Courses & Units

Climate Change Law and Policy LAW656



Winter semester intensive unit. People not currently enrolled at University, or who are currently enrolled but have not completed 150 points of study should contact the Manager, Academic Administration - Law about a possible pre-requisite waiver.


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 manage the now-unavoidable impacts of climate change, whilst also avoiding the unmanageable impacts of further warming.  This unit examines responses to these imperatives of climate change mitigation and adaptation at the international, national and local levels. It introduces students to the science of climate change and the environmental, social and economic consequences that are projected to occur, as well as the various strategies, practices and technologies aimed at reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. It then examines the international architecture for addressing climate change, including the formal legal framework and the political, economic and ethical implications of the mitigation commitments under the Paris Agreement. The strategies for achieving national emissions reductions are then explored, including Australia's mandatory renewable energy target, the carbon farming initiative, options for emissions trading/carbon tax regime, the current Direct Action Plan and negative emissions technologies. We then consider the role of law in promoting adaptation to the impacts of climate change at the household, local, regional, national and international scales. Topics include human displacement, compensation and liability issues and local-level adaptation imperatives. Exploration of the third wave of climate change law and policy, concerning the regulation of technologies aimed at reducing climate impacts through solar radiation management completes this unit.


Unit name Climate Change Law and Policy
Unit code LAW656
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law

Prof. Jan McDonald

Teaching staff

Dr Peter Lawrence, Prof. Jan McDonald and Prof. Benjamin Richardson

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


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Intensive Session Jun On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Intensive Session Jun 24/6/2019 28/6/2019 4/7/2019 14/7/2019

* 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 2019 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2019 will be available from the 1st October 2018.

About Census Dates



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
2 2019: $1,169.00 2019: $1,671.00 050900

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 points units of university study (ie. 12 x 12.5pt units)


Teaching Pattern

This unit will be offered in combined online/face-to-face mode.
Seminar classes are currently scheduled Monday to Friday (9:00am - 2:00pm) over two week period beginning the 24/06/2019. It is expected that closer to the commencement of the Unit, some of this class time will be replaced with online activities.


2 in-class tests
End of unit take-home exam or research paper

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Booktopia textbook links

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