Barefoot Lawyers & the Environment






7pm to 9:30pm

Environmental law typically conjures up an image of complex legal rules based on science that protect ‘nature’ in one form or another. But as it becomes increasingly clear that no environmental problem can be untangled from social and economic rules, we need to imagine a pathway for environmental law that is both simpler and broader than this vision. 

Across medicine, engineering and law, there have been an array of ‘barefoot’ movements which aim to provide accessible, affordable professional support for projects, ideas and initiatives that would otherwise be neglected, often because they are politically sensitive, controversial, or important for underrepresented groups. This webinar will explore a range of ways in which legal knowledge, tools, and techniques can be creatively deployed to support - even if via small steps - the kind of systemic and transformative change that can reposition law within environmental movements.

  • A distinctive understanding of how law, society and economy relate to environmental protection
  • Illustrations of legal tools and techniques that support systemic change in this direction
  • A refreshing sense of what it might mean to become a lawyer from this perspective

  • A broader understanding of how law relates to environmental activism
  • Examples of legal tools and techniques that defend and protect the environment in this broad sense
  • Examples of legal tools and techniques that serve to heal and build more regenerative social and economic frameworks
  • Activists who want to learn about creative regenerative ways to work with law and lawyers
  • Lawyers who want to expand or share their understanding of how law can support positive environmental change, especially through links to activism and legal change around work, money, and care
  • Young people who want to reimagine possible professional career pathways in creative ways

Bronwen Morgan is a researcher and teacher working at the intersection of activism and enterprise. She is Professor of Law at UNSW Sydney and co-founder of the New Economy Network of Australia. In her academic career that has taken her from a PhD in Berkeley, USA through Oxford and Bristol in the UK and on to Sydney, she has increasingly gravitated to exploring legal pathways to economies that are more democratic, convivial and ecologically embedded, whether through community economies, solidarity economies, or the commons.

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