Sophie joined the UTS Law Faculty in 2007 as a full-time lecturer and teaches corporate law, international environmental law, domestic environmental law, environmental ethics and animal law. Sophie has a special interest in teaching international students and internationalisation of the curriculum. She has been the project leader on a number of teaching and learning projects that have explored issues of internationalisation. The latest project was funded by the Office of Learning and Teaching, and is titled, 'Internationalisation of the Curriculum: Using Role-Play Simulations to Enhance Intercultural Engagement in a Practice-Oriented Context'. In conjunction with another teacher at UTS, Sophie has won three teaching awards for innovative teaching practices.
Sophie has also published in education journals, although her main research strengths lie in her contributions to the literature on governance systems, both at the domestic and international levels, for the regulation of invasive alien species. More recently, Sophie's research has started to question the way humans relate to their environment and the manner in which they regulate invasive species.
Sophie has worked on diverse taskforces including teams that have drafted international guidelines for reintroductions of species and teams that have prepared reports on research gaps in weed regulation. Sophie is also one of two co-chairs of the Teaching and Capacity Building Committee of the Legal Academy for the International Union of the Conservation of Nature. She is also an associate editor on the editoral board of the Journal of Interational Wildlife Law and a member ofthe Expert Legal Panel Advising Voiceless.
Sophie is the lead legal researcher at the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at UTS, and she was recently appointed as a member of the NSW Government's Animal Wefare Review Panel.
Can supervise: YES
- Model Codes for the Humane Treatment of Animals: Autralia Law and Policy on Lethal Control of Pests, 18(4) JIWLP, 276
- Developing an Animal Law Case Book: Knowedge Transfer and Servce Learning from Stdent-Generated Materials (2015) 25 (1 & 2) Legal Education Review, 251
- Rio + 20: What Diference has Two Decades made to State Practice in the Regulation of Invasive Alien Species (2014) 38 (2) William and Mary Envionmental Law and Policy Revew, 371
- Bufalo Belongs Here as Long as he Doesn' Do Too Much Damage: Indgenous Perspectives on th Place of Alien Species in Australia (2014) 16 (2) Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy, 157
- ‘Peak Coordinating Bodies And Invasive Alien Species: Is The Whole Worth More Than The Sum Of Its Parts?’ Forthcoming Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review
- ‘Law is Order and Good Law is Good Order: the Role of Governance in the Regulation of Invasive Alien Species’ (2012) Environmental Planning and Assessment Law Journal 16
- Using ‘Threatening Processes’ To Protect Freshwater Biodiversity From Invasive Alien Species’ (2012) 1 Canberra Law Review 58.
- ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Uncertainty and the Protection of Biodiversity from Invasive Alien Species’ (2011) 14 (1&2) Asia-Pacific Law Journal, 139.
- Sophie Riley, Grace Li and Nicola Parker, ‘Student Diversity: Widening Participation by Engaging Culturally Diverse Non-Law Students in Law’, in Sally Kift, Jill Cowley and Penelope Watson (eds) Excellence and Innovation in Legal Education, LexisNexis Butterworths
- Sophie Riley and Grace Li, ‘Bridging the Language Divide: An Innovative Teaching Project To Help International Students From China In Learning Business Law Subjects’, 2010 International Journal of Law and Education 109.
- Sophie Riley and Grace Li, ‘Disclosure Requirements and Investor Protection: the compatibility of Commonwealth, state and territory laws in serviced strata schemes’ (2009) 16(8) Australian Property Law Journal, 262.
- ‘Preventing Transboundary Harm from Invasive Alien Species’ (2009) 18 (2) RECIEL 198.
- ‘A Weed by any Other Name: Would the Rose Smell as Sweet if it Were a Threat to Biodiversity’, (2009) 22 (1) Georgetown International Environmental law Review 157.
- Grace Li and Sophie Riley, Applied Company Law: A Bilingual Approach, Butterworths 2009 ISBN 9780409325638.
Download Sophie's research poster - All creatures are equal, but some are more
equal than others: The evolution of plant and animal quarantine in the age of empire
- Corporate Law
- Applied Company Law
- International Environmental Law
- Environmental Law
- Environmental Law and Science
- Animal Law
- Environmental Ethics
Couzens, E, Daya-winterbottom, T, de Oliveria, C, de Albuquerque, M, Heng Lye, L, Maljean-Dubois, S, Morgan, G, Paterson, A, Pei, Y, Prasad Pant, A, Radovich, V, Riley, S, Robinson, NA, Telesetsky, A & Yang, SC 2017, Protecting Forest and Marine Biodiversity, First, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK.
This timely book contributes to discussions on the best legal practices to use to promote conservation, protection and sustainable use of biological diversity in forest and marine areas. The breadth of issues explored across these two themes is immense, and the book identifies both key differences, and striking commonalities between them.
Student Work, S 2017, Animal Law Case Book, First, Wiki Commons, Sydney.
The case book is a student-prepared book, where students have written case notes in a standardised format setting out the facts of the case, the issues, the decision, and also a brief reflection on the significance of the case. The aim was to prepare a resource that would be freely available to all who have an interest in animal law.
Through the mechanism of statutory interpretation, courts can narrow or widen the legal concept of animal cruelty. This was starkly brought to light in the case of Brighton v Will, where the Supreme Court of New South Wales held that stabbing a dog six times with a pitchfork and then killing him with a mallet, did not amount to serious animal cruelty. This finding was the result of the Court's applying a textual interpretation to the NSW Crimes Act, concluding that the appellant was simply exterminating a pest. Yet, animal law in NSW comprises more than legislation, extending to a raft of plans and strategies which provide background and context for regulation. This article argues that a contextual interpretation would have been more appropriate, leading to enquiries whether the dog was rightfully classified as a pest, as well as whether the law should have considered the manner in which the dog was killed. An equally relevant issue stems from the relationship between animal suffering and animal welfare, a connection which hinges on the ambit of anti-cruelty legislation. The latter permits a range of exceptions and defences that permit justification of cruelty, magnifying the chasm between animal suffering and animal welfare. This chasm is also not diminished by legal interpretations of cruelty that focus on whether killing is justified, while ignoring the method of killing.
