Environmental Law

Environmental Law

Exemption from core units of study should not be assumed to be automatic. Formal approval must be obtained from the University of Sydney Law School prior to enrolment.
Master of Environmental Law
For the award of the Master of Environmental Law, students must complete 48 credit points, comprising:
(i) for students without a law background, 12 credit points of core units of study and 36 credit points of elective units of study; or
(ii) for students with a law background who have not completed any tertiary study in environmental law, 6 credit points of core units of study and 42 credit points of elective units of study; or
(iii) for students with an environmental law background, 48 credit points of elective units of study.
Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law
For the award of the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law, students must complete 24 credit points, comprising:
(i) for students without a law background, 12 credit points of core units of study and 12 credit points of elective units of study; or
(ii) for students with a law background who have not completed any tertiary study in environmental law, 6 credit points of core units of study and 18 credit points of elective units of study; or
(iii) for students with an environmental law background, 24 credit point of electives units of study.

Core

Students must either have completed or be concurrently enrolled in the core unit(s) of study prior to undertaking the elective units of study
Students without a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must undertake LAWS6252 prior or concurrent to enrolling in other law units.
LAWS6044 Environmental Law and Policy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Gerry Bates Session: Intensive March Classes: Mar 4-7 (9-5) Prohibitions: LAWS3430 or LAWS5130 Assumed knowledge: LAWS6252 or law degree from a common law jurisdiction Assessment: 2000wd essay (25%) and assignment (75%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Students who do not hold a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must either have completed or be concurrently enrolled in LAWS6252 Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System before undertaking the environmental law units. Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
The aim of the unit is to introduce students to overarching themes in environmental law and policy as a foundation to their more detailed studies for the Environmental Law Program. This is an overview unit addressing a number of environmental issues at various levels of analysis; such as policy making, implementation of policy and dispute resolution. The concept of ecologically sustainable development and its implications for environmental law and policy is a continuing theme. The unit is designed to develop multi-dimensional thinking about environmental issues and the strategies needed to address them. The unit provides a broad background of the political and economic issues in so far as they are related to the legal issues involved.
LAWS6252 Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Ms Jennifer Clarke Session: Intensive April,Intensive August,Intensive March,Intensive September Classes: Intensive March S1CIMR (Group A): Feb 24, 25 & 27, 28 (9-5); Intensive April S1CIAP (Group B): Mar 16, 17 & 23, 24 (9-5); Intensive August S2CIAU (Group C): Aug 3, 4 & 6, 7 (9-5) or Intensive September S2CISE (Group D): Aug 24, 25 & Aug 31, Sep 1 (9-5) Prohibitions: LAWS6881 and law graduates from a common law jurisdiction Assessment: in-class test (30%) and assignment (70%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: This unit must be completed prior to commencing other elective units. It is important to enrol well in advance of classes in order to complete pre-class readings (normally available to enrolled students 3 weeks prior to the first class). Law graduates from a non-common law jurisdiction are also recommended to undertake this unit. If you have missed the enrolment deadline or unable to enrol in the unit in Sydney Student https://sydneystudent.sydney.edu.au/sitsvision/wrd/SIW_LGN, please contact law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au. Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This is a compulsory unit for all postgraduate students who do not hold a law degree or equivalent from a common law jurisdiction entering the: Master of Administrative Law and Policy; Master of Business Law; Master of Environmental Law; Master of Environmental Science and Law; Master of Health Law; Master of Labour Law and Relations as well as Graduate Diplomas offered in these programs. The unit has been designed to equip students with the necessary legal skills and legal knowledge to competently apply themselves in their chosen area of law. Instruction will cover the legislative process; the judiciary and specialist tribunals; precedent; court hierarchies; legal reasoning; constitutional law; administrative law; contracts; and torts. Some elements of the unit will be tailored in accordance with the requirements of the particular specialist programs.

