Water Law & Natural Resources Management

Subject LAWS70185 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit: www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
Website: www.law.unimelb.edu.au/masters

Subject Overview:

Water and Natural Resource Management (NRM) is fundamental to human society and environmental protection; legal rules around water have co-evolved with many societies. In this light, the subject considers the rapidly developing international law governing water, as well as emerging questions, such as a human right to water. It then turns to examine common law rules around water allocation and quality. This subject explores the many dimensions of water law, with an introduction to international water law, before concentrating on federal and Victorian water legislation, including an examination of both water allocation and water quality with significant implications for NRM. The lecturers bring recent research and practical experience in water law and NRM to the subject.

This subject analyses water law and NRM in Australia with an overview of international water law and transnational conflicts. It considers the national reform agenda for water law and NRM reform, and federal/State issues, including an examination of the Water Act 2007 (Cth). The general development of Australian statutory-based water law, concentrating on the Victorian situation (including catchment management) will provide the main case study, together with a consideration of groundwater and urban water issues.

Principal topics will include:

  • International law and policy governing water, including trans-boundary water law
  • The evolution of Australian statutory regimes for surface water and groundwater allocation and use
  • National water and resource management reforms and the implementation of the National Water Initiative
  • Environmental Water regulation
  • History of the River Murray, together with the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and water trading
  • The Water Act 1989 (Vic)
  • Water quality: rural and urban issues, such as salinity and pollution
  • Integrated catchment management and environmental water, including an outline of relevant water legislation and catchment management regimes
  • Urban water issues, including alternative water uses, such as storm water recycling.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Appreciate the importance of water law issues at an international, national and regional level; including trans-boundary water laws
  • Appreciate the context for water law development in Australia, including the impacts of climate change
  • Understand emerging issues in water law and policy at a federal level
  • Understand the development of common law and the statutory systems for water allocation
  • Be able to critically evaluate the main aspects of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reform process and the National Water Initiative, including water trading aspects
  • Understand the Murray Darling Basin Agreement process, the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and surrounding issues
  • Understand a representative water law regime; e.g. the Water Act 1989 (Vic) and subsequent legislation.
  • In-class presentation and a 1,000–1,500 word written presentation (25%) (12 November)
  • 7,500 word research paper (75%) (28 January 2015) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: www.law.unimelb.edu.au/subject/LAWS70185/2014
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Integrated Water Catchment Management
Integrated Water Catchment Management
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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