Wallach, AD, Batavia, C, Bekoff, M, Alexander, S, Baker, L, Ben-Ami, D, Boronyak, L, Cardilini, APA, Carmel, Y, Celermajer, D, Coghlan, S, Dahdal, Y, Gomez, JJ, Kaplan, G, Keynan, O, Khalilieh, A, Kopnina, H, Lynn, WS, Narayanan, Y, Riley, S, Santiago-Ávila, FJ, Yanco, E, Zemanova, MA & Ramp, D 2020, 'Recognizing animal personhood in compassionate conservation', Conservation Biology.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Compassionate conservation argues that actions taken to protect the Earth's diversity of life should be guided by compassion for all sentient beings. A set of essays published in Conservation Biology call to reject compassionate conservation. Critics argue that there are situations in which harming animals in conservation programs is appropriate. Three core reasons can be summarized: (1) conservation's raison d'être is biodiversity protection; (2) conservation is already compassionate to nonhumans; and (3) conservation should be compassionate to humans. We analysed these arguments, finding that objections to compassionate conservation are expressions of human exceptionalism, the view that humans are of categorically separate and higher moral status than all other species. In contrast, compassionate conservationists believe that conservation should expand its moral community by recognising all sentient beings as persons. Personhood, in an ethical sense, implies an entity is owed respect, and should never be treated merely as a means to other ends. On scientific and ethical grounds, there are good reasons to extend personhood to nonhuman animals, particularly in conservation. The moral exclusion or subordination of nonhuman beings has served to legitimate the ongoing manipulation and exploitation of the more-than-human world, the very reason conservation was needed in the first place. We embrace compassion for its ability to dismantle human exceptionalism, to recognise nonhuman personhood, and to navigate a more expansive moral space. Article impact statement: The debate about compassionate conservation is about whether to recognize nonhuman personhood. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Riley, S 2019, 'Horses, Culture and Ethics: wildlife Regulation in Kosciusko National Park', Environmental and Planning Law Journal, vol. 36, pp. 674-691.
Wildlife management frequently involves complex layers of conservation, protection and killing of animals, which balance ecological necessity against ethical and socio-cultural considerations. Using a case study approach, this article evaluates the New South Wales government's recent decision to reverse a planned cull of wild horses, on the basis of cultural reasons and the controversy that has since followed that decision, The discussion assesses how decision-makers address challenges in reconciling differing stakeholder perspectives arguing that a singular focus on cultural values is flawed. In Kosciuszko National Park, this approach side-steps the tension between environmental protection and animal ethics, avoiding an important part of the debate. The experience of the United States, where wild horses and burros have been protected for their cultural value since 1971 indicates that decision-makers need to be vigilant when engaging with stakeholders, especially in the use of lethal measures. In the latter case, regulators need to be creative, not only incorporating stakeholder engagement, but also allocating sufficient funding for research and investment in alternative technologies that provide alternative choices to killing.
Riley, S 2019, 'Listening to nature's voice: Invasive species, Earth jurisprudence and compassionate conservation', Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 117-136.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 The Author. Humanity's land management practices reconstruct nature by destroying and degrading habitats, species and ecosystems, and creating environmental imbalance. The latter can manifest in overabundant or invasive species, imposing a welfare burden on unwanted animals when they are targeted for eradication and control. Such approaches not only overlook animal wellbeing, but also ignore the role that humans have played in species' classifications. As societies grapple to manage the unstable environments they have created, they have also started to realize that standards set by paradigms, such as sustainable development, do not sufficiently engage with the efficacy or ethics of existing practices. This article argues that a synthesis of law and science, drawn respectively from emerging paradigms, such as the Great Law of Earth jurisprudence and principles of compassionate conservation, can help guide environmental regimes towards more effective and ethical outcomes. From a legal perspective, the Great Law subordinates human law to a metaphorical nature's voice, while from a scientific perspective the scientific underpinnings of compassionate conservation identify that voice. Although compassionate conservation injects empathy into the decision-making processes, it is a form of empathy based on science that commences from the stipulation that regulators should first do no harm. It is a call that is specifically relevant to invasive species, where current regulation is based on harming certain species, while simultaneously overlooking environmental threats generated by humans. By using science to identify nature's voice, and law to listen to that voice, regulators can start to design regimes that work with nature, rather than trying to reconstruct and dominate it.
Riley, S 2019, 'The Changing Legal Status of Cats in Australia: From Friend of the Settlers, to Enemy of the Rabbit, and Now a Threat to Biodiversity and Biosecurity Risk', Frontiers in Veterinary Science, vol. 5.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Schaffner, JE, Wandesforde-Smith, G, Wolf, PJ, Levy, J, Riley, S & Farnworth, MJ 2019, 'Editorial: Sustaining Innovation in Compassionate Free-Roaming Cat Management Across the Globe: A Decadal Reappraisal of the Practice and Promise of Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR)', Frontiers in Veterinary Science, vol. 6.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Riley, S 2017, 'From Smart to Unsmart Regulation: Undermining the Success of Public Interest Litigation', Environmental and Planning Law Journal, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 299-316.
In the 1990s, Gunningham and others, argued in favour of "smart" regulation, as an alternative to command and control systems. Government was encouraged to share regulatory space with third parties, accommodating them as surrogate regulators. Over the last three decades, Non-Government Organisations have entered the regulatory arena, providing tangible benefits by way of community education, enhanced public participation and shaping of policy agendas. Arguably, a particularly successful contribution has been the initiation of public interest litigation (PIL), commenced under the auspices of the New South Wales Environmental Defenders Office (NSW EDO). Although smart regulation has been used to appraise the agricultural product sector and pollution it has not been used to appraise planning and development regimes. This article contributes to the latter, by evaluating the growth of public interest litigation, focussing on the NSW EDO. Initially, government had acted in conformity with principles of smart regulation by introducing complementary policy mixes, enhancing the growth of PIL. However, it is argued that as PIL became successful, it challenged government in unexpected ways, leading to the introduction of conflicting policies and instruments, inconsistent with smart regulatory frameworks. The resulting imbalance diminishes the viability of public interest litigation and undermines one of the greater success stories of the environmental movement in Australia, in a move that is arguably unsmart regulation.
