NELA news and events

National NELA Conference a great success


The NELA national conference, held on 21 November 2014, attracted a large crowd to hear from a range of excellent speakers from the judiciary, legal profession, industry, consultants and academia. From the opening address by NSW Minister for the Environment, Rob Stokes MP, calling for environmental law to be reframed in a property law context, to the closing panel discussion about how environmental law can regain lost traction, the conference was an engaging and constructive discussion about the future of environmental law and policy in Australia.

Conference presentations are available on the NELA website, and papers will be published in an upcoming special edition of the Australian Environmental Law Digest.

NELA extends a huge thanks to Legalwise Seminars for their outstanding support in delivering the conference.


WA NELA Seminar: Worlds Apart? A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Law in America and Australia


On 25 November 2014, almost 40 NELA members and others attended a breakfast seminar delivered by Patrick Pearlman, Principal Solicitor of EDO WA.

The two legal systems both trace back to England and common law traditions, but have evolved in radically different directions. That divergence has produced dramatically different considerations for lawyers advocating on behalf of the public interest, particularly in the related fields of environmental and administrative law.

Patrick provided an overview of the constitutional, legislative and institutional underpinnings of the two nations’ legal systems before drilling down to specific examples of how environmental laws can (or should) be applied to better serve the public interest. The presentation provoked an interesting discussion of Australian environmental approval systems.

Thanks go to our host, DLA Piper, Patrick Pearlman and the WA NELA Committee for organising the event.


Australian Environmental Law Digest – contributions invited


Contributions are invited for the February edition of the Australian Environmental Law Digest.

Contributions on any topic are welcome, however we are particularly interested in articles discussing approvals and enforcement issues in your State.

Articles should be 1,500 – 2,000 words, and can be emailed to The deadline for articles for the next edition is 13 February 2015.