Regulatory & Environment

The Regulatory & Environment practice group specialises in advising and representing agencies in relation to:

  • regulatory compliance, including in the context of planning and environment
  • regulatory prosecutions
  • complex legal issues in the regulatory context, including prosecutorial duties and accusatorial principles
  • statutory interpretation advice in the environment and natural resources context
  • criminal law, including law enforcement powers, evidence and procedure.

The team has expertise in complex prosecutions, including those requiring expert evidence addressing liability and/or harm.

We offer clients a range of options for conducting oral advocacy in regulatory prosecutions. The team includes solicitors with advocacy expertise, specialised in-house solicitor advocates and briefing counsel.

Examples of our work for clients

  • Representing the prosecutor in Local Court and Land and Environment Court prosecutions for various offences under the Water Management Act 2000, including carrying out works and taking water without or contrary to the requisite approvals.
  • Representing the prosecutor for offences under the Fisheries Management Act 1994, including offences raising s. 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).
  • Representing the prosecutor in prosecutions against child centre operators for offences concerning risks to the safety of children under the Children (Education and Care Services) National Law (NSW).
  • Representing the prosecutor in election funding and other electoral prosecutions on behalf of the NSW Electoral Commission.
  • Advising agencies on the compliance requirements for infrastructure dewatering activities under the Water Management Act 2000.


Recent publications

A FINDING OF GUILT ONLY: SECTION 10(1)(A) DISMISSALS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL OFFENCES (INSIGHT) Read online

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Authors:  Sarah-jane Morris, Natalie Czapski, Amelia Cook

Publication date: 27 April 2021


LETTING GO OF BAD BLOOD?ASSESSING PROBATIVE VALUE UNDER S. 138, EVIDENCE ACT
R V RILEY [2020] NSWCCA 283 (INSIGHT) Read online

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Authors:  Sarah-jane Morris, Katrina Frearson, Luke Teo

Publication date: 8 March 2021


MIND YOUR MENS REA! WHEN IS STATE OF MIND RELEVANT IN CRIMES OF STRICT LIABILITY?
(CHAHOUD V PENRITH CITY COUNCIL [2020] NSWLEC 167) (INSIGHT) – Read online 
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Authors:  Sarah-jane Morris, Gillian Buchan, Katrina Frearson

Publication date: 18 December 2020

THROUGH MUDDY WATERS: CLARITY ON THE QUESTION OF DUPLICITY IN CHARGING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL OFFENCES (KIANGATHA HOLDINGS PTY LTD V WATER NSW [2020] NSWCCA 263) (INSIGHT) – Read online 
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Authors:  Sarah-jane Morris, Kathryn McCallum, Natalie Czapski

Publication date: 26 October 2020

YOU CAN'T ASK THAT! SUBMITTING QUESTIONS OF LAW TO THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL UNDER S.5AE OF THE CRIMINAL APPEAL ACT 1912 (ORR V COBAR MANAGEMENT PTY LIMITED [2020] NSWCCA 220) (INSIGHT) – Read online 
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Authors:  Sarah-jane Morris, Sarah Ienna, Nicholas Geason

Publication date: 7 September 2020

"I DID IT, BUT...": A PROSECUTOR'S OBLIGATION TO TENDER MIXED STATEMENTS (NGUYEN V THE QUEEN [2020] HCA 23) – Read online 
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Author:  Sarah-jane Morris

Publication date: 3 July 2020