholars and practitioners. Our Internship Program provides opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to gain work experience in environmental law research and policy. Interns participate in a broad range of ACCEL’S activities related to environmental and climate law and justice, and work closely with the Centre’s academic staff members on real-world projects.
2022 semester 1 interns
The Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL) congratulates our extraordinary Semester 1 2022 interns. These talented students honed their skills across an array of projects, from circular economies to water justice. Collectively, they successfully coordinated the inaugural ACCEL NextGen Series event: Sharma: The future of climate litigation in Australia. A recording of the event is available on the Sydney Law School website.
Sharma: The future of climate litigaton in Australia
On 13 May 2022 ACCEL launched its inaugural ACCEL NextGen Series as part of the Centre’s 2022 Internship Program. Eight Semester 1 interns coordinated the first event in the Series. Interns chose the topic and designed the format; they also invited speakers, and Chaired the event. The event received the largest audience for ACCEL events in the last year, with approximately 170/340 attending online.
A recording of the event can be found here.
9 December 2021
Speakers: Dr Petra Minnerop, Durham University and Dr Friederike Otto, University of Oxford and Global Climate Science Programme
19 November 2021
18 October 2021
19 - 20 February 2020
This two-day invitation-only workshop, jointly sponsored by the Sydney Environment Institute, the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law, and the Environmental Defenders Office, will bring together international and domestic experts from a range of disciplines to discuss the implications of irrigation efficiency measures in the context of water scarcity and climate change, the key challenges posed by irrigation efficiency for water governance, climate adaptation and sustainability, and best practices in terms of governance responses. The workshop will provide an important opportunity to discuss the governance frameworks required to balance growing consumptive needs, the need to protect associated ecosystems, improved irrigation technologies and our finite and often overallocated water resources.
4 February 2020
25 September 2019
7 August 2019
Speakers: Professor Daniel Farber, University of California and Professor Robert M. Cerchick, Loyola University New Orleans
9 May 2019
The event was also broadcast unedited and in full on Sky News Extra Ch 604 three times on Friday, 10 May at 1.30 pm, 6.17 pm and 9.55 pm. We are pleased that these broadcasts will reach a broader audience and enhance the impact of the Murray-Darling disaster.