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Climate Change Law (LAWS50056)

Graduate coursework level 5Points: 12.5Not available in 2018

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Year of offerNot available in 2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 5
Subject codeLAWS50056
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject introduces students to the emerging, specialised field of climate change law and regulation, covering domestic, comparative and international legal dimensions. It develops and integrates legal knowledge from across many sub-disciplinary fields (e.g. administrative law and torts law), augmenting this through study of specific climate change-related legislation and case law, and relevant multidisciplinary knowledge to build an understanding of the complex interactions that define climate change law. Topics addressed will include the multidisciplinary nature of climate law study, structures for climate change governance at the international and domestic levels, modes of climate change regulation, such as emissions trading schemes and renewable energy targets, litigation and its role in securing climate justice, and legal frameworks for climate change adaptation. Case studies considered throughout the subject will provide students with an understanding of recent developments in the disciplinary area and the associated field of climate and energy law professional practice.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject should have an advanced and integrated understanding of, and be able to critically analyse, reflect on and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to, the following issues:

  • The regulatory implications of scientific projections of global warming and predictions of the impacts of climate change in an ecological, social and economic context;
  • The drivers for climate change regulation at an international, regional and local level;
  • The development of, and prospects for, the international legal framework governing climate change issues, including the UNFCCC and associated international instruments;
  • Climate change litigation and its integration with wider environmental concerns;
  • The existing and potential legislative responses to climate change mitigation and adaptation including market measures and energy related measures;
  • The impact of Australia’s federal governance framework on the form and effectiveness of climate change regulation; and
  • The necessary elements of a comprehensive and effective governance framework for climate change.

Generic skills

Students who have successfully completed this subject will have developed and demonstrated the following skills:

  • Mastery of theoretical knowledge and demonstrated ability to critically reflect on theory and professional practice on issues of climate change law;
  • Cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories to different areas of climate change regulation;
  • Advanced communication and technical research skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • High level technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice or legal scholarship, at both a domestic and international level;
  • Attitudes towards legal knowledge that include openness to new ideas and awareness of location and politics in its creation and use;
  • An applied understanding of diverse international, comparative and domestic legal materials;
  • An expanded capacity for self-directed legal research involving interdisciplinary materials and high level personal autonomy and accountability with respect to time management; and
  • An awareness of the value of collaborative learning in a participatory seminar style teaching environment.

Last updated: 3 April 2019