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. Special attention will be given to the role of international law in responding to international environmental degradation and its influence upon domestic law and policy. 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 will draw on relevant interdisciplinary material to complement legal analysis of environmental problems. Students will learn about Climate Change and will examine and evaluate differing approaches to domestic implementation of international obligations on climate change through case studies on Australian climate policy. A blended learning format will enable active learning and encourage student engagement with topical issues.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School
Availability Summer 2 - 2018 (Newcastle City Precinct)
Learning Outcomes

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. International Law and Ozone Depletion
  4. International Law and Climate Change
  5. Common Law Regulation of the Natural Environment
  6. Australian Government Regulation of the Natural Environment
  7. The NSW Environmental Assessment and Approval Process.
  8. The Commonwealth Environmental Assessment and Approval Process.
  9. The NSW Biodiversity Banking and Offsets Scheme (BioBanking)
Assumed Knowledge LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.
Assessment Items
  • Participation: Seminar participation
  • Presentation: Debate and Debate Brief
  • Formal Examination: Take Home Exam

Contact Hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Online Activity

Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks
Blended learning online learning module for one hour equivalent per week for four weeks


Face to Face On Campus 36 hour(s) per Term Full Term
This course will be offered in intensive mode

Timetable 2017 Course Timetables for LAWS6020
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