Media Releases

Federal Court Decision A Welcome Move Against Climate Litigation

Written by
15 March 2022

The Institute of Public Affairs has today welcomed the Federal Court of Australia’s finding that the federal Minister for Environment does not owe a duty of care to protect Australian children from climate change.

“Today’s decision was a long overdue display of common sense from Australian courts,” said Morgan Begg, the Director of the Legal Rights Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.

“The Australian courts should never have entertained the farcical attempt to prohibit mining and energy projects through the judicial backdoor.”

“The Full Court of the Federal Court today unanimously overturned a May 2021 Federal Court decision that found the federal Minister for Environment, when deciding whether or not to grant approval to a coal mine development, owed a duty of care to Australians under the age of 18 to avoid causing them personal injury as a consequence of increased carbon dioxide emissions.”

“The Justices were putting it lightly when they said the duty would have been “incoherent and inconsistent” under the legislation.”

“It would also be incoherent and inconsistent with a system where decisions about economic development and energy security are made as part of a democratic process,” said Mr Begg.

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Morgan Begg

Morgan Begg is the Director, Legal Rights Program at the Institute of Public Affairs

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