LAW5367 - Energy law, regulation and policy - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2017


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7324


Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, Australian, regional and international energy markets have experienced significant economic and structural transformations. These changes have been accompanied by considerable legal and policy developments, reflecting escalating global energy demand, growing worldwide concerns over diminishing global supplies of traditional fossil fuel resources, cost and price fluctuations, security of energy supply and demand, environmental hazards of fossil fuel production and consumption (e.g., climate change, atmospheric, soil and water pollution and harm) and a variety of human rights matters issues (e.g., corporate responsibility and indigenous peoples' rights regarding natural resources). By way of background, this unit canvasses a broad range of domestic and international energy markets, the global importance of energy, key multidisciplinary aspects of energy markets such as price, cost, security of supply, environmental damage, and international and internal armed conflict. At the domestic level, this historical development of the national energy market (electricity and gas) and the policy decision making, governance arrangements and legislative and regulatory framework of the nascent Australian Energy Market. Various Australian energy sectors - electricity and gas - are examined in terms of relevant sources of energy law, constitutional constraints, governance and regulatory functions of key market institutions, together with legal obligations, responsibilities and/or participatory rights and benefits of key stakeholders in the Australian Energy Market (e.g., pipeline access arrangements, consumer protections). Against the many benefits of energy, the adverse environmental and social impacts of traditional energy production and consumption on the environment, in particular greenhouse gas emissions, are considered. Examples of domestic, supranational and international legislative, regulatory and policy responses to dealing with environmental harm - emissions trading, carbon taxes, fuel mix changes towards renewable energies and/or nuclear power are considered to illustrate these contemporary issues.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to energy law, regulation and policy with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
  2. Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to energy law, regulation and policy;
  3. Conduct research in energy law, regulation and policy based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods; and
  4. Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to energy law, regulation and policy.


Research paper (6,000 words): 80%

Class presentation on major research paper: 20%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)

Chief examiner(s)