Wild law in Australia: Practice and possibilities

Claire Williams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Australian law currently treats the planet's resources, natural environment and non-human animals as property that can be bought, sold and used by humans. There is now vast scientific knowledge as to how ecosystems operate and that the least sophisticated forms of life support the more complex forms. Yet, in practice, the law favours humans above all else. If human beings wish to survive and prosper in the long term, Earth's dynamic systems and all other life must be protected. Legally recognising nature's rights is a practical response to insight provided by Earth system science and ecology. This article examines why Australia should start to incorporate the principles of Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence into its domestic legal system, and how this process might be achieved. Local examples are used as practical illustrations to show how different aspects of the environment could enjoy rights under a new system of law. The article also investigates whether there are some possibilities for the development of wild law and Earth Jurisprudence already present in Australian law.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)259-284
    Number of pages26
    JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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