Environmental Law and Ethics (ENVI3111)


Shared Teaching Arrangements: This unit of study is co-taught by the School of Geosciences (75%) and the Unit for the History and Philosophy of Science (25%). The unit is divided into two parts: (1) environmental law and governance (weeks 1-9) and (2) environmental ethics (weeks 10-13). Environmental regulation and governance plays an important role in regulating human impacts on the environment. The law and governance part of this unit provides an introduction and overview to environmental regulation. We investigate key environmental issues through an examination of legal policies, legislation and case law at a variety of scales (international, national and state/local). This unit also highlights the ways in which environmental law and governance is increasingly interconnected to other areas of environmental studies. The ethics component helps students develop thoughtful and informed positions on issues in environmental ethics using arguments derived from traditional ethics as well as environmentally specific theories. Ethical conflicts are often inevitable and difficult to resolve but using the resources of philosophical ethics and regular reference to case studies, students can learn to recognize the values and considerations at stake in such conflicts, acknowledge differing viewpoints and defend their own well considered positions.

Further unit of study information


Two 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour tutorial per week.


Exam (40%) Essays (40%, 20%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

12 credit points of Intermediate units



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.