Youth Verdict

We are Youth Verdict , an organisation of young people from across Queensland, Australia, using legal avenues to fight for our human rights and climate justice.


YOUNG PEOPLE USING THE LAW TO FIGHT FOR JUSTICE. We are Youth Verdict, an organisation of young people from across Queensland, Australia, using legal avenues to fight for our human rights and climate justice.

Our first case is a First Nations led case against Waratah Coal’s new mine (Clive Palmers company) on the grounds that its contribution to climate change will breach the cultural rights of First Nations peoples to preserve, practise and evolve culture due to shifting seasons, rising sea levels and increasingly extreme weather events. It is the first legal case ever launched in Australia by young people to fight coal and climate change on human rights grounds, and we must win. Our future depends on it. Youth Verdict is a coalition of young people who are united by a common mission to use the law to fight for justice. We are Youth Verdict – an organisation of young people from across Queensland, Australia, who are using the law to fight for our human rights and climate justice.

We acknowledge that wherever we are in Queensland, we are on the stolen lands of First Nations people and that their sovereignty has never been ceded. We acknowledge that those of us who are not Indigenous to this land must accept our responsibility for the effects of colonisation, dispossession, and human rights abuses on First Nations people that still exist today.

Our group includes and actively centres the leadership, demands and sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their fight for justice and have dedicated First Nation leadership within our organisation. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging; and to the laws and customs and traditions that have existed on this continent for thousands of years. As young Queenslanders we have experienced the climate impacts of extreme floods, drought and bushfires firsthand. We are witnessing the global warming-fuelled destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. We represent different faith groups, different cultures and different life experiences. But we are united by the need to fight for intergenerational equality and the human rights of all young people and acknowledge, in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights Of Indigenous Peoples, that First Nations peoples must be afforded measures of restorative justice to uphold their human rights, alongside the democratic rights of others.

We aim to create an equitable and accessible space for young people across Queensland, and in Australia, to participate in cultivating First Nations, social and environmental justice, by using the legal system and leveraging political power to challenge human rights breaches and to advocate for the protection of human rights. We want to build strong connections between communities and organisations across this State to work towards the shared vision of a just and sustainable world.

Our Vision
At the core of our vision, we see connected and powerful communities as integral to the society we want to build; where those who are most affected are empowered to make decisions for their communities. Our current system prioritises big business and profits for the few at the expense of the masses. It needs to change. We believe in a society that fosters sustainable and non-exploitative production to meet individual’s needs, and more holistically, benefits the collective wellbeing of humans and the land. To achieve this, we must first recognise that injustices relating to First Nations people, other marginalised communities and environmental degradation are all inextricably linked.

When asked, we stand in solidarity with First Nations people and their rights to land, culture and other affairs. We seek transformative justice, where those who have profiteered from extractivism and exploitation are held accountable for their actions, and the concentration of power and wealth in the margins of society is distributed. We envision self-managed and powerful communities where equity and the human rights of all are upheld. We aim to connect young people from all across QLD, advocating for and education on culture and land rights, the environment and workers’ rights. Building a world where we are all free regardless of our race, gender or sexuality. We believe in freedom to education and information relating to human rights and aim to build a platform to allow young people to step up and have their voices heard. Through this, we intend to shape the decisions and policy of today, to safeguard the rights of future generations.

​Our Guiding Principles
• Centring leadership of First Nations people and communities. We actively centre leadership, demands and sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the fight for justice. When called upon to do so, we stand in solidarity with First Nations people, committed to their fight for cultural rights and the protection of Country – of their traditional territories.
• Acting in solidarity always. We act in solidarity with First Nations people as well as across the social justice movement, because our liberation is tied up with the liberation of all people. Fighting for climate justice also means fighting for disability rights, queer rights, worker rights and for people. We are most powerful when we act together and we seek to work in solidarity with climate and fossil fuel front line communities and workers and across the movement.
• Transformative Justice. We fight for solutions to injustices that address the root causes of systemic oppression and break down systems of power upholding those oppressive systems. We must unpack those systems as they manifest around us and internally and that gives us different levels of privilege in this space.
• Accountability and growth. We take responsibility for our actions and our mistakes and hold space for each other to be accountable, grow and learn. It is okay to fail, and we fail fast, reflect and learn from our mistakes; always working to be and do better in our fight for a just and safe future.
• Radical inclusion, care and community. We actively work to unlearn our biases and build a community on trust and empathy that is inclusive and open to all genders, races, abilities and backgrounds. We have radical love for ourselves, our communities and the planet because that is how we challenge the systems of power that seek to keep us divided.​
• Agency, autonomy and self-determination. We all have the right to our own agency autonomy and self-determination, as individuals and communities and we actively seek to empower each other to lead in the areas of our own experience, specifically Bla(c)k and PoC communities and individuals whose voices are regularly silenced and omitted, but are the most qualified to lead us to a just and equitable future.

Note: This descriptive text was copied from the Group's website. Some website links may no longer be active.

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