Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resources Law

About us

The Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resources Law has a successful research record going back to its establishment within the Law School at The University of Western Australia in 1990.

It was initially established in recognition of the importance of both the resources and the commercial sectors to the Western Australia economy. In recent years the focus and emphasis of the Centre broadened to include a wide range of mining, energy and natural resources law matters.

The research areas of the Centre all have practical elements and this engagement enhances the research of the Centre by ensuring it is relevant and current.

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Our aims

We aim to:

  • promote, encourage and publish research in mining, energy and natural resources law, with collaborative projects being undertaken between the Centre and professional and industry groups.
  • provide a forum for collaboration between the Law School, other areas of the University, industry, government and the legal profession to facilitate research, education and the exchange of ideas and the development of legal principle.
  • organise conferences, seminars and workshops in mining, energy and natural resources law directed to the advancement of understanding and the development of the law and policy that informs legal principle.
  • assist the development of postgraduate and undergraduate courses in mining, energy and natural resources law.

Research themes

Our research is directed at areas important to the natural resource industries of Western Australia, especially mining and energy, and including:

  • Alternative energy
  • Aviation law
  • Climate change
  • Corporate governance
  • Energy law
  • Environmental protection
  • Fishery and marine governance
  • Mining law
  • Native title
  • Oil and gas law
  • Water law

Current research projects

We are currently reviewing how sustainability issues are incorporated within Centre research projects and taught in the Law School curriculum; as well as researching opportunities to increase the participation of students in sustainability initiatives.

Industry engagement

Our staff

PhD opportunities

Academics associated with the Centre are available for supervising topics within environmental law, water law, native title, corporate governance, as well as mining and oil and gas law. Please contact them directly.

News and events


Petroleum Resource Management book launch

The Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resources Law (CMENRL) launched the Centre’s Co-Director Professor John Chandler’s book, Petroleum Resource Management: How Governments Manage Their Offshore Petroleum Resources on Wednesday 13 March 2019 at the Law School. The book was launched by The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, followed by a panel discussion chaired by Professor Richard Bartlett with panel members Professor Erika Techera and Mr Gavin Ryan, General Counsel of PTTEP Australasia. The launch, followed by drinks and conversations in the Law School courtyard, was very well attended and a great success.

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Recent research

In the attached article published in 2020 Professor John Chandler explores options for the reform of Australia's mining and petroleum laws.

Outstanding student papers

This article by JD student Henry Cooney won the AMPLA essay competition in 2020. In this very interesting article he explores the protection of the national interest in petroleum and what kinds of statutory objectives might do that.

Contact us