Riley, S & Booth, C 2017, 'Environmental protection under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act', Australian Environment Review, vol. (2017) 32, no. 7, pp. 170-174.
For over 100 years, biosecurity in Australia was regulated in accordance with the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth). During its lifetime, the Quarantine Act underwent numerous reviews, including the Nairn Review in 1996 and the Beale Review in 2008, both of which identified the need for more focus on preventing the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases of the natural environment. Seven years after the Beale Review recommended a legislative overhaul the Quarantine Act was replaced by
the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth). This new legislation is vitally important for nature conservation. The Biosecurity Act has many strengths. It continues; however, these are offset, to some extent, by weaknesses that are likely to perpetuate the higher priority accorded to protecting economic assets and human health, and the discretionary nature of much of the decision-making and the lack of requirement to apply the precautionary approach.
Driscoll, DA, Catford, JA, Barney, JN, Hulme, PE, Inderjit, Martin, TG, Pauchard, A, Pyšek, P, Richardson, DM, Riley, S & Visser, V 2015, 'Reply to Proença et al.: Sown biodiverse pastures are not a universal solution to invasion risk', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 112, no. 14, p. E1696.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Riley, S 2015, 'Developing an Animal Law Case Book: Knowledge Transfer and Service Learning from Student-Generated Materials', Legal Education Review, vol. 25, no. No 1 & 2, pp. 251-270.
This article discusses the development of an animal law case book, as part of an elective subject, "Animal Law and Policy in Australia", taught at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The Animal Law Case Book Project (the CB Project) provides an example of an innovation in learning and teaching, demonstrating how practice-oriented learning in an emerging area of legal scholarship can also make a valuable contribution to the field of study.
The CB Project was initially funded in 2013 by a Vice-Chancellor's Learning Grant at UTS and then extended by a Voiceless Grant in 2015. The project had three aims: first, to provide students with a meaningful learning experience that was consistent with the UTS Model of Learning (UTS Model), as well as Learning 2014 (now Learning. Futures) and the graduate attributes established by the Faculty of Law; second, to make a specific contribution to animal law in Australia; and third, to enable students to make a contribution to the community of practice in animal protection. The practice-oriented approach to learning emphasised by the UTS Model readily lends itself to learning that also encompasses community service. Although the scope of activities that come under the umbrella of service learning and community service is vast, at their core is the aim 'to demonstrate social responsibility and a commitment to the common good', something that is also consistent with graduate attributes that incorporate public service and social justice issues. It is also important to bear in mind that elements of public service and a commitment to the common good do not take the place of student learning; rather, they inform it by placing students at the centre of knowledge creation that answers both a societal and pedagogical need. The CB Project fulfilled these aims by focussing on student-prepared learning materials that could be used beyond the class room to contribute in a meaningful way to the animal protection community.
Riley, S 2015, 'Model Codes for Humane Treatment of Animals:Australian Law and Policy on Lethal Control of Pests', Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, vol. 18, pp. 276-288.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The regulation of 'invasive' or 'pest' animals presents decision makers with many challenges. These include how to manage species that are instrumental in the decline of native biodiversity, or otherwise conflict with the human use of natural resources. In this context, philosophies of environmental ethics regard the value of animals as an integral component of the decision-making process. This calls into question how regulators appraise competing interests and whether regimes should be shaped by utilitarian notions of welfare or extend to consideration of the life of individual species. The paper uses Australia as a case study, examining sources that include the Model Codes of Practice for the Humane Control of animals such as goats, camels, donkeys and horses (Model Codes). The Model Codes become a locus for acquiescing on the impacts of 'pest' animals as well as deciding what welfare considerations are relevant to their eradication. By invoking the risk that invasive or pest species pose, the Model Codes conclude that pest species must be killed, otherwise management goals remain unfulfilled. Killing animals thus becomes an assimilated part of the reality of natural resource management. Yet this approach promotes killing as a first point regulatory response, which does not adequately consider either the long-term effectiveness of culling, or the morality of wholesale killing.
Driscoll, DA, Catford, JA, Barney, JN, Hulme, PE, Inderjit, Martin, TG, Pauchard, A, Pysek, P, Richardson, DM, Riley, S & Visser, V 2014, 'New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk', PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vol. 111, no. 46, pp. 16622-16627.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Riley, S 2014, 'Rio + 20: What Difference Has Two Decades Made to State Practice in the Regulation of Invasive Alien Species?', William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 371-424.
ABSTRACT Invasive alien species (IAS) are alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats, or other species. Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires the contracting parties to prevent the introduction of or control or eradicate those alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats, or species. Members are also required to lodge National Reports with the Secretariat of the CBD, specifying how they are fulfilling their international obligations with respect to IAS. While the threats to biodiversity posed by IAS have been extensively documented,to date, no study has examined states perceptions of their IAS regimes. This Article collects and analyzes information available from the CBD National Reports to consider what members themselves have identified as their regulatory strengths and weaknesses. Against this backdrop, the Article evaluates the effectiveness of international environmental law in guiding domestic regimes, highlighting that where international law is imprecise or inconsistent, it can hinder the development of successful State practice.
