Degree Name

Master of Laws (Hons.)


Centre for Natural Resources Law and Policy


Environmental controversies are by their nature difficult to resolve satisfactorily dealing as they do with the potentially divisive issues. At one extreme, these can be issues of land use and planning, pollution, conservation and resource management. Such issues are of immediate and personal concern to the parties involved. At the other extreme, they can involve conflicting and polarised ideologies, strong philosophical differences and conflicting claims to represent the public interest. In addition such controversies can involve political considerations on a local or national level. The use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods have been suggested in the literature as an effective mechanism for the resolution of such controversies. This study seeks to examine the effectiveness of these methods to resolve environmental controveries. The research is based upon two case studies of the use of ADR methods in resolving environmental controversies of widely divergent types. In order to facilitate the research a method of classifying environmental controversies was developed.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.