LAW 6509 - Planning and Environmental Law Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

The aim of the course is to provide an overview of planning and environmental legislation in South Australia, the jurisdiction of the Environment, Resource and Development Court, and the roles of the Environment Protection Authority and planning authorities. The course will enable you as an entry-level lawyer, to advise and generally assist clients on the relevant law and planning process; apply for approvals and consents under relevant planning legislation; object to applications; initiate or defend planning or environmental actions. The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners and agencies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 6509
    Course Planning and Environmental Law Practice
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 6501
    Assessment Assessment in this course will include a combination of two or more of the following: planning application tasks, letters of advice, drafting, online quizzes, multiple choice questions,discussion boards.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Michelle Elliott

    As course staff work in the South Australian legal profession all communication should be directed to the GDLP Coordinator, Michelle Elliott in the first instance -

    The GDLP Coordinator will contact the appropriate course staff as necessary. 

    Course Supervisor: Alison Brookman

    Course Coordinator (UA Law School): Paul Leadbeter
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    This course will be taught intensively.  Full details of seminars and activities are made available on MyUni course website prior to the course commencing.

    Students are required to attend all seminars as detailed on the course planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course you will be able to: 

    1. Assessing the merits of the matter and advising the client
    • obtained full instructions from the client.
    • analysed the facts in accordance with the relevant law.
    • obtained and clarified any relevant technical information.
    • advised, or been involved in advising, the client of any rights and obligations of the client and potential penalties if obligations are not observed.
    • identified, or been involved in identifying, all options and developed a plan of action in accordance with the client’s instructions.
    • alerted, or been involved in alerting, the client to the need to identify the commercial, political and public relations implications of any proposed action.

    2. Preparing planning applications or objections
    • identified and analysed relevant provisions of the appropriate planning scheme.
    • identified any appropriate grounds of objection.
    • prepared either an application for development or other planning approval, or an objection to such an application.
    • identified any need to obtain plans or other information.

    3. Initiating or responding to environmental claims
    • identified the appropriate forum for initiating or responding to a claim.
    • initiated or opposed, or been involved in initiating or opposing, a claim in accordance with the rules of the relevant court or tribunal, in a timely manner.
    • obtained all necessary evidence and drafted all necessary documents in accordance with those rules.

    4. Representing the client in resolving a planning matter or environmental claim
    • identified appropriate means of resolving the matter to the satisfaction of the client and discussed them, or been involved in discussing them, with the client.
    • completed all preparation required by law and good practice.
    • represented, or been involved in representing, or observed the representation of, the client effectively in any negotiation, mediation, hearing or other proceedings.

    5. Implementing outcomes
    • properly documented any order or settlement and explained, or been involved in explaining it to the client in a way which a reasonable client could understand.
    • identified and carried out any procedures to enforce the order or settlement in a timely manner.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1 to 5
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1 to 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1 to 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1 to 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1 to 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1 to 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1 to 5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1 to 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No textbooks are assigned for GDLP courses.

    Seminar resources and readings are available on MyUni ONLY.  Students must bring electronic devices to seminars to access seminar materials.  

    Due to an emphasis on current legal practice other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted.  Students
    are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.

    Recommended Resources
    Most course resources are provided to students ONLINE via MyUni. Relevant law can be accessed online via:

    Due to the emphasis on current legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted.  Students are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.
    Online Learning
    The course is supported by the MyUni course website. The website contains the following resources:

    1.       Course information – including seminar schedule and assessment outline.

    2.       Course materials – such as lecture presentations, seminar materials, readings and resources.

    3.       Assessment – items of assessment and online submission.

    4.       Grade centre – where students’ results for assessments are entered.

    MyUni will also be used to post announcements. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.

    Students should also regularly check their University of Adelaide email.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught intensively. Online lectures are supported by activities such as face to face interactive problem-solving seminars and practical exercises.

    Students MUST come prepared for seminars, namely having listened to online lectures, undertaken prior reading and developed draft responses to the seminar questions. If students have not prepared and / or arrive more than 10 minutes late they may be asked to leave the seminar group.

    A reminder that students MUST bring along electronic devices to the seminar so they can access the seminar materials electronically.  

    Attendance is necessary to ensure that students are part of the interactive and reflective learning environment (which enhances learning outcomes) and provides students with the ability to develop their skills of oral presentation, teamwork and persuasion (valuable to the professional environment).  Students are expected to behave in an ethical and professional manner as would be
    expected in the workplace environment (compliant with the professional conduct rules and standards).

