• Class Number 4263
  • Term Code 3350
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ian Fry
    • Dr Ian Fry
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 03/07/2023
  • Class End Date 13/08/2023
  • Census Date 14/07/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 14/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

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.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional costs for this course.

Examination Material or equipment

The week 1 quiz will be made available on the Wattle site between week one and two of the course. Students will be able to complete that exam and submit it via Wattle.

Required Resources

You will require access to a computer with a web browser and internet connection in order to access the unit Wattle site and as/if required to participate online.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

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

  • General comments to the whole class on the online quiz
  • Written comments on individual research reports;
  • Verbal comments on individual presentations;
  • Verbal feedback to the whole class on the exam and the research reports;
  • Additional, individual feedback on request.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 The course is run over two consecutive weeks Monday 10th July to Thursday 20th July). In the first week students will be introduced to fundamental legal concepts including environmental law, legal principles (torts, crime, administrative law) and the role of constitution and legislation. The discussion will introduce the Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) and discuss the use of law as a tool in environment protection. Class participationOnline exam
2 In the second week of the course will continue to develop perspectives in environmental management, climate change law, the history of international environmental law and the application of international environmental law in the domestic context. Two days will be allocated to researching for student presentations and report. Class participationLegislation case review presentation
3 Independent study researching and developing final report Research report

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Week 1 Quiz 20 % 15/07/2023 31/07/2023 1,2,3
Oral presentation/participate in class discussion 5 % * 24/07/2023 1,2,3,4,5,6
Presentation of a piece of legislation 20 % 19/07/2023 30/07/2023 4,5,6
Research report 55 % 09/09/2023 20/10/2023 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Participation in this course requires as a minimum:

  • attendance and positive contribution to discussion
  • submission of all assignments
  • an assessment of at least 50% for each assignment

Along with the minimum requirements, it is expected that students will:

  • attend each lectures/discussion
  • catch up on the occasional lecture by listening to it recording
  • read and contribute to the discussions


This course does not include formal examination during the examination period.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 15/07/2023
Return of Assessment: 31/07/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Week 1 Quiz

This quiz is to be completed via Wattle between the two weeks of the intensive course. The quiz will OPEN at 5 pm on Friday 14th July and CLOSE at 9 am on Monday 17th July. 4.5 hours of working time has been allocated. There will be a bank of questions, and you will be asked to answer a random selection of those questions. That means that another student may not get the same questions or questions in the same order.

Value: 20% of the final mark.

Presentation requirements: The exam is to be completed online via Wattle.

Submission date: Any time between 5 pm 14th July and 9 am 17th July 2023.

Estimated return date: 31st July 2023.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Return of Assessment: 24/07/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Oral presentation/participate in class discussion

Take an active part in the discussions of the provided reading material. Be prepared to answer an assigned question and contribute to discussion on other questions.

Value: 5% of the final mark.

Presentation requirements: Specific discussion time is scheduled throughout days 1 - 6. You will need to keep up with the allocated daily reading.

Due date: Throughout daily schedule across days 1 - 6

Estimated return date: 24th July 2023

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 19/07/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2023
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6

Presentation of a piece of legislation

In the second week of the course you will research and present a discussion on a piece of legislation or a case relevant to the course. You are given two days of research time to prepare for this presentation.

Value: 20% of the final mark.

Presentation requirements: You can choose from a range of topics presented by the convenor or select your own.

Due date: 19 July 2023.

Estimated return date: 30 July 2023.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 55 %
Due Date: 09/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 20/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5

Research report

A substantial written report on a self-selected research topic. The convener will suggest some topics from which you can choose, or with the convener’s approval, you may nominate your own topic. The research must include original data/information analysis.

Value: 55% of the final mark.

Presentation requirements: The word limit is 3,000 words, not including references, figures and tables, and an abstract (limit an additional 150 words). Submission is through Turnitin.

Due date: 9 September 2023.

Estimated return date: 20 October 2023.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

Assignments are submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site, or using a Wattle assignment submission link. You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignments on Turnitin. Please keep a copy of each assignment for your records.

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

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 it 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.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Student work will be marked electronically and comments provided via Turnitin or Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Assignments may not be resubmitted.

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).

Dr Ian Fry

Research Interests

Climate change displacement, Security implications of climate change on the Pacific, Negotiations of international environmental agreements

Dr Ian Fry

By Appointment
Dr Ian Fry
+61 2 6125 9719

Research Interests

Dr Ian Fry

By Appointment

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