LAW4679 - The law of climate change - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Normann Witzleb

Not offered in 2018


  1. For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1101 Introduction to legal reasoning

    LAW1104 Research and writing

  2. For students enrolled in the LLB (Honours) course from 2015:

    LAW1111 Foundations of law

    LAW1112 Public law and statutory interpretation

    LAW1113 Torts

    LAW1114 Criminal law 1

    LAW2101 Contract A

    LAW2102 Contract B

    LAW2111 Constitutional law

    LAW2112 Property A

  3. For other students:

    Equivalent introductory units from another university.


Climate change is among the most daunting problems the world faces in the 21st century. This unit deals with the legal dimension of climate change, paying due regard to its social, political and economic context. The unit will examine the development of national, supranational and international regulation, and explore how public and private actors mobilise instruments from different fields of law (such as private law, international trade law, investment law and human rights law) to facilitate or to undermine climate change mitigation and adaptation. For that purpose, examples of strategic litigation from the US, the EU and Australia will be analysed.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in climate change law, regulation and policy, as well as the key bodies operating this area and their functions and responsibilities, with creativity and initiative to solve practical problems and/or for further learning.
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to international, supranational and national law of climate change.
  • Conduct research on the political and legislative developments behind the emergence of international, supranational and national climate change law on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods.
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate ideas and concepts relevant to the law of climate change.


  1. Reflection paper (1,000 words): 20%
  2. Research paper (3,000 words): 60%
  3. Presentation: 10%
  4. Class participation: 10%

Workload requirements

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of classes, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation, assignment preparation and revision time over the duration of the course.

See also Unit timetable information