    Students, who due to disability, compelling medical or compassionate reasons, or in exceptional circumstance, are unable to attend the required seminars, may complete alterative work in lieu of attendance. The precise nature of this make-up work will depend on the seminar missed and will be negotiated with the GDLP Coordinator. Students MUST inform the GDLP Coordinator at the earliest opportunity of their absence and where they require this make-up work option. Whilst the best endeavours will be
    made to prescribe alternative work, this may not always be possible and non-attendance may result in a fail grade being awarded.  

    Students must attend the seminar class for which they are enrolled.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to attending seminars it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for seminars and to complete the course assessments. Students are expected to spend about 8 hours per week in private study which includes reading the materials, listening to lecture presentations, conducting research and preparing for seminars. In addition students will need to dedicate time for the completion of assessments.
    Learning Activities Summary
    A detailed seminar schedule will be posted to MyUni prior to the course commencing.
    Specific Course Requirements
    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2004 and Law Admissions Consultative Committee 2015 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission. In order to pass this course you are expected to demonstrate competence in these standards.  Consequently, compulsory attendance and active participation in seminars is required in addition to assessment tasks.

    The national competency standards include underpinning knowledge and skills in:
    ·        Ethics and professional responsibility
    ·        Lawyers skills
    ·        Problem solving
    ·        Work management and business skills

    For further information see:
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessments will be made available to students, prior to the nominated deadline.

    Note: Competence must be demonstrated in all assessment tasks and activities.

    Assessment item Due date* Learning Objectives
    Online quiz  Second week from course commencement 1 - 5
    Workbook Second week from course commencement 1 - 5
    Statement of Representation Third week from course commencement 1 - 5
    Participation N/A 1 - 5

    * Assessment deadlines will be posted on MyUni prior to the course commencing.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Detailed information regarding assessment tasks will be provided on MyUni .

    In this course, students will also be assessed on the following:
    ·        Attendance (95% rule applies)
    ·        Punctuality
    ·        Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines
    ·        Display active engagement in practical activities
    ·        Demonstrate respectful behaviour towards others
    ·        Maintaining a high level of confidentiality at all times
    ·        Satisfactory completion of prescribed exercises
    ·        Underpinning national competency standards (as noted in ‘Specific course requirements’)

    Unless otherwise stated, there will be no prescribed word limit for assessments. This is because the purpose of the GDLP programme is to facilitate your transition from undergraduate academic law studies to the legal professional employment environment through the demonstration and practice of professionally-based skills and competencies. In a legal practice it is highly unlikely you will be set a certain number of words or pages for the tasks you are asked to complete.

    However, in the majority of assessments guidelines will be provided.

    The quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process. Assessment competence will take into consideration: expression, structure, correct grammar, typography, etc.

    Assessments will be returned to students within 3 weeks from the due date, unless otherwise notified by the GDLP Program Coordinator through a Course Announcement.
    Assessment Detail


    Students must retain a copy of all assessments submitted.

    Students are to submit assessments online by Turnitin.

    Please note: where forms or documents have been outlined in assessment activities for completion these should be downloaded from original sources and completed in an electronic format, if not supplied.

    Students will be marked in accordance with the marking rubric.


    Students are required to demonstrate competency in all elements of the national competency standards and failure to do so will result in the relevant assessment being marked as non-competent. If the assessment is deemed non-competent students may be offered the opportunity to revise and resubmit the assessment. Students granted a resubmission will have up to 7 days
    from the time they are informed by email from the LSSA GDLP Office to resubmit the assessment.  In most cases only the
    parts of the assessment that do not attain competence will be required to be resubmitted.  Only ONE opportunity is provided for resubmission.

    Assessments that do not attain competence on resubmission (fail), per University policy, are double-marked before the results are
    released back to the student.  The first and second markers discuss what the final result will be.


    Students MUST apply for an extension prior to the deadline to the GDLP Coordinator.

    Extensions on medical and compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University policy.

    Late Submission

    NOTE: in this course, students are assessed against the national competency standards and professional workplace standards; namely  
    ·        Ethical and professional responsibility
    ·        Lawyers skills
    ·        Problem solving
    ·        Work management and business skills
    ·        Punctuality
    ·        Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    RP Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme: 

    Grade Grade reflects following criteria for allocation of grade: Reported on Official Transcript
    Fail No Submission No work submitted for assessment FNS
    Fail Competency not demonstrated F
    Non-Graded Pass Competency demonstrated NGP
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN
    No Formal Examination No formal examination NFE

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.