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The nature of environmental law; the merits and disadvantages of statutory and common law approaches to environmental issues; the evolution of environmental concern; particular legal problems arising out of the nature of environmental issues; the precautionary principle; philosophies of human relations with the natural world; possible implications of environmental necessity for political, social, constitutional and economic organisation; environmental economics and issues of public and private property; historical and present-day case studies. This course is offered in alternate years.
This course will provide students with an understanding of contemporary domestic and international legal frameworks governing human interactions with the natural world. Additionally, the course will prompt students to think creatively about how environmental laws could be invoked, reformed, or remade to best address some of the most serious challenges of our time, including anthropogenic climate change, extreme biodiversity loss, and the social violence associated with various forms of environmental injustice. The course will cover five primary themes and numerous subtopics under each. The five primary themes are:1. The Historical and Philosophical Context of Modern Environmental Law2. Interrelationships Between Environmental and Social Issues3. International and Domestic Legal Frameworks4. Key Areas of Environmental Governance: Biodiversity, Water, Animals, Minerals, and the Sea5. Alternative Approaches to Regulating the Nexus Between Nature and SocietyThe course will familiarise students with the various means through which environmental jurisprudence may be developed, including through statutory, administrative, and common law regimes. Additionally, the course will provide students with an understanding of the relationship between Te Tiriti o Waitangi and contemporary environmental issues in Aotearoa New Zealand, a background to Tikanga Māori and Tu Ao Turoa. A comparative law perspective will also introduce students to Indigenous customary law approaches and environmental justice theory emerging from other jurisdictions, including Australasia and the Americas.By taking this course, students will gain fluency in extant environmental laws and learn to engage critical analytical skills to creatively apply legal principles, towards the end of generating policies that would address major environmental and social challenges. Students will gain knowledge through diverse reading and multimedia materials, including excerpts from scholarly books and edited volumes, academic journals, and documentary films.
This course aims to provide students will foundational knowledge about historical, sociocultural, and legal contexts of modern environmental policy, both domestically and internationally. A further aim of the course is to steward students' ability to think creatively and generate innovative ideas about how the law can be adapted to respond to the most pressing environmental and social challenges of the 21st century.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Assessment may be conducted via an independent writing assignment and a final exam, in addition to participation in group work during lecture hours.The assessment will be confirmed in the first week of lectures.
This course will not rely on the use of a single textbook. Instead, a number of primary and secondary source readings will be provided, including those drawn from statues, regulatory frameworks, international treaties, and judicial decisions. Secondary source materials will include excerpts from legal and interdisciplinary scholarly books and edited volumes, in addition to top law reviews and academic journals.
Domestic fee $845.00
International fee $4,313.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Faculty of Law