LAWS 7020 International Environmental Law and Policy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200907

Coordinator Beatriz Garcia De Oliveira Opens in new window

Description This unit provides an overview of international environmental law and policy. It investigates legal and policy measures for managing and protecting the environment in a sustainable manner. The unit will begin by exploring the economic, political, and legal concepts relevant to international environmental legal regimes. It will then apply these concepts to concrete regimes designed to deal with specific international environmental problems, such as climate change, ozone depletion, air pollution, hazardous waste, freshwater resources, marine pollution, world heritage, human rights, biodiversity and habitat loss. The unit focuses principally on the dynamic of treaties, negotiations, and state and non-state actors in the international arena. Special attention will be given to 21st Century environmental problems. Appropriateness of the present environmental legal regimes and challenges for the future will also be mooted in the unit.

School Law

Discipline International Law

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in 2824 Master of Laws, 2784 or 2810 Master of Laws (International Governance), 8083 Bachelor of Research Studies, 8084/8085 Master of Research or the Master of Science.

Assumed Knowledge

Bachelor of Laws or equivalent qualification.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts relating to the protection and preservation of the global environment.
  2. Critically evaluate principal institutions and operation of the international legal system and demonstrate understanding of key actors, sources of law and dispute resolution processes.
  3. Apply international environmental management principles and concepts to contemporary environmental issues and in problem solving.
  4. Undertake independent research and analysis that demonstrates an understanding of the application of international environmental law in a defined context, that is clear, analytical and appropriately structured and referenced.
  5. Make some assessment of where international environmental law and policy can be expected to develop in the future.

Subject Content

Sources and Development of International Environmental Law and Policy
International Environmental Management Principles and Concepts
The Changing Nature of International Environmental Law and Policy
The Role of International Institutions
Climate Change Regime
Ozone Depletion Regime
International Control of Hazardous Waste
State Responsibility
Marine Environment
Control of Marine Pollution
International Watercourses
Protection of the Polar Regions
Conservation of Biodiversity
Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage
Human Rights and Environment
Trade and Environment
Strengths and Weaknesses of International Environmental Regimes


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz 20 minutes 15 N Individual
Oral Presentation 30 minutes (20 mins for presentation, 10 mins for Q&A) 40 N Individual
Research Report 2000 words (72 hours) 40 N Individual
Professional Task 1000 words (72 hours) 5 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Phillipe Sands and Jacqueline Peel, Principles of International Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press, 3rd Ed, 2012)
  • Phillipe Sand and Jacqueline Peel, Principles of International Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press, 4th ed, 2018)

Teaching Periods


Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Beatriz Garcia De Oliveira Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window