Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Focuses on the basic legislative and policy requirements for environmental protection in Australian and international contexts. Different legislative approaches and the role of planning and policy in the regulation of development are explored, and case studies are analysed in demonstrating the role of legislation in environmental protection.



  • Trimester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Explain fundamental concepts in environmental law and policy

2. Explain how international environmental law is incorporated into environmental policies of national and state governments

3. Analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of contemporary legislation and policy settings in managing key environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural resource management

4. Analyse the politico-economic issues underlying environmental policy formulation at an international and domestic level

5. Critically evaluate implementation of environmental legislation, regulation and policy

6. Demonstrate skills in communication that are relevant to environmental policy

7. Demonstrate skills in research that are relevant and would help inform the development of environmental policy


Topics will include:

  • Foundations of environmental law and policy
  • ESD and environmental law and policy
  • Legal approaches to managing global commons, global biodiversity, and natural resources
  • Environmental regulation: past, present and future
  • Environmental policy and planning
  • Politico-economic aspects of environmental legislation and policy formulation
  • Implementation, compliance and enforcement - critical perspectives

Assessment items

Essay: Essay 1

Online Learning Activity: Group Facilitation: Issues paper and online discussion

Essay: Essay 2

Online Learning Activity: Online Discussion

Contact hours


Online Activity

Self-Directed 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Five hours per week engaging with online material and five hours per week of self directed learning

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.