Over a decade, CREEL academics and research staff developed a portfolio of externally-funded research projects, consultancies and engagement activities. The following provides an overview of the main activities– many of which were the platform for recent CREEL research projects and publications.
The PacWastePlus Waste Legislative Review
The project reviewed waste management in 14 Pacific region countries and Timor-Leste. The reports identified existing waste laws and those in the pipeline. The details progress made by many Pacific countries on waste management laws and institution, challenges in implementation, potential solutions for each countries as well as areas that could benefit from improved national waste facilities, better cooperation across the region, or the involvement of non-government organisations.
The team comprised of Professor Jacqueline Peel, Professor Lee Godden, Dr Alice Palmer, Associate Professor Laura Lee-Innes (Monash University) and Rebekkah Markey-Tower (Research Assistant).
Funded by European Union through its Economic Development Fund and the Australian Government through the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), (2019-2020).
Corporate Energy Transition
This project explores how corporate and securities law mechanisms can be used to incentivise private sector transition to clean energy sources and business practices.
Funded by Australian Research Council, Discovery Project DP160100255, (2016-2020)
Regulating food labels: The case of free range food products in Australia
The project “Regulating food labels: The case of free range food products in Australia” is investigating the regulation of free range labelling in Australia for eggs, chicken meat and pig meat.
Led by Professor Christine Parker of Melbourne Law School, in collaboration with Dr Gyorgy Scrinis and Dr Rachel Carey of the Food Policy Research Group in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, this project was funded by ARC Discovery Grant DP150102168.
Strategic Litigation on Climate in Europe
Strategic litigation and shareholder/investor activism to advance outcomes on climate change policy are growing globally. Over the last decade, many court cases have been brought in countries such as the United States and Australia to try to stop greenhouse gas emissions from coal; to improve air quality; and to reduce the carbon footprint of corporations. There have also been efforts to spur corporate action in these jurisdictions through shareholder activism, improved company disclosure practices and a growing divestment movement. However, in contrast, strategic climate litigation and activism in Europe has been narrower in focus and less prevalent.
Options for Long-term Security for Groundwater-dependent Ecosystems
Options for Long-Term Protection of Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems and Surface Waters in the Gerangamete and Gellibrand Groundwater Management Areas (2019). A report to the Land and Water Resources Otway Catchment Landcare group, 30pp. This project was led by Associate Professor Rebecca Nelson and funded by Land and Water Resources Oywat Catchment ID#15528
Transition to a Clean Energy Future: the Role of Climate Change Litigation in Shaping our Regulatory Path
Climate change is an urgent environmental problem requiring a rapid transition to sources of clean energy. Yet governments - both nationally and internationally - have moved only slowly and timidly to put in place the necessary long-term regulatory steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this setting environmental advocates have looked increasingly to courts, mounting ambitious climate litigation in an effort to block fossil fuel use and force consideration of climate change impacts in planning decisions. This innovative project analysed the capacity of climate litigation in key fossil-fuel producing countries, Australia and the US, to influence regulation so contributing to putting these nations on the path to a clean energy future. This project was supported by the ARC funding project DP 130100500 between 2013-2018.
National Cultural Flows Project (component 5)
The project aimed to help embed Aboriginal water allocations in Australia's water management framework. The final report, Cultural flows: reforming water law and policy, has been developed to describe different ways that the Echuca Declaration concept of cultural flows can be implemented using law and policy. It builds on earlier work about cultural flows to show how First Nations' best values about water can be translated into laws and policies to make change happen on the ground. Funding for the project has been generously provided by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, the National Water Commission and the Department of Families, Housing, Comunity Services and Indigenous Affairs.
The project was led by Professor Lee Godden, Associate Professor Rebecca Nelson and Dr Bruce Lindsay, between 2017-2018.
Climate Change Law and Mitigation: Forest Carbon Sequestration and Indigenous and Local Community Rights
CREEL researchers have been investigating the potential impact of the global greenhouse gas mitigation scheme, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), on indigenous and local community rights. This project has involved fieldwork in REDD+ recipient countries as well as with international organisations (the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)) and civil society groups. This project is funded by the Australia Research Centre, Discovery Project (DP 110100259). The project examines the impact of climate change law and mitigation on Indigenous peoples and local forest communities in Australia, India and Malaysia. It examines the United Nations - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation scheme which gives credits for carbon sequestration in forests thus providing financial incentives to avoid deforestation for communities in sensitive ecosystems.
Land use planning, pipelines and the urban fringe
Brad Jessup, ‘Land use planning, pipelines and the urban fringe’ (2017) (2011-2012). Brad received a grant ($45,000) from the Energy Pipelines CRC to research the planning law and policy influence on urban development on the fringe, which is increasingly encroaching on pipeline infrastructure. This applied aspect of the project was undertaken in 2011 and completed in early 2012. The next stage of the research project has been to situate this research within concepts of risk, geography and resilience. In 2017 Brad presented and published research on the role of planning laws and pipeline regulation to materialise and informate otherwise invisible legal geographies.
Transition to a Clean Energy Future: The Role of Climate Change Litigation in Shaping our Regulatory Path
As the world seeks a clean energy future, courts in Australia and other key fossil fuel-producing nations, like the United States, are increasingly hearing cases seeking to block the use of coal due to its climate change effects. This project critically assesses the role such climate litigation plays in generating regulatory momentum to address climate change. Led by Professor Jacqueline Peel and Professor Hari Osofsky. (ARC Discovery Project 2013-2015). DP130100500
Governance Models for Adaptation and Natural Disaster Risk Management: Legal, Regulatory, Institutional and Financial Assessment
Lee Godden, Jacqueline Peel, Francine Rochford (La Trobe University), Rachel Carter (La Trobe University), Jude Wallace (Melbourne School of Engineering), John Handmer (RMIT). Research fellows: Lisa Caripis and Tim Baxter. Funded by Victorian Centre Climate Change Adaptation Research Grant, (2012-2014).
Land use planning, pipelines and the urban fringe
Brad Jessup received a grant ($45,000) from the Energy Pipelines CRC to research the planning law and policy influence on urban development on the fringe, which is increasingly encroaching on pipeline infrastructure. This applied aspect of the project was undertaken in 2011 and completed in early 2012.
Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: Economic Empowerment, Wealth Creation and Institutional Reform for Sustainable Indigenous and Local Communities
The project researches government, private sector and indigenous initiatives enhancing indigenous economic development and well-being outcomes. It provides culturally relevant data to analyse the flow of benefits (incl. employment) from the resources sector to indigenous peoples; links between government policy/services for indigenous well-being; and investigates legal forms (land title, securities, taxation law/incentives) for indigenous economic empowerment. The project strengthens the socio-economic fabric of indigenous communities benefiting the nation, indigenous peoples in commercial engagements, corporations seeking a 'licence to operate' and government agencies responsible for indigenous economic/social development.
M. Langton, Maureen Tehan, M Stewart, Lee Godden, CS O'Faircheallaigh, J Taylor, LM Strelein 'Poverty in the Midst of Plenty: Economic Empowerment, Wealth Creation and Institutional Reform for Sustainable Indigenous and Local Communities'. Australian Research Council Linkage Project, LP0990125, (2009-2012).
Responding to Climate Change: Australia's Environmental Law and Regulatory Framework
Climate change presents Australia with unparalleled sustainability challenges. Impacts on environmental resources will require an integrated legal and socio-economic regulatory response. An effective and adaptable environmental law framework will be crucial for adaptation and mitigation measures. The project addresses this need by undertaking a comprehensive, interdisciplinary evaluation of Australia's legal capacity to respond to climate change, so identifying appropriate governance structures and regulatory tools. This analysis is vital to positioning Australian environmental law to manage climate change impacts and associated social, ecological and economic costs and to ensure compliance with international obligations. ARC Discovery Project, DP0987850, (2009-2011).
Californian Climate Change Law - Lessons for Australia
Professor Jacqueline Peel 'Californian Climate Change Law - Lessons for Australia', (United States Studies Centre Research Grant, 2009).
Small Grants Scheme Funding
Professor Jacqueline Peel and Professor Lee Godden, Small Grants Scheme funding (2004-2007) from Melbourne Law School for approximately $20,000 over 4 years to pursue joint projects in the areas of quarantine and international trade law; risk management; invasive species; and inter-disciplinary approaches in environmental law. These projects have been used as pilot studies to generate an initial research base and supporting publications to allow more in-depth research supported by ARC funding.
Developing a Governance and Regulation Framework for Addressing Issues of Climate Change
Professor Lee Godden and Professor Jacqueline Peel, 'Developing a Governance and Regulation Framework for Addressing Issues of Climate Change' (Faculty Small Grants Scheme, 2007).
Managing Competing Claims to Land and Resources - Does Property Law Promote Sustainability
Professor Maureen Tehan and Professor Lee Godden, 'Managing Competing Claims to Land and Resources - Does Property Law Promote Sustainability' . Managing Competing Claims to Land and Resources - Does Property Law Promote Sustainability ? A key factor in promoting environmental sustainability is the resolution of competing claims to land and water resources in rural Australia. This project would examine the effectiveness of property law as the major model for resolving conflicts and regulating land and resources. Through overseas and Australian comparative research the project would provide an analysis of alternative legal and institutional models of relevance to land and resource management authorities, industry and community groups. It would support the resolution of competing claims through an examination of legal models, which may more effectively promote environmental sustainability. ARC Discovery Project (2005), DP0558604.
The Implementation of Agreements and Treaties with Indigenous and Local Peoples in Postcolonial States
Professor Marcia Langton, L. Palmer, Professor Maureen Tehan and Professor Lee Godden, 'The Implementation of Agreements and Treaties with Indigenous and Local Peoples in Postcolonial States' ARC Linkage grant (2005). LP0561857. The Implementation of Agreements and Treaties with Indigenous and Local Peoples in Postcolonial States. This project involves a comparative study by an interdisciplinary team of the implementation of agreements with Indigenous and local peoples across selected Australian and international jurisdictions. Agreement making is now a major policy tool for governments, industry and Indigenous peoples. Using case studies, this project will address the critical need for research on implementation of agreements and the factors promoting long-term sustainability. This will involve examination of legal, governance, economic development, land/heritage, and environmental management issues that arise in agreement implementation and investigation of the features of agreements that enhance social, cultural and economic outcomes for Indigenous communities.