Vol. 40 No. 3 (2021): The University of Queensland Law Journal
Articles (Special Issue)

Teaching Private Law in a Climate Crisis

Published 2021-11-10


First Nations analyses, climate science, social science and legal research indicate the significant role of private law in facilitating the conditions of climate change. Private law is a contingent feature of planetary health because its key concepts and institutions concentrate the legal rights to capital — the goods of life — in the private sphere. Private entitlements can act as shields against collective interests. Reforming law to address the climate crisis involves greater regulation of private interests to pursue the global goal of sustaining organised human societies, and thus addressing conflict between individual freedoms and collective exigencies. Reform depends on a differently educated generation of legal thinkers and practitioners.