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Start date: 28 June 2021.  End date: 9 July 2021

The final assessment will be due Sunday 18 July.


Climate change poses enormous challenges for Australia and the international community. The level of warming already in the climate system means that law and policymakers must deal with dual policy imperatives – to manageable the now-unavoidable impacts of climate change, whilst also avoiding the unmanageable impacts of further warming. There is also increasing recognition that there will be impacts ‘beyond adaptation’, that must be compensated for.

This unit examines responses to these imperatives of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage at the international, national and local levels. It is designed to help students understand the fundamentals of international and domestic climate law and policy, in order to provide a platform for further engagement or research in the field. Its approach is cross-disciplinary, comparative, and analytical. The unit does not aspire to be comprehensive in its coverage of every issue, but aims to introduce students to key concepts and the range of issues presented by this dynamic policy field.

Summary 2021

Unit name Climate Change Law and Policy
Unit code LAW243
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law

Professor Jan McDonald

Teaching staff

Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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* 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).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and explain the causes and likely impacts of climate change and the range of strategies available to mitigate, adapt to, compensate for, and postpone its effects.
  2. Describe and explain the key elements of the national and international climate law regime, including division of powers, legal and regulatory tools.
  3. Critically evaluate the social, political, ethical, economic and ecological factors that influence the development and implementation of climate law and policy nationally and internationally.
  4. Effectively communicate orally and in writing on issues relating to climate change law and policy.



50 credit points of Introductory units.

It is recommended that you have completed LAW107 Foundations of Law.



Test, 30 minutes (10%), Research presentation and annotated bibliography, 10 minutes and 1500 words (40%), Take home exam or research papge, 3000 words (50%).

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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