Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resources Law
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.
in the HTML view of the content editor, add your iframe embed code inside the class="flex-video widescreen" area
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.
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.
- Professor John Chandler is conducting a research project on intergenerational equity examining how the interests of future generations are treated in Australia’s offshore petroleum legislation. He has recently made a submission on intergenerational equity to the review being undertaken of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
- Professor Alex Gardner conducted the research project Mapping the Regulatory Framework of Mine Closure (Foundational Project 1.3) with the Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies, from March 2021 – June 2022. The project report and accompanying three case studies present an open and accessible description of the current Australian regulatory frameworks (law and policy) in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia for mine closure, including rehabilitation and repurposing through to relinquishment of mine production tenure and management of residual risks to the environment and community. The project report maps and compares these three jurisdictions regulation of mine closure and recommends future research to identify leading regulatory practice and potential reforms to achieve regulatory harmonisation within jurisdictions and nationally.
- Associate Professor Ian Murray is conducting a research project on Native Title benefits management structures, examining how trusts and Indigenous corporations operate to manage and distribute income from mining projects. Ian also has an on-going research interest in the extent to which intergenerational equity principles inform and explain legal regimes.
- Professor Erika Techera is undertaking several international and comparative environmental law projects in the Indian Ocean region, focusing on supporting the blue economy, addressing marine plastic pollution, conserving vulnerable marine species and protecting critical ocean habitats.
- Professor Camilla Andersen
- Professor John Chandler (Centre Director)
- Jared Clements (Associate Director)
- Dr Dominic Dagbanja
- Joe Fardin
- Professor Alex Gardner (Chair of Research Committee)
- Associate Professor David Hodgkinson (Centre Co-Director and Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee)
- Dr Ian Murray (Chair of Community and Engagement Committee)
- Professor Natalie Skead
- Professor Erika Techera
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
Developing offshore petroleum to meet socio-economic objectives
Read Professor John Chandler's article online: 'Developing offshore petroleum to meet socio-economic objectives: Lessons from Australia, Norway and the United Kingdom'.Read more
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.Read more
Launch of Research Monograph: Co-designing Indigenous Benefits Management Structures (BMSs)
In August, the UWA research team of Ian Murray, Joe Fardin and James O’Hara, as advised by Donella Raye, launched their findings from a three year research project that explores the structure, operation and purposes of BMSs, examines key issues in implementation and outlines guidelines for best practice in design.Read more
Illegal fishing and Australian security
Given the links between illegal fishing and other security challenges – such as drug, weapons and human trafficking – Professor Erika Techera, together with Professor Sarah Percy (UQ) and Dr Jade Lindley (UWA) argue that illegal fishing should be recognised as an existential security threat challenge.Read more
In the attached article published in 2020 Professor John Chandler explores options for the reform of Australia's mining and petroleum laws.
- Public duties on the disposal of Australia’s non-renewable resources: The case for regulatory reform
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.
Professor John Chandler
(+61 8) 6488 firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Professor David Hodgkinson
(+61 8) 6488 email@example.com