Although the notion of internationalisation does not have a settled meaning, its main theme focuses on enriching 'the international dimension' of the higher education experience. Internationalisation traditionally includes promoting student mobility and embedding international elements in existing curriculum. Yet, in order to achieve true internationalisation, teachers also need to consider how students develop intercultural skills. The literature indicates that it may be difficult to implement learning strategies that achieve these outcomes. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper evaluates a project that the authors undertook, which utilised role-play simulations in order to build bridges of tolerance and understanding amongst a diverse student cohort. The project reflected an integrative approach that incorporated international elements into the existing curriculum. It was conducted in two stages, commencing with a pilot exercise in an undergraduate law subject taught to business students and concluding with a workshop designed to shed light on some of the challenges underscored by the pilot exercise. In particular, the workshop explored findings that role-play simulations were an effective tool in encouraging students to engage with each other at a disciplinary and personal level, but somewhat less effective in facilitating meaningful intercultural exchange. Both the pilot project and the workshop highlight the need for teachers to build on their role as intercultural facilitators and to innovate and explore all students' experiences of 'internationalisation'. Moreover, while educational institutions consider internationalisation to be one of their strengths, more work needs to be done to assist teachers in developing and implementing internationalisation of the curriculum at the subject, course and program levels.
This article provides an assessment of the enforcement of the law governing commercial kangaroo killing, focusing particularly upon inspectorial practices. Australias kangaroo industry is the largest commercial kill of land-based wildlife in the world. Professional shooters hunt kangaroos in rural and remote locations at night. Due to the remote and decentralised nature of the killing, the industry presents unique challenges to law enforcement agencies that are responsible for the enforcement of animal welfare standards. This article focuses upon the role that inspections have in detecting offences within the commercial kangaroo industry. It provides a comparative analysis across the states, highlighting key differences in terms of inspectorial practices and the resulting outcomes. A common theme across all of the jurisdictions is that none of the agencies responsible for enforcement regularly conduct inspections of shooters, making it impossible to ensure that these parties are complying with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies. Recommendations for reform are offered, including stronger compliance policy, higher rates of inspection, increased resourcing and the introduction of alternative methods of inspection.
Riley, S 2013, ''Buffalo Belong Here, As Long As He Doesn't Do Too Much Damage': Indigenous Perspectives on the Place of Alien Species in Australia', Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 157-196.
ABSTRACT: Over the last three decades, commentators from the social sciences and beyond have produced a copious body of literature, linking the regulation of invasive alien species (IAS) with nativism and xenophobia. This discourse has largely developed without adequately engaging with key areas of the wider regulatory debate, including the views of community groups, such as, the agricultural product sector, environmentalists and Indigenous land managers. Notwithstanding these omissions, few commentators have addressed the allegations of nativism and xenophobia levelled against IAS regimes. Alien species can, and do, become invasive, threatening human pursuits and biodiversity. At the same time, society has developed complex relationships with alien species where species such as introduced pigs and horses can be seen as both an IAS and a resource. What is more, Indigenous land managers regard all species as living beings that can earn their place in country. The strength of the social sciences discourse lies in its premise that society needs to re-define its relationship with nature, including species that humans have introduced. Indigenous perspectives, as they apply in Australia, potentially offer a `road map for drawing together commonalities in the IAS literature, which in turn can lead to better-quality regulation, particularly with regard to animal IAS.
Riley, S 2013, 'COUNTRY REPORT: AUSTRALIA, Environmental Developments Remain Highly Politicized in Australia', IUCN ejournal, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 50-57.
A country report on environmental developments in Australia for 2012.
Riley, S 2013, 'Environmental Justice in NSW: access for all or a closed club?', Alternative Law Journal, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 68-68.
Riley, S 2013, 'Peak Coordinating Bodies And Invasive Alien Species: Is The Whole Worth More Than The Sum Of Its Parts?', Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, vol. 35, no. Summer 2013, pp. 453-492.
The development of regimes to regulate invasive alien species (IAS) has historically progressed in a fragmented and ad hoc manner. To remedy this situation the United States of America and Great Britain have introduced peak coordination bodies to draw their regimes together. However, in Australia, the Senate has expressed concern at the consequences of establishing such bodies, concluding that they merely duplicate regulation at the various levels of government; and, additionally, have the potential to destabilize Australias constitutional balance of powers. Using a comparative methodology based on the `functionalist approach, this paper undertakes a comparative study of IAS regulation in Australia, the United States of America and Great Britain to evaluate coordination mechanisms instituted by way of a peak coordinating body. It is argued that coordination is essential to the effective operation of IAS regimes and that peak coordinating bodies are well-placed to draw together initiatives established at different levels of government; making the whole worth more than the sum of its parts.
Riley, S 2012, 'Australia - Country Report', IUCN Academy of Environmental Law e-journal, vol. 1, pp. 42-50.
Country Report for Australia on environmental developments in 2011
Riley, S 2012, 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Uncertainty and the Protection of Biodiversity from Invasive Alien Species', Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 14, no. 1- 2, pp. 139-168.
Scientists anticipate that the problem of invasive alien species will be exacerbated by co-stressors of biodiversity, such as, land clearing and climate change. One of the most effective means of regulating invasive alien species is to prevent their entry by implementing rigorous quarantine measures with strong border controls. Yet, regulators face constant uncertainty and the need to navigate a range of opinions on how best to deal with uncertainty. These difficulties are illustrated by the differing approaches to uncertainty embodied by the World Trade Organization on the one hand and the Convention on Biological Diversity on the other. While the former emphasises the need for overcoming uncertainty the latter also accommodates the need to manage uncertainty. This paper explores the impasse resulting from these strategies and also analyses whether Australia's Weed Risk Assessment provides a potential solution. It is argued that the Weed Risk Assessment can establish 'plausible hypotheses' that channel into the precautionary approach, giving regulators the flexibility of managing uncertainty by implementing measures without the benefit of full and conclusive scientific evidence. What is not clear, however, is whether the information-based processes of the Weed Risk Assessment will satisfy the scientific certainty requirements of the World Trade Organization.
Riley, S 2012, 'Law is order, and good law is good order: The role of governance in the regulation of invasive alien species', Environmental and Planning Law Journal, vol. 29, no. 16, pp. 16-44.
