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LAW2107 Environmental Law

Semester 2, 2014 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice

Contents on this page


Examiner: Noeleen McNamara
Moderator: Des Taylor


Co-requisite: LAW1101 or (Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BLAW or LLBP or BALW or BBLA or BCLA & Co-requisite: LAW1201 or LAW1111) or (Students must be enrolled in Program: DJUR & Co-requisite: LAW5501 or LAW5111)

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //


This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to environmental regulation, using Queensland as a case study. This course may be undertaken by students enrolled in both law and non-law programs. For law students, it provides a basis for a specialisation in environmental law issues. For non-law students, it provides a basis of knowledge about environmental law issues which will assist whether they are working in government, industry or private practice.


This course is designed to acquaint students with the legal issues involved in the protection of the environment. This is to be achieved through exposure to the sources of Australian environmental regulation: international, national and state. While there is no set prerequisite legal study required, it is recommended that students have completed LAW1101 Introduction to Law, LAW1201 Legal Institutions and Process, LAW5501 Advanced Legal Institutions and Process, or ENG2002 Technology, Sustainability and Society. The course examines the various sources of environmental law demonstrating how international initiatives are translated into domestic regulation. Through this mechanism students are exposed to some of the difficulties in this area of the law such as definitional difficulties as well as the incorporation of concepts such as ecologically sustainable development, intergenerational equity and the precautionary principle into regulation. This is achieved by an examination of the Australian and Queensland environmental regulatory framework. Such practical issues as increasing Commonwealth involvement in environmental matters, the regulation of environmentally relevant activities and land use planning, are dealt with.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. describe, interpret and explain the principles and mechanisms of international environmental law and the manner in which international environmental law deals with specified topics
  2. describe, interpret and explain the Australian federal environmental law regime
  3. describe, interpret and explain issues in the use and regulation of cultural and natural heritage
  4. describe, interpret and explain individual and corporate liability in environmental protection
  5. describe, interpret and explain regulation of environmentally relevant activities in Queensland
  6. describe, interpret and explain regulation of contaminated land in Queensland
  7. describe, interpret and explain land use planning in Queensland
  8. describe, interpret and explain issues in environmental compliance and dispute resolution
  9. demonstrate the process of applying environmental legal principles to factual situations
  10. compare, contrast and evaluate the international, national and state environmental legal systems
  11. recognise the importance of environmental protection and the tension between that and development
  12. demonstrate an ability to communicate in a legal context.


Description Weighting(%)
  1. Introduction to the Australian legal framework (not assessed)
  2. International framework and initiatives in environmental law
2. The Australian federal environmental law regime 15.00
3. Issues in the use and regulation of natural and cultural heritage 10.00
4. Pollution/liability for environmental protection 10.00
5. Regulation of contaminated land 10.00
6. Regulation of environmentally relevant activities in Queensland 15.00
7. Land use planning in Queensland 15.00
8. Issues in environmental compliance and dispute resolution 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Bates, GM 2013, Environmental law in Australia, 8th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • Access to the Internet: Due to the fluid nature of legal regulation of the environment and the extensive amount of legislation and other material required to be accessed for this course, students must have regular access to a computer with printing facilities linked to the Internet. The access to the Internet should be functional and effective having regard to present standards. If you do not own such a computer, then suitable access may be possible through USQ regional liaison centres, your place of work (with your employer's permission), libraries, schools or businesses which provide such access. Internet access will also enable effective e-mail communication with the examiner and other USQ facilities as well as participation in the course discussion group.
  • LEGISLATION: You will need to have access to relevant sections (as discussed in the study guide) of the following legislation: Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qd); Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). Latest editions of the legislation are required. Legislation can be purchased from the Government Printers or downloaded from or

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Fisher, DE 2010, Australian environmental law, 2nd edn, Thomson Legal & Regulatory, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
  • Godden, L & Peel, J 2010, Environmental law: scientific, policy and regulatory dimensions, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Victoria.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 93.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT 0 0 08 Aug 2014 (see note 1)
2-HOUR EXAMINATION 60 60 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. self-assessment questions
  2. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date after the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This will be an open examination. Candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Online problem exercises:
    The due date for the online problem exercises is the date on which the exercise must be submitted on the course Study Desk.

  2. Course weightings:
    Course weightings of topics should not be interpreted as applying to the number of marks allocated to questions testing those topics in an examination paper. The examination may test material already tested in the online problem exercises.

  3. Deferred work:
    Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //