Dr Justine Bell-James

The University of Queensland

Associate Professor & Director of Higher Degree Research & of T.C. Beirne School of Law
Restoration at scale – legal barriers and enablers


Justine's main research interest is legal mechanisms for the protection, management and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems.

She currently leads an ARC Discovery Project (2019–2024) considering how coastal wetland ecosystem services can be integrated into legal frameworks. She is also currently funded as the legal expert on the $3m CSIRO/BHP project 'Accelerating Adoption and Implementation of Blue Carbon in Australia' and on two National Environmental Science Program projects to lead legal analysis on interdisciplinary projects related to coastal wetland restoration.

Justine's work on legal mechanisms to facilitate blue carbon projects in Australia and internationally informed the development of a 'blue carbon' methodology under Australia's Emissions Reduction Fund. This methodology has allowed for the carbon abatement generated by particular coastal restoration activities to receive Australian Carbon Credit Units. Her current research focuses on remaining legal barriers to upscaling coastal and marine restoration, including legal permitting processes and land tenure.