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LAWS17-806: Energy Law September 2018 [Mixed (Face-to-Face)]

General information

Energy Law is an elective subject in postgraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Law in which undergraduate students may be permitted to enrol.  Students enrolled in this subject will consider the issues, law and policy associated with energy in Australia. Given the current energy mix in Australia, there is a focus on petroleum (oil and gas) and the legal issues associated with the development of these resources. It also considers the downstream energy environment, with an examination of contracts related to downstream energy. Consideration is also given to Australia’s energy security, and the role and importance of renewable energy in Australia’s energy mix.


Academic unit:Faculty of Law
Subject code:LAWS17-806
Subject title:Energy Law
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:September 2018
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:

Mixed (Face-to-Face)

Workload items:
  • Seminar: x3 (Total hours: 18) - Intensive Workshop
  • Directed Online Activity: x3 (Total hours: 6) - Online Modules
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 96) - Recommended Study Hours


Prescribed resources:
  • Hunter, Tina and Chandler, John (2013). Petroleum Law in Australia. Lexis Nexis
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.

Assumed Prior Learning (or equivalent):

Restrictions: ? This subject is not available to
  • Students on US Financial Aid
  • Students on a Student Visa who have already completed one third (33%) of their total program online.

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of: a) fundamental concepts in relation to energy; b) different types of regulation and the role regulation plays in energy law; c) legal aspects of petroleum licences; d) the regulation of onshore and offshore petroleum operations; e) regulation and development of conventional and unconventional petroleum activities in Australia; f) Australia's energy security paradigm and the role of Australian gas markets; g) renewable energy law and policy in Australia, and the role of renewables in Australia's energy paradigm; h) the future of energy in Australia, icluding law and policy; and i) legal principles and method.
  2. Demonstrate the reasoning, research and communication skills to: a) engage critically with historical and current debates in philosophy of law; b) understand, analyse and critique philosophical arguments relevant to law; and c) understand, analyse and critique appeals to legal and ethical theories in legal advocacy and practice.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply the above knowledge and skills: a) with creativity and initiative to new situations; b) with high level personal autonomy and accountability; and c) with an awareness of ethical responsibilities and context.
  4. Demonstrate: a) knowledge of principles and methods of legal research and critical reasoning; b) the reasoning and communication skills to engage in effective legal research and writing on theoretical topics; and c) the ability to plan and execute a substantial research based project.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Online Quiz 6 online modules 30% Ongoing 1, 2, 3.
Written Report 7000 words research report - Assessment of an energy issue 70% In Consultation 1, 2, 3, 4.

Pass requirement

Completion of all online tests

  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Additional subject information

IMPORTANT: Successful completion of this law elective cannot be credited towards future postgraduate studies.

Subject curriculum

Introduction to energy law and policy: the concept of energy, the energy value chain, importance of energy, energy law as a discipline, concepts in energy law.

Theories of regulation - principle/objective based regulation vs prescriptive/rule-based regulation; concepts in regulation (eg. self-regulation, hands off regulation, industry regulation), and application of these concepts to energy law and regulation.

Provides an introduction and overview to the international and national legal regime related to the granting of access to petroleum resources. Discuss the main upstream petroleum contract, the production sharing contract (PSC) as well as the licensing and concession system, which is utilised in Australia. Also considers the issue of joint venture agreements.

Identifies and discusses the main concepts in downstream energy contracts, including: gas sales agreements, gas transport agreements, and loan-term LNG contracts. Also considers the use of Model Contracts (both AMPLA and AIPN)

Critically analyses the value and importance of renewable energy, and its importance in the energy balance in Australia, in light of Australia’s energy ‘papers’ (Green Paper and White Paper)

This final topic brings the course full circle to consider where energy has come from in Australia, the importance of energy today, the challenges it faces, and most importantly, what the future holds. It will examine three scenarios: a hydrocarbon-based future, a mixed hydrocarbon/low carbon future, and a low carbon future only (renewables and nuclear).

Consideration of the legal nature of a licence, and the legal culture reasoning for such characteristics. In this interactive session, participants will consider whether a licence is a property right, a mere administrative right or a combination for both. It will require a consideration of legal concepts such as the concept of property, which will have been a feature of online modules 1 and 3.

This session considers the fundamental constitutional arrangements for the regulation of onshore and offshore petroleum activities in Australia. It considers the Petroleum Agreement of 1967, the Sea and Submerged Lands Case, the Offshore Constitutional Settlement, and the current framework that was implemented in the wake of Montana and Macondo offshore well blowouts.It will also consider the practical nature of regulation of petroleum operations, particularly health, safety and environment.

Australia’s wealth of unconventional resources will be examined, and issues relating to the access and regulation of these resources, as well as critical financial considerations will be considered. Both shale gas and coal seam gas will be discussed, and the legal issues pertaining to the regulation of access and extraction will be considered in this session.

This session will be presented by a practicing lawyer from one of Queensland’s top native title firms. It will consider the hurdles that resource companies face in the development of onshore petroleum resources, namely Land Access and Native Title. Considering current issues and trends, this session will entail a discussion of the legal frameworks pertaining to these critical areas, and how the law has been able to adapt and develop in response to legal challenges.

Participants will undertake a practical problem based on real life petroleum legal scenarios. Working in groups of 4-6, participants will be required to identify the legal issues pertaining to the scenario, and then provide legal solutions to the client. Each group will then report their findings and advice. The practical activities will comprise a mix of onshore and offshore scenarios, tailored to the experiences and learning requirements of the cohort.

Australia has one of the most complex gas markets in the world, comprising both onshore and offshore, pipeline and Shipping. This session shifts the energy focus to gas, and the markets existing as a consequence of the uniquely Australian challenges and limitation.

Despite Australia’s abundant energy resources, particularly gas, some parts of Australia experiences challenges in relation to energy security. Building on session 6, this session will consider the fundamental principles related to energy security, and the unique challenges that Australia faces in relation to energy security in the near, medium and long-term.

Building on sessions 6 and 7, this session will consider the use and application of renewable energy in ensuring Australia’s energy security, particularly in light of the South Australian renewable energy crisis. This session will be facilitated by renewable energy industry experts.

Approved on: Sep 19, 2018. Edition: 1.2