The RMIT Centre for Urban Research’s Climate Change and Resilience group cordially invites you to a public panel on the topic of Climate Change and the Law.

Coming from different areas of law, our four eminent speakers will discuss the relationship between law and climate change in their particular area focusing on the ways law might currently be a hindrance to climate change action and ways it is or could be a powerful, positive tool.

Our panellists are:

Sarah Barker, Special Counsel, MinterEllison

Sarah has two decades’ experience advising Australian and multi-national clients on governance, compliance, misleading disclosure and competition law (antitrust) issues. Sarah has particular expertise around ESG (environmental, social, governance) in financial services and investment.  Her thought leadership on ESG and fiduciary duties is internationally recognised, with her work on responsible investment being cited from organisations from the Bank of England to the OECD and United Nations PRI. She sits on the Technical Working Group of the international Climate Disclosure Standards Board, teaches as part of the Australian faculty of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and is an academic visitor at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University.

Dr Anne Kallies, Lecturer in law, RMIT University

The emphasis of Dr Kallies’ research is on energy and environmental law, which a special focus on renewable energy and electricity market regulation. Her research draws on her study and work experience in Australia and Germany. Dr Kallies has previously worked for the German Federal Environmental Agency and has been an administrator and researcher in the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law at Melbourne Law School. She has presented her work in industry and community forums, and published in academic journals. She is a regular commentator in The Conversation on renewable energy law and policy. She will be discussing energy transitions and the law.

Professor Samantha Hepburn, Director of the Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Law, Deakin University

Samantha is the Director for the Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Law at Deakin Law School. Samantha teaches and researches in the area of energy, mining, natural resources, climate change, environmental and land law.  She has published numerous books, including a Mining and Energy Law book with Cambridge University Press as well as a range of research articles examining the policy and regulatory environment for a transitioning energy framework including an examination of the shifting public interest responsibilities of state’s within a public resource framework, the social and environmental impact of the expansion of unconventional gas in the onshore sector, the ownership difficulties underpinning the fragmentation of land, resources and pore space for carbon capture sequestration and the policy and the environmental concerns relevant to unconventional gas extraction.  She will be discussing the links between climate change and resource ethics.

Tayanah O’Donnell, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Canberra

Tayanah O’Donnell is currently is examining cross-jurisdictional regulatory boundaries, climate change risk and adaptation futures. Tayanah has worked as a researcher for a Judge of the NSW Land and Environment Court and for the Urban Research Centre, as well as a solicitor specialising in litigation in Sydney, where she was admitted to practice law in 2007. Tayanah currently teaches in equity and trusts law at the ANU, where she also on occasion teaches contract law and legal theory, as well as teaching in coastal planning and cities and climate change, at the University of Canberra. She will be discussing local government, land use planning and tort law (negligence).


Please arrive by 6:15pm for a prompt 6.30 start.


Building 80, Level 2, Room 7


29 August 2017