• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

The law relating to management of natural resources and for environmental protection has grown to become an established and important area of professional legal practice over the last twenty years. Energy law is an important branch of such practice. It governs the ownership, use, development and control of energy resources.

The Sustainable Energy Law course surveys the rapidly evolving field of renewable and clean energy law at both domestic and international levels. 

The course provides students with the opportunity to examine, explore and critique existing legal solutions to issues arising in energy markets, with the aim of enhancing the role of the law in addressing energy and climate change objectives.

This course examines the legal framework applying to renewable energy sources, not in isolation but in dynamic interrelationship with policies toward conventional fossil sources of energy.

Energy law is evolving in order to address the challenge of climate change. The importance of effective law and policy to encourage cleaner energy development has been underlined both by the most recent scientific warnings about the need to implement timely responses to global warming.

Learning Outcomes

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

The course will provide opportunities for students to develop their skills in the following areas:

  1. concentrated legal research and writing to a postgraduate standard, via the written component of assessment (relying upon skills in finding, analysing and using relevant legal and policy resources relating to sustainable energy);
  2. Specialised writing skills relating to law reform briefings and proposals, via the specialised component of assessment;
  3.  Improved skills in cross-disciplinary analysis of the law
  4.  Improved knowledge of comparative approaches to legal analysis. 
  5. Improved skills in assessment and analysis of effectiveness of legislation and policies; 
  6. Improved capacity to apply case study research as a basis for development of law reform proposals, including knowledge of the limits and benefits of this approach;
  7. An opportunity to improve capacity to make persuasive oral argument and presentations to a group, leading to greater capacity to present clearly, effectively and quickly information relating to an aspect of sustainable energy law. 

 Knowledge based outcomes

  1. An understanding of the key concepts, principles and issues relating to development of sustainable energy;
  2. Overview of regulatory framework for various types of renewable energy sources in Australia;
  3. Knowledge of the particular challenges and issues arising in the specialised application of the regulatory framework to particular energy sources in Australia including ocean energy, solar thermal energy, solar PV, wind, urban wind, biomass, biogas, and questions of energy efficiency;
  4. Ability to apply the existing, broader framework of environmental and planning law to energy projects; and
  5. Greater knowledge of the relevance of applying resource economics and regulatory economics to the regulation of the energy sector.

Indicative Assessment

1. Panel discussion participation and presentation (20%)

2. Law Reform Briefing (40%)

3. Research Essay  (40%)

Final Means of Assessmet approved six weeks prior to the commencement of 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.


24 to 26 in-class hours (intensive delivery), plus approximately 40-48 hours reading and approximately 25-30 hours to complete assessment requirements.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying in one of the following programs; Master of Laws (7300) Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312) Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883) Graduate Diploma in Law (6300) OR To enrol in this course you must be studying in one of the following programs; Master of Legal Studies (7305) Master of Environmental Law (7309) Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313) Master of International Law (7310) Master of Law, Governance and Development (7317) Master of International Security Law (7318) Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Law (7893) Graduate Diploma in Law, Governance and Development (6317) Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (6305) Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law (6309) Graduate Diploma in Government and Commercial Law (6313) Graduate Diploma in International Law (6310) Graduate Diploma in International Security Law (6318) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (6303) Graduate Certificate in Environmental Law (6351) and have completed LAWS8015 or LAWS8189 OR You must be studying a Juris Doctor (7330) and have completed 30 units of 1000 level law (LAWS) courses.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

As prescribed in the Course Outline which will be available 6 weeks prior to the course commencement.

The Course Outline will be available 6 weeks prior to the course commencement.

Assumed Knowledge

Success in the course will be assisted by knowledge of environmental law, planning law, administrative law, climate law and international law.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2015 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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