University of Technology Sydney

78156 International Environmental Law: Policy and Implementation

Requisite(s): ( 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04320 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Professional Legal Practice AND 70106c Principles of Public International Law) OR ((22 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04264 Master of Legal Studies OR 22 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C07122 Graduate Diploma Legal Studies)) OR (70106c Principles of Public International Law AND 70107c Principles of Company Law AND (94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04236 Juris Doctor OR 142 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04250 Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04363 Juris Doctor Master of Intellectual Property OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04364 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Trade Mark Law and Practice))
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 77794 International Environmental Law AND 78155 International Environmental Law: Policy and Implementation


This subject examines the effectiveness of international environmental law in responding to environmental, political and social challenges stemming from global and regional environmental problems. More specifically, students study and analyse themes, such as, sustainable development and common but differentiated responsibility, as well as selected environmental topics, including protection of the marine environment, conservation of biodiversity, regulation of pollution and climate change, regulation of the impacts of international trade, and protection of cultural heritage, world heritage and Indigenous heritage. A recurring theme throughout the subject stems from regulatory challenges presented by the fact that, although international environmental law traditionally deals with states (or countries), it also attracts many non-state stakeholders, including non-government organisations (NGOs), multinational corporations and community groups. Moreover, in the last two decades, traditional environmental law challenges have been exacerbated by new environmental threats stemming from the use of force. Students study these topics and issues by examining a range of treaties, soft law instruments, cases and policy instruments, commencing from the 1970s onwards.

The material also introduces students to basic concepts of public international law, such as sources and subjects of international law and the relationship between international and national law. In particular, the nature of international environmental law means that unlike national legal systems, international law does not enjoy a recognised and formalised legal structure; it lacks a judicial hierarchy and centralised law-making body. This raises additional issues concerning the effectiveness of international environmental law and its translation into national regulation.

The subject takes a practice-oriented approach to student learning by focusing discussion on issues, themes and problem questions that deal with real environmental issues, on which legal professionals provide advice in professional practice, both for current environmental issues, and, also ones likely to occur in the future. Successful completion of the subject provides students with a foundation of knowledge from which they can undertake more specialised environmental law subjects, including environmental ethics, climate law and carbon markets, and international trade law and the environment.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.