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Environmental and Natural Resources Law Research Unit (ENREL)

The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Research Unit brings together a diverse range of scholars working on issues of law and policy relating to the environment, land use planning, heritage protection, human rights, sustainability, climate change, and energy and natural resources.

The Environmental Law and Policy Research Unit provides independent perspectives on law and policy issues relating to the environment, land use planning, heritage protection, human rights, sustainability, climate change, and energy and natural resources. The Research Unit is committed to active community engagement and hosts public seminars, workshops and conferences related to our areas of expertise. We draw on the rich background of our experts to develop innovative scholarship, analyse and critique existing and prospective law and policy, and contribute to debate by formulating and promoting law reform initiatives.


In line with the University’s vision to create high-impact research while delivering economic and social benefit, the Research Unit’s objectives are to:

  • address global environmental and sustainability challenges, including the impacts of environmental change and the key global challenges identified in the University’s Research Strategic Plan (such as biodiversity conservation, climate change, renewable energy; food and water security);
  • provide a South Australian perspective on matters related to national environmental, energy and natural resources law and policy;
  • contribute to government and parliamentary inquiries; 
  • collaborate with national and international experts and scholars on matters of law and policy related to international law, climate change, energy, the development and use of natural resources, and the global environment;
  • foster interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue aimed at developing novel solutions to environmental and sustainability challenges;
  • support the work of young and emerging scholars, including through the supervision of research students;
  • facilitate and host workshops and conferences within our areas of expertise; and
  • promote community understanding and participation in legal and policy debates.

Most recent publications

  • Paul Leadbeter, “Community Engagement Charters: South Australia’s Proposal to Change the Approach to Community Involvement in Land-use Planning” (2017) 34 Environment and Planning Law Journal 436.
  • Manuel Solis, “Legal Perspectives on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Energy Access in the Philippines” (2018) 62-3 Ateneo Law Journal 669.
  • Alex Wawryk, "Legal Framework to Develop Offshore Wind in Australia" in Anton Ming-Zhi Gao and Chien-Te Fan (eds), The Development of a Comprehensive Legal Framework for the Promotion of Offshore Wind Power (Kluwer Law International, 2017) 163-190.

Key contacts

Dr Alex Wawryk (Co-director)

Mr Paul Leadbeter (Co-director)


HDR students

Julie Copley, PhD Candidate (supervisors Peter Burdon and Manuel Solis).

Claire Marie Williams, PhD candidate, Environmental Law: Ocean/Climate Science (supervisors Peter Burdon and Paul Babie).

Geoffrey William George Leane, PhD candidate, International Law, International Relations and Climate Change (supervisors Peter Burdon, Michelle Lim and Nengye Liu)

Rev Jana Norman, PhD candidate, Replacing the Anthropocentric Legal Subject with an Ecocentric Legal Subject as a Means of Securing the Health and Future Flourishing of the Whole Community Life on Earth (supervisors Peter Burdon and Paul Babie).

Kamoru Lawal, LL.M candidate, The Role of Legislation in Ensuring Sustainable Energy for Nigeria (supervisors Alex Wawryk and Manual Solis)