Environmental litigation in the Brigalow Belt South Bioregion: the importance of the non-state sector

Dr Jo Gillespie1, Mr Alex Vaughan1

1School of Geosciences, The University Of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


Smart environmental regulation embraces innovative methods to control human activities and moves us beyond environmental law’s traditional command and control regulatory approaches. This approach changes the way state/non-state actors engage with environmental issues.  Increasingly non-state actors play a defining role in environmental protection as environmental groups advocate through environmental litigation. In this paper we explore how environment advocacy (herein defined) through environmental litigation shapes the Brigalow Belt South bioregion of NSW.  This paper is interested in exploring the role of ENGOs in shaping places through environmental litigation, to make visible how the non-state sector uses legal process to create, shape and re-shape landscape.  Within this aim, this paper also embraces and argues for use of a bioregional lens to focus attention on linkages between social and ecological processes.


Dr Josephine Gillespie (BA (Hons), LLB, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney.  Jo is both a geographer and a former lawyer. Jo’s research investigates the ways in which regulatory frameworks both enable and disable people-environment interactions and the role of environmental litigation in place-making. Jo is a member of the IUCN, a Councillor on the NSW Geographic Society, and a co-convenor of the Legal Geography Study Group of the Institute of Australian Geographers.

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