Our mission

We use our legal expertise to be a powerful force for change, to empower communities to protect the environment, and to achieve a better legal system that delivers justice to people and the planet.

Read our constitution (PDF, 168KB)

Who we are

Environmental Justice Australia is the environment’s legal team. We use our technical expertise and practical understanding of the legal system to protect nature and defend the rights of communities to a healthy environment.

We are a not-for-profit legal practice.

We are lawyers and legal advisers to environment and community groups, providing strategic and legal advice to support campaigns for positive social change.

We are donor-funded, supporter-driven, independent of government and reliant on the backing of the community.

What we do

We use the law to protect nature, empower communities and safeguard the climate

We litigate, we advocate, we collaborate – for social and environmental justice.

We use our legal expertise on behalf of people, climate and nature.

 

Why we do what we do

The laws that are supposed to protect Australia’s unique wildlife and landscapes are not doing their job. Successive State of the Environment reports show we are going backwards on almost all the indicators of environmental health.

More and more species are threatened and endangered. Old-growth forests, containing trees that date back beyond European settlement, continue to be logged. New coal mines are approved, exacerbating the global climate crisis. Australian communities – like those that live close to coal-fired power stations – are bearing the burden of environmental injustice.

We know the law can be a powerful enabler of positive social change – and a powerful blocker – so we work at a systemic level to test the boundaries of existing laws and advocate for laws and policies that put Australia on the path to a sustainable future.

We hold companies, directors and investment funds to account when they pursue projects that damage the climate we all share.

We take cases to court, providing expert legal representation in cases that protect the environment and the health of communities.

We recognise that achieving positive social change through the courts has its limitations. So we release reports, run community workshops, make submissions to government inquiries and engage in public debate to make the case for better solutions to environmental problems.

Environmental Justice Australia was formerly the Environment Defenders Office (Vic)