Bronwen Morgan (University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law) & Declan Kuch (University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law) have posted The Socio-Legal Implications of the New Politics of Climate Change (University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 1715-1740, 2016) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article explores the socio-legal dimensions of the new politics of climate change in Australia, understood as a shift from a focus on engagement with top-down policy processes (particularly the international framework for emissions trading leading up to the Paris Agreement) to the pursuit of a dual community organising strategy that combines resistance and proactive institution-building at more local levels. We point to four axes that underpin new intersections between social mobilisation, economic action and law and a process of architectural reform that builds mutuality and ‘slowing down’ into the architecture of formal rules and flows of money that shape economic life. Those axes are organisational, regulatory, place-based and people-focused.
We begin with a focus on the legal models for corporate entities, the organisational actors that are the key site of economic agency in our contemporary economy. Our second axis, the public regulatory dimensions of economic activity, provides the structural context for economic activity. As one of the key regulatory challenges distinctive to the new politics of climate change is the difficulty of crafting place-sensitive legal frameworks, we explore this as a third socio-legal axis. In the context of a modern legal system committed conceptually to generality and place-neutrality, one of the more fertile sites to develop a sense of agency that responds to place-sensitivity is through the trajectory of individual biography. Professional identities of lawyers therefore comprise our fourth and final socio-legal axis.Taken together, the article illustrates a range of ways in which this four-pronged approach to the socio-legal dimensions of the new politics of climate change has the potential to alter systemically the relationship between economy and environment.