The impacts on the Australian coast of a changing climate include environmental and property damage arising from increased frequency and severity of coastal weather events, storm surge, coastal erosion, and coastal flooding. Coastal management policies and planning laws are often relied upon to manage both the impacts and competing interests in the coast. The existence of these policies and laws, and their interpretation by the courts, bears a weight of expectation upon them to deliver in the face of climate change which merits further consideration. Indeed, a rich field is open from which to consider the constitution and construction of law in and across different places, in the context of climate change adaptation. The Australian coast is a unique and locally specific context from which to explore the relationship between law and place as performed in the Vaughan litigation, and this paper considers such important potential as it gains expression in the Vaughan litigation. © 2016 Institute of Australian Geographers.