LAWS11046 - Law and the Environment

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Law and the Environment provides a basic grounding in the context and main sources of Environmental Law in Australia, together with the major State and Commonwealth legislative regimes that collectively comprise Australia's system of environmental regulation. You will study the basic structure and function of the Australian Legal System and undertake analysis of key enrivironmental issues. By analysing case studies, you will learn to identify the types of legal problems commonly encountered in environment-related activities. Finally, you will examine the litigation process and dispute resolution procedures.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2024

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 1 - 2024

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 25%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment 25%
3. Practical Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.7 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 25% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Self-reflection, students evaluations
Students find the textbook readings demanding, which is understandable for environmental science students. However, it is necessary for students to cover the material in the textbook and that means reading law.
Additional written materials should be provided to clarify key concepts from the textbook and these should become the focus of the weekly tutorial class.
Action Taken
Additional weekly class notes were prepared and provided to students prior to each class, specifically to address this recommendation.
Source: Student evaluations
Students of environmental science have greater need for specific legislative knowledge as opposed to background material
To review and revise the balance in the teaching materials between the foundational elements of environmental law and specific environmental legislative provisions relevant to environmental scientists.
Action Taken
Source: Self-reflection
Students need incentive to participate more in weekly tutorials.
To increase the emphasis in tutorials on practical problem solving.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic structure, institutions, key functions and processes of the Australian legal systems within which environmental law operates.
  2. Analyse major topics and key issues such as environmental property rights, access to and management of the environment, environmental protection measures and environmental litigation with reference to the relevant sources of legal authority.
  3. Identify and respond to the types of legal problems and issues likely to be embedded in commonly encountered environment-related activities.
  4. Explain the environmental law litigation process and alternative dispute resolution procedures.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Practical Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Practical Assessment