Climate Change Law

Subject LAWS50056 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours, 3 hours per week over 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment: 144 hours.

733-510 Legal Method and Reasoning; 733-511 Principles of Public Law; 733-512 Torts; 733-513 Obligations; 733-514 Dispute Resolution.

Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Students are recommended to take international law prior to, or in conjunction with, this subject.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills, and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Jacqueline Peel


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475
Subject Overview: This subject aims to provide a general introduction to climate change law and regulation at an international, national and local level with comparative examinations of other jurisdictions, as relevant. This will be supplemented by more detailed examination and case studies of specific topics, such as international law frameworks, and federal policy and law responses such as cap and trade emissions trading schemes, and renewable energy responses.

On completion of this subject, students should demonstrate:

  • A working knowledge of the scientific basis for projections of global warming and the impacts of climate change in an ecological, social and economic context;
  • A firm understanding of the drivers for climate change at an international, regional and local level;
  • Sound knowledge of the international legal framework governing climate change issues, including the UNFCCC and associated international instruments together with a capacity to discuss likely trends in international law and regulation;
  • Strong understanding of the nature of climate change litigation and its integration with wider environmental concerns;
  • Strong understanding of the existing and potential legislative responses to climate change mitigation and adaptation including market measures and energy related measures, such as mandatory renewable energy targets;
  • A capacity to critically evaluate the various legislative and regulatory mitigation and adaptation measures at the federal and state level; and
  • A capacity to assess Australia‚Äôs progress toward a comprehensive and effective governance framework for climate change.
  • Research Essay of 5,000 words max (80%);
  • Case study of 1,000 words on an allocated aspect of climate change law including a class presentation (20%).

If numbers in the course remain below 25, students will be required to present the findings of their case studies in class.

Prescribed Texts: David Hodgkinson and Renee Garner, Global Climate Change: Australian Law and Policy (Butterworths, latest edition).
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing truth, openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage;
  • The capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources;
  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • The capacity to solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information;
  • The capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing;
  • The capacity to plan and manage time;
  • Intercultural sensitivity and understanding.

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