International Climate Change Law and Policy

10 Units

This course will provide students with advanced and specialized knowledge of the legal principles, treaties and institutions of the international climate regime. The course will examine the evolution and architecture of the international climate regime including the 1992 United National Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1997 Kyoto Protocol and 2009 Copenhagen Accord. The course will also examine climate change institutions formed outside the United Nations negotiation process and the key policy and theoretical debates about future development of the international climate regime. The course will also examine and evaluate differing approaches to domestic implementation of international obligations on climate change through case studies on Australian efforts at carbon pricing and the European Emissions Trading Scheme.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School

Not currently offered

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate advanced understanding and knowledge of the legal principles, rules and institutions of the international climate change regime.
  2. Evaluate and critically analyse key theoretical debates on the formation and operation of international climate change regime.
  3. Apply advanced knowledge of the international climate regime to negotiate and design part of an international environmental agreement on climate change.
  4. Analyse and evaluate key policy debates surrounding future development of the international climate regime.

The topics in this course include:

  1. Anthropogenic Climate Change and the International Law System.
  2. Evolution and Architecture of the International Climate Change Regime.
  3. The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  4. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  5. The Kyoto Protocol Flexibility Mechanisms.
  6. The Asia-Pacific Partnership and Soft-Law Climate Institutions.
  7. Designing the post-2012 International Climate Change Regime.
  8. Domestic Implementation: Case Studies from Australia and the European Union.
  9. Multilevel Governance of Climate Change.
  • This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or Master of Laws programs.
Assumed Knowledge Nil
Assessment Items
  • Report: Research Assignment
  • Role Play: International climate change agreement mock negotiation and design exercise
Contact Hours
  • Seminar: for 24 hour(s) per Term (The course will be delivered by 2 x 2 day intensives during the semester plus online interaction between the intensives through Blackboard.)
Timetable 2016 Course Timetables for LAWS6038
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