1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Environmental Compliance and Enforcement

Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (LAWS90089)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

Or view archived Handbooks
You’re currently viewing the 2017 version of this subject


Year of offer2017
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeLAWS90089
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Environmental protection is one of the central policy issues in the world today. Approaches to protecting the environment vary widely, as do perspectives about the efficacy of such approaches. This subject provides an advanced inquiry into environmental regulation with a special focus on compliance issues. The subject includes review of critical strategies that are in use throughout the world to promote environmental protection, including market-based approaches, regulatory approaches, common law approaches and information-based approaches. The subject also reviews key legal and policy issues that relate to promoting compliance with environmental requirements including, for example, different theories for promoting compliance (deterrence-based, cooperation-based, hybrid approaches, etc). In addition, the subject explores important authorities for government and citizen enforcement, including litigation and the types of authorities that enhance government and citizens’ capacity to enforce effectively. As well, the subject assesses the role of international institutions in promoting effective enforcement.

The lecturer in this subject has received multiple honors for his academic scholarship. In addition, he has extensive practical experience in international governance as well as service as a federal and state official. The lecturer served as Director of the NAFTA Commission’s Citizen Petitions Process, and as an enforcement official in the United States with the US Department of Justice, US Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

This subject provides a critical assessment of contemporary approaches to environmental regulation, with a specific focus on environmental compliance.

Principal topics include:

  • Review of strategies available to promote environmental protection
  • Examination of theoretical approaches to promoting environmental compliance
  • Assessment of important legal authorities for effective environmental compliance, including consideration of citizens’ enforcement
  • Review of the possible role that international institutions may play in improving domestic environmental compliance.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have a sophisticated capacity to recognise and assess potential strategies intended to promote environmental protection
  • Be in a position to critically examine and analyse different approaches to promoting environmental compliance from a theoretical perspective;
  • Have developed an increased ability to assess approaches to promoting environmental compliance based on the types of authorities likely to be important to advancing compliance; and
  • Be able to define and analyse the roles that international institutions might play in enhancing domestic governance.

Last updated: 11 January 2018