Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


This course provides students with advanced knowledge of international environmental law and the major theoretical and policy debates within the field. The course will examine the core principles and rules of international environmental law and institutions it has spawned. The course will also adopt an interdisciplinary lens by drawing on material from International Relations and Political Science to complement international law analysis on international environmental problems. The course will provide students with advanced and specialized knowledge on the formation, operation and effectiveness of international legal regimes designed to address global, regional and trans-boundary environmental problems and resource management issues. The course will examine in certain specialized case studies international environmental law, including: Transboundary Pollution, International Fisheries, Ocean Pollution, and Biodiversity Protection.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Summer 2 - 2021.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate advanced understanding and knowledge of the key principles and rules on international environmental law.

2. Demonstrate specialised understanding and knowledge of key international environmental regimes relating to biodiversity protection, and transboundary pollution.

3. Apply knowledge obtained in the course to adjudicate IEL and design international environmental agreement.


The topics in this course include:

1.  Formation and Development of the International Law System

2.  Concepts and Main Features of International Environmental Law

3.  Principles of International Environmental Law

4. Protection of the Atmosphere

5. Protection of Marine Environment

6. Regulation of Toxic Substances

7. Species, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

8. ICJ Case Studies:

8.1 Case Concerning Certain Phosphate Lands in Nauru (Nauru v. Australia) 1993.

8.2 Nuclear test (New Zealand and Australia v.France) 1973 and 1995.

8.3 Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Case (Hungary v. Slovakia) 1997.

8.4 Whaling in the Antartic (Australia v. Japan) 2014.

8.5 ITLOS Sourthern Bluefin Tuna Cases New Zealand v. Japan, Australia v. Japan.

8.6 Arbitral Southern Bluefin Tuna Case

8.7 Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uraguai) 2010.

8.8 Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Bordrer Area (Cost Rice v. Nicaragua)

Assumed knowledge

International Law or International Relations

Assessment items

Participation: Class Participation

Written Assignment: Case Analysis, Online Work

Essay: Research Essay/Paper

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.