What is SEALS?
The Student Environment and Animal Law Society (‘SEALS’) is a body of law students studying at the University of Tasmania. The society is dedicated to using the law to protect the environment and animals, and it uses its collective voice to engage in issues of public concern and makes submissions to the government where necessary. The society aims to equip its members with the legal skills to make a difference in the fields of environmental and animal law. It achieves this aim through workshops, education, seminars and practical training.
SEALS creates a space for like-minded students to connect and learn more about the area of environmental and animal welfare law. SEALS members regularly meet to brainstorm ideas, discuss issues of environmental importance and collaborate on projects. Joining SEALS is a great way to become engaged in these areas and to connect with other students.
What does SEALS Do?
In 2020, SEALS made a submission to the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the ‘EPBC Act’). In Semester 1 of 2021, SEALS ran a letter-writing workshop to help students write to members of parliament about the recommendations in the final report of the independent review of the EPBC Act. SEALS also held a submission writing workshop with Dr Phillipa McCormack on the independent review of the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 (Tas). SEALS also ran a documentary night in May of the film 2040, prompting lots of passionate discussion and providing opportunities to connect with students across UTAS. SEALS is currently writing a submission to the Hobart City Council addressing the social, economic and environmental issues associated with the Cable Car development application.
SEALS also provides opportunities for students to develop connections with people working in environmental and animal law and to learn more about these fields, including through career panels with leaders in the areas of environment or animal law and policy. These panels allow students to learn more about these areas of law, develop contacts in the field, find potential career trajectories and discuss contemporary issues. As well as formal opportunities, SEALS holds social events such as general catch ups. These are a great way to connect with like-minded people.
There are also opportunities for members to engage in projects outside the Law School. In 2020, a number of SEALS members worked with the Bob Brown Foundation (‘BBF’) on a Federal Court challenge to the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement. The work involved legal research on the impact of the forestry reserve system on threatened species. Working with a not-for-profit organisation allowed SEALS members to gain experience with legal documents such as freedom of information requests, and Commonwealth-State bilateral agreements.
How Can I Get Involved?
Send us an email, add us on Facebook, or get in touch on social media! We welcome new members! Joining SEALS is a great way to get involved in the area of environmental and animal law. We have an action-packed semester ahead with lots of events for both law and non-law students.
27th July 2021 – Careers Panel from 6:00pm – 7:00pm at the UTAS Law Faculty, followed by drinks and nibbles (all students welcome).
President: Hannah Lawrence
Vice-President: Jarin White
Secretary: Samantha Climie
Treasurer: George Grover
Social Media Officer: Lucy Milne