Faculty of Law

New Thinking on Sustainability

Date: 14–16 February 2014 Time: 9.00 am
Venue: Old Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Sustainability Conference image

New Zealand Centre for Public Law VUW Law School, Wellington, 14-16 February 2014

We are bringing together 3 organisations for a 3-day environment weekend on February 14-16:

German Australian Pacific Lawyers Association and The Earth Law Alliance Aotearoa NZ are combining to hold a conference on New Thinking on Sustainability, from Friday February 14 until Sunday February 16, 2014.

The Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand will also hold the RMLA Academic Advisory Group 2nd annual Symposium for the presentation of recent and forthcoming research on Friday 14th February (9am-4pm).

The New Thinking on Sustainability conference will open with a keynote speech from Klaus Bosselmann on Friday at 5:00. Saturday will be devoted to keynote speeches and plenary panels on environmental bills of rights, on legal incorporation of indigenous perspectives on the environment, and on the effects of climate change.

On Sunday February 16 The Earth Law Alliance will meet to discuss pertinent environmental issues in depth whereas the German Australian Pacific Lawyers Association invites interested lawyers for a breakfast networking meeting.

For a more detailed description of the substantive topic background on environmental crises, a description of the coverage of some of the panels, and bios of the keynote speakers, please click here.

Conference Programme:

Friday 14 February 2014

2-4pm: Public Workshop “Earth Laws for your Community”
Run by Michelle Maloney, Convenor of the Australian Earth Law Alliance

5pm: Conference Opening - Sir Geoffrey Palmer

5pm: Welcome and Opening Speech

5:30-7: Keynote Speech by Professor Klaus Bosselmann (University of Auckland) on “Sustainability Alternatives – A German-NZ Perspective”

7:30: Conference Dinner (Karaka Café, Wellington Waterfront; incl entertainment and Dinner Speaker)

Saturday 15 February 2014

[ 9-9:30: Tea/coffee]

9:30 – 10:00: Introduction

10-12:00: Environmental Constitutionalism and Sustainability Bills of Rights
  • Keynote Speech by Linda Sheehan (Earth Law Centre, San Francisco, USA)
  • Panel Discussion: Professor Klaus Bosselmann (University of Auckland)
  • Dr Joel Colon-Rios (VUW)

[12-1pm: Lunch]

2-3pm: Indigenous and Critical Perspectives

  • Keynote Speech: Prof Gerald Torres (University of Texas, Cornell Law School, USA) (Supported by the NZ Law Foundation)
  • Panel Discussion: Dr Jacinta Ruru (Otago), Andrew Erueti (University of Waikato), Linda Te Aho (University of Waikato)

[3-3:30pm: Tea/coffee break]

3:30-5:30pm: Climate Change & Environmental Refugees

  • John Corcoran (University of Waikato): Pacific Island States and Climate Change
  • Alberto Costi (VUW): Legal Issues of Climate Refugees
  • Vernon Rive (AUT): Climate Change Laws and Negotiations
  • Brendan Mackey (Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Griffith University, Australia): Climate Change: What we need do differently

5:30-6pm: Closing Remarks: Catherine Iorns Magallanes (VUW)

6-7pm: drinks & nibbles [8pm: Karori Sanctuary By Night tour; for a separate fee OR: Earth Law Alliance inaugural AGM (over dinner, tba)]

Sunday 16 February 2014

8:45-10:30am: Planetary Boundaries and Sustainability

  • Brendan Mackey (Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Griffith University, Australia) “Can planetary boundaries help operationalize Earth system law?”
  • Michelle Maloney (Griffith University, Australia) “Ecological Limits, Earth Jurisprudence and Planetary Boundaries”
  • Cath Wallace (VUW/ECO) “Sustainability – wash your mouth out! The removal of sustainability from New Zealand law in the pursuit of economic objectives”
  • Ben Gussen (University of Auckland) “Reflections on the relationship between the principle of sustainability and subsidiarity”

[10:30-11am: Morning Tea break]

11am-1pm: Social Resistance & Civil Disobedience

  • Peter Burdon (Uuniversity of Adelaide) “Why Earth Justice Needs Civil Disobedience”
  • John Parnell (Solicitor, Wellington) “Philosophies of Civil Disobedience”
  • Janice Gray & David Brown (UNSW) “Constituencies of resistance to coal seam gas mining, the political art of suture and the public good”

