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Environmental Law - JURD7361
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011; Corequisite: LAWS2311.
Excluded: LAWS3361
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


For the purposes of this course, 'environmental law' is defined to mean that area of law concerned with managing the impact of human activities on the environment. This course provides a framework for understanding the environmental issues which humans are faced with today and the implications of these issues for law making and policy. Within that framework this course will provide students with an introduction to key areas of environmental law in New South Wales and at a federal level. The course will explore a number of cross-cutting themes that influence current debate in relation to environmental law and policy.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

At the end of this course you should be able to:
  • Have a good understanding of the international context of environmental law, particularly in relation to environmental conventions and other international instruments
  • Have a good understanding of the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and the difficulties faced by decision-makers in implementing these principles at an international, federal, state and local level
  • Have a good understanding of the framework of laws for environmental planning, development control, environmental impact assessment, the protection of biodiversity, heritage and pollution regulation in NSW and nationally
  • Have a good understanding of the workings of the New South Wales Land and Environment Court
  • Have an appreciation and understanding of the difficulties and disadvantages the community faces when engaging in environmental decision making

Main Topics

  • Environmental policy & regulatory mechanisms
  • Sources of environmental law: international and domestic
  • Commonwealth, State and local responsibilities
  • Pollution control and enforcement
  • Oceans and fisheries management
  • Protection of biodiversity
  • Native vegetation
  • Planning and development control
  • Climate change: mitigation and adaptation


Class participation 10%
Research essay 40%
Take home exam 50%

Course Texts


  • Lyster, Lipman, Franklin, Wiffen and Pearson Environmental and Planning Law in NSW (2007, Federation Press) or later edition.
  • Reading materials from the UNSW Bookshop

Refer to Course Outline provided by lecturer.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.