Environmental Law

10 Units

This course provides advanced and integrated knowledge of the legal response to degradation, protection and use of the natural environment. This legal response has arisen from government policy formulation and the emergence of community values concerning the preservation, development and use of the natural environment. The course provides students with specialised knowledge of the key pieces of New South Wales and Commonwealth legislation and common law principles that seek to regulate degradation, protection and use of the natural environment. The course also focuses on the role of international law in responding to international environmental degradation and its influence upon domestic environmental law and policy. The course will draw on relevant interdisciplinary material to complement legal analysis of environmental problems.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School

Not currently offered


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced and critical understanding of the role of domestic and international law in regulating the degradation, protection and use of the natural environment in Australia.
  2. Apply specialised knowledge of key pieces of environmental assessment and approval legislation at a NSW and Commonwealth level.
  3. Critically reflect and evaluate the socio-political context of environmental law and policy in the Australian context.
  4. Apply specialised knowledge of key elements of the international legal regimes relating to ozone depletion and climate change to critically evaluate the effectiveness of these regimes.
  5. Demonstrate autonomy and expert judgment in carrying out research of specialised legal and policy issues relating to environmental regulation.
  6. Prepare and present cogent arguments orally and in writing.

The topics in this course include:

  1. Introduction to Environmental law and Policy.
  2. Sustainable Development in Environmental Law and Policy
  3. Common Law Regulation of the Natural Environment
  4. Australian Government Regulation of the Natural Environment
  5. The NSW Environmental Assessment and Approval Process.
  6. The Commonwealth Environmental Assessment and Approval Process.
  7. The NSW Pollution Regulation Regime
  8. International Law and Ozone Depletion
  9. International Law and Climate Change
  10. Environmental Justice
Replacing Course(s) NA
Transition NA
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.
Modes of Delivery Internal Mode
Teaching Methods Seminar
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Research Assignment
  • Group/tutorial participation and contribution - Students will receive a participation mark which will be assessed on the basis of the following: a. Evidence that the prescribed readings have been completed; b. Active engagement and willingness to participate in seminar discussion and activities, responses, questions or other contributions that indicate a comprehension of the relevant material and thoughtful and intelligent consideration of the issues it raises; c. Responses, questions or other considerations that indicate an awareness of the broader legal and policy issues.
  • Presentations - Individual -
Contact Hours
  • Seminar: for 3 hour(s) per Week for 13 weeks
Compulsory Components
  • Requisite by Enrolment: This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for LAWS6020

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