The timeline

The Australian Climate Case timeline

Legal cases take time. Here’s what has happened so far in the Australian Climate Case…

October 26
Case filed

Uncle Paul and Uncle Pabai started their case on behalf of all Torres Strait Islanders.

> Originating application

> Statement of claim

February 22
Government defence filed

The Government filed their response or ‘defence’ to the claim

> Government defence

March 31
Concise statement filed by Paul & Pabai

Concise statement is a simplified summary of the case

> Concise statement

April 14
Concise response filed by Government

Concise response is a simplified summary of Government’s defence

> Concise response

July 18
Orders made and reasons given by Justice Mortimer about the procedure

Justice Mortimer made orders about how the case will be managed. She has set aside time to go to the Torres Strait to hear evidence from the communities. In her reasons, she recognised the ‘unremitting march of the sea onto the islands of the Torres Strait.’

> Order

August 12
Amended statement of claim filed
Uncle Paul and Uncle Pabai made some changes to clarify their statement of claim against the Government
September 9
Amended defence will be filed
The Government will make changes, if needed, to their defence in response to Uncle Paul and Uncle Pabai’s changes.
June 6
Trial - Part 1

The trial is the final hearing in the case. This was Part 1 of the trial and focused on evidence from Uncle Paul, Uncle Pabai and other Torres Strait Islanders. The Court traveled to the Torres Strait and Cairns for three weeks of hearings.

November 8
Trial - Part 2

The court heard additional evidence in Melbourne for three weeks. This second part of the trial focused on evidence from Torres Strait Islanders and expert witnesses.

Pabai and Paul
This isn’t just about the Torres Strait. People all across Australia are going to be hit hard by climate change: sea level rise, bushfires, floods, droughts and other dangerous climate impacts will affect us. So if we win, it won’t just protect our communities – we’ll be keeping everyone safe.

– Uncle Pabai and Uncle Paul