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This subject is designed as an overview of environmental law for students without a legal background who are admitted to courses through the Office for Environmental Programs. It provides students with an understanding of the sources and conceptual foundations of environmental law and aims to develop the ability and confidence of students to understand and critically analyse environmental regulation as an approach to environmental issues. The subject will provide an examination of the development and current scope of Australian environmental law, with a focus on the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) and Victorian pollution control laws . There will also be an introduction to international environmental law.
Principal topics will include:
- Origins and conceptual foundations of environmental law, and the operation of environmental regulation in Australia’s federal system
- Diversity in environmental law approaches, including relationships with other regulatory areas such as planning and natural resource management, and the use of financial measures and economic instruments in regulation
- The integration of environmental law and relevant disciplines concerned with environmental protection, particularly science
- Implementation and enforcement of environmental law
- The importance of international law, recognising that environmental protection issues cross territorial and regulatory boundaries
- Trends in environmental regulation and current debates about the reform of environmental law
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should:
- Gain an understanding of the evolution of environmental law and the factors driving change at international and domestic levels
- Appreciate the pervasive nature of environmental law across jurisdictions
- Understand the influence of other disciplines, such as science, on the scope, direction and character of environmental law
- Be able to analyse the nature of current environmental law approaches such as the 'regulatory mix'
- Understand the need for integration across many areas of law to achieve environmental goals, such as ecologically sustainable development
- Competence in understanding and critically analysing environmental regulation in the implementation of environmental policy objectives
- Ability to apply methods of legal reasoning and interpretation
- Critical thinking, analysis and written and oral communication skills
Last updated: 29 July 2022