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LAW8717 International Environmental Law

Semester 1, 2020 Online
Short Description: International EnvironmentalLaw
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 090909 - International Law
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Bob Zhao

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


International conventions and treaties increasingly govern the conditions under which Australian environmental governance is conducted. International Environmental Law aims to give graduate students advanced knowledge of international environmental conventions and policies, and Australia’s bilateral and multilateral agreements. Students will develop advanced writing and communication skills in the detailed articulation of these legal instruments in research assignments. The course is available in the Master of Laws, Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Laws Honours.


International Environmental Law covers the sources of current international environmental law, the principal institutional structures and the processes by which international conventions and other agreements are enforced. It will interrogate key conventions and soft law instruments, and consider the role of states, international bodies, businesses and non-government organisations actors in developing and monitoring environmental issues. It covers the law of ozone protection and climate change, moveable and fixed world heritage and wildlife and biodiversity. The course is delivered intensively in four seminars over two weeks (two seminars in each of two weeks), and will involve closely supervised research assignments.


Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. evaluate developments in chosen areas of international environmental law, and critically examine the relationship between those developments and contemporary theory or practice (PO 1);
  2. demonstrate advanced knowledge of the impact of globalisation on international environmental law on the substance, theory and practice of Australian law (PO 2);
  3. undertake, interpret and evaluate research concerning international environmental law using advanced legal research methodologies and techniques (PO 3); and
  4. articulate advanced knowledge of international environmental law in written presentations (PO 4).


Description Weighting(%)
1. The sources, institutional structures and participants in international environmental law 25.00
2. Transboundary environmental issues, including greenhouse gas issues 25.00
3. World heritage and moveable cultural heritage 25.00
4. The protection of wildlife and its habitat and biodiversity 25.00

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. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
Sands, P, Peel, J, Fabra Aguilar, A & MacKenzie, R 2018, Principles of international environmental law, 4th edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Timo Koivurova, 2014, Introduction to International Environmental Law. London: Routledge.

Ved P Nanda; George W Pring, 2015, International environmental Law and Policy for the 21st
Century, Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 100.00
Directed and Private Study 65.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 1 10 10 30 Mar 2020
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 2 10 10 20 Apr 2020
RESEARCH PAPER 1 40 40 14 May 2020
RESEARCH PAPER 2 40 40 08 Jun 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility 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:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  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. Referencing in assignments: Students studying this course must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian.

Date printed 19 June 2020