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 expert evidence in the Land and Environment Court 

Secretary, Department of Planning and Environment v Namoi Valley Farms Pty Ltd (No 6) [2022] NSWLEC 62 
Access online
Authors: Claudia Pendlebury, Paris Donnelly, Sarah Braga
Publication date: 3 August 2022

When reading is not enough: admissibility of academic expert evidence

AJ v R [2022] NSWCCA 136  
Access online
Authors: Claudia 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)    
Access online
Authors: Johanna 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
Access online
Authors: Johanna 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
Access online
Authors: Jonathan Vasiliou, Jessica Wardle, Sophie Sauerman 
Publication date:October 2021 

'Clear the site, but...': vicarious liability for actions of an independent contractor 

(Chia v Ku-ring-gai Council [2021] NSWCCA 189) 
Access online 
Authors:Jonathan Vasiliou, Jessica Wardle, Katrina Frearson 
Publication date: 1 October 2021 

A finding of guilt only: Section 10(1)(a) dismissals for environmental offences  

Access online
Download publication
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   
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Download publication
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] NSW LEC 167  
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Download publication
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
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Authors:  Sarah-jane Morris, Kathryn McCallum, Natalie Czapski
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Last updated:

09 Jun 2023

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