• Associate Professor Stephens was successful in his application for an Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Fellowship, one of only three that were successful in the discipline of Law for 2014. Tim's project will examine how international law deals with environmental systems in the Anthropocene: the current geological epoch defined by human interference with Earth's biophysical systems.
  • In July, Sydney Law School is offering the world’s first postgraduate Climate Disaster Law unit of study. The unit will be taught at Clare College, University of Cambridge under the auspices of the Sydney Law School in Europe program.
  • Professor Rosemary Lyster, Director of ACCEL speaks about climate and environmental law in the Sydney Law School Staff Spotlight Video Series. Click here to watch the video
  • Rapid Response Seminar: The Judgment in the Whaling in the Antarctic Case on 3 April 2014: On 31 March the International Court of Justice will hand down its eagerly awaited judgment in the Whaling in the Antarctic case between Australia and Japan. The decision carries major significance for Australia and Japan and the international regulation of whaling. This rapid response seminar led by two international legal experts on whaling and fisheries issues will review the background to the case, the key conclusions reached in the Court's judgment, and the implications of the case for the International Whaling Commission. Event details
  • 2014 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report - Sydney Ideas Forum on 1 April 2014: The second component of the Fifth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is set to be one of the most significant climate change publications for 2014. Covering impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, this report holds particular significance as it includes an Australian focused chapter. The Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) and the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL) have collaborated to present a landmark Sydney Ideas event that brings together the nation's leading experts to discuss the implications of this publication. The event received 385 registrations. read more
  • Academic Position advertised: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor in Environmental Law
    - Work with internationally renowned colleagues at Sydney Law School
    - Progressive and globally focused law school
    - Two full-time continuing positions, remuneration package: $107K - $174Kp.a. (which includes leave loading and up to 17% super)
    Successful candidates will: hold, or have made significant progress towards obtaining, a postgraduate law degree, demonstrating specialist knowledge in Environmental Law; have a proven track record of original legal research in Environmental Law, demonstrated by publication in refereed academic journals and leading Environmental Law texts; be capable of effective teaching in Environmental Law at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels; demonstrated talent and enthusiasm for teaching one of the compulsory law subjects in the LLB and JD programs, such as torts, contracts, and administrative/public law; have an interest in and ability to contribute to the activities of ACCEL.
    Applications closed - 6 April 2014
  • Book Launch: Asia-Pacific Disaster Management: Socio-Legal and Comparative Perspectives - The book will be launched by The Hon Robert McClelland, former federal Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Services on 18 March 2014. More information


  • On Thursday, 5 December climate scientist Professor Chris Field from Stanford University delivered a Sydney Law School 2013 Distinguished Speaker address, which coincided with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report. For more information click here
  • On Monday, 9 September the Sydney Law School welecomed Dr Eloise Scotford to speak at the Lunchtime Seminar Series. Dr Eloise Scotford is a Lecturer in the School of Law at King’s College London, where she teaches environmental law, public law, EU law and tort law. Her seminar considered the relationship between environmental regimes and property rights.
  • ACCEL are pleased to announce a new book by Rosemary Lyster, Catherine MacKenzie, Constance McDermott (eds) Law, Tropical Forests and Carbon: The Case of REDD+ (Cambridge University Press, 2013). The book launch was opened by John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute on 28 August 2013 at the Sydney Law School. The event was attended by leading environmentalists from public and private sectors. Rosemary Lyster, Simon Butt and Tim Stephens also presented their contributions to the book. Read more: Sydney Law School News | Cambridge catalogue
  • Professor Rosemary Lyster has released a copy of the bibliography for research on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). PDF
  • Dr Tim Stephens participated in the Marine Connections Seminar Series - Theme 2: Marine Sciences and Law – which was offered by the Institute of Marine Science on Wednesday, 14th August. Dr Stephens spoke alongside Dr Elaine Baker, the Director of the UNEP Shelf Programme at the University of Sydney and Dr Rosemary Rayfuse, a Professor of International Law in the Faculty of Law at The University of New South Wales. Dr Baker discussed the processes and submissions to secure sovereign rights to continental shelves; Dr Rayfuse spoke about High seas fisheries and the problems caused by reliance on the principle of flag state jurisdiction; and Dr Stephens presented on the current whaling case in the International Court of Justice where issues concerning the function and purpose of marine science has been under scrutiny.
  • ACCEL 2012 Annual Report is now available. Also, see Governance
  • 16-19 July 2013 the Sydney Law School in Europe Program offered a unique opportunity for students to undertake a fully-credited Sydney Law School comparative unit of study in the centre of Amsterdam at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, during the mid-year break. The program was offered on an intensive basis over four days in Amsterdam. Students were taught by Professor Han Somsen, Vice Dean of Tilburg School of Law and Professor Rosemary Lyster, University of Sydney. More information
  • On 2 May 2013 Sydney Network on Climate Change and Society in partnership with the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law presented Coal Seam Gas, Coal Mining, and Environmental Justice in NSW, a Sydney Ideas Forum. More information