In Australia, invasive alien species (IAS) are the second largest threat to biodiversity after loss of habitat. International obligations provide that Australia should prevent the introduction of, or control or eradicate those alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species. Yet, designing and implementing effective IAS regimes remains elusive. It is a multidimensional exercise that engages a variety of actors across all levels of government. The purpose of this paper is to examine complications stemming from governance of IAS regimes in federal systems where law-making power is shared. It is argued that Australia has created a governance system for IAS largely based on political compromises that still presents the Federal government with the opportunity of providing a national framework for regulation of IAS. However, the Federal government has only partially grasped this opportunity, leaving the regime peppered with gaps and inconsistencies that fall short of the potential available to it.
Riley, S 2012, 'Using 'Threatening Processes' To Protect Freshwater Biodiversity From Invasive Alien Species', Canberra Law Review, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 58-88.
The use of formally listed 'Key Threatening Processes' (KTPs) is increasingly seen as a way of incorporating the regulation of invasive alien species into land and water management regimes. Yet, prior to the use of KTPs, regulators were already identifying threatening processes by classifying certain types of invasive alien species as noxious, pests, or feral and listing them on registers of prohibited species. These initiatives have been continuously supplemented by Australian jurisdictions adopting a range of strategies, frameworks and management plans relating to invasive alien species. This paper compares and contrasts the use of KTPs with other types of threatening processes as a means of dealing with invasive alien species (IAS), focusing on freshwater ecosystems. The identification and abatement of KTPs and other threatening processes occupies an important regulatory space in invasive alien species' regimes. However, the effectiveness of these mechanisms depends as much on the success of the IAS regime as a whole as on the operation of the individual KTPS.
Riley, S & Li, G 2010, 'Bridging the Language Divide: An Innovative Teaching Project to Help International Students from China in Learning Business Law Subjects', International Journal of Law and Education, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 109-124.
Riley, S 2009, 'A Weed by any Other Name: Would the Rose Smell as Sweet if it Were a Threat to Biodiversity?', The Georgetown International Environmental Law ..., vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 157-184.
Defining and determining what amounts to an invasive alien species has always been a challenging task for states. In particular, where a species is regarded as a resource by one product sector or regime, but considered harmful by another sector or regime, States must often balance or compromise competing claims. Such is the case with respect to the emerging issue of biofuels. Biofuels which are plants from which precursor alcohols such as methanol and ethanol are distilled are seen by states as a potential solution to the problems of climate change and the energy crisis. Yet, many plant species that are promoted as efficient sources of biofuels are also amongst the worldâs worst invasive species. Effective IAS regimes need to be based on a variety of features, including the formulation of definitions that clearly articulate the object and parameters of regulation, as well as the political will to make definitions operational by implementing appropriate regulation. Without clarity of definition and political will, regulators face uncertainty with respect to the establishment of meaningful regimes. Although environmental instruments such as the CBD Guiding Principles and the IUCN Guidelines contain definitions of âinvasive alien speciesâ that are wide enough to include species considered a resource, States have not predominantly embraced these approaches. This hesitancy fundamentally reflects a lack of political will on the part of States to regard useful species as an actual or potentially invasive alien species â a situation that is set to reoccur in the case of biofuels.
Riley, S 2009, 'Preventing Transboundary Harm from Invasive Alien Species', Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 198-210.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The problem of invasive alien species (IAS) is the second biggest threat to biodiversity after loss of habitat. The introduction and spread of IAS can also be a source of transboundary environmental harm. Although customary international law obliges States to prevent transboundary environmental harm, international law does not clearly articulate these obligations in the context of IAS. A potentially helpful mechanism lies in the use of transboundary environmental impact assessment and risk analysis. However, the operation of these processes, within international environmental law, international quarantine law, and international trade law has generated obligations that largely remain soft, ill-defined and inconsistent. This situation is counter productive to preventing or minimizing transboundary harm caused by IAS.
Riley, S & Li, G 2009, 'Disclosure Requirements and Investor Protection: the compatibility of Commonwealth, state and territory laws in serviced strata schemes', Australian Property Law Journal, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 262-278.
Policy objectives at the Commonwealth level call for unified and uniform disclosure as part of the law applying to managed investment schemes. Serviced strata schemes are a type of managed investment scheme and are therefore subject to Commonwealth objectives. However, the acquisition of an interest in a serviced strata scheme also comprises the purchase of an interest in real property, which is subject to laws applying in state and territory jurisdictions. The purpose of this article is to examine pre-contract disclosure mechanisms, applying at the state and territory level, to determine their compatibility with policy objectives advanced by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).The authors argue that the present regime does not promote a uniform response in accordance with Commonwealth policy. Consequently the authors advocate the adoption of Australia-wide standards in pre-contract disclosure, enabling state and territory disclosure provisions to work in synergy with Commonwealth aims and objectives.
Riley, S & Li, G 2009, 'Disclosure Requirements and Investor Protection: The Compatibility of Commonwealth, State and Territory Laws in Serviced Strata Schemes', Australian Property Law Journal, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 262-262.
Riley, S 2008, 'Book Review, Murray Raff, Private Property and Environmental Responsibility: A Comparative Study of German Real Property Law,', Yearbook of International Law, vol. 17, pp. 811-817.
Against the backdrop of sustainable development Dr Raffâ explores how âabsoluteâ private ownership of property out to be regarded. In his book, Private Property and Environmental Responsibility: A Comparative Study of German Real Property Law, Dr Raff formulates a convincing argument for infusing private ownership of land with both social and environmental responsibility. His arguments are based on the public characteristics attributable to registration of proprietorship under the Torrens title land system.
Riley, S 2005, 'Invasive Alien Species and the Protection of Biodiversity: The Role of Quarantine Laws in Resolving Inadquacies int he International Legal Regime', Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 323-359.
