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

'IN MY EXPERT OPINION': ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE IN THE LAND AND ENVIRONMENT COURT
(SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT V NAMOI VALLEY FARMS PTY LTD (NO 6) [2022] NSWLEC 62)  (INSIGHT) – Access online.
Authors: Claudia Pendlebury, Paris Donnelly, Sarah Braga
Publication date: 3 August 2022

WHEN READING IS NOT ENOUGH: ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT EVIDENCE
(AJ V R [2022] NSWCCA 136)  (INSIGHT) – Access online.
AuthorsClaudia Pendlebury, Paris Donnelly, Alicia D'Arcy
Publication date: 3 August 2022

KNOW YOUR LIMITS: MAXIMUM PENALTIES AND JURISDICTIONAL LIMITS
(PARK V THE QUEEN [2021] HCA 37)  (INSIGHT) – Access online.
AuthorsJohanna Geddes, Paris Donnelly
Publication date: 11 February 2022

TO PUNISH OR TO COMPENSATE: THE ROLE OF COSTS IN SENTENCING 
(SAFEWORK NSW V WILLIAMS TIMBER P/L; & EASY FALL GUTTERING P/L [2021] NSWCCA 233)  (INSIGHT) – Access online.
AuthorsJohanna Geddes, Gillian Buchan, Paris Donnelly
Publication date: 21 December 2021

WHEN SELF-INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE CAN BE USED: THE LIMITS OF THE ACCUSATORIAL PRINCIPLE
(TURNBULL V OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE [2021] NSWCCA 190  (INSIGHT)  Read online
Authors: Jonathan Vasiliou, Jessica Wardle, Sophie Sauerman
Publication date: 1 October 2021

'CLEAR THE SITE, BUT...' VICARIOUS LIABILITY FOR ACTIONS OF AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
(CHIA V KU-RING-GAI COUNCIL [2021] NSWCCA 189) (INSIGHT) – Read online
AuthorsJonathan Vasiliou, Jessica Wardle, Katrina Frearson
Publication date: 1 October 2021

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