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NELA Webinar Series: Environmental Constitutionalism
February 27, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm AEDTFree – $20.00
Join NELA for our February Webinar on Environmental Constitutionalism.
More about the event and speakers
Associate Professor Dr Ron Levy
Associate Professor Dr Ron Levy is a researcher on constitutional law at the Australian National University. He is the winner of several research and teaching awards and grants. His works explore referendums in deeply divided societies, Indigenous constitutional reform and environmental constitutionalism. His recent paper on the latter is Ron Levy, ‘Fixed Constitutional Commitments: Evaluating Environmental Constitutionalism’s “New Frontier”‘ (2022) 46(1) Melbourne University Law Review 82.
Levy will be speaking about the global emergence of a type of ‘fixed’ constitutional provision that secures both a substantive environmental policy and its precise quantum of protection. These features are intended to curtail the vagueness, open-endedness and interest-balancing that are standard in environmental constitutional rights. He will discuss existing cases from New York, Bhutan, Kenya and Victoria, and also assess the possibility of future fixed constitutional commitments in the area of climate change.
Associate Professor Lulu Weiss
Lael (‘Lulu’) Weis is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School. Her research uses philosophical and comparative methods to analyse issues in constitutional theory, including: legislation as a source of constitutional meaning; the significance of amendment for constitutional interpretation; and understanding constitutional duties, such as directive principles. Her current research project explores principles of green (non-anthropocentric) constitutionalism and how constitutions allocate institutional responsibility for environmental protection. Lulu holds a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University and a JD from Stanford Law School. She is a General Editor for the journal Comparative Constitutional Studies.
Lulu’s presentation will involve discussion of environmental constitutionalism and how it often focuses on the promise of impact litigation, which seeks the direct judicial enforcement of constitutional environmental rights, such as the right to a clean and health environment. But this picture is misleading: most environmental constitutional provisions are formulated as duties rather than rights, and are designed to be given effect by legislation rather than direct judicial enforcement. This Webinar will consider the implications of these duties and legislation-based aspects of environmental constitutionalism.