- Code LAWS8123
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by ANU Law School
- ANU College ANU College of Law
- 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:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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";
- Administration of Statutory Water Entitlements, including the grant, content, variation and compensation for reduction of access entitlements;
- Water trading, including intra and inter-State transfer provisions, public register of entitlements, and environmental water trade; and
- The model for sharing water resources in Australia.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- 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;
- Identify and evaluate the legal effect of the national water policy reforms agreed by CoAG and implemented by State and Commonwealth legislation;
- Apply the principal legal and policy materials within the student’s jurisdiction to the management of water resources in their own jurisdiction; and
- Research, critically examine and communicate in writing about a problem or specific aspect of water law.
- Class presentation and participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Short essay on class presentation topic (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Research Essay (5,000 words) (80) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours. Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week.
Click here for the LLM Masters Program timetable.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsThe prescribed text for this course is
- A Gardner, R Bartlett & J Gray, Water Resources Law, LexisNexis Butterworths, Australia, 2009.
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
An e-brick will be available on the Wattle course site.
Assumed KnowledgeStudents without an Australian law degree must have completed LAWS8189 Fundamentals of Environmental 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.