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The Judicial Contribution to Water Justice: The Australian Experience

July 2018

Citation: ELR 10580

Author: Brian J. Preston

The Brasilia Declaration of Judges on Water Justice, adopted at the eighth World Water Forum in Brasilia on March 21, 2018, recognizes that water justice involves environmental stewardship, intergenerational equity, sustainable ecological systems, customary rights, the prevention and precautionary principles, the in dubio pro natura principle, the internalization of external environmental costs (including the polluter-pays and the user-pays principles), good governance, holistic approaches involving integration of environmental factors, and procedural water justice. This Comment examines each of these aspects of water justice, illustrated by examples of cases in Australia where courts can be seen to have upheld them.

Brian J. Preston is the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court in New South Wales, Australia.

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