Dr Nicola Swayne
This person does not currently hold a position at QUT.
BiographyDr Nicola Swayne (previously known as Dr Nicola Durrant) is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law. Nicola has recently returned to the Faculty after a 2 year absence for parental leave. Nicola's research interests lie in Environmental and Planning Law including national and international environmental law. Nicola's particular area of interest lies in the legal issues associated with:
- climate change including carbon trading, renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives,
- biological sequestration and carbon offsets,
- geological sequestration (carbon capture and storage), and
- energy and resources (including coal seam gas and offshore oil pollution).
Nicola completed a specialised environmental law degree at Griffith University (BSc (Env)/LLB (IIA Hons)) before practising as a solicitor in environmental and planning law at Blake Dawson Lawyers, Sydney from 2002. In 2005, Nicola became interested in conducting transdisciplinary research into the legal issues in addressing climate change and commenced a full-time Doctor of Philosophy (Law) at QUT with the scholarship support from the Faculty of Law and ISR. Nicola’s thesis titled ‘The Role of Law in Responding to Climate Change: Emerging Regulatory, Liability and Market Approaches’, was submitted within three years and passed by two international examiners. In 2009, Dr. Durrant was awarded a QUT Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for ‘Outstanding contribution to [her] chosen discipline and the standard of excellence demonstrated in postgraduate research practice’. Nicola joined the Faculty of Law as a full-time Associate Lecturer in July 2008. In early 2009 Nicola was awarded a three year fellowship as a QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. During this 3 year fellowship, Nicola continued her research into the legal issues relating to the international climate change convention, carbon trading, biological sequestration and geological sequestration while being based at the QUT Institute for Sustainable Resources (as it was then known). Nicola's A1 book (based on her PhD thesis) is titled Legal Responses to Climate Change and was published by Federation Press in November 2010 (author name Dr Nicola Durrant). This book addresses the legal issues in establishing an effective legal framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. In particular, this book considers:
- the international climate change regime including the duty to reduce emissions, the use of carbon trading, sequestration and other emissions reduction projects.
- the Australian domestic response including the legal issues in establishing an effective carbon trading scheme and renewable energy scheme for Australia and measures to promote energy efficiency.
- the legal issues in establishing schemes for the promotion and recognition of carbon credits in biological sequestration (forests, vegetation and soils) and geological sequestration projects (carbon capture and storage).
- the application of State and Commonwealth environmental and planning law regimes to the environmental assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from major projects and regulation of potential environmental harm. The role of law in promoting adaptation to the impacts of climate change is also addressed.
- the role of the common law in distributing liability for climate change harm including considering of the principles of negligence and nuisance suits against public/private entities. Potential liabilities of professionals and CEOs for failing to properly take into account the likely impacts of climate change are also discussed.
For more information see: http://www.federationpress.com.au/bookstore/book.asp?isbn=9781862878082 Nicola was an early career researcher on the recent QUT ARC Discovery Grant ‘An Integrated Legal Regime for a Sustainable Carbon Cycle’ with CIs Professors Sharon Christensen, Douglas Fisher, Bill Duncan (QUT Faculty of Law) and A/Prof Pam O’Connor (Monash). This project investigated the legal treatment of carbon throughout the ‘carbon cycle’ from mineral exploitation and energy production through to biological sequestration, geological sequestration and carbon trading (2010-2012).
carbon rights, carbon trading, climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation, environmental law, international law, planning law, renewable energy, sequestration projects
Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008
- Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology)
Professional memberships and associations
- International Conservation Union (IUCN) Commission on Environmental Law (by invitation) (2007-present)
- Law Society of Queensland (2005 – 2010)
- National Environmental Law Association (2005 – 2012)
- Alliance for Law, Governance and the Environment (co-founder) (2007-Present)
- Global Governance Project (Glogov) (2008- Present)
- Environmental Law Roundtable of Australia and New Zealand Associate (2007-2012)
- Golden Key International Honour Society (by invitation) (1998 – Present)
- LWB136 Contracts A
- Editor - Queensland Environment Practice Reporter
- Federal co-editor - National Environmental Law Review
Submissions to Government Task Forces Nicola Durrant, ‘Submission in Response to the Prime Minister’s Task Group on Emissions Trading Issues Paper’ (2007).
- Swayne N, Phillips A, (2012) Legal liability for carbon capture and storage in Australia: Where should the losses fall?, Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 29 (3) p189
- Swayne N, (2012) Regulating coal seam gas in Queensland: Lessons in an adaptive environmental management approach?, Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 29 (2) p163
- Durrant N, (2011) Legal issues in carbon farming: Biosequestration, carbon pricing, and carbon rights, Climate Law, 2 (4) p515
- Christensen S, Durrant N, O'Connor P, Phillips A, (2011) Regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal mining activities in the context of climate change, Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 28 (6) p381
- Durrant N, (2010) Legal Responses to Climate Change, Federation Press
- Durrant N, (2010) Carbon capture and storage laws in Australia: project facilitation or a precautionary approach?, Environmental Liability, 18 (4) p148
- Durrant N, (2010) The Australian response to climate change: business as usual or legal innovation?, Environmental Law and Management, 22 (3) p105
- Durrant N, (2009) Addressing climate liabilities in common transactional documents. In WGumley&TDaya-Winterbottom, Climate Change Law: Comparative, Contractual and Regulatory Considerations, Thomson Reuters Lawbooks p139
- Durrant N, (2007) Emissions Trading, Offsets and Other Mitigation Options for the Australian Coal Industry, Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 24 (5) p361
- Durrant N, (2007) Tortious Liability for Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Climate Change, Causation and Public Policy Considerations, QUT Law Review, 7 (2) p403
- An Integrated Legal Regime for a Sustainable Carbon Cycle
- Primary fund type
- CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
- Project ID
- Start year
- Sustainable Development; Property Rights; Natural Resources Law; Climate Change Regulation; Environmental Law