This course focuses on an understanding of Local Government in New South Wales, in particular its role as a regulatory authority and consent authority. The subject will expose students to a wide range of practical issues and principal legal matters which arise both in specialised Local Government practice and day to day general legal practice. The course will demonstrate that a Council in New South Wales now a body politic is a significant corporate organisation responsible for a wide and diverse range of services to the community and discharging many functions under a wide range of legislative provisions.
Recommended Prior Knowledge
This course aims to teach you to:
- think critically about issues that govern Public Law generally;
- understand the relationship between the Council and its elected representatives, its staff and the community;
- analyse the ethical and conduct codes governing behaviour in Local Government;
- evaluate the role of the Law in dealing with political issues at the local level;
- appreciate the dynamic and evolving nature of this area of the Law, in particular the most recent Planning Reforms to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
- The concept of a Council as a corporate entity, its charter and power.
- What Council's functions are, including service and regulatory and incidental functions.
- Powers of the Mayor, Councillors, General Manager and a basic outline of meetings practice and Council's power to contract.
- Fiduciary obligations, conflict of interest and code of conduct and the overlapping role of the ICAC and the Ombudsman.
- The Planning Hierarchy under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
- Planning and Development under the EP&A Act including existing use rights.
- The role of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales in planning disputation and judicial review of planning decisions.
Class participation (20% structured, 10% unstructured)
Research essay (50%)
Problem solving paper (20%)
Mixture of distributed materials and case notes and Guest Lecturers from serving Judges of the Land and Environment Court.
Refer to Course Outline provided by Lecturer.