• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Environmental Studies, Law

This course will examine planning and environmental assessment legislation, policy and case law. The course will focus on the laws of Victoria, although the laws in other states and territories of Australia will be examined where pertinent.

Although the teaching component of the course will be divided into a planning module and an environmental assessment module, the use of case studies and readings will draw together these two subsets of environmental law and illustrate that they share much in common.

Within the planning module, the course will focus on: the objectives of planning policy, particularly in an era of sustainability; balancing private and public interests through planning laws; the role of law in achieving traditional (eg urban infrastructure) and contemporary (eg sustainable cities and climate change adaptation) planning goals; the planning instruments and regulatory mechanisms for implementing planning policies; the role of courts and tribunals in reviewing planning decisions; and the rights and role of the community in planning law.

Within the environmental assessment module of the course, the emphasis will be on the procedures of environmental impact assessment.

The course will examine the origins, function and objectives of environmental assessment, particularly using the Commonwealth’s primary environmental law as an example. The course will include an evaluation of the common criticisms of environmental assessment regimes, an examination of the role of the community, proponent, government and judiciary in the assessment process, and provide an opportunity for discussion on alternative legal models for environmental assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

At the conclusion of this course students should be able to:

  • understand and explain the traditional and contemporary principles of planning;
  • describe the planning and planning-related functions of different levels of government;
  • critically examine the role of law in achieving the objectives of planning policy and broader environmental objectives and the place for community in the planning process;
  • understand and explain environmental impact assessment procedures (including under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act);
  • identify the limitations and strengths of environmental assessment regimes, particularly having regard to the role and contribution of the community; and
  • present the findings of research in written form and logically and critically answer a problem question. 

Indicative Assessment

The proposed means of assessment for this course will require students to undertake three pieces of assessment. Short reflective tasks will be required before and during the teaching component of the course and a more substantial piece of assessment (comprising both research and problem solving questions) will be required after the teaching component of the course.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


26 Contact Hours (Intensive Delivery) plus private study time totaling no more than 120 hours.

For the timetable please see Masters Program

Requisite and Incompatibility

LAWS8201 or enrolment in one of the following Programs: (6300, 7300, 7312)

Preliminary Reading

The preliminary reading required for this course will be available in the course outline.

A reading guide will be included in the course outline with required and recommended reading. Readings will be posted to WATTLE. There will be no brick. A text will be prescribed for the course.

Assumed Knowledge

This course assumes an understanding of environmental law principles. The course does not assume specific town planning or environmental assessment knowledge.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1626
2014 $2808
2013 $2808
2012 $2808
2011 $2778
2010 $2718
2009 $2670
2008 $2670
2007 $2670
2006 $2646
2005 $2298
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2916
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3426
2008 $3426
2007 $3426
2006 $3426
2005 $3234
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1714 17 Aug 2015 17 Aug 2015 04 Sep 2015 06 Nov 2015 In Person N/A

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