UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

LAWS5183 Environmental Law

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Content This unit examines key concepts in environmental protection law in Western Australia in its national and international contexts. It focuses on the law relating to pollution control and environmental impact assessment. The unit analyses a range of legal techniques and principles applied to environmental protection, including an introduction to the new regulatory challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) demonstrate, at an advanced level, knowledge of (a) the key concept of (ecologically) sustainable development and the guiding principles of environmental law; (b) the meaning of 'environmental harm' and 'pollution'; (c) the institutional structures for environmental governance; and (d) an analytical understanding of the principle legal techniques of regulating environmental harm and pollution, including administrative legal instruments such as policies, licences and notices; market mechanisms and property rights; environmental impact assessment; and criminal and civil liabilities; (2) demonstrate, at an advanced level, (a) the ability to identify, explain and respond to the ethical issues that arise in environmental law; and (b) an appreciation of the value of developing professional judgment in reflecting on the legal and ethical issues in pursuit of environmental justice; (3) demonstrate, at an advanced level, the capacity for critical thinking to (a) identify and articulate legal issues that arise in environmental decision-making in the public and private sectors; (b) apply the knowledge identified in (1) and demonstrate cognitive and creative skills to resolve those issues; (c) identify the legal policy and reform issues and to formulate creative responses to those issues; and (d) apply all these skills to the new regulatory challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; (4) develop, to an advanced level, the intellectual and practical skills (including information literacy) to research, synthesise and evaluate the factual, legal and theoretical materials required to address legal problem solving, including for addressing reform issues such as the new regulatory challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and (5) develop, to an advanced level, the skills to (a) communicate (both orally and in writing) legal knowledge and analysis in ways that are effective and appropriate for legal and non-legal audiences; and (b) collaborate effectively in developing and communicating legal understanding through the demonstration of listening, negotiation and conciliation skills that both engage other parties or an audience and achieve more persuasive communication.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) 2 x 300-word tutorial submissions early in semester with peer assessment; (2) tutor assessment of oral tutorial participation; (3) optional research essay on a tutorial topic later in semester; and (4) end-of-semester written examination worth 60 or 80 per cent depending on whether the student does the optional research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s) Professor Alex Gardner
Unit rules
Prerequisites: LAWS4101 Legal Process, LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics (or LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics), LAWS5101 Constitutional Law
Co-requisites: LAWS5102 Administrative Law
Advisable prior study: LAWS5102 Administrative Law
Incompatibility: LAWS5540 Environmental Protection Law
Contact hours 3 hours per week
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.law.uwa.edu.au/Units/LAWS5183/SEM-2/2017
Note The Reading Guide refers students to additional references and the LMS site include links to some generally useful references.

Bates G, Environmental Law in Australia, 8th edn: LexisNexis Butterworths 2013

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