John Southalan

Honorary Lecturer

CEPMLP, Energy Environment and Society

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John is an Honorary Lecturer and Member of the CEPMLP Global Academic Team. He worked full time at CEPMLP, as the Rio Tinto Research/Teaching Fellow, from 2007-2010. John is a barrister (Western Australian Bar Association), Independent Examiner (Australian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines), and mediator (National Mediator Accreditation System). He is based in Perth, Western Australia.

In his legal practice, John advises and represents clients regarding resources issues in both litigious and non-litigious matters. He has considerable experience in in contract drafting and disputes, mining applications, compensation obligations & structures, and occupational health & safety. His work has also covered mining regulation in advising regulators, mining companies, land owners, communities and non-government organisations. John has assisted various government agencies (in Australia and internationally) on mining law reform.

John is also an Adjunct Professor at universities in Australia. In his work there, and with CEPMLP, John researches and teaches in mining regulation and also on human rights and resources. He has published and presented on topics including human rights and business, mining regulation, climate change, Indigenous rights, minerals taxation, CSR regulation, and mining agreements.

John is a member of the Australian Mining and Petroleum Law AssociationInternational Bar AssociationInternational Law AssociationRocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and Western Australian Bar Association. He undertakes extensive volunteer work including for the ) and the Burma Lawyers’ Council (adviser & trainer). John has also acted as a peer-reviewer for research councils and numerous academic journals and publishers.

John holds a law degree from the University of Western Australia and MBA in Mineral Resource Management from the University of Dundee.


John teaches International and Comparative Mineral Law and Policy (by Distance Learning, CP50040). The module introduces the main legal and policy issues in the mining industry, with an emphasis on the common methods within which mining is regulated. It provides an understanding of the key law and policy issues relating to the regulation of mining, including the ownership of minerals and application for rights to mine; and the effects that mining can have, on environment and communities, and how these are addressed.