Video Transcript: Dr Alessandro Pelizzon

When I was young I was fascinated with the idea of justice; the idea of achieving not just individual, but social justice. That led me to ask a question about not only how to achieve that justice but more importantly about what constitutes social justice. Is law something that is unique to us as humans, and if so, what distinguishes a particular human group from another?

My name is Dr Alessandro Pelizzon I'm a senior lecturer in the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University.

Over the past nine years I've been interested in following the emergence of what I've termed ecological jurisprudence. Ecological jurisprudence brings to the fore the idea that the great Other - the environment, the rivers, the forests, the dolphins, the animals, even the climate - are to be seen as legal subjects, not as legal objects. I teach a course called the Philosophy of Law and I am extremely fortunate in doing that because it allows me to bring in comparative perspectives; it allows me to ask the fundamental question: what is law?.

It also allows me to ask that question with the students - not to the students but with the students. What's unique about the School of Law and Justice here at Southern Cross is it's name. It's the school of law and justice not just of law. The justice bit is crucial. It defines us, it defines our aspirations, it defines who we want to be seen as.

Students here will certainly prepare and be prepared as excellent lawyers but they won't be just Australian-focused lawyers. They won't be inner-looking, they will definitely be outward-looking. We hope to prepare them for a way of thinking and for critical appraisal of what they study, to enable them to engage with the greater world with which Australia interacts.

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