  • ACCEL congratulates PhD Candidate Elena Aydos for best paper at Sydney Law School’s PG Research Conference (1-2 November 2012); Environmental Regulation or Trade Distorting Subsidies? No Boundaries. The theme of the conference was “Crossing Boundaries.”, which aimed to provoke thinking about the form and role of ‘boundaries’ in our discipline, in our work and in our lives, and the role of research in ‘crossing’ these boundaries. The conference was attended by 65 registrants from across Australia, New Zealand and one from Canada, and the quality of the work was excellent. Therefore this is a significant achievement for Elena and recognition of the high quality of her work.
  • Latest ACCEL Newsletter 2012
  • Sydney Network on Climate Change and Society in partnership with Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law and the Environmental Humanities Group co-host symposium on 'Vulnerability, Adaptation and Climate Justice'
  • Australia in the Asian Century - The Conversation. Comment from Assoc. Prof. Tim Stephens
  • New publications:
    Rosemary Lyster ‘Coal seam gas in the context of global energy and climate change scenarios’ (2012) Environmental and Planning Law Journal 1
    Rosemary Lyster, Zada Lipman, Nicola Franklin, Linda Pearson, Graeme Wiffen, Environmental & Planning Law in NSW (Federation Press: 2012) 3rd edition
    Rosemary Lyster ‘Energy and Climate Law’ in Lyster et al. Environmental & Planning Law in NSW (Federation Press: 2012) 3rd edition
  • Carbon Price Master Class (24 April 2012) Registration | brochure
  • ACCEL Seminar Series (April-May 2012) Registration | brochure
  • Professor Michiel Heldeweg from the University of Twente presents seminar at the Sydney Law School: Smart rules and regimes: legal design towards regulating innovation (29 February 2012). More information and registration
  • Professor Michiel Heldeweg, University of Twente, The Netherlands, is visiting ACCEL between December 2011 and March 2012. Professor Heldeweg is professor of Public Governance Law at the faculty of Management and Governance and the Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies of the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He is also an Honorary Judge in the District Court of Almelo (the Netherlands), serving in the Administrative Law Section. More information
  • Sustainable Development Law in China - Semester 1 intensive, 9-20 July 2012
  • New publication - Climate Change and Australia - Warming to the Global Challenge


  • Minister Ferguson delivers Kevin McCann lecture - Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism, The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, spoke at the University of Sydney on how resources and energy are at the heart of structural change in Australia's economy and how government policy must support that transition. read more
  • ACCEL 2010 Annual Report is now available - see Governance
  • ACCEL News - August 2011
  • The Future of Environmental Law - The Law Council of Australia presents a Symposium to mark the contributions of Ben Boer, Rob Fowler and Mahla Pearlman AO in the field of environmental and planning law - 25 November, Westin Hotel, Sydney. For more information please refer to the brochure and registration form
  • Emeritus Professor Ben Boer et al publish Environmental Law and Sustainability after Rio click here for more information.
  • 28 July 2011 - The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, visited the University of Sydney to address students and staff at the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law on the importance of legislation to establish a carbon price in the Australian economy. The Minister outlined how the Bills to implement the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Plan will set out a robust market framework for pricing carbon pollution and transitioning to a clean energy future. Further details about the Government’s plan can be found at Clean Energy Future
  • A Philosophical Approach to Climate Change by Prof. Rosemary Lyster
  • Carbon Price Plan to strengthen Australia's hand by Dr Tim Stephens
  • Asia-Pacific Journal of Environmental Law (APJEL), Vol. 13 (1) is now available. Please refer to the APJEL page or email ACCEL for further information.
  • On 23 May 2011 Prof. Rosemary Lyster chaired 'Deepwater Horizon: What happened, why and where do we go to from here?' presented by Associate Professor of Political Science at New College of Florida, co-hosted by Sydney Law School and Sydney Ideas
  • On 23 May 2011 Prof. Rosemary Lyster co-hosted day-long Energy Dialogue between University of Texas and University of Sydney academics at the Law School with US Studies Centre.
  • In May 2011 Kate Miles presented a paper 'Perpetuating Myths in International Investment Law' at a workshop 'Towards a Radical International Law' at the London School of Economics.
  • May 2011 - Whaling in the Antactic by The Dean, Professor Gillian Triggs
  • On 8 April 2011 Prof. Rosemary Lyster was Keynote speaker on 'Rescuing climate science from politics: on whose authority?' and part of a four-person panel in a public event hosted by Paul Willis on 'Is science just another voice in the policy debate?', The Authority of Science Conference', Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, University of Sydney, Australia, Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, The Netherlands. Read more
  • On 23 March 2011 Prof. Rosemary Lyster was Keynote speaker on 'Women and Climate Change' at International Conference on Women in Science and Engineering, Perth.
  • In March 2011 Kate Miles presented a final draft of a book chapter at the International Law Association workshop of the ILA Study Group on the Role of Soft Law Instruments in International Investment Law at the University of Vienna.
  • The New Zealand Law Foundation has awarded Emeritus Professor Ben Boer its 2011 Distinguished Visiting Fellowship. read more
  • At the request of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, Emeritus Professor Ben Boer, travelled to Wuhan to assist the with the first ‘Advanced Training the Teachers’ (TTT) course for professors from some 20 Law Schools across China. On the basis of this course, selected Chinese senior scholars will carry out successive training programmes for more junior colleagues and submit proposals to host the TTT. For more information click here.
  • On 21 February 2011, Prof. Rosemary Lyster attended lunch at Government House for Mongolian Prime Minister and mining industry delegation to discuss ACCEL support for the improvement of Mongolian Environmental Impact legislation
  • February 2011 - Battle over Whaling - Dr Tim Stephens
  • January 2011 - 'A Whale of a Story' by Dr Tim Stephens on ABC's The Drum TV
  • ACCEL's Environmental websites page now includes a link to ECOLEX.
  • ACCEL is delighted to welcome Prof. Dr. Jonathan Verschuuren as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Sydney Law School between January-August 2011. Professor Verschuuren plans to undertake collaborative research with members of ACCEL that seeks to identify existing legal barriers to climate change adaptation measures in Australia and north and central Europe. Read more
  • Dr Kate Miles has been appointed as Deputy Director of ACCEL and Dr Andrew Edgar and Susan Shearing will act as the MEL Co-cordinators as from 2011.
  • Rosemary Lyster has recently published 'Smart Grids: Opportunities for Climate Change Migration and Adaptation' (2010) 36(1) in the Monash University Law Review 173. For more information see