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Lawfare, standing and environmental discourse: a phronetic analysis


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Murphy, B and McGee, J ORCID: 0000-0002-2093-5896 2018 , 'Lawfare, standing and environmental discourse: a phronetic analysis' , University of Tasmania Law Review, vol. 37, no. 2 , pp. 131-168 .

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The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin of Queensland isone of the largest open cut coalmine proposals in the world. Thedevelopment approval process for the mine has been deeply contentious,with opposition raised by environmental, farming and indigenous groups.Federal government approval of the mine has been successfully challengedin the Federal Court through judicial review. This led to a reconsiderationand subsequent re-approval of the project, combined with the FederalGovernment proposing statutory changes to standing rules to restrict thecapacity of civil society groups to bring judicial review actions. Given thebroad standing provisions for judicial review that have been present in theEnvironment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Cth) (‘EPBCAct’) since its inception in 1999, what are the reasons behind this proposalfor significant change in Australian environmental law? Drawing onphronetic legal enquiry methodology, this article provides a case study ofthe ways in which societal discourses intersect with law and politicaleconomy in shaping the ability of civil society to challenge the approvalprocesses for major resource projects. This case study shows that theFederal Government’s agenda to reduce standing under the EPBC Actrepresents a decisive attempt to assert power and control by reducing thecapacity of dissentients to oppose economic development. In doing so, thiscase study highlights the value of phronetic legal inquiry as methodologyfor analysing processes of change, and attempted change, in law.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Murphy, B and McGee, J
Keywords: legal phronesis, standing, EPBC Act
Journal or Publication Title: University of Tasmania Law Review
Publisher: University of Tasmania
ISSN: 0082-2108
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 the authors

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