LAW 4100 - Introduction to Environmental Law UG

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

The course examines regulatory mechanisms that address environmental problems and focuses particularly upon regulation of development. Included are: a general introduction to the law and the legal system; the nature of environmental problems in Australia; constitutional responsibilities and powers with respect to environmental planning and protection; land-use planning and protection systems; environmental impact assessment; regulation of pollution and waste disposal; and environmental litigation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 4100
    Course Introduction to Environmental Law UG
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Not available for LLB students
    Course Description The course examines regulatory mechanisms that address environmental problems and focuses particularly upon regulation of development. Included are: a general introduction to the law and the legal system; the nature of environmental problems in Australia; constitutional responsibilities and powers with respect to environmental planning and protection; land-use planning and protection systems; environmental impact assessment; regulation of pollution and
    waste disposal; and environmental litigation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Paul Leadbeter

    Paul Leadbeter
    paul.leadbeter@adelaide.edu.au

    P
    hone: 08 83134441
    Room 227, Ligertwood Building
    Law School,
    The University of Adelaide


    Lecturer and Tutor (Weeks 1-4) Kyra Reznikov

    Kyra is a lawyer in private practice who has a large environmental law practice for a range of corporate and private clients. She also has an engineering degree.

    Email: kyra.reznikov@finlaysons.com.au
    Course Timetable

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

    Lectures are held on Wednesdays between 3pm and 6pm in Napier 208.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. understand the legal framework within which laws addressing environmental issues in Australia operate;
    2. understand and apply the concept of ecologically sustainable development (“ESD”) particularly in the context of environmental legislation;
    3. recognise and find solutions to environmental legal issues;
    4. understand the scheme of environmental regulation at a State, Federal and international level;
    5. identify issues which might create environmental law problems in the workplace as well as an understanding of how such potential issues might be managed;
    6.understand the legal requirements and processes for environmental impact assessment in relation to developments and projects at both Federal and State level, and
    7.have some understanding of the system within Australia for review and appeal of decisions on environmental matters by courts and specialist tribunals.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-7
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3-7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3,5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3-7
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no required resources for this subject, however there are a number of recommended resources.
    Recommended Resources
    The following is an excellent recommended (but not required) text. Several copies are held on reserve in the law library. A lecture outline and recommended reading for those wishing to explore the topics further and reading materials for each seminar will be available on line through MyUni.

    • GM Bates, “Environmental Law in Australia”, 8th edition, 2013, LexisNexis Butterworths

    • Other useful texts include:
    DE Fisher, Australian Environmental Law (2nd ed, Thomson Reuters, 2010).
    Bates and Lipman, Corporate Liability for Pollution (LBC Information Services, 1998).
    Godden, Lee & Peel, Jacqueline, Environmental Law: Scientific, Policy and Regulatory dimensions, Oxford University Press, 2009
    The Australian Law Journals most frequently referred to in this area include:
    Environmental & Planning Law Journal (EPLJ), Thomson Reuters
    Local Government Law Journal (LGLJ), Thomson Reuters
    The Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law & Policy, University of NSW.

    Legislation
    • Development Act 1993 (SA) and Development Regulations 2008 (SA)
    • Environment Protection Act 1993 (SA) and Environment Protection Policies
    • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (selected sections to be advised)
    Legislation can be downloaded free from www.legislation.sa.gov.au/index.aspx (SA Attorney General’s Department) or www.austlii.edu.au/databases.html (Australian Legal Information Institute) and South Australian legislation may be purchased from the Service SA Government Legislation Outlet (EDS Centre, 108 North Tce, Adelaide, SA )).
    You will be required to use the legislation to answer tutorial questions.
    It is for your own benefit to have the legislation in class (in hard copy or electronic form).arrangements will be made for hard copies of the legislation to be available for purchase from the Image and Copying Centre.

    Cases
    Most cases can also be downloaded from the Attorney General’s Department site or Austlii (see the web site addresses above) or obtained from the law library.
    Online Learning
    The course uses a mixture of lectures ( always recorded), powerpoint presentations, video clips and in class discussion as well as the MyUni discussion board to support learning and teaching.
    All reading lists and connections through to the listed materials and readings will be available on MyUni.
    Announcements during the semester will also be posted on MyUni and emailed to all students listed in the course.

