Environmental Law Australia

ENVM3104 & ENVM7124 web page

International Regulatory Frameworks for Climate Change and Environmental Management (ENVM3104 & ENVM7124)

This page provides:

  • supplementary material for a book chapter: Chris McGrath, “Teaching international law as a story set in its historical and political context”, to be published in the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law’s 2019 book, Teaching and Learning in Environmental Law: Pedagogy, Methodology and Best Practice (forthcoming); &
  • an archive of online teaching and learning resources for a course on international environmental regulation taught by Dr Chris McGrath at the University of Queensland from 2010-2018.

Overview of course

The course described here:

  • examined the major international environmental treaties since 1945 set within their political and historic context; &
  • was offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of Queensland, Australia, from 2010-2018.

The teaching pedagogy embraced in this course conceptualised teaching & learning in a complex course like this one as something like a game of chess where multiple teaching strategies and methods are used in combination to engage students and help them learn. The main components used within this approach were:

  • 12 lectures telling the story of the major international treaties since 1945 set within their historic and political context;
  • assessment designed to engage students and help build their knowledge and critical analysis skills:
    • a research paper to develop skills in evaluating and improving the effectiveness of environmental policy (50%);
    • presentation of a research proposal early in the course on the research topic chosen by each student (5%); &
    • an exam at the end of the course (45%).
  • 2 workshops providing scaffolding for the research paper on:
    • research design; &
    • making good policy recommendations.
  • a field trip to a World Heritage property at Springbrook south of Brisbane; &
  • 2 tutorials to help students prepare for the end-of-semester exam.

The assessment philosophy for the course is available here.

Recordings of lectures

The course contained 12 lectures:

Lecture 1 – Introduction to course
Lecture 2 – UN Charter 1945 & International Whaling Convention 1946
Lecture handouts:
Lecture 3 – GATT 1947 & Antarctic Treaty 1959
Lecture 4 – Ramsar Convention 1971, World Heritage Convention 1972 & CITES 1973
Lecture 5 – MARPOL 73/78
Lecture 5 – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982
Lecture 7 – Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 1985
Lecture 8 – Biodiversity Convention 1992
Lecture 9 – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992
Lecture 10 – Kyoto Protocol 1997
Lecture 11 – UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015 & Paris Agreement 2015
Lecture 12 – Course review & the future

Feedback on previous courses

“Great course. The presenter had a great understanding of the content and was clearly passionate about the content which made the course more interesting. It was very well structured which made the content easier to learn.” (2014 external student in ENVM7124)

You can read the full postgraduate (ENVM7124) student evaluations of the 2014 course here: