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Report No. 186


New South Wales

In Australia, in the State of New South Wales, the Land and Environmental Court was established by legislation in 1980 under the Land 53and Environment Court Act 1979. (At the same time, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 was also enacted.) It is a superior court of record and is composed of Judges and nine technical and conciliation assessors. Its jurisdiction combines appeal, judicial review and enforcement functions in relation to environmental and planning law. Proceedings can be commenced by anyone.

We shall refer to the provisions of the NSW Act of 1979 in some detail. The broad outlines of that Act, rather than certain details, are important for us. We find that, in certain respects, the classification of various classes of cases and the mode prescribed for filing appeals is quite complicated under the NSW law. We would however be only adopting the broad scheme of the NSW Act.

Under section 7 of the NSW Land and Environment Court Act, 1979 of New South Wales, it is stated that the Court shall consist of the Chief Judge and such other Judges as may be appointed by the Governor. Section 12 contemplates appointment of Commissioners of the Court by the Governor and the qualifications prescribed for them are as follows:

"(a) Special knowledge of and experience in the administration of local government or town planning;

(b) Suitable qualification and experience in town or country planning or environmental planning;

(c) Special knowledge of and experience in environmental science or matters relating to protection of the environment and environmental assessment;

(d) Special knowledge of and experience in the law and practice of land valuation;

(e) Suitable qualifications and experience in architecture, engineering, surveying or building construction;

(f) Special knowledge of and experience in the management of natural resources or the administration and management of Crown lands, lands acquired under the Closer Settlement Acts and other lands of the Crown, or

(g) Suitable knowledge of matters concerning land rights for Aborigines and qualifications and experience suitable for the determination of disputes involving Aborigines, or

(h) Special knowledge of and experience in urban design or heritage."

Proposal to Constitute Environment Courts Back

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