Environmental Law

Subject LAWS50078 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (which includes seminars, guest lectures and a compulsory field trip)
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
November, Semester 2
Semester 1
Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the School’s programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  1. The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  2. The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  3. The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  4. The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  5. The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  6. The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

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


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Email: law-studentcentre@unimelb.edu.au
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the specialised field of environmental law, covering both domestic and international dimensions of environmental regulation. 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 environmental legislation and case law, and relevant multidisciplinary knowledge to build an understanding of the complex interactions that define environmental law. Topics addressed will include the legal meaning of ‘environment’, structures for environmental governance, modes of environmental regulation, and the intersections of domestic and international environmental law. Case studies considered throughout the subject will provide students with an understanding of recent developments in the disciplinary area.

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 evolution of environmental law and the factors driving change at an international and national level;
  • The pervasive nature of environmental regulation, the actors that shape it and the challenges faced, both domestically and internationally;
  • The influence of other disciplines, such as science, on the scope and character of environmental law;
  • The nature of current environmental law approaches such as the 'regulatory mix';
  • Key case studies that illustrate the dynamic trends in environmental law, drawing upon both comparative domestic law and international law;
  • The need for integration across many areas of law to achieve environmental goals, such as ecologically sustainable development.
  • Applied case study analysis/letter of advice (30%): 2,000 words maximum; and
  • Independent research paper (70%) 4,500 words maximum.
Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available from Melbourne Law School.

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 and demonstrated expert skills, including:

  • Mastery of theoretical knowledge and demonstrated ability to critically reflect on theory and professional practice on issues of environmental 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 environmental regulation;
  • Communication and technical research skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • Technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to environmental 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, regional 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 and participation in a seminar style teaching environment.
Related Course(s): Juris Doctor

Download PDF version.