Dr James Prest

Lecturer
BA(Hons)(Adel.); LLB( Hons 1) (ANU); GDLP (ANU); PhD (Env. Law) (Wollong.); Barrister and Solicitor (ACT)
+61 2 6125 1689
Room 262

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Biography

Dr Prest is a lecturer in law specialising in environmental law with interests in administrative law and litigation and is a Member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. He is currently publishing papers on renewable energy law (particularly on feed-in tariffs and tradeable RE certificates law); and major projects legislation. His research interests are in the areas of renewable energy law; climate change law; special projects legislation; biodiversity law; and environmental offences.

After graduating from the University of Adelaide and the ANU and gaining admission to practise in the Supreme Court of the ACT in 1995 he worked for several years as a legal policy officer at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has also held positions as a Research Officer at the Law and Bills Digest Group of the Parliamentary Library in Canberra and as an adviser at Parliament House. He has practiced as a solicitor with Corrs Chambers Westgarth; and the Legal Aid Office in Canberra as well as holding the position of Principal Solicitor with the Environmental Defender's Office ACT Inc. between October 2004 and December 2006.  In January 2004 he submitted a PhD thesis in law at the Centre for Natural Resources Law and Policy; Faculty of Law; University of Wollongