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MCLE academic staff are leading researchers in Environmental Law, Climate Change and Energy Transition, Water Law and Indigenous peoples’ rights to water, Animal Law and Ecological Regulation, Legal Geography and Planning, Environmental Justice and Environmental Jurisprudence, including property and environmental interactions. MCLE academics have interdisciplinary links with researchers across the University of Melbourne and in other Universities, nationally and internationally. This research strength underpins the breadth of the associated teaching programs in the Melbourne Law Masters.

Recent examples of leading research by MCLE members include:

  • World-leading research on climate change mitigation, litigation and climate change adaptation, together with research on the governance dimensions of climate change
  • Environmental impact assessment law and policy (cumulative impacts) with specific attention to reform of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)
  • Sustainable food production and environmental regulation
  • Ground-breaking research on culturally-appropriate economic development and water governance for Aboriginal peoples together with innovative research on legal personality for rivers and natural ‘beings’
  • Environmental Justice and its relevance for transforming the scope of Environmental Law
  • International Trade Law, Energy Transition
  • ‘Blue Carbon’ and Law of the Sea
  • Off-shore petroleum regulation – and litigation on industrial ‘disasters’
  • Crown ownership (vesting) of minerals, natural resources and biodiversity in Australian States and Territories
  • Continuing a 20 year pathway of research on agreement-making with indigenous peoples and native title law in Australia
  • Energy Governance, decentralisation and competition policy relating to energy production and distribution in Australian energy markets.