Study climate change law and policy

Free online course: International Climate Change Law and Policy

The Newcastle Law School is offering a free online course on International Climate Change Law and Policy, coordinated by Dr Elena Aydos (Newcastle Law School, University of Newcastle), Dr Sven Rudolph (Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University) and Professor Christopher Kellett (School of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Newcastle).

This course will equip students with the fundamentals of international climate change law and policy. Students will learn to critically assess environmental economics theory and its application to climate change policy, including the use of market-based policy approaches such as environmental taxes and emissions trading.

Open online short course

Open online short course

International Climate Change Law and Policy

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LAWS6038 Law and Economics of Climate Change

LAWS6038 is an online course available to students enrolled in the Master of Environmental Law, the Master of Laws (LLM), the Juris Doctor / Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, the Master of Social Change and Development, and the Master of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development.

Non-award students and cross-institutional students can also enrol in LAWS6038 and take advantage of its innovative interdisciplinary and international approach.

The course provides students with advanced and specialised knowledge of the evolution and architecture of the international climate regime, including the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2009 Copenhagen Accord and the 2015 Paris Agreement. The course critically assesses environmental economics theory and its application to climate change policy. A special focus is given to the use of market-based policy instruments such as environmental taxes and emissions trading. Based on a law and economics approach, students learn to examine and evaluate different approaches to domestic implementations of international climate policy obligations through case studies on carbon pricing in Australia, the EU, North America and Japan. Students are also exposed to a range of controversial debates, reflecting the highly politicised nature of international and domestic climate change law, and learn about the political barriers to sustainable climate policy.

LAWS5043 International Study Experience in Japan - January 2020

The Newcastle Law School, in collaboration with the School of Law at the University of Wollongong, funded by the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, are organising a two-week international study experience in Japan for January 2020.

The program is titled “Cultural Identities Shaping Environmental Regulation – Energy and Climate Change Policy in Japan”. The program will provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about energy and climate policy in a cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary context.

Formal learning will be organised through a series of interdisciplinary lectures at the Kyoto University. Lecturers will include leading Japanese and international scholars with interdisciplinary expertise, including law, economics, and public policy. Students will visit sites of cultural and historical importance through guided tours, including a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Follow our experience on Twitter (January 2020) with the hashtag #UONLawJapan.

Previous courses and initiatives

LAWS5036/LAWS6092 International Clinical Legal Externship in Brazil - February 2019

Thanks to the generous support of the Endeavour Mobility Grant, 11 Newcastle Law students completed placement in Brazil, with a focus on Environmental Law and Climate Change Law.

The program was coordinated by Dr Elena Aydos, in collaboration with Dr Gabriela Lima, Associate Professor at Universidade de Brasília (UNB), and teaching support from PhD candidate Ana Rengel. Placements included:

  1. National High Court of Brazil, supervised by Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin: LLB students Shaun Murray and Kelsey Gray prepared case notes on the National High Court’s cases involving deforestation of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil;
  2. Federal Court of Appeal for the 1st Region (Tribunal Regional Federal), supervised by Justice Daniel Paes and Chief of Staff Fabrício Ramos Ferreira: LLB student Shannyn Stanley prepared research notes on “Environmental Racism”, focusing on the impacts of environmental degradation to indigenous peoples of Brazil and Australia;
  3. Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), supervised by Júlio César Mélo Borges: LLB student Jordan Leah Elliott prepared a report to IBAMA on the Australian standards for the export of livestock and a comparative analysis of Environmental Impact Assessment in Brazil and Australia;
  4. Pinheiro Neto Advogados (top Law Firm in Brazil), supervised by Adriano Drummond Cançado Trindade: Master of Environmental Law student Belinda Charlton and LLB student Jack Day provided legal advice on complex legal cases involving international and Australian law.
  5. Instituto Socio Ambiental (In English: Socio-Environmental Institute), supervised by Biviany Rojas: LLB student Sian Tegan Pickard prepared a research paper on the competing interests of Indigenous Australian’s land rights and the Australian mining industry, and how the current legal framework provides for each;
  6. WWF Brazil, supervised by Fernando Antunes Caminati: LLB students Simone Cherie Johnson and Jack Meek prepared reports, respectively, on: (1) Legislative and institutional changes aimed at reducing the civic space in Brazil and Australia, specifically in relation to restraining and intimidating the operations of Environmental NGOs; and (2) Research on the strategic pillar "Social-Environmental Justice", in support of the development of WWF-Brazil’s Strategic Planning;
  7. Australian Embassy in Brazil, supervised by Mr Mathew Johnston, Counselor (Education and Science), Dr Cristina Elsner, Manager (Education and Science), and Luisa Neves, Education specialist: LLB students Caitlin Nash and Jesse Thomson prepared reports on topics of current interest to the Australian Embassy in Brazil.

In addition to the placements, students also had the opportunity to visit Iguazu Falls (photo).

Find more about this experience on Twitter #UONLawBrazil.

LAWS5043 International Study Experience in Japan - December 2018

With generous support from the New Colombo Plan, 15 Newcastle Law students participated in an international study trip to Japan in December 2018. The program was coordinated by Dr Elena Aydos, in collaboration with Dr Sven Rudolph, Associate Professor at Kyoto University and Dr Tamara Schneider, Art Historian and Lecturer at Doshisha University. Teaching support was provided by PhD candidate Ana Rengel.

The program focused on Japanese culture and history and how the experience of natural disasters has shaped the country's environmental regulation.

The academic program included lectures on:

  • ‘Introduction to the Japanese Legal System’, by Professor Yuko Nishitani (International Private & Business Law, Faculty of Law, Kyōto University);
  • ‘Renewable Energy Policy in Japan’, by Professor Toru Morotomi (Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyōto University)
  • ‘Market-based Climate Policy in Japan’, by Associate Professor Sven Rudolph (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University);
  • Cultural Diversity, Heritage Protection, Sustainable Development’, by Associate Professor Stefan Gruber (International Law, Hakubi Center, Kyōto University);
  • ‘Japan’s Renewable Policies and the Challenges faced Post-Fukushima’, by Professor Satoshi Kurokawa, Waseda University (Tokyo).

Students presented their research to Japanese students at Waseda University, hosted by Professor of Environmental Law and Administrative Law Satoshi Kurokawa. They also had the opportunity to engage in networking activities with other students at Waseda University.

In-country cultural training was coordinated by our international collaborator Dr Tamara Schneider. This included a full-day of activities, learning about Kadō (Ikebana, or “the way of flower arrangement”), Shodō (Calligraphy, or “the way of writing”), Chadō (Tea Ceremony, or “the way of tea”), Origami and on “How to Wear Kimono”.

The group also visited Hiroshima and Miyajima (known as “island of Gods”) with its numerous preserved shrines and temples.

Find more about this experience on Twitter #UONLawJapan.

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.