Tribunal rules in favour of Environment Minister on appeal of previous decision that she had ‘duty of care’ to children when it came to fossil fuel projects

The Federal Court decided unanimously in favour of the revision of Environment Minister Sussan Ley against the ruling by a judge that she had a responsibility not to harm children when weighing up permission for the mine project.

The federal tribunal ruled on Tuesday that Australia’s environment minister, Ley, had no duty of care to protect children from the damage of climate change, news.com.

Tuesday’s ruling followed a landmark judgement at Federal Court in May 2021, which stated the federal environment minister has a duty of care to consider children, before approving an extension at the Whitehaven Vickery coal mine in NSW.

The original case was handled by eight schoolchildren and a nun who wanted to demand Australia’s environment minister protect children from future damage from climate change.

Some of those taking the initial case to court gathered outside the Sydney court to await a landmark ruling that obliged the nation’s Environment Minister to take into account the potential damages to children caused by climate change when the country approves new fossil-fuel projects and were seen as breaking down in tears in announcing the decision.

Welcoming the verdict Tuesday, Ley said in a statement that the government “remains committed to protecting our environment for current and future generations.

Presiding Judge James Allsop said the duty of care should not be imposed since the minister “all damage by heatwaves, bushfires and rising sea levels to all Australians under the age of 18, ongoing into the future”


Sussan Ley

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Sussan Penelope Ley is an Australian Liberal Party politician serving as Minister for the Environment since 2019, and has served as Member of Parliament for Farrer since 2001. (wikipedia)


Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia is an Australian superior court of record which has jurisdiction to deal with most civil disputes governed by federal law , (wikipedia)