Human Rights and Environmental Law (LAWS6302)


The unit aims to provide students with an overview of the recent development of links between environmental law and human rights at both international and national levels. It will initially introduce the principles of international environmental law, and the relationship between the environment and human rights, with both ecocentric and anthropocentric approaches to be canvassed. The right to development, and especially the linkage between poverty, development and the environment, will be explored. Individual topics will include the relationships between human rights and pollution, land degradation, climate change, water security, implications of international trade, Indigenous peoples, biodiversity, genetic resources and access to nature. The human rights dimensions of environmental, cultural and social impact assessments will also be included. The unit will conclude with a discussion of the issue of access to environmental justice as an aspect of human rights, and the institutions relevant to achieving environmental justice.

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Further unit of study information


Apr 6-9 (9-5)


2500wd assignment (30%) and 7000wd essay (70%)


DK Anton and DL Shelton, Environmental Protection and Human Rights, Cambridge 2011

Faculty/department permission required?


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.