There is growing awareness of the environmental problems caused by the introduction of invasive alien species, described by the IUCN as one of the major threats to biological diversity. Despite difficulties in definition and identification, international regimes have increasingly attempted to tackle the issue, with over 40 treaties referring to the regulation of invasive species. But current international law is acknowledged to have severe shortcomings. Quarantine controls, though originally designed to protect human health and agricultural commerce, could play a critical role as a country`s first line of defence in containing the spread of invasive alien species. The international quarantine regime is conceptually well placed to spearhead the fight against invasive alien species, but there are considerable problems with the current structures. An analysis of how current international trade law and in particular the 1994 Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures may conflict with international and national quarantine measures shows that the World Trade Organization, in its enthusiasm to prevent quarantine laws being used as a disguised restriction on trade, has discouraged members from using such laws to stem the spread of invasive alien species. Much greater cooperation between the relevant parties will be required to reverse this trend.
Riley, S 2019, 'Wildlife law and animal welfare: competing interests and ethics' in Scholtz, W (ed), Animal Welfare and International Environmental Law From Conservation to Compassion, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham UK, pp. 148-179.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The purpose of this chapter is threefold: to evaluate how and why disengagement with wildlife welfare occurred; why it persisted; and what role international law has, and can, play in remediating the disengagement. The discussion starts with national jurisdictions, drawing examples from the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW). As NSW was an English colony for part of the time under consideration, examples are also drawn from English law and policy.18 The discussion also evaluates e complex reasons for the persistence of disengagement, extending the analysis to international regimes. The analysis critiques wildlife regulation that centres on human constructs, particularly the influence of the useful/harmful dichotomy, as well as reviewing the lack of political will in regulating competing human interests in wildlife. These approaches create a paradox where regulation depends on the classification of species, so in one sense regimes are species-focused, but at the same time, regulation is strikingly anthropocentric because classifications also focus on the usefulness of species to humans. Animals are treated instrumentally, with little regard to cruel practices. This was, and still is, the case even with useful species that can be used as long as they can also continue to be managed as a resource.
The chapter finishes by examining suggestions for improvement, including expanding the purview of existing treaty systems, establishing a new international organization for animal welfare and integrating compassionate conservation into decision making. It is concluded that an ethic based on compassionate conservation shows promise for transforming existing ideologies, allowing society to manage, in an ethical way, the environment that it has unambiguously shaped.
Riley, S, Couzens, E & Paterson, A 2017, 'Legal Aspects of the Protection of Forest and Marine Biodiversity: Understanding the Context' in Couzens, E, Paterson, A & Riley, S (eds), Protecting Forest and Marine Biodiversity The Role of Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK, pp. 3-26.
As highlighted by its title, this book seeks to contribute to the global discourse on promoting the conservation and sustainable use of marine and forest biodiversity through legal responses at the international, regional and domestic levels. Its scope is accordingly somewhat broad, which brings to mind the words of Kenneth Noland, namely that 'for me context is the key – from that comes the understanding of everything'.1 Bearing this in mind, and not purporting to provide an understanding of everything, perhaps it would be prudent to use this chapter to set the necessary context to three broad issues. The first is the natural areas the book seeks to focus on – oceans and forests – with a view to highlighting their importance and the major threats posed to them. The second is the response of the international legal community pertaining to these areas, in an effort briefly to scope the international legal framework which informs, or should inform, the current and future effort of domestic law- and policy-makers to promote the conservation and sustainable use of marine and forest biodiversity. The third is a broad overview of the structure, form and content of the book.
Hsu, Y-M 2016, 'Reframing Sustainability in Taiwan: Legal Challenges and Opportunities' in Legal Aspects of Sustainable Development, Springer International Publishing, pp. 289-301.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Riley, S 2016, 'Prioritising the Environment in Sustainable Development: lessons from Australian Environmental Impact Assessment' in Mauerhofer, V (ed), Legal Aspects of Sustainable Development,: Horizontal and Secotrial Policy Issues, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 271-288.View/Download from: Publisher's site
It is a truism that to be effective, the concept of sustainable development (SD) needs to be functionally operational. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) provides such an opportunity; yet EIA also presents decision-makers with a vast array of competing criteria compelling decision makers to prioritize and make trade-offs. Moreover, legislation provides little guidance on how to prioritize these criteria and still achieve SD. Using the Australian state of New South Wale as a case study, the discussion evaluates the relationship between policy, legislation and the weight given to SD. The topic is important for policy makers, decision-makers, proponents of development and conservationists. The paper draws on two bodies of work: the literature on prioritising and trade-offs in decision-making by authors such as Brownlie and Retief et al; and the paradigms and models of science identified by Cashmore. It proffers a means of curtailing the wide discretion available to decision-makers using civic science, which to be effective, needs to be legislatively-based.
Riley, S, Li, G & Parker, NJ 2011, 'Student Diversity: Widening Participation by Engaging Culturally Diverse Non-Law Students in Law' in Kift, S, Sanson, M, Cowley, J & Watson, P (eds), Excellence and Innovation in Legal Education, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, Australia, pp. 337-362.
Riley, S 2014, 'The Birds and the Bats: Using Adaptive Management to Find the Balance of Public Interest in Wind Farm Development.', 12th IUCNAEL Colloquium 2014 Tarragona, Universitat Rovira I Virgili Tarragona.
Wind farms are increasingly being promoted as a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While their development has garnered substantial support, it has also led to divisive viewpoints, particularly with respect to the impacts of wind farms on birds and bats. Regulators, who make decisions with regard to the location and operation of wind farms, are influenced and constrained by multiple policy choices, lack of knowledge and the need to juggle a range of stakeholder perspectives. In navigating the regulatory process, decision-makers strive to attain a balance of public interest – an aim that is difficult to achieve against a backdrop of incomplete knowledge and competing environmental objectives. Using the New South Wales wind farm regime as a case study, this paper argues that it is questionable whether the balance of public interest can conclusively be found at the front end of the environmental impact assessment process. Instead, regulators should be making better use of adaptive management, including techniques, such as monitoring, to build long-term data bases and initiate an iterative process of improvements to make wind farms more bird- and bat-friendly. The paper concludes that while the development of wind energy is an important component in the matrix of renewable energy, regulators should not lose sight of other environmental goals, notably the protection of biodiversity.
