Distinguished judge visits UOW Law
The Honourable Justice Terence Sheahan AO, a Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW, visited UOW this week to deliver a guest lecture to law students studying the new elective subject Pollution Law during summer session.
The subject examines pollution laws applicable in NSW, including legal responses to pollutants impacting on climate change at international, Commonwealth and State levels.
Justice Sheahan spoke on the topic ‘A Judge’s Perspective on Sentencing Environmental Offenders’.
Subject Coordinator Sarah Wright, who worked for 8 years as a solicitor with the Legal Services Branch of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, said that the subject provides students with an understanding of the main mechanisms to regulate pollution and challenges students to identify and think critically about areas for improvement.
“How to effectively regulate pollution is a topical issue given recent changes that have been made to the main regulator of pollution in NSW, the Environment Protection Authority, and the challenges that continue to face regulators and the community in relation to climate change” she said.
Pollution law students are currently completing an assignment where they must make submissions in relation to the sentencing of an environmental offender as if they were appearing before the Land and Environment Court.
Dean of Law Professor Warwick Gullett said that UOW Law has always been committed to providing students with opportunities to engage with the legal profession.
“This visit by Justice Sheahan has given students valuable insights into the sentencing process at the Land and Environment Court” he said, noting the landmark significance of the Court.
“The NSW Land and Environment Court was established in 1980 and is the world’s first specialist environmental superior court. It has mixed merits and judicial review role functions in relation to planning and environmental decisions as well as criminal jurisdiction for environmental offences which was the focus of Justice Sheahan’s lecture,” Professor Gullett said.