Public Lecture: Environmental, nature and wildlife crimes and the role of international law

Lecture by Mr John E Scanlon AO.

Q&A panel session with Professor Andrew Lowe, Interim Director, Environment Institute, Dr Phillipa McCormack, Co-Director, ENREL, and Dr Adam Toomes, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences.

About John Scanlon AO

John holds a Bachelor of Law 1983 and Master of Laws (Environmental) 1995 from the University of Adelaide. He is an accredited mediator and resides in Switzerland with his family. John is an Australian lawyer who has worked at the local, national, and international levels as an environmental lawyer, leader, and policymaker.

As an alumni of the Adelaide Law School, John has a deep interest in the law, especially regarding wildlife trafficking – and environmental crimes more generally, and taking a one health approach to wildlife trade, markets and consumption. Much of this work is being advanced via the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, which John is Chair. His interest also extends beyond the law – for example as CEO of the Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation, where they are doing work on human-elephant conflict, as Trustee of the RBG Kew, where they are working on carbon capture in soil, and as a Strategic Adviser with Ithaca Impact, in addressing ESG issues, especially how multiple issues are increasingly converging.

John’s Australian appointments included Chief Executive of Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs; Deputy Director-General of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources; Chief of staff for the Minister for Environment and National Resources; Acting Policy Advisor, Australian Federal Minister for the Environment and Partner in Charge of Environmental Law at Ward and Partners. John was also Australia’s first independent Commissioner on the Murray-Darling Basin Commission.

Internationally, John served as Head of the law program of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Director of the IUCN Environmental Law Centre in Germany; Strategic Advisor for the World Commission on Dams in South Africa; Principal Advisor to the Executive Director of UNEP and Team Leader of the Strategic Implementation Team in Kenya. John also served as Secretary-General of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) from 2010 to 2018 in Switzerland.


2011, Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to environmental law nationally and internationally. 2013, International Environmental Law Award, Centre for International Environmental Law – for outstanding efforts to achieve solutions to environmental problems through international law and institutions. 2019, Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to wildlife conservation and protection through roles with international organisations, particularly with CITES and UNEP. 2020, Fostering Partnerships in Conservation Award, INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group, for outstanding collaboration between civil society with government and enforcement.

This entry was posted in Adelaide Law School, Biosecurity, Environment Institute, Events, Faculty of Sciences Engineering and Technology, School of Biological Sciences and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.