Environmental Law Australia


Website author

This website is a free public service provided by Dr Chris McGrath, LLB (Hons), BSc, LLM, PhD, a barrister in Queensland practising in environmental law.


Dr Chris McGrath
Higgins Chambers
Level 29, 239 George Street
Brisbane Qld 4000 Australia
M: 0438 299 097
T: (07) 3221 2182
E: chris.mcgrath@qldbar.asn.au

Teaching materials for university courses

The case studies on this site provide course materials for Environmental Litigation (LAWS8187), a postgraduate law course offered by the Australian Centre for Environmental Law (ACEL) at the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law in Canberra.

Other resources on this site, including the quizzes and lectures, were created for the following undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught at The University of Queensland by Dr McGrath from 2010-2016:

Teachers and students in any other courses, at primary or secondary schools and members of the public are, of course, very welcome to use any of the materials available on this site.

Sources of documents in the case studies

The case studies available on this website are not limited to cases in which the author acted as a barrister, however, in practice it is far easier to obtain documents and explain their context if you have been involved in the litigation itself.

The author acted as a barrister in the litigation the subject of the following case studies:

Documents for other case studies, such as the Tasmanian Dam Case, were obtained with the assistance of either relevant courts or litigants.

What are the case studies intended to be used for?

While most court decisions have been freely available online for over a decade, such as on Austlii, those decisions typically represent the end point of the litigation process and do not show key documents in the process.  Documents such as court pleadings show how the lawyers representing the parties framed the case. Expert reports, maps and pictures that were central to the trial process are typically not reproduced in the court judgment.

This website aims to provide those important background documents and link to the ultimate court decision for a selection of environmental cases so that students and members of the public can better understand the steps leading up to the court decision.

Google Analytics Data

Based on Google Analytics data, in the 3 years to 4 May 2018 this website had:

  • 86,784 users
  • 127,737 sessions
  • 493,488 page views

The most popular pages by far were the Tasmanian Dam Case and the Carmichael Coal Mine Case.