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Environmental law topics of international interest: the environmantal work of the IBA

Glen McLeod, Chair of the International Bar Association’s Environment Health and Safety Committee The diversity of interests and subject matter covered by environmental law and associated disciplines find expression in the environmental agenda of the International Bar Association (IBA). In this short article I give an overview of some of those subjects, which will be […]

Taylor v City of Kwinana: imposing penalties for planning offences

The recent decision in Taylor v City of Kwinana [2015] WASC 252 (Taylor) demonstrates the wide penalty range that can apply in the sentencing of planning offences. The appellant in Taylor was sentenced in the Magistrates Court for failure to obtain planning approval for the use of his property in Kwinana Beach. The use in question related to the […]

Snapshot on nuisance: an essential ancient law in modern times

What is a nuisance? Nuisance is an area of tort law consisting of private nuisance and public nuisance.  A private nuisance is a tort arising from the substantial interference with the enjoyment of someone’s interest in land.  A public nuisance involves an interference with public rights affecting the public or a broader class of persons […]

Freedom of information or freedom from information

Introduction ‘Much of the work we undertake involves dealing with local and state government departments.  Whether we may, for example, act for a client who lodges a development application, objects to the imposition of infrastructure affecting property rights, or seeks compensation for losses suffered due to a government decision, information is often difficult to come […]

When a Tribunal decision is not reviewable by the Supreme Court

Wallelup Road development Co Pty Ltd v Western Australian Planning Commission [2015] WASCA 104 The Appellant (Wattelup) applied to the first respondent, the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) for approval to subdivide 3 lots of land at Wattleup Road, Hammond Park (Land). The Land is in close proximity to land used by the second respondent, […]

Property rights, the citizen and the state: WA adjusts the balance

The right of citizens to enjoy the economic benefits of property in which they have invested is an emotionally and politically charged subject, with a long history. Into this tricky area of law and policy, the Western Australian Government took a step on 27 November 2014, when it introduced into Parliament a Bill entitled Land Acquisition […]

Climate change law – leadership from the International Bar Association

A significant contribution to thinking on climate change legal issues was recently published by the International Bar Association (IBA): a report entitled Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption[1]. The centre-piece of the Report’s release was a forum on 21 October 2014 at the IBA’s annual conference in Tokyo[2]. The Report contains […]

Reconciling planning and environmental law and policy in the local government context

The relationship between planning and environmental law and policy was reflected on in a paper delivered by Glen on 18 September 2014 at a Local Government Planners’ Association (WA) breakfast. He reviewed the development of environmental law over the last thirty years or so, with a particular emphasis on local government. That period covers most […]

Marsh v Baxer – the genetically modified canola case

The prevention and resolution of land use conflict is a prime objective of town planning and environmental law. Long before these areas of public law developed as discreet disciplines in the twentieth century, the common law had evolved a sophisticated system for resolving private land use conflicts. The recent Western Australian Supreme Court case of Marsh […]

Environmental considerations in State Administrative Tribunal review cases

Decisions of the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) and its predecessor the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal have played an important part in the conceptual development of the role of environmental considerations in town planning, which has had a close complementary relationship with the development of policy by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). The SAT and […]