Electives

LAWS6314 Coastal and Marine Law

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Ed Couzens, Prof Tim Stephens Session: Intensive June Classes: May 7, 8 & 14, 15 (9-5) Assessment: Presentation and 2000wd essay (25%) and 6000wd essay (75%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit examines legal and policy frameworks for the management of coastal and marine areas in Australia. Topics addressed include the characteristics of Australian coastal and marine environments, the constitutional framework for the management of offshore areas, the regulation of marine pollution, marine parks and reserves, fisheries management, the regulation of offshore oil and gas resource extraction, an introduction to maritime law, and the management of climate change impacts on coastal and marine areas.
LAWS6354 Environ Planning and Impact Assessment Law

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Mr Jeff Smith, Ms Susan O'Neill Session: Intensive September Classes: Sep 9-12 (9-5) Prohibitions: LAWS6043 or LAWS6045 or LAWS3430 or LAWS5130 Assumed knowledge: students who do not hold an undergraduate law degree must have completed LAWS6252 Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System before enrolling in this unit and LAWS6044 Environmental Law and Policy (MEL only) Assessment: class presentation and 1000wd essay (25%) and 6000wd essay (75%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit has three aims. The first is to provide a sound analysis of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures and environmental planning laws in NSW and at the Commonwealth level. The second aim is to develop a critical understanding of EIA and environmental planning laws by examining their historical, ethical and political dimensions as well as relevant aspects of legal theory. The third and ultimate aim is to combine these doctrinal and theoretical forms of knowledge so we can suggest possible improvements to current laws and legal practices.
LAWS6041 Environmental Litigation

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Adj Prof Justice Nicola Pain, Justice Rachel Pepper Session: Intensive September Classes: Aug 8 & 10-12 (9-5) Assessment: 4000wd paper on a practical task/topic (50%) and 4000wd essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit focuses on litigation as a tool for resolving environmental disputes. The unit examines different types of environmental litigation and issues that can arise in litigation processes. Candidates will develop an understanding of the characteristics of environmental litigation, the advantages and limitations of different types of proceedings, and the range of outcomes that are possible for environmental litigation. The topics include litigation strategies, procedure and evidence, defensive actions (ie SLAPP litigation), and the outcomes of litigation. Reference will be made to recent cases, such as in the field of climate change, to illustrate the topics.
LAWS6342 Environmental Markets

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kate Owens Session: Intensive May Classes: Apr 17, 18 & May 1, 2 (9-5) Assessment: class participation and presentation on proposed essay topic (20%) and 8000wd essay (80%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
Environmental degradation is often caused by various forms of market failure. At the same time, it is recognised that market-based instruments (MBIs) can function as legitimate and effective legal tools for environmental protection. MBIs are instruments or regulations that encourage behaviour through market signals, rather than through direct regulation alone, and are applied broadly at both the international and national level to improve environmental quality and resource conservation. Markets are not, however, a panacea for the environmental issues we face, and MBIs can undermine environmental objectives if those instruments are not well designed and implemented. This unit will study the role of markets and financial incentives in addressing environmental and natural resource issues, and analyse the conceptual foundation for their use. It will then survey a range of MBIs, including marketable permits, offset programs and load-based licensing, across a diverse range of environmental issue areas, including climate change, renewable energy, fisheries, water and biodiversity. The Unit will examine the key contributions MBIs can make to environmental regulation, as well as the relevant 'watchpoints' as these instruments develop in terms of environmental protection. Students will also examine how 'impact investors' are harnessing private capital in order to drive market-based solutions to environmental problems.
LAWS6964 Global Energy and Resources Law

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Penny Crossley Session: Intensive September Classes: Aug 27, 28 & Sept 3, 4 (9-5) Assessment: Option 1: take-home exam (70%) and optional essay or problem question (30%) or Option 2: take-home exam (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit provides a framework for understanding the role of law in: the discovery, financing, development and utilisation of energy and resources projects; energy trading on wholesale markets; mining and resources projects, including competition issues and access to essential infrastructure; addressing potential sources of conflict in the energy and resources sector including in dealing with international trade, native title and other indigenous issues, environmental and corporate social responsibility issues; and current national and international energy and resources controversies. Previous topics have included the role of renewable energy in energy security, challenges posed by energy and resources projects in Africa, conflict between Europe and Russia over gas supplies, energy storage, coal seam gas development, international maritime disputes in Asia over offshore oil and gas fields, corruption and transparency, and the Resource Curse in developing countries.
LAWS6865 International Dispute Resolution

