• Offered by ANU Legal Workshop
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Legal Practice
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2017
    Spring Session 2017
    See Future Offerings

The course is designed to introduce students to planning law problems – the law relating to how land can be used and developed, and what can be built on it. 

To understand planning law, a lawyer needs to be able to understand the relevant statutes and an increasing number of (often overlapping) planning instruments, from which it can be determined if the proposal is a lawful use of the land. 

Once a use is lawful, planning decisions involve a myriad of relevant considerations that have to be weighed up  in making the decision.

Planning decisions are often controversial – even the simplest. A proposal to build a multi-unit complex on empty land will attract differing views – the developer will want to proceed to make a profit, and potential owners will be happy. However, adjoining landowners may see their amenity being reduced by increased noise and traffic (and possible over-looking). Others may value the vacant land for what it is, or for its environmental attractions. 

The local council may well see the advantages in more housing and more ratepayers, but may be concerned about the need to provide infrastructure to support the development - roads, parking spaces, sewerage and waste services, and also have to balance all the competing factors in coming to a decision.      

The course is very practical. It requires students to prepare advices, draft Court / Tribunal documents and attend a directions hearing about a planning and environmental law scenario on land set in the jurisdiction of the student's choosing.

Learning Outcomes

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

By participating in the course and satisfying the competency requirements through undertaking structured and self-regulated learning activities, a student will develop and apply knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to:

1. Investigate, analyse and evaluate the client’s situation to identify that the matter is a planning and environment law problem(s).

2. Analyse, research, interpret and evaluate the facts of the matter, identify and synthesise the relevant law applicable to the client’s case to explain the rights and obligations of the client and to identify potential commercial and public implications of any proposed actions.

3. Analyse, research and evaluate the client’s rights and obligations, remedies, penalties and options and critically reflect on the breadth and scope of legal issues and applicable law to be able to communicate to the client advice and options for resolution of the matter in accordance with law and good practice

4. Research and draft relevant document(s) to transmit information (facts and evidence) as required by rules of the relevant tribunal or court to apply for approvals and consents.

5. Identify, prepare, and document all orders and settlements in accordance with relevant law, rules and policy.

6. Demonstrate and reflect critically on their ethical and professional behaviour and responsibilities.

7. Demonstrate and apply the knowledge, skills and values required to achieve the ‘Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers’ as determined by the Law Admissions Consultative Council

Indicative Assessment

Students are required to advise the responsible authority on a planning application and to advise an objector to the planning application including drafting all relevant documents and represent an applicant or objector in tribunal proceedings.

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.


There are no set contact hours. Students should expect to spend about 10 - 15 hours per week in reading and course related tasks to complete the course. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (6303XGDLP or 6312XGDLP) and completed or be completing LEGW8141. OR Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP) and completed or be completing LEGW8141.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

For students with no knowledge of Environmental Law see:

Bates, G. (2006) Environmental Law in Australia, 6th ed., Lexis-Nexis Butterworths, Sydney

Farrier, D & Stein, P. (eds.) (2006) The Environmental Law Handbook: Planning and Land Use in NSW, 4th ed., Redfern Legal Centre Publishing for NSW.

In most other jurisdictions the EDO (Environmental Defender's Office) publishes environmental law handbooks (hard copy) and fact sheets (online).

Course folder and online materials supplied.


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:
3 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.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $1147
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $1503
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5710 22 May 2017 26 May 2017 02 Jun 2017 30 Jun 2017 Online N/A

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9674 02 Oct 2017 06 Oct 2017 13 Oct 2017 10 Nov 2017 Online N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions