Courses & Units

Environmental Law LAW641


Note: Semester 2 Off campus offering is only available for outbound exchange students studying an equivalent unit overseas on approved international exchange.


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 J. Richardson

Teaching staff

Prof. Benjamin J. Richardson

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


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

Please check that your computer meets the minimum System Requirements if you are attending via Distance/Off-Campus.

Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Special approval is required for enrolment into TNE Program units.

TNE Program units special approval requirements.

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 13/7/2015 10/8/2015 31/8/2015 16/10/2015

* 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



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
3 2015: $1,283.00 2015: $1,486.00 090999

Fees for next year will be published before the end of the year. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

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


  • Pre-requisites: Either LAW221, LAW222, LAW223, LAW224, LAW225, LAW226, LAW204, LAW205 OR LAW250, LAW251, LAW252, LAW253, LAW254, LAW255, LAW256, LAW204.


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%). NB: For Honours-track students only, a 50% research paper may be negotiated with the unit co-ordinator if students are in their final year of study and need a second research unit.

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable


Booktopia textbook links

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