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

How does the law provide for the management and sharing of water resources between competing human consumptive uses while also sustaining our natural ecosystems?

This question has garnered growing national attention as water becomes an increasingly contested resource in much of Australia, with recent periods of dire scarcity likely to return with the emergent impacts of climate change and increasing demands from new industry practices, especially the pursuit of energy resources.  

Australian attention to these issues in the past two decades has seen the Australian State and Commonwealth Parliaments agree a national water reform policy and undertake a national program of fundamental law reform – the most significant reform since water resources statutes were first enacted over a century ago. The Australian model of water resources law is gaining international attention as globally too water is becoming an increasingly contested and scarce resource.

This course pursues these themes through a study of Australian terrestrial water resources law, with a focus on the Murray-Darling Basin jurisdictions, including the Commonwealth, and an emphasis on water quantity management. 

Topics covered will include:

  1. The Institutional Framework of water resources management, including the classification and condition of Australia's water resources, key constitutional principles and administrative agencies, and the statutory objectives of water resources management;
  2. The Nature of Access Rights to Water, including the legal foundations of the access rights to water, their historical basis in the common law and current statutory public and private rights to the use and flow and control of surface and ground water;
  3. Water Allocation Planning, including the history and legal purposes of planning, the main procedures of the planning system, and the core content of water plans relating to environmental water allocations and the concept of "consumptive pool";
  4. Administration of Statutory Water Entitlements, including the grant, content, variation and compensation for reduction of access entitlements;
  5. Water trading, including intra and inter-State transfer provisions, public register of entitlements, and environmental water trade; and
  6. The model for sharing water resources in Australia.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the conclusion of this course, it is intended that students who have successfully completed all the course requirements will be able to:
  1. Explain and analyse the main legal principles governing the management of water resources in the student’s jurisdiction and compare and contrast these principles with those of other jurisdictions;
  2. Identify and evaluate the legal effect of the national water policy reforms agreed by CoAG and implemented by State and Commonwealth legislation;
  3. Apply the principal legal and policy materials within the student’s jurisdiction to the management of water resources in their own jurisdiction; and
  4. Research, critically examine and communicate in writing about a problem or specific aspect of water law.

Other Information

This is an intensive course with a 3 day compulsory intensive (see LLM timetable for dates).

Approximately 6 weeks from the completion of the intensive your final assessment will be due. Contact with fellow students and the convenor, both prior to the intensive and after, is conducted via the Wattle course site.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment is likely to consist of:
  1. Class presentation and participation (10%)
  2. Short essay on class presentation topic (10%)
  3. Research Essay (80%, 5,000 words)
Students must rely on the Course Study Guide which will be posted to the Wattle course site approximately four weeks prior to the commencement 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.

Workload

The course starts online two weeks prior to the commencement of three days intensive, face-to-face class.  Students will need to manage their own time to prepare the workshop presentation, as well as to undertake the research assignment after the workshop.  In addition to completing these assignments, students should also commit some time to general reading for the course, especially before the workshop.
 
Click here for the LLM Masters Program timetable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Master of Laws (7300XLLM, MLLM), Master of Laws specialising in International Law (7300XSINTL), Master of Laws specialising in Law, Governance and Development (7300SLGD), Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law (7300SEVNL), Master of Laws specialising in Government and Commercial Law (7300SGCL), Master of Laws specialising in International Security Law (7300SISL), Master of Laws in Migration (NLLML), Master of Laws in International Law (NLLIL), Master of Laws in Environmental Law (NLLEN), Master of Laws in Law, Governance & Development (NLLGD), Master of Laws in International Security Law (NLLSL), Master of Laws in Government and Regulation (NLLGR), Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312XLLMLP), Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883SINTL, 7883XLLM), Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP), Master of Legal Studies (7305XMLEGS). OR Must be studying a: Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Law (7893XMDIPL, 7893XMINTL), Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL), Master of Legal Studies (7305XMLEGS), and have completed LAWS8189 Fundamentals of Environmental Law OR Must be studying a Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD) and have completed or be completing five LAWS1000 level courses or five LAWS6100 level courses. OR Must be studying a Graduate Certificate of Law (CLAW) and have completed or are completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions and LAWS8189 Fundamentals of Environmental Law. OR Must be studying a Master of Military Law (MMILL) OR Must be studying a Juris Doctor (MJDOL) and have completed the course LAWS8712 Australian Public Law & International Law B

Prescribed Texts

The prescribed text for this course is
  • A Gardner, R Bartlett & J Gray, Water Resources Law, LexisNexis Butterworths, Australia, 2009.

Preliminary Reading

Students must rely on the approved Course Study Guide which will be posted to the Wattle course site approximately 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

An e-brick will be available on the Wattle course site.

Assumed Knowledge

Students without an Australian law degree must have completed LAWS8189 Fundamentals of Environmental Law

Fees

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:
3
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3420
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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