Current Issues in Environmental Law and Policy
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Upon completion of this subject, the student should be able to:
- Describe and explain understanding of the division of powers over environmental matters between local, state, and Commonwealth governments, and the role of international bodies.
- Critically reflect on the range of social, political, ethical, economic and ecological factors that influence environmental law, policy, and decision-making.
- Critique the value and application of the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) in the context of the disputes and case studies discussed in the course.
- Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
- Introductory issues a:
- 1.State of Australia’s environment
- 2.Sources and structures of environmental law
- Introductory issues b:
- 3.The principles of ecologically sustainable development
- 4.Common tools and instruments of environmental law
- Test + Salmon aquaculture controversies in Tasmania
- Salmon Aquaculture continued
- Protecting the Great Barrier Reef
- The Adani Carmichael coal mine (I)
- The Adani Carmichael coal mine (II)
- Protecting Aboriginal cultural Heritage after Juukan Gorge
- Biodiversity offsets
- Tourism development in national parks
- Bushfires – a burning issue for environmental law reform
- Forestry under the regional forest agreement process
No eligibility requirements
No additional requirements
This subject explores the legal and policy context in which some of Australia's most challenging environmental controversies arise. It introduces students to the broad framework for environmental regulation, decision-making and dispute resolution, using a range of topical issues and case studies. In 2021, these case studies will include the “Black Summer” bushfires, Rio Tinto’s destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves in Western Australia, protecting the Great Barrier Reef and the Adani Carmichael coal mine. Closer to home, we’ll consider fish farming in Tasmania and commercial tourism in national parks.
Using these and other issues as a lens, we will draw out common themes and challenges in environmental governance, including:
• how practical and effective the principles of ecologically sustainable development as a basis for environmental protection in Australia;
• Divisions of power between the Commonwealth and State governments and issues of regulatory fragmentation;
• the importance of public participation in environmental decision-making;
• Issues with compliance, enforcement and the overall efficacy of our laws; and
• the role of the market in environmental regulation.
- Take-home exam (40%)
- Multiple choice/true-false & short answer test (15%)
- Presentation and annotated bibliography (30%)
- Contribution to class discussion (15%)
Current study term: 20 Feb 22 to 29 May 22
Check the learning management system (LMS) of your university for textbook details.