LAWS6191 - Water Law and Climate Change

This unit of study situates the management of Australia's water resources within an International Law context including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, International Water Law principles and an internationally recognised human right to water.

The unit examines the ecologically sustainable management of water resources in the context of climate change, with Australia being the driest inhabited continent. According to the Garnaut Climate Change Review, climate change could halve the productive capacity of the Murray Darling Basin, which produces one third of Australia's food supply, by 2050.

In May 2012, the Murray Darling Basin Authority released the controversial Draft Basin Plan which proposes to allocate more water for the environment. At the same time, the Council of Australian Governments is pursuing a decade long process of water reform to establish a national water trading market by 2014.

Consequently, the unit examines water resource management from the interdisciplinary perspectives of law, science and within the context of broader economic reform and the National Competition Policy framework. The corporatisation of water utilities and competition in the water service market is also discussed. Key legislation covered are the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW).


Semester 2 Intensive
24, 25 October & 5, 6 December 2014

The timetable is subject to frequent changes. Please refer to the latest version of the Postgraduate Timetable.

This unit replaced LAWS6191 Water Law


  • 1 x 7,000 Word Essay (80%)
  • Class Participation (20%)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

You can credit this unit towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Units of study that are part of Sydney Law School’s Postgraduate Program meet the necessary Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) of the Law Society of New South Wales and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements of the New South Wales Bar Association. You may complete this unit of study by enrolling on a non-degree basis or on an audit basis only with no assessment via Single Unit Study.

Courses this unit is available in

Master of Laws | Graduate Diploma in Law | Master of Global Law | Master of Law and International Development | Master of Administrative Law and Policy | Master of Environmental Law | Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law | Master of Environmental Science and Law