Riley, S 2014, 'INVASIVE ANIMALS: KILLING FOR THE GREATER GOOD OR SHSORT-TERM EXPEDIENCY?', All Things Great and Small: Interdisciplinary Interspecies Community, UC Davis Conference Center – The Interdisciplinary Animal Studies Group at UC Davis.
The regulation of 'invasive' or 'pest' animals presents decision makers with many challenges. These include how to manage species that are instrumental in the decline of native biodiversity, or otherwise conflict with the human use of natural resources. In this context, philosophies of environmental ethics regard the value of animals as an integral component of the decision-making process. This calls into question how regulators appraise competing interests and whether regimes should be shaped by utilitarian notions of welfare or extend to consideration of the life of individual species. Using the Model Codes of Practice for the Humane Control of animals such as goats, camels, donkeys and horses (Model Codes), the paper explores how invasive or pest animals are regulated in Australia. The description of pest animals in the Model Codes includes species that are 'troublesome' or a 'general nuisance'. While these descriptors considerably widen the reach of the regime they do not automatically determine how society should deal with 'pest' species. The paper argues that the Model Codes become a locus for acquiescing on the impacts of 'pest' animals as well as deciding what welfare considerations are relevant to their eradication. At the same time, welfare concerns are rationalised to the point that killing becomes the preferred regulatory option. Indeed, by invoking the risk that invasive or pest species pose, the Model Codes conclude that the species must be killed otherwise management goals remain unfulfilled. Killing animals thus becomes an assimilated part of the reality of natural resource management. Yet this approach does not adequately consider either the long-term effectiveness of culling or the morality of wholesale killing.
Riley, S 2013, 'Buffalo Belong Here, as Long as he Doesnt Do Too Much Damage: Indigenous Perspectives on the Place of Alien Species in Australia', Buffalo Belong Here, as Long as he Doesnt Do Too Much Damage: Indigenous Perspectives on the Place of Alien Species in Australia, The Search for Environmental Justice, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand, pp. 1-1.
Over the last three decades, commentators from the social sciences and beyond have produced a copious body of literature, linking the regulation of invasive alien species (IAS) with nativism and xenophobia. This discourse has largely developed without adequately engaging with key areas of the wider regulatory debate, including the fact that alien species can, and do, become invasive, thereby threatening biodiversity, human pursuits and Indigenous biocultural diversity. Notwithstanding these omissions, few commentators have addressed the allegations of nativism and xenophobia levelled against IAS regimes. A notable exception is Simberloff, who cogently argues that the bulk of management decisions are made in response to the threats or damage posed by IAS. Yet the notion of what amounts to a threat or damage can vary. Indigenous peoples, for example, tend to have more forgiving perspectives with regard to animal IAS and this has engendered tension with non-indigenous land managers. The strength of the social sciences discourse lies in its premise that society needs to re-define its relationship with nature, including species that humans have introduced. Indigenous perspectives, as they apply in Australia, potentially offer a roadmap for drawing together commonalities in the IAS literature, which in turn can lead to improved regulation, particularly with regard to animal IAS
Riley, S 2012, 'RIO + 20: What Difference has Two Decades Made to State Practice in the Regulation of Invasive Alien Species?', RIO + 20: What Difference has Two Decades Made to State Practice in the Regulation of Invasive Alien Species?, IUCN, Baltimore, USA.
Invasive alien species (IAS) are alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or other species. Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires the contracting parties to âprevent the introduction of or control or eradicate those alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or speciesâ. Members are also required to lodge national reports with the secretariat of the CBD, specifying how they are fulfilling their international obligations with respect to IAS. While the threats to biodiversity posed by IAS have been extensively documented, to date no study has examined Statesâ perceptions of their own IAS regimes. This paper collects and analyses information available from the CBD national reports to consider what members themselves have identified as their regulatory strengths and weaknesses. Against this backdrop, the paper evaluates the effectiveness of international environmental law in guiding domestic regimes, highlighting that where international law is imprecise/fragmented and/or contradictory, it can hinder the development of successful State practice.
Bartel, R & Riley, S 2011, 'HOW DO WE RADICALLY IMPROVE WEEDS LAW? Critical action for wicked problems', HOW DO WE RADICALLY IMPROVE WEEDS LAW?, 16th NSW Weeds Conference, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.
This paper discusses the weed dilemma arguing that weed regulation in Australia needs a radical overhaul, primarily with respect to capacity and commitment in order to align interests and improve interaction amongst stakeholders. The analysis commences with an overview of the problem before moving to a discussion of four areas of regulation that demand critical action: disunity, proactivity, complexity and laxity. Law reform needs to take into account community heterogeneity (disunity), the difficulties in mandating action (proactivity), the needless confusion of laws and legal instruments between jurisdictions (complexity) and the history of slow and inadequate response and poor monitoring and enforcement (laxity). Radical improvements are required in three main areas. First, commitment generation is required to generate moral and norm agreement around weeds as undesirable. Second, radical improvement is required in the area of capacity generation, and of capacity facilitation through harmonisation of regulation. Third, radical improvement is required in the area of compliance generation, of those who are non-compliant and unlikely to respond to softer mechanisms such as education. A combination of market incentives could be used here; although moral hazards must also be avoided. Where enforcement action is adopted, care must also be taken that the regulated are not discouraged and commitment undermined as a result.
Riley, S 2011, 'Finding Nemo: Using 'Key Threatening Processes' to Regulate Invasive Alien Species in Australian Freshwater Ecosystems', Water and the Law: Towards Sustainability, Water and the Law: Towards Sustainability - IUCN Academy of Environmental Law 2011 Colloquium, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, South Africa.
The use of Key Threatening Processes (KTPs) is increasingly seen as a way of incorporating regulation of invasive alien species into land and water management regimes. This paper evaluates the use of KTPs in Australian jurisdictions, with emphasis on freshwater ecosystems. Although the use of KTPs provides a number of positive features the regime also manifests a number of gaps and inconsistencies. These include the fact that KTPs are not necessarily preventative in nature, their use largely being triggered once environmental damage has already occurred. Furthermore, KTPs tend to operate in a fragmented and inconsistent manner across the range of Australian jurisdictions. Consequently, while the use of KTPs represents an important regulatory tool, it is not a panacea for the problem of invasive alien species.
