Environmental/Natural Resources Law Clinic

10 Units

This course examines the practical application of the key legislative instruments relevant to Australia's natural resources - water, native vegetation, forests, minerals, threatened species and land - on both a State and Commonwealth level. It will equip participants with a critical knowledge and understanding of land use regulation. Litigious and non-litigious enforcement practices will be learned through practical exercises using real cases from the University of Newcastle Legal Centre's public interest environmental law case load. Students will gain hands on knowledge preparing them for practice and policy-making in the environmental and natural resources law field.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School
Availability Semester 1 - 2015 (Callaghan)
Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the political and social context and importance of current NSW and relevant Commonwealth planning & environmental law;
  2. Demonstrate high level skills in practicing the substantive law and practice and procedure involved in planning & environmental law practice.

Topics in this course include:

  1. Overview of the NSW and Commonwealth natural resources management legislative regime.
  2. Practice and Procedure in the Land & Environment Court of NSW, including a visit to and observation of the Court .
  3. Brief introduction to judicial review.
  4. Development law: Part 4 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (NSW); Local Environmental Plan Making; the role of Councils and the Planning Assessment Commission.
  5. Native Vegetation: The Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NSW)
  6. Water Management: The Water Management Act 2009 NSW), protection of Ramsar wetlands under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2009 (Cth).
  7. Pollution: the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1998 (NSW)
  8. Threatened species protection.
Multi-Term Sequence
  • This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or Master of Laws programs.
Assumed Knowledge LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.
Assessment Items
  • Role Play: Participation in mock public interest environmental law case
  • Journal: Critical reflection journal
  • Proposal / Plan: Policy proposal
Contact Hours
  • Seminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term (Plus attendance at the clinic and at court as required over the term.)
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for LAWS6025

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