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76024 Environmental Law

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular semester, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 70616 Australian Constitutional Law OR 70311 Torts
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 79004 Environmental Law and Science

Handbook description

As a field of study, environmental law deals with the rules, relationships, systems and processes by which environmental protection is achieved. This subject grounds students in an introduction to the foundations of environmental law at the international, federal, state and local government levels. It introduces students to the nature and conceptual notions of environmental law with a view to enabling them to undertake more specialised courses in environmental law, either at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, such as water law and policy, international environmental law and international trade law and the environment. Topics covered in the subject include:

  • the philosophy of environmental law
  • international environmental law and domestic implementation of multinational environmental agreements
  • constitutional support for environmental actions
  • legislative framework at the federal, state and local government levels
  • principles of ESD and courts interpretation of these principles
  • the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2000 (Cwth)
  • NSW pollution legislation, the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997
  • system of regulation and management of natural resources in NSW
  • case studies of current environmental issues
  • environmental institutions and resolution of environmental disputes.

Subject objectives

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. critically analyse and develop arguments around complex environmental issues;
2. understand and be able to effectively communicate the complexities involved in contemporary issues of environmental law;
3. be open to new ideas and to be able to respond to the values of other stakeholders;
4. understand the difficulties of reconciling environmental and economic interests;
5. be able to analyse the regulatory and incentive mechanisms to achieving environmental outcomes.

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    A capacity to value and promote honesty, integrity, accountability, public service and ethical standards including an understanding of approaches to ethical decision making, the rules of professional responsibility and, an ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical challenges in practice. (2.0)
  • Communication and Collaboration
    Effective and appropriate communication skills including highly effective use of the English language, an ability to inform, analyse, report and persuade using an appropriate medium and message and an ability to respond appropriately. (5.0)
  • Self management
    The ability to implement appropriate self-management and lifelong learning strategies including initiating self-directed work and learning, judgment and responsibility, self assessment of skills, personal wellbeing and appropriate use of feedback and, a capacity to adapt to and embrace change. (6.0)

Content

  1. The nature of environmental law
  2. International Environmental Law
  3. Environmental Ethics and Values
  4. Australias environmental legislative structure
  5. Governance for sustainability
  6. Principles of sustainable development
  7. The Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  8. Enforcement of MEAs
  9. Regulation at the local government level
  10. Public participation and Environmental Impact Assessment
  11. Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and enforcement through the Land and Environment Court
  12. Regulation vs economic instruments
  13. Contaminated land
  14. Climate change

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Group Presentation

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 3

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 20
Length:

1,200 words

Criteria:

See Further Information

Assessment task 2: Class Participation

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2 and 3

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 15
Length:

500 words

Assessment task 3: Reflective Journal

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 15
Length:

1,300 to 1,500 words

Assessment task 4: Research Paper

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 50
Length:

2,500 words

Required texts

  • Bates, G Environmental law in Australia 8th Ed. LexisNexisButterworths 2013
  • Electronic Work-book available from UTSOnline

Recommended texts

David Farrier and Paul Stein (eds.) (2010) The Environmental Law Handbook: Planning and Land Use in NSW, 5th ed., Redfern Legal Centre Publishing.

Fisher, D Australian Environmental Law, Sydney: Law Book Company 2nd edition 2010

Godden, L. & Peel, J., (2010) Environmental Law: Scientific, Policy and Regulatory Dimensions, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Rosemary Lyster, Zada Lipman, Graeme Wiffen and Linda Pearson (2009) Environmental Law in New South Wales, 2nd edition, Federation Press.

References

Other Useful Material

Bonyhady, T. and Christoff, P. (eds.) (2008)

Climate Law in Australia, Federation Press Ben Boer et al. (eds). Environmental Outlook Law and Policy 1,2,3, The Federation Press.

Stein, L Principles of Planning Law, Oxford Univ. Press, Melbourne . (2007)

Paul Martin and Miriam Verbeek Sustainability Strategy, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW (2006)

Mercer, D.A. A Question of Balance, Sydney: Federation Press, 3rd Edition (2000)

Journals

Environmental and Planning Law Journal

Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy

National Environmental Law Review

Macquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law http://www.law.mq.edu.au/html/MqJICEL/about.htm

Impact (Environmental Defender's Office Network)

Local Government Law Journal

Internet Resources (General)

Weblaw guide to environmental law http://www.weblaw.edu.au/weblaw/display_page.phtml?WebLaw_Page=Environmental+Law

Australian Network of Environmental Defenders Offices Inc http://www.edo.org.au/

Ecolex – gateway to environmental law http://www.ecolex.org/start.php

Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (E-LAW) http://www.elaw.org/

International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) http://www.inece.org/

IUCN Commission on Environmental Law http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/environmental_law/elp_work/elp_work_cel/

Internet Resources (Specific)

Agenda 21 http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

Convention on Biological Diversity http://www.cbd.int/

Convention on Migratory Species http://www.cms.int/

Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW) http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities http://www.environment.gov.au/

Ramsar Convention http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-home/main/ramsar/1_4000_0__

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change http://unfccc.int/2860.php

Other resources