Litigating Science: Climate Change and the Rocky Hill Mine case

The Rocky Hill Mine case was a landmark legal action for Australia. The Rocky Hill Mine was the first coal mine to be rejected by an Australian Court on the basis of climate change. In the second edition of our QUT Global Law, Science and Technology Seminar Series, Elaine Johnson (head of the legal team representing the local community) discussed the case. This seminar is now available to watch online.

Hosted by QUT Law’s Professor Amanda Kennedy, the seminar discussed the minutia of the case and how the Court recognised that although climate change is a global problem, the solution to climate change will come by mitigating emissions at multiple sources.

Elaine’s insights into the case are a first-hand account of her experiences as the head of the legal team the represented the plaintiffs: the local community in the Gloucester region of NSW.

The presentation can be viewed online at The QUTube, the official YouTube channel for Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Guest presenter

Elaine JohnsonElaine Johnson joined the Environmental Defenders Office in January 2011 in the Sydney office. She provides clients with advice and representation on a wide range of environmental legal issues, including civil enforcement, administrative law, planning, pollution, biodiversity, mining and coal seam gas. She was the Solicitor on record in the landmark Rocky Hill coal mine litigation, which resulted in refusal of the greenfield mine, and changed the legal landscape on climate law in Australia. Elaine has also acted for Fullerton Cove residents in obtaining the first coal seam gas injunction in NSW, and represented the Hunter Valley community, including Mrs Wendy Bowman OAM, in the successful appeal halting Ashton Coal’s South East Open Cut mine. Elaine also represented the Mackay Conservation Group in successfully overturning Federal approval of Australia’s largest coal mine, the Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.

About the series

The QUT Global Law, Science and Technology Seminar Series aims to bring together national and international speakers who will explore the personal, societal and governance dimensions of solving real world problems which are influenced by, and through the interactions of science, technology and the law.

The series will host speakers who think about ‘technology’ and ‘science’ as broadly construed to refer to methods of framing or interacting with the world, and that enable the critical and imaginative questioning of the technical, science, environmental and health dimensions of law and life.

Previous seminars

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