• Class Number 6765
  • Term Code 2950
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • J Brian Preston
    • J Brian Preston
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/06/2019
  • Class End Date 10/08/2019
  • Census Date 05/07/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/06/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course covers the types of processes for resolving environmental disputes including adjudicative (such as litigation), consensual (such as mediation and negotiation) and managerial authority (such as determination by Ministers, government agencies and local councils and merit review of such determinations), as well as the forms in which such processes may be organised and conducted (eg for adjudication, whether adversarial or investigative; for managerial authority; and for consensual mechanisms, the manner in which negotiations and mediations should be conducted).

Practical exercises enable the student to have a better appreciation of dispute resolution processes. The concept of a multi-door courthouse, where a variety of dispute resolution processes are offered under the one roof is explored.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain and apply appropriate dispute resolution processes to environmental disputes;
  2. Compare, contrast and reflect on the different types of dispute resolution processes, illuminating their strengths and weaknesses;
  3. Identify and apply appropriate dispute resolution processes to particular environmental disputes;
  4. Identify and critically examine a range of perspectives and values that are relevant to environmental dispute management; and
  5. Research, critically examine and communicate in writing about a problem or specific aspect of environmental dispute management.

Research-Led Teaching

Justice Preston will draw extensively on his own research and expertise as the Chief Judge of the NSW Land and Environment Court, as well as peer-reviewed articles authored by a wide range of experts in the field of dispute resolution. Students will be required to critically engage with the research material provided and subsequently conduct individual research into a topic of their choosing.

Additional Course Costs

This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of State.


Required Resources

Please see the eBrick on the course site.

Please see the eBrick on the course site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Characteristics of environmental disputes (Day 1)
2 Overview of range of environmental dispute resolution mechanisms (Day 1)
3 Consensual mechanisms of dispute resolution: mediation (Day 1/2)
4 Alternative dispute resolution in the courts (Day 2)
5 Adjudicative mechanisms of dispute resolution (Day 2)
6 Resolution of disputes by administrative mechanisms: Introduction (Day 3)
7 Resolution of disputes by administrative mechanisms: Merits review of administrative decisions (Day 3)
8 Resolution of disputes by administrative mechanisms: Public inquiries (Day 3)
9 Resolution of disputes by administrative mechanisms: Use of consensual processes? (Day 3)
10 The multi-door courthouse (Day 3)
11 The future of environmental dispute resolution: Specialised environmental courts and tribunals (ECTs) (Day 3)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Research Essay 90 % 10/08/2019 07/09/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Class participation 10 % 29/06/2019 05/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 90 %
Due Date: 10/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

The topic of the research essay is to be selected by the student and approved by the course convenor, preferably before the conclusion of the intensive course (29 June 2019) but at the latest by 20 July 2019. The essay topic must be of relevance to the course. Some ideas for topics will be provided on the first day of the course.

Length: 6,500 words

Essays must be in 12-point font, double-spaced, formatted for A4-size paper, and with pages numbered. Students must use footnotes for referencing and the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/mulr/aglc) for the citation style. A list of references should be provided at the end of the assignment or essay (this does not count towards the word limit).

Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date. Please note that if a student makes a submission after the due date, a late submission penalty applies.

Assessment criteria:

Understanding of the issues:

  • addresses the question and covers all the important points
  • evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on
  • issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
  • material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

Communication & development of argument:

  • clear theme or argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently


  • originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • suggestions for change where appropriate
  • interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate
  • addressing opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions


  • research covering primary and secondary materials
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesize all the research materials used
  • use of theoretical material where appropriate
  • range of research sources
  • integration of material from research resources into the essay

Presentation, style and referencing:

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of the reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 29/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Class participation

Students’ participation will be assessed by the convenor throughout the course but with principal focus on a mediation exercise to be held on day 2.

Assessment criteria:

Preparation and understanding of the material:

  • consulting and reading pre-assigned materials in advance of the lectures/seminars
  • linking material between various aspects of the class and different lectures

Thinking critically about the material:

  • looking at questions from different angles
  • questioning assumptions
  • use of language

Expressing ideas clearly:

  • so that other students and the instructor can understand them
  • use of relevant examples

Engaging with other students in the discussion:

  • including encouraging others to speak
  • responding to what other have said
  • being respectful for a range of views and opinions

If possible, linking material with your own background and knowledge:

  • which involves relating the material to your own personal and professional experience
  • participating effectively in mediation exercise

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.


Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

J Brian Preston
02 9113 8261

Research Interests

J Brian Preston

Thursday 15:00 15:15
J Brian Preston
02 9113 8261

Research Interests

J Brian Preston

Thursday 15:00 15:15

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