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr James Devaney Session: Intensive September Classes: Aug 12, 13 & 18, 19 (9-5) Prohibitions: LAWS6202 Assessment: take-home exam (30%) and 6000wd essay (70%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit of study aims to provide an in-depth analysis of international dispute resolution as a technique for resolving public international law disputes. The United Nations Charter provisions for the peaceful settlement of international disputes will be taken as creating the basic framework for the review of dispute resolution techniques. These include negotiation, good offices, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and adjudication. Particular attention will be given to in-depth analysis of certain disputes and the legal and political techniques used in their resolution. These disputes may include the Tehran Hostages case, the Nuclear Tests case, the East Timor case, and dispute over the status of Kosovo.
LAWS6061 International Environmental Law

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Ed Couzens Session: Intensive April Classes: Mar 20, 21 & 27, 28 (9-5) Assessment: compulsory in-class practical assessment (40%) and assignment (60%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit aims to provide an introduction to the framework, concepts, sources and techniques of international environmental law, and to provide an overview of international law responses to current and emerging environmental challenges. The history and framework of international environmental law will be examined before exploring a range of topical international environmental law issues, including atmospheric protection and climate change, hazardous substances and wastes, biodiversity and GMOs, the protection of marine living resources, the protection of freshwater resources and issues concerning trade. The unit will also survey the influence of international environmental law on domestic environmental law through case studies. Overarching themes will include the interdependence of environmental issues, the effects of scientific uncertainty on international environmental regulation, implementation of international environmental obligations between states at difference levels of economic development and the need for effectiveness in implementation and enforcement.
LAWS6343 International Law and Technology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Rebecca Connolly Session: Intensive November Classes: Oct 28-31 (9-5) Assessment: class participation (10%), class presentation (20%) and 7000wd essay (70%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
Advances in technology pose new challenges for international governance. In an increasingly inter-connected world, new technology raises legal issues relating to its use, distribution and control. This unit will focus on the response of the international community to technological progress across the different specialised regimes in international law. The unit will commence with an overview of the framework of international law and international courts and the challenges relating to the regulation of new technology. This unit will then consider the intersection of technology and key specialised regimes in international law, focusing on Trade, Environment, Law of the Sea, Health, Crime, Use of Armed Force and Intellectual Property Rights. The unit will be taught using case studies, allowing students to discuss and analyse specific examples of new technology and international regulation.
LAWS6068 Judicial Review-P'ciple, Pol and Procedure

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Margaret Allars Session: Intensive September Classes: Aug 14, 15 & Sep 11, 12 (9-5) Assessment: Option 1: 2x3750wd essays (100%) or Option 2: 7500wd essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit provides a specialised and thematic account of judicial review as one means for making the executive branch of government accountable. It aims to develop an understanding of trends reflected in principles relating to justiciability, standing to seek review, excess of power and abuse of power, and procedural fairness. A critical evaluation of the policy choices which account for development of common law principles is encouraged. The procedures and remedial powers available under statutes which reform the procedure for gaining judicial review are examined, with judicial and administrative procedure compared. A consistent theme is the development of a critical appreciation of the proper relationship between the judicial and executive branches of government.
LAWS6047 Law of the Sea

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Tim Stephens Session: Intensive September Classes: Aug 20, 21 & 27, 28 (9-5) Assessment: 5000wd essay (60%) and take-home exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
Covering two-thirds of the world's surface the ocean provides a range of indispensable public goods including fisheries and non-living resources and is a vital conduit for international trade. The international law of the sea regulates access to and use of the oceans, and this unit reviews the major areas of this area of international law as they have developed over the centuries. It takes as its focus the 'constitution' of the oceans - the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Each of the major maritime zones is assessed, and there is also a review of key sectoral issues, including the protection of the marine environment, fisheries management, navigational rights and freedoms, and military uses of the oceans. Where appropriate, reference is made to relevant Australian law and practice, and to other state practice in the Asia Pacific Region.
LAWS6928 Law, Justice and Development

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Adj Prof Livingston Armytage Session: Intensive June Classes: May 8, 9 & 15, 16 (9-5) Prohibitions: LAWS3478 or LAWS5178 Assessment: class participation (10%), journal (10%) and 2x3000wd essays (2x40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: This unit is compulsory for MLawIntDev students. Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html.
This unit provides a critical overview to law and justice reform in international development. It analyses the global reform experience over the past half-century. It interrogates the nature and justification(s) of reform 'theory', studies the empirical evidence of various approaches, and examines the conceptual/practical challenges of evaluating development endeavour, using case studies from the Asia/Pacific region. Students enrolling in this unit will develop an evidence-based understanding of the use of law and justice reform in broader development strategies.
LAWS6065 Pollution, Corporate Liability and Govern

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kate Owens (Coordinator), Ms Belinda Rayment Session: Intensive June Classes: May 22, 23 & 29, 30 (9-5) Assessment: class participation (10%) and 8000wd essay (90%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-people.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
The aim of the unit of study is to provide an introduction to the framework, concepts, sources and techniques of pollution control law and corporate environmental liability. The history and framework of international laws regulating pollution will be examined before exploring a range of legal and regulatory measures for pollution control and corporate environmental liability at both the Commonwealth level and within New South Wales. An overarching theme will be the need for effectiveness in implementation and enforcement of pollution control and governance measures that have been developed to prevent harm and promote ecologically sustainable development.
LAWS6990 Principles of Oil and Gas Law

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Penelope Crossley Session: Intensive July Classes: Jun 26-Jul 1 (9-5) Assessment: Option 1: take-home exam (70%) and essay or problem question (30%) or Option 2: take-home exam (100%) Practical field work: Sydney Law School in Europe Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Students enrolled in the MIL and GradDipIL may undertake either LAWS6990 Principles of Oil and Gas Law or LAWS6933 Global Oil and Gas Contracts and Issues, but not both. Students cannot enrol directly into this unit in Sydney Student. Enrolment instructions will be provided upon successful registration. See https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/experiential-learning-offshore-study. Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php.
Principles of Oil and Gas Law explores the distinctive legal issues presented by oil and gas exploration and production and examines the legal and regulatory responses of oil producing states. This unit also explains the international legal principles that apply within the sector and sets the Australian experience against a broad comparative background. For the first time in 2016, this unit will be offered in the home of the North Sea oil and gas industry, Stavanger, Norway. This unit will draw on the expertise of international experts in oil and gas law, as well as take advantage of our location with excursions to the Petroleum Museum, oil companies and government. On completion of the unit, participants should be able: to explain the specific legal problems posed by the physical characteristics of oil and gas; to identify different approaches to the resolution of those problems, their strengths and weaknesses; to identify and analyse the special issues presented by offshore oil and gas resources on the one hand, and onshore resources on the other; to compare the approaches of different states to the exploitation of their oil and gas resources, and the different legal vehicles used to support and control the involvement of private capital is involved in this task; to identify the problems that may arise at each stage of the exploration, production and disposition of oil and gas, and to analyse their legal solutions; to outline the legal approach to any special environmental and occupational safety problems posed by oil and gas operations; and to consider how legal regimes for oil and gas exploration and production may be evaluated in terms of political and legal risk.
LAWS6359 Property and Environment