    Students will be required to use the internet to access a number of relevant policy documents such as development plans, water allocation plans and environment protection policies and in class demonstrations will explain how to locate and interpret such policies and apply them to help resolve problems. MyUni is used extensively and students are required to locate relevant documents via links provided as part of the explanatory and background materials for each week.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course consists of a weekly 3 hour class that will be a combination of lectures and tutorials. The tutorials will comprise a mixture of discussion points and problem-solving sessions developing and assisting students to gain an understanding of the practical application of some of the material covered in lectures.
    Students will be required to use the internet to access a number of relevant policy documents such as development plans, water allocation plans and environment protection policies and in class demonstrations will explain how to locate and interpret such policies and apply them to help resolve problems. MyUni is used extensively and students are required to locate relevant documents via links provided as part of the explanatory and background materials for each week.
    The group assignment requires students to take a problem, identify the legal issues and prepare a written report with recommendations for future action as if they were reporting to the Board of directors of a corporation of the senior executive within a government agency. They will then be required to present a verbal summary to the class in the same way that they might have to present a verbal report to senior management within a workplace.
    BLENDED LEARNING
    The course uses a mixture of lectures ( always recorded), powerpoint presentations, video clips and in class discussion as well as the MyUni discussion board to support learning and teaching.
    All reading lists and connections through to the listed materials and readings will be available on MyUni.
    Announcements during the semester will also be posted on MyUni and emailed to all students listed in the course.
    As noted above (and technology willing) it is the intention to record all lectures. If for some reason a lecture does not record and a student did not attend that lecture it will be the responsibility of the student to find someone who attend the missed lecture if they want details and notes about what was covered at the time.
    Workload

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

    Environmental law is a large area and this course seeks to provide students with an introduction to a number of the key areas covered under the generic title of “environmental law”. It is accepted that the course is being taught to students without a legal background and an attempt has been made to structure the course in a way which has regard to that fact. The core information will be provided in the lectures with the tutorials being used to further discuss topical issues and illustrate the application of some of the legal principles in a practical setting through problem solving tutorials.
    The problem exercises will also illustrate some of the inherent complexities of applying a mixture of law and policy measures in this area as well as the very political nature of so many of the government decisions and actions on environmental issues
    Learning Activities Summary
    The lecture and tutorial topics for each week are set out below. At the commencement of the course a more detailed timetable for each week will be made available on MyUni:

    Week 1:
    Lecture: Introductory matters, Sources of law (Lecture will use all 3 hours in the first week)

    Week 2:
    Lecture: Australian Legal System, Constitution and the Environment, International Law
    Tutorial: Intro to Environmental law, Sources of law

    Week 3:
    Lecture: Ecologically Sustainable development (ESD)
    Tutorial: (over 2 hours) Australian legal system, Constitution and the Environment

    Week 4:
    (3 hours of tutorial) International law, ESD, Exam preparation

    Week 5:
    Lecture: (over 3 hours) Land Use Planning & development law (including environmental impact assessment requirements)

    Week 6:
    Lecture: Control & licensing of environmentally significant activities & pollution
    Tutorial: Planning and development problem

    Week 7:
    Lecture: Commonwealth Environment protection laws-Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999
    Tutorial: Environment Protection Act (pollution) problem

    Week 8:
    Lecture: Climate Change & the law
    Tutorial: Role of Commonwealth law and government in environmental matters

    Week 9:
    Lecture: Water resources law and policy
    Tutorial: Site Contamination problem

    Week 10:
    Lecture: Conservation of Biological Diversity
    Tutorial: Water resources problem

    Week 11:
    Lecture: Exam Revision & technique (1 hour)
    Tutorial: (2 hours) Major projects and EIA, Biodiversity issues problem question

    Week 12:
    Group Presentations
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students are required to attend and participate ( where relevant) at 10 out of the 12 classes  in order to pass this course.
    Students have the responsibility for ensuring their names are marked off a list of student names each week. 
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The Group Assignment will be a Small Group Discovery experience.The Group Assignment will require students to work in groups of 4-6 people to research the relevant law and policy in order to prepare a report on a problem scenario which will raise issues of a legal and policy nature in the environmental area. Group members will have to prepare a report to a Board of Directors or similar on the issues, present their findings and recommendations in a verbal presentation in class and submit a written report.
  • 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
    ASSESSMENT TASK COLLABORATIVE / INDIVIDUAL WEIGHTING WORD COUNT TIME / DUE DATE LEARNING OUTCOME REDEEMABLE / OPTIONAL
    Attendance and participation at classes individual 10% n/a Over entire 12 weeks-students must attend 10 out of the 12 classes CLO 1-7 No (It is the responsibility of each individual student to ensure that they sign on and off the roll each week.)
    Tutorial Assignment Individual 10% Submission prior to Week 3 class CLO 1-7 No
    Group Assignment and Presentation Collaborative 35% 3,000 words plus 15 minute group presentation Week 12 Monday 7 November 2016 CLO 1-7 No
    Exam Individual 45% During November Exam Period CLO 1-7 No


