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This course introduces the fundamental principles and concepts of environmental law and policy. For the purposes of the course, 'environmental law' is defined to mean that area of law concerned with managing the impact of human activities on the environment. The course will explore a number of cross-cutting themes that influence current debate within environmental law and policy about the goals of ecologically sustainable development. The course will cover areas of environmental law at the international, federal and at the local and state level in New South Wales. The course will provide students with a breadth of knowledge about environmental issues and legal responses to these pressing global challenges. It will be important for students whose future career will touch on these issues, including working as a lawyer or barrister, as a policy adviser in Government or an environmental regulatory agency, as an environmental advocate in an NGO or community legal centre or in other related areas fields.

Main Topics:

The course will introduce a range of topics, including:

  • Global environmental issues and the development of international environmental law
  • The common law and statute as sources of environmental law
  • Commonwealth, State and local responsibilities
  • Commonwealth environmental law
  • Environmental planning
  • Development control
  • Environmental assessment, enforcement and scrutiny
  • Pollution control and enforcement
  • Climate change
  • Protection of biodiversity
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1, Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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