[1-2pm: Lunch]

2-3:30pm: (2 concurrent panels)

A: Adopting Earth Laws

  • Nicole Rogers (Southern Cross University) “Developing a Wild Law Judgment Project”
  • Gay Morgan (University of Waikato) “Writing Earth-centred Laws and Judgments”
  • Ngozi Finette Stewart (University of Benin, Nigeria) “Promoting Development, Preserving the Environment: Crusading a win-win legislative response to the sustainable development ‘Paradox’"

B: Law Change for Climate Change

  • Tom Bennion (Barrister, Wellington) “Impediments to Environmental Protection in NZ courts and legal processes”
  • John Iloabuchi Amadi (University of Auckland) “Climate Refugees or CliMates? Defining the Legal Status of Environmentally Displaced Persons”
  • Greg Severinson (VUW) “'Legislative Design for Novel Climate Industries in NZ'”

3:30-5pm: (2 concurrent panels)

A: Eco-constitutionalism

  • Betsan Martin (Response, NZ) “Incorporating Responsibility in Laws and Governance”
  • Daniel Kelly (University of Auckland) “Supporting Strong Sustainability: Eco-constitutionalism in a New Zealand Context”
  • Thiti Waikavee (University of Auckland) “Ecological Covenants for Sustainable Governance”

B: Social Resistance & Civil Disobedience, cont.

  • Stephen Iorns (Chair) (Barrister, Wellington) “Civil Disobedience: A practical guide”
  • Peter Burdon (University of Adelaide) “Radical Social Resistance Movements”
  • Valerie Morse (Peace activist, Wellington) "Social Resistance Movements in NZ"
  • Jessie Dennis (Representing 350.org) “Environmental Cause Civil Disobedience”

Conference side events:

1. Public Seminar: “Oil Spills in the Niger Delta: Corporate Responsibility for Environment and Human Rights"
Thursday, February 13, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm, OGB LT1, VUW Law School.
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Grant Bayldon (Executive Director of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand), speaking on the recent Amnesty International fact-finding report on the Niger Delta.
Ngozi Stewart (PhD, Lecturer in Law at the University of Benin, Nigeria), speaking on eco-constitutional aspects of environmental protection in the Niger Delta.
Petra Butler (Ass. Prof, VUW Law School), speaking on corporate social responsibility.
Chaired by: Diana Shand (IUCN: Vice-President, 2008-2012, & Regional Councillor-Oceania, 2004-2012.)
For full information on this event please see this page.

2. Public Workshop: “Earth Laws for your Community”
Friday, February 14, 2 pm – 4 pm, Moot Room, VUW Law School
Public Workshop run by Michelle Maloney, Convenor of the Australian Earth Law Alliance, covering an introduction to Earth Law and how communities might utilise Earth Law principles as the basis for devising new rules of governance. Attendance will be free but registration will be required, as space is limited. For registration please e-mail anna.burnett@vuw.ac.nz.

3. Resource Management Law Association, Academic Advisory Group, Second Annual Symposium
Friday, February 14, 10 am – 4 pm, G34, VUW Law School
Membership of the RMLA Academic Advisory Group is inclusive, and is open to all legal academics teaching in NZ universities who have an interest in researching or teaching environmental law. Contact Trevor Daya-Winterbottom for more details on attendance and participation: daya.winterbottom@xtra.co.nz

4. Workshop on Teaching and Learning for Sustainability
Monday, February 17, 10 am – 12 pm, Moot Room, VUW Law School
A pedagogical workshop focused on best practices for teaching sustainability. It will be interdisciplinary, and facilitated by the VUW Department of Education and the VUW Centre for Academic Development. For presentation and attendance, please e-mail Sue.Cornforth@vuw.ac.nz.

5. Workshop on Policies and Law for New Zealand Conservation and Environment
Monday, February 17, 10 am – 5 pm, OGB room G34, VUW Law School
Invitation-only workshop, with limited places. Please register interest with ECO - Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand – via email: eco@eco.org.nz.

To register for the Conference please click here.



VUW Logo