Courses & Units

Environmental Law LAW641


This foundational environmental law unit provides the core of UTAS's environmental law program. The unit caters both to students seeking a concise introduction to the subject-matter, as part of a well-rounded legal education for professional practice, as well as students seeking to specialize in this growing and substantial area of law, for which Environmental Law (LAW641) provides the starting point.

The unit introduces the principal components of Australian (federal) environmental regulation and policy, with some consideration of equivalent state regimes (mainly Tasmania). The unit is structured around several key themes: why does environmental law exist (ie, what problems does it respond to and what ideas shape that response); the actors (the "who") of environmental law, notably states, NGOs and Aboriginal peoples; the sources (the "where") of environmental law, spanning the common law, public legislation and international law; and the tools (the "how") of environmental law, such as command-and-control and economic instruments. The course concludes with two case studies, on climate change law and biodiversity conservation law, which offer more in-depth analysis of the main themes of the syllabus. Major issues in environmental law and policy are brought to life in the classroom via videos, role-plays, lively discussion, negotiation exercises and scenarios drawn from topical environmental controversies.


Unit name Environmental Law
Unit code LAW641
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School Faculty of Law
School of Law
Discipline School of Law

 Prof. Benjamin Richardson

Teaching staff

Prof. Benjamin Richardson

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No


This unit is currently unavailable.


Units are offered as On-campus where the majority of teaching will occur at the campus identified.  Units offered Off-campus generally have no requirement for attendance at a physical university campus unless the unit has practical or fieldwork components*:  the campus indicated for an Off-Campus unit is the one at which teaching is administered from.

*Please read the Unit Introduction in the Course and Unit Handbook for attendance requirements for units offered in Off-campus mode.

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2017 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2017 will be available from the 1st October 2016.

About Census Dates



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
3 2017: $1,324.00 2017: $1,561.00 090999

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



 Completion of 150% of university study (12 x 12.5cp units)


Teaching Pattern

1 x two-hour lecture per week, plus 1 x one-hour tutorial every second week.


Class participation (20%), coursework (30%), final exam (50%).

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.