    Assessment Related Requirements
    Note that there are the following requirements for this course:

    1. It is expected that students attend and actively participate in 10 out of the 12 weekly 3 hour lecture/tutorial sessions. Students have the responsibility for ensuring their names are marked off each week. Merely attending classes but not participating will not give you the full 10%.
    2. Where a student seeks an extension, note that extensions will only be granted on medical and compassionate grounds in exceptional circumstances, and must be supported by the relevant documentation (eg medical certificate).
    Assessment Detail
    (i) Attendance and participation at classes (10%)

    Students must attend and participate (where relevant) at 10 out of the 12 classes. Students should be familiar with the reading materials and be prepared for the topics of discussion for each class.

    It is the responsibility of each student to ensure his or her name is marked off the roll.

    Lectures and tutorials are interactive and may generate discussion. Participation for lectures and tutorials should be meaningful and reflect adequate preparation for class. This will include reading the background material and preparing for tutorials. Students should undertake readings in advance to maximise ability to participate meaningfully.

    (ii) Tutorial Assignment (10%)

    The assignment will consist of a series of questions which will be issued at the start of the semester. The questions will relate to material covered in the lectures in Week 1 and Week 2.

    Students must submit their assignments prior to the Week 3 class. Marks will be deducted for late submissions.

    Submission instructions will be provided with the assignment questions.

    (iii) Group Assignment and Presentation (35%)

    Students will form groups of 3 or 4 and will be required to look at a problem scenario which raises a number of legal and policy issues in the environmental area. They will be required to assume that they have been asked to prepare a report for either an Executive Board or the Senior management team within a private organisation or government agency. That report will need to set out the nature of the problem and suggest strategies for dealing with that problem
    The length of the report will be 3,000 words maximum. The report should be footnoted and, where references are made to other authorities, accompanied by a bibliography. The footnotes and bibliography are not counted in the calculation of the length of the report. Each group will be required to make a 15 minute presentation to the class on the topic dealt with in their report as if they were presenting to the Board of an organisation or the senior management team. The group will receive a mark for the report and presentation. There will be a number of scenarios available for this exercise. They will be made available in Week 4.

    Marks will be deducted for late submissions in accordance with standard university policies (see below).
    Submission date to be advised at the start of the Semester.

    (iv) Exam (45%)

    The exam will be an open book exam in two parts. PART A will be theory and PART B on a problem question. The time available to complete the exam will be approximately 2 ½ hours plus reading time.


    Submission
    PRESENTATION OF ASSIGNMENTS

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    2. Group Assignments must be submitted both electronically and in hard copy. Details of the process for electronic submission (through MyUni) will be provided during the early part of the semester.

    3. All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Lecturers will withhold a student’s results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.

    4. Markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism (refer to policy on plagiarism below).

    5. The Law School’s standard penalties in relation to late submission and assignments exceeding the word limit apply to Introduction to Environmental Law. (It is understood that these standards are fairly consistently applied across the university.) The penalties are:
    (a) for late submissions: Submission penalties of 5%of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an assignment graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is one hour late, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 25 hours late, etc.;
    (b) for assignments over the word length: 5% for every 100 words over 3,300 words. The limit of 3,300 includes a 10% margin over the base word limit of 3,000 words.

    MyUni

    Consistent with Law School policy, the primary communication mechanism for this course will be
    through placing announcements on MyUni. It is essential that students regularly check the
    announcements page for information. It is your responsibility to check MyUni regularly to ensure
    you have the most recent information. Any urgent information (such as unexpected cancellation of classes due to illness) will be sent to you by email as well as placed on MyUni.

    RETURN OF ASSIGNMENTS AND FEEDBACK

    Assignments will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the due date with written feedback.
    Students will be notified by email when assignments are ready for collection from the Law School Front Office.
    Course Grading

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

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    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.

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

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible  moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment  results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is  required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

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