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Australian Climate Law - JURD7466

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty 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: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011 and Corequisite: LAWS2311; Prerequisite: JURD7101 and JURD7111 and Corequisite: JURD7211
Excluded: LAWS8066
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course examines the Australian legal regime relating to global climate change. The course begins with an overview of the scientific, economic, equity and international contexts of Australian climate law and then proceeds to a detailed examination of the Australian legal framework, including Commonwealth and State policy and legislation relating to emissions trading, carbon markets and carbon sequestration. The course also examines the substance and process of climate change litigation in Australia, as well as local government and planning issues, and the legal implications of climate change for businesses, including corporate reporting, directors’ duties, and management of risk. The course will include some comparative analysis of climate law in other national jurisdictions.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

A candidate who has successfully completed this course should be able to:
  • be familiar with and understand the legal and policy issues relating to the development and implementation of the Australian legal framework as it regulates activities impacting on climate;
  • identify and understand the climate change related issues that arise in the Australian legal contexts;
  • have a working knowledge of Australian law and policy on climate change;
  • be able to assess the efficacy of Australian climate law within the context of contemporary international challenges.

Main Topics

  • The science and economics of climate change
  • The international climate law framework
  • The Australian climate law framework: Commonwealth and State policy and legislation
  • Carbon sequestration (including bio- and geosequestration)
  • Climate change litigation in Australia
  • Local Government: Risks, liabilities and adaptive actions
  • Emissions trading and carbon markets
  • Business, risk and climate change
  • The future of climate law in Australia


Class participation 10%
Class presentation and abstract 15%
Research essay (6000 words) 75%

Course Texts


David Hodgkinson and Renee Garner, Global Climate Change: Australian Law and Policy (LexisNexis, 2008) (subject to change)
There are a large number of new and proposed books on the market. A full up-to date reading list will be provided in the detailed course outline.


Refer to the course outline which will be provided by the lecturer at the beginning of the relevant semester.

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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.