LAW312 Resources Law: Contemporary Issues in Primary Production (16)


This is a capstone subject, which builds upon students’ knowledge of property law, constitutional law, torts and the principles of statutory interpretation. It introduces students to the regulatory framework governing primary production in Australia. It also explores legal matters in the agricultural and mining industries, statutory requirements and issues of contemporary importance. Students evaluate law and policy initiatives, targeting mining and live export. Students investigate and reflect upon collaboration between the mining and resources industry and Indigenous Australians. This subject also introduces students to a diverse range of social justice issues in rural practice, including native title claims and fracking.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 3
Distance*Bathurst Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: LAW312
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLCentre for Law and Justice

Enrolment restrictions

Bachelor of Laws

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a range of legal instruments addressing mining and agricultural activities
  • be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues operating within the rural practice context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities
  • be able to demonstrate an integrated awareness of a complex body of legal principles governing environmental protection and its relationship to the agricultural and mining industries
  • be able to critically analyse case law involving disputes between mining corporations and native title claimants, including reflecting critically upon the potential for the law to be a socially progressive force
  • be able to professionally communicate the interplay of Commonwealth and State legislation in this field
  • be able to interpret and analyse critically legislation, codes of conduct and policy instruments, and identify areas of deficiency in the context of mining and agricultural production
  • be able to explain the role of the New South Wales Land and Environmental Court and other relevant commonwealth and state tribunals
  • be able apply the rules of statutory interpretation to solve hypothetical problems relating to, for example, land access, Indigenous cultural heritage, and environmental responsibilities and obligations
  • be able to use legal research techniques, reasoning and argument to communicate independent views on issues of contemporary importance, including providing an informed assessment of future developments in resources law, in particular, contemporary issues in mining and agriculture


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to primary production in the Australian legal context
  • The legislative framework governing the mining and agricultural industries including commonwealth and state regulatory bodies
  • Mineral claims, mining licences, crown reservations and royalties
  • Native title and access to land
  • Collaborative potential between the mining and resources industry and Indigenous Australians
  • Mining and coal seam gas exploration (fracking)
  • Environmental issues - control and enforcement
  • NSW Land and Envionment Court
  • A case study: International disputes concerning coal seam and gas mining

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. The 3-day residential school for this subject is compulsory. It will cover the seminar topics relevant to the subject with particular emphasis on relevant case law, precedents and legislation.  


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.