Re-imagining the laws of nature – storying the rules of hyperconnected futures – Law School: Events Re-imagining the laws of nature – storying the rules of hyperconnected futures – Law School: Events

Re-imagining the laws of nature – storying the rules of hyperconnected futures

Re-imagining the laws of nature – storying rules of hyperconnected futures

Online event

In this seminar, Dr Michelle Lim, Sydney Law School’s George Flannery Fellow, argues that rewriting legal systems to include more-than-human perspectives and employing creative writing in legal scholarship can help address global biodiversity loss, reimagine law, and foster hopeful, normalised human-nature relationships.

Each drop a ripple
Concentric circles collide
Tears spiral to hope?

Maria Ojala (2017) defines hope to include ‘active coping in the face of hardship’. With the very real hardship of global extinction, I argue that form is as important as content when exploring active coping amidst planetary scale social-ecological upheaval. I contend further, that blurring the lines of form and content enables plural worldviews and understandings of natural worlds.

The sheer existence of our more-than-human kin is disappearing on our watch. The IPBES Values Assessment attributes this unprecedented global biodiversity loss to the prioritisation of instrumental values. In other words, dominant worldviews, which emphasise nature’s use and its usefulness to humans, are a fundamental underlying driver of the catastrophic loss of nature. Creative forms of expression present an important means of engaging emotionally with nature’s intrinsic and relational values. Dominant legal systems, however, largely reflect and entrench dominant value systems which foreground the instrumental values of nature. Current laws mostly focus on safeguarding individual rights and property – and by extension the values of nature that can be easily traded in markets.

Michelle Lim contemplates what it would mean to rewrite legal systems with the more-than-human. She considers how storying with nature may allow the re-imagination of law – and of dominant, destructive ways of understanding nature. She argues that creative writing, as a methodology in legal scholarship (and other disciplines), could contribute to the realisation of radically hopeful futures and the normalisation of human-nature relations.

About the speaker

Dr Michelle Lim is an Associate Professor of Law and a Lee Kong Chian Fellow at the Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University, Singapore. Michelle’s work focuses on futures-oriented biodiversity law aimed at advancing equity and sustainability under conditions of unprecedented environmental change. She is increasingly interested in approaches which allows affective engagement with scholarship and explores ways which challenge the form of scholarship including through creative and imaginative means of expression.


Tuesday 2 July 2024

Time: 5.30-6.30pm 

You will receive Zoom details closer to the date of the webinar.


This event is presented by the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law at the University of Sydney Law School in partnership with the Sydney Environment Institute.


Jul 02 2024


5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

More Info



Professional Learning & Community Engagement
02 9351 0248

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