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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Environmental Policy and Law (ENV328)

Organisational Unit Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description This unit is intended to introduce students to environmental policy and the role played by the legal system in environmental protection, planning and management. Students are introduced to the nature of legal systems and the consequent limitations and possibilities for the implementation of environmental policy. Emphasis is given to the Australian and particularly to the Western Australian situation. The development of written communication skills is a priority.
Unit Learning Outcomes 1. Distinguish between the common law and statute law and their role in supporting environmental protection, planning and management in Australia
2. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of three environmental policy instruments - regulatory, economic, participatory - when it comes to protecting our natural environment
3. Describe the complementary roles of the Commonwealth and of the states in environmental policy making in Australia
4. Describe the nature and elements of environmental legal acts and the role of scientific evidence in environmental policy making
5. Explain the role of courts and tribunals in environmental policy and law with a specific focus on judicial review and merits appeals in Western Australia
6. Find and interpret legal acts and other policy documents in print and electronic form
7. Critically analyse legal and political arguments in environmental matters
8. Effectively communicate arguments in the area of environmental policy and law to professional and lay audiences.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 2 hours per week; workshops: 1 hour per week.
Unit Learning Experiences Environmental Policy and Law has a modular structure. To progress through the unit satisfactorily you will need to devote ten hours per week to your studies.

The division into modules is based upon the nature of the subject matter covered, and therefore the time required to complete individual modules will vary. The material for each module is presented through the lectures and required readings, with study questions and module activities providing a review role. Some of these module activities will form the basis of the tutorials for internal students. All students should work through these activities over the course of the semester. In some cases the module activities will be structured by the use of worksheets to be filled in during tutorials or by working individually for external students. The LMS discussion forum is a good resource for extra support here. These worksheets will be posted on the unit's LMS website shortly before they will be required. Internal students will need bring them to the tutorials. External students should also download these worksheets and fill them out before the online tutorial session. Feedback on module activities and on assignments will also be posted from time to time.

At the beginning of each module a statement of the module's learning outcomes can be found. These outcomes are designed to give you a better idea as to what is expected of you as you work through the module; i.e., to provide some focus to your learning. For pedagogical reasons and because of the nature of the subject matter, the learning outcomes are fairly general. They are also best seen as expressing a minimum standard. The overall objectives for the unit should be seen as overarching these outcomes and to be of greater importance.

After the learning outcomes the title of the associated lecture(s) then follows. The lectures in this unit are designed to make the readings more accessible, rather than to transfer a lot of new material. The lectures are structured illustrative included to enhance your interest in the material. Whenever possible these examples will be drawn from recent events and will therefore not be found in the required readings, although materials may be posted onto the LMS website from time-to-time. We would like to encourage you to bring your own news items to lectures (and workshops) and to ask questions about them (you are also invited to do likewise through the discussion forum, especially if you are an external student).

A week or so in advance of each module commencing a set of detailed module notes will be posted on the website. These notes will introduce you to the subject matter of the module and lead you through the required readings. So please look out for them and make use of them. In both the expanded notes and the Unit Information and Learning Guide the required readings are listed in the recommended order and in bite sized portions so that you can read them with minimal pain.

The full module notes also contain important information such as the key concepts that you should have defined and understood by the end of each module. Once you have identified the key concepts, define them on the unit's LMS glossary section and once John has reviewed and accepted them, they will be marked as the accepted definition. In previous years we have been asked to provide a glossary in advance. However, we believe that it is better for you to prepare your own and to learn as you go. In this way you can monitor your overall progress according to your success at defining these concepts. If in doubt, please check by posting a question to the discussion forum. The forum postings are frequently read and contributed to by Nora and John and you really can't go wrong in using this resource as a major support.

Some study questions for you to answer as you work through each module can then be found.

Each module ends with the module activity(ies), and specific further readings are then listed as appropriate.
Assessment Assignment 1 (Essay) 30 % 1,250 words
The essay will focus on each student's mastery of basic policy and legal concepts and their adaptability to legal writing.
Assignment 2 (Project) 40 % 2500 words
This is an important piece of work and is intended to provide an opportunity for each student to research a specialized area of environmental policy and law.
Examination 30 %
The examination will be a two hour, closed-book exam.

Feedback will be provided continuously through the discussion forum, and on each student's essay and project.
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed ENV228 Environmental Policy and Law may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Animal Health (BSc) [New in 2015]
Animal Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biological Sciences (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biomedical Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Chemistry (BSc) [New in 2014]
Clinical Laboratory Science (BSc) [New in 2015]
Conservation and Wildlife Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
Engineering Technology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Management and Sustainability (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Forensic Biology and Toxicology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Genetics and Molecular Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Marine Biology (BSc) [New in 2017]
Marine Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mathematics and Statistics (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mineral Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Physics and Nanotechnology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Sport and Health Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


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