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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the structure and substance of environmental law in Australia. It begins with a discussion of how powers are distributed in environmental governance in Australia, taking into account the law’s constitutional basis, and more specifically the division of legislative capacity between the states and the Commonwealth, as well as the relationship between Commonwealth and state legislation in practice. It then considers environmental protection, with a focus on protection from pollution and harm, conservation of environmental values, and the emergence of a complex system to facilitate ecologically sustainable development. It also analyses the implementation framework for Australian environmental law, emphasizing the importance of credible information and analysis in making decisions about the future use of the environment and about past actions impacting on it. Finally, it explores the nature of sanctions and remedies, including compliance with liability rules and decision-making rules as well as the nature of environmental litigation.

Keywords: comparative environmental law, pollution, sustainable development, statehood, jurisdiction of states, organs of states

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