Riley, S 2009, 'Law is Order and Good law is Good Order', Law is Order and Good law is Good Order, Governance and Environment Sustainability, IUCN, China, pp. 1-34.
Riley, S & Li, G 2009, 'Disclosure Requirements and Investor Protection: the compatibility of Commonwealth, state and territory laws in serviced strata schemes', Disclosure Requirements and Investor Protection: the compatibility of Commonwealth, state and territory laws in serviced strata schemes, Raising Confidence in the Capital Markets through Gatekeeper Accountability: Lessons from the credit crunch., Corporate Law Teachers Association, Sydney, pp. 1-19.
Policy objectives at the Commonwealth level call for unified and uniform disclosure as part of the law applying to managed investment schemes. Serviced strata schemes are a type of managed investment scheme, and are therefore, subject to Commonwealth objectives. However, the acquisition of an interest in a serviced strata scheme also comprises the purchase of an interest in real property, which is subject to laws applying in state and territory jurisdictions. The purpose of this paper is to examine pre-contract disclosure mechanisms, applying at the state and territory level, to determine their compatibility with policy objectives advanced by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The authors argue that the present regime does not promote a uniform response in accordance with Commonwealth policy. Consequently the authors advocate the adoption of Australia-wide standards in pre-contract disclosure, enabling state and territory disclosure provisions to work in synergy with Commonwealth aims and objectives.
Riley, S & Li, G 2009, 'Serviced Strata Schemes: Real Property or A Financial Product?', Serviced Strata Schemes: Real Property or A Financial Product?, Pacific Rim Real Estate Society 15th Annual Conference, Pacific Rim Real Estate Society, Sydney, pp. 1-15.
Over the last two decades, serviced strata schemes have become a popular investment vehicle for many people aspiring to enter the real estate market. On one level, serviced strata schemes are based on ownership of strata title and are regulated according to state and territory strata title and conveyancing laws. Yet, serviced strata schemes are also a way of pooling resources and are additionally regulated as managed investment schemes under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). These dual layers of regulation are primarily, although not exclusively based on disclosure mechanisms. The purpose of this paper is to examine those mechanisms to determine the compatibility of state/territory laws to commonwealth objectives and also to determine the extent to which the present regime meets the needs of investors. It is concluded that lack of uniformity amongst state and territory laws is at odds with the unified approach fostered by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). This discrepancy potentially undermines the protection of investors. We therefore argue that the way forward should encompass Australia-wide codes applying to disclosure regimes with respect to the acquisition of an interest in strata title.
Riley, S 2006, 'The Electronic Age: Virtual Conveyancing and the Torrens Title System', Proceedings of the 31st Australasian University Building Educators Association Conference, Australasian Universities Building Eduication, Faculty of Design Architecture and Building, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, pp. 1-21.
Riley, S 2005, 'Challenges that Developing Nations face in Implementing Effective Quarantine Measurse to Prevent Entry of Invasive Alien Species', Biodiversity Conservation, Law and Livelihoods: Bridging the North-South Divide, Sydney.
The paper aimed to show the difficulties faced by developing nations in designing and implementing effective quarantine regimes in the context of international trade.
Riley, S The Australian Senate 2014, Submission to the Australian Senate Inquiry Into Environmental Biosecurity (Senate Environment and Communications References Committee, INQUIRY INTO ENVIRONMENTAL BIOSECURITY, pp. 1-10, Canberra.
Riley, S Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport 2013, Submission by Sophie Riley, to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional, pp. 1-7, http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/senate_committe….
Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport on the Biosecurity Bill 2012
Martin, P, Verbeek, M, Riley, S, Bartel, R & Le Gal, E Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation 2012, Innovations in Institutions to Improve Weed Funding, Strategy and Outcomes, pp. 1-110, Australia.
In spite of much public and private effort, expenditure and creativity, reports show that the economic and environmental cost of weeds in Australia continues to grow. Australians face the sustainability challenges of a large and bio-diverse country, major resource exploitation industries, and a relatively small pool of funds and human resources to provide for protection and restoration. To effectively manage these combined challenges and ensure the sustainability of the Australian environment and equitable outcomes for Australians in general, Australians need to create legal, social, managerial and economic strategies that are far more effective than those used to date. To do so requires institutional as well as technological innovation. There has been increasing recognition over the past couple of decades that approaches to weed management must include better processes, particularly in engaging people in solutions, as well as more effective application of biophysical and social science. Weeds arrive in Australia and, in large part, continue to spread in Australia because of the activities of people.
Riley, S National Health and Medical Research Council 2009, Submission on ETHICS AND THE EXCHANGE, SALE OF AND PROFIT FROM PRODUCTS DERIVED FROM HUMAN TISSUE: AN ISSUES PAPER, pp. 1-12, Canberra.
The submission deals with ethical considerations deriving from commercialisation of human tissue products.
Riley, S THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT, WATER, HERITAGE AND THE ARTS 2009, SUBMISSION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT, WATER, HERITAGE AND THE ARTS onAUSTRALIA'S BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION, pp. 1-8, Canberra.
The report is a submission to Australia's draft Biodiversity strategy drawing attention to the need for a more unified response to the problem of invasive alien species and their impact on biodiversity.
Riley, S NSW Governmetn, Officed of the Environment and Heritage Submission to the Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel, Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel, pp. 1-7, Sydney.
Submissions not individually avaialble but this report is a synthesis of submissions received.
Riley, S 2017, 'Unsmart Regulation: Undermining the Success of Public Interest Litigation'.
Paper Presented at the 15th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law; the colloquium was held in Cebu City, Philippines, on May 29th-June 2nd, 2017. The theme for the colloquium was "Stories of the World We Want and the Law as its Pathway".