LAW5314 - International environmental law - 2019

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Geert Van Calster

Quota applies

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

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 3 2019 (On-campus)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7068


This unit examines the way in which the international community tackles existing and future environmental problems (broadly defined), including new technologies and climate change, as well as hazardous waste disposal, animal welfare, etc. International obligations and Australian domestic obligations in respect of these various environmental issues will be examined, as will the way in which these obligations subsequently penetrate into the national legal order.

An important feature of the unit is to break down the partition between international environmental law and other areas of the law. For instance international climate change law does not operate in insulation from banking and finance; International biodiversity and animal welfare issues have to operate alongside international trade law; The health, environmental and human rights obligations of companies in a corporate social responsibility (CSR) context require insight into transnational litigation, including conflict of laws.


On completion of this students will be able to:

  • apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to international environmental law and policy in response to the increasingly global, transboundary nature of ecological problems with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to foundational aspects of public international law which underpin international environmental law, including sovereignty, jurisdiction, territory and state responsibility;
  • conduct research in international environmental law and major international environmental agreements based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods; and
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to international environmental law.


Research assignment (4500 words): 60%

Take-home exam (3000 words): 40%

Workload requirements

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