LAWS5114 International Environmental Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit provides a comprehensive introduction to international environmental law—the legal frameworks, substantive and procedural laws and actors/institutions. The unit is divided into three parts: (1) an overview of international law from an environmental perspective (25 per cent); (2) an exploration of specific environmental law regimes (50 per cent); and (3) an analysis of cross-cutting and emerging issues (25 per cent). The first section introduces the international law-making process, institutions and actors, the principles of international environmental law, compliance, enforcement and liability issues, and dispute resolution. Particular environmental law regimes explored include air and atmosphere (trans-boundary air pollution, ozone depletion and climate change); biodiversity, wildlife and biogenetic resources; habitat protection; freshwater; law of the sea, fisheries and marine environmental law; chemicals, pollution and waste management. Cross-cutting issues include sustainable development; trade and environment; human and collective indigenous rights in relation to the environment; culture and heritage; and globalisation.
Students are able to (1) (a) demonstrate a thorough understanding of the basic principles of international environmental law and how they may be used to achieve international environmental goals; (b) display sound knowledge of the key institutions and actors involved in international environmental law; (c) demonstrate a detailed understanding of the range and scope of international environmental law in key areas relating to biodiversity and wildlife, air and atmosphere, freshwater and marine environmental law, chemicals, waste and pollution, habitats and ecosystem management; and (d) make some assessment of where international environmental law can be expected to develop in the future having regard to the objectives of sustainable development; (2) (a) construct and evaluate arguments, orally and in writing, about the effectiveness of international environmental law; (b) research and analyse international legal issues and problem situations; (c) formulate and present appropriate oral and written arguments; and (d) critically analyse and make recommendations for law reform and/or further research needed to address global environmental issues; and (3) (a) demonstrate an enquiring, critical and creative approach to established international environmental law; and (b) demonstrate an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of international environmental law and its interconnectedness with the physical and social sciences, policy, politics and economics and the place of international environmental law in relation to other legal issues surrounding human and Indigenous rights, trade, development and conflict.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) class particpation; (2) essay; and (3) research paper. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a Juris Doctor student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Erika Techera
Unit rules
for Juris Doctor (JD) studentsLAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and 30 points from: LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics
LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics
Contact hours
Students must attend every day of the intensive period Monday 21 to Friday 25 January. Refer to the timetable website for further information.
Unit Outline
Semester 1_2019 [SEM-1_2019]
Non-standard teaching period [TS-N-1A_2019]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.