LAWS5540 Environmental Protection Law

6 points
Not available in 2019UWA (Perth)Face to face
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 through six key themes: (1) the key definitions, institutions and objectives, (2) policy and information instruments, (3) controls on particular activities, (4) environmental impact assessment, (5) criminal liabilities, and (6) civil liabilities.
Students are able to (1) explain, apply and critically analyse (a) the key concepts of (ecologically) sustainable development and the guiding principles of environmental protection law, (b) the meaning of 'pollution' and 'environmental harm', (c) the institutional structures for environmental governance.; (2) develop (a) the ability to identify, explain and respond to the ethical issues that arise in environmental protection law, and (b) an appreciation of the professional judgment to be applied in reflecting on legal and ethical issues in pursuit of environmental justice.

; (3) demonstrate (a) a knowledge and analytical understanding of the principle legal techniques for regulating 'pollution' and 'environmental harm', including policy and informational instruments, licences and notices, market mechanisms and property rights, environmental impact assessment, and criminal and civil liabilities.; and (4) develop research and communication skills, including information literacy skills, synthesis and evaluation of factual, legal and theoretical materials required to address problem solving and legal reform for addressing new issues..
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) pre-class short podcast ; (2) pre-class case note; and (3) post-class research Paper. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Alex Gardner
Contact hours
This unit will next run in 2020

A reader designed for the unit will be available through the Learning Management System.  In addition,

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth)

National Environment Protection Council Act 1994 (Cwlth)

Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA)

Environmental Protection Regulations 1987 (WA)


Bates, G. Environmental Law in Australia, 9th edn: LexisNexis Butterworths 2016


  • 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.