Associate Professor Justine Bell-James

Associate Professor

School of Law
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
+61 7 336 56588


Justine Bell-James is an Associate Professor at the TC Beirne School of Law, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the areas of environmental law and property law. Justine completed a PhD at the Queensland University of Technology in 2010, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland from 2011-2013. Her interdisciplinary postdoctoral research considered legal, policy and insurance responses to coastal hazards and sea-level rise. Justine’s current research focuses on legal mechanisms for protection of the coast under climate change, incorporating both human settlements and coastal ecosystems. She currently leads an ARC Discovery Project (2019-2021) considering how wetland ecosystem services can be integrated into legal frameworks. Justine is also particularly interested on how the law can facilitate ‘blue carbon’ projects in Australia and internationally.

Research Interests

  • Climate change
  • Blue Carbon
  • Protection of coastal ecosystems
  • Biodiversity offsets
  • Environmental Law
  • Planning Law

Research Impacts

A model national legal framework for mangrove ecosystem services

The rapid rate of mangrove loss globally is of great concern due to the critically important ecosystem services these coastal environments provide. The Australian coast is significantly lined with these plants (18%), making it important that our national and state legal frameworks efficiently manage and protect these valuable resources. This project aims to identify current legal deficiencies, and policy barriers, and canvas expert opinion to generate consensus for an innovative legal framework that recognises and protects the multiple ecosystem services provided by mangroves. It is anticipated the framework will be adaptable to provide significant benefits to other ecosystems and jurisdictions.

This research is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council. ARC Discovery Grant (DP190101185).


  • PhD, Queensland University of Technology
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Laws, Queensland University of Technology


View all Publications


View all Supervision


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Note for students: Associate Professor Justine Bell-James is not currently available to take on new students.

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision