• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Human Ecology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Sustainable Development
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ian Fry
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Winter Session 2020
    See Future Offerings

This is an intensive course. The face-to-face component will be delivered (remotely) 6-17 July 2020.

All aspects of environmental and natural resource management are shaped by the law in some way. The law is used to define how, and by whom decisions that impact upon the environment are made. Law imposes obligations upon individuals, institutions and governments; it is used to determine who is, or is not accountable for decisions and their consequences. The law can be used to bring the resources of the state to permit or prohibit actions and allow choices whether they benefit or harm the environment.

This course offers environmental science, management and policy students an introduction to the workings of the Australian legal system and how the law and relevant institutions are used to affect environmental decision making. While introducing key environmental legislation the course explores how law is shaped by those with vested interests in the outcome and how law is applied, or ignored, in environmental decision making. You will gain a critical understanding of the law and its role in environmental decision making.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the role of parliaments, courts and the executive in the Australian legal system.
  2. Explain the role and separation of responsibility between the States, Territories and the Commonwealth in the Australian federation.
  3. Identify and explain key pieces of environmental legislation in different jurisdictions.
  4. Discuss and compare the role of institutions in the development and enforcement of environmental law in different jurisdictions.
  5. Critically discuss the role of law as a factor in environmental decision making in different jurisdictions and contexts.

Other Information

If you do not meet the requisites for this course, it may be possible to receive a permission code. If you are prompted for a permission code on ISIS, please request one online via the following form

Indicative Assessment

  1. Online exam (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Discussion participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Lead classroom discussion on prescribed topic (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research paper (55) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component consisting of 49 hours of contact delivered intensively over 7 days (5 days in September, 2 days in November) comprising: lectures and tutorials;
  • 81 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with ENVS3015. Incompatible with LAWS2101 Foundations of Australian Law or equivalent. Not available to students enrolled in, or holding an LLB, JD or other law degree program.

Prescribed Texts

Readings will be provided online via Wattle


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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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.

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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6383 06 Jul 2020 07 Jul 2020 31 Jul 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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