Courses & Units

Current Issues in Environmental Law and Policy LAW195


This unit explores some of Australia’s most challenging environmental controversies, and the legal and policy context in which they arise. It uses a range of topical issues and case studies to introduce students to the framework for national and international environmental regulation, encouraging them to see how laws operate and apply in specific situations.

Through these case studies, students will appreciate common themes and challenges in environmental governance, including:
• failures of enforcement and implementation
• problems of overlapping and overly complex regulation across local, state and national laws;
• challenges for implementing the principles of ecologically sustainable development through law;
• the role of international law in influencing domestic environmental law;
• the importance of public participation in environmental decision-making; and
• the role of markets, media, human rights and environmental ethics in environmental protection.


Unit name Current Issues in Environmental Law and Policy
Unit code LAW195
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law
Coordinator Professor Jan McDonald
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* 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 (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe and explain of the division of powers between local, state, and Commonwealth governments, sources and principles of environmental law, the role of international law, and the efficacy of current laws in relation to the case studies and issues discussed in the unit.
  • Describe, explain, and critically reflect on the range of social, political, ethical, economic and ecological factors that influence environmental law, policy, and decision-making in Australia, in the context of the issues, disputes and case studies discussed in the unit.
  • Research and evaluate a contemporary environmental problem and applicable legal framework.
  • Express yourself effectively orally and in writing, using a range of media.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
050999 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,922.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

1 hour Interactive lecture (weekly)

2 hour F2F/online seminar (weekly)

AssessmentAssessment Task 1: Test (15%)|Assessment Task 3: Contribution to class discussion (15%)|Assessment Task 2: Presentation and annotated bibliography (30%)|Assessment Task 4: Take home exam (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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