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Nicole Graham Session: Intensive November Classes: oct 9, 10 and 16, 17 (9-5) Assessment: 4 x small in-class tests, class presentation (20%) and 5000wd essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
Property and Environment explores the intersection between property and the environment manifest in select Australian case law through the lens of several environmental resources and services including water, biodiversity, coal and land. Taking land-clearing, coastal erosion, mining and irrigated agriculture as case studies, we examine both the theoretical and practical dimensions of this intersection. The unit considers the philosophies of law and property underpinning different models of ownership of land and natural resources. It also addresses the geographical relationship between property laws and environmental change. The unit is interdisciplinary in scope and students are encouraged to synthesise material and perspectives from diverse sources and cultures. From this broad perspective, students are invited to select one issue identified in the subject material through which they can develop their research skills culminating in a major research essay.
LAWS6257 Public Policy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Patricia Apps Session: Intensive September Classes: Sep 3, 4 & 10, 11 (10-5) Prohibitions: LAWS6139 or LAWS6042 or LAWS6113 or LAWS6984 or LAWS3447 or LAWS5147 Assessment: 1000wd essay (10%), class presentation (10%) and 5000-7000wd essay (80%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Core unit for MALP students. Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
The aim of the unit is to provide an understanding of the role of government policy within the analytical framework of welfare economics. Questions of central interest include: What are the conditions that justify government intervention? How can policies be designed to support basic principles of social justice? What kinds of reforms promote economic efficiency? Applications will range from taxation and social security to environmental regulation and protection, and will cover the following specific topics: The structure of the Australian tax-benefit system; Uncertainty and social insurance; Unemployment, health and retirement income insurance; Externalities, environmental taxes and tradeable permits; Monopoly and environmental regulation; Utility pricing and access problems; Cost benefit analysis, intergenerational equity and growth. The unit will provide an overview of the main empirical methodologies used in evaluating policy reforms in these areas. Students may select to specialise in one or more of the policy areas.
Master of Environmental Law
The following units are only available to students undertaking the Master of Environmental Law
LAWS6147 Independent Research Project

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Supervised by an appointed Sydney Law School academic staff member Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Assessment: 8000 to 10,000wd research project (100%) due on 15 June (Semester 1) or 15 November (Semester 2) Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Applications close on 30 November (Semester 1) and 30 May (Semester 2). Applications should only be lodged after the completion of at least 24 credit points. Late applications may be accepted from those with incomplete results For further information, please visit https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/postgraduate-coursework-research-projects#research-projects or contact E: law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au
The goal of this unit of study is to provide students with an opportunity to pursue advanced research in an area of their choosing, under the limited supervision of a School member. The unit is only available in special circumstances, and with the approval of the relevant Program Coordinator.
LAWS6182 Independent Research Project A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Supervised by an appointed Sydney Law School academic member Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: LAWS6183 Assessment: 15,000 to 20,000wd research project (100%) due on 15 June (Semester 1) or 15 November (Semester 2) of the final semester in which a student is enrolled in the research project Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Applications close on 30 November (Semester 1) and 30 May (Semester 2). Applications should only be lodged after the completion of at least 24 credit points. Late applications may be accepted from those with incomplete results. Students must complete both LAWS6182 and LAWS6183 within one or over two semesters. For further information, please visit https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/postgraduate-coursework-research-projects#research-projects or contact E: law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au
The goal of this unit of study is to provide students with an opportunity to pursue advanced research in an area of their choosing, under the limited supervision of a School member. The unit is only available in special circumstances, and with the approval of the relevant Program Coordinator.
LAWS6183 Independent Research Project B

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Supervised by an appointed Sydney Law School academic staff member Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: LAWS6182 Assessment: 15,000 to 20,000wd research project (100%) due on 15 June (Semester 1) or 15 November (Semester 2) of the final semester in which a student is enrolled in the research project Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Applications close on 30 November (Semester 1) and 30 May (Semester 2). Applications should only be lodged after the completion of at least 24 credit points. Late applications may be accepted from those with incomplete results. Students must complete both LAWS6182 and LAWS6183 within one or over two semesters. For further information, please visit https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/postgraduate-coursework-research-projects#research-projects or contact E: law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au.
Please refer to LAWS6182 Independent Research Project A.