Aspects of Environmental Policy and Law - LAWS9801

Faculty: Faculty of Law

School: Faculty of Law

Course Outline: See below

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: Academic Program must be Environmental Science program (3988, 3932, 3965 or 3943)

Excluded: JURD7361, LAWS3361

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


This course examines the legal and policy issues likely to be encountered by an environmental scientist and addresses the question: Is the adversary system the most appropriate method of dealing with conflict in determining the appropriate use of resources? The difficulties encountered with the multiplicity of authorities and interactions between local government regulations, state and federal laws and international law are considered. Case studies examined at each of these levels are used to provide a brief overview of current environmental law in Australia and the World, with examples.

The aim of this course is to acquaint students with the fundamental principles of environmental law; and to explain how these principles are applied. The course assumes that participants have little or no background in the law, and so the course also provides some basic instruction about important legal concepts and structures as well as policy approaches to implementation of regulation and enforcement of the law.

The learning outcomes expected on the completion of this course include:

• Demonstrate knowledge of the various sources of environmental law and policy
• Identify the influence of common law and international environmental law on the development of Australian law
• Explain the structure of environmental laws and engage in critical analysis of the different methods, both regulatory and incentive based, that may be used to implement environmental policy
• Demonstrate comprehension of the different ways in which environmental disputes may be resolved
• Navigate and apply knowledge of environmental planning and assessment processes in the context of natural resources
• Demonstrate awareness of the social and economic context in which environmental law and policy has to be made and recognise the various pressures and influences on the search for optimal environmental protection laws
• Demonstrate effective oral communication skills by delivering accurate and insightful contributions in class;
• Demonstrate effective written communication skills by articulating legal and policy concepts clearly, persuasively and appropriately
• Demonstrate an ability to incorporate a range of legal and interdisciplinary research sources in written communication with appropriate referencing.

Main Topics
• legal institutions and sources of law
• influences on environmental policy and law: common law and international law
• federal environmental law
• sustainable development
• environmental planning and assessment
• biodiversity
• resolving environmental disputes and enforcing environmental law

More information can be found on the Course Outline Website.
Landscape with Library

Study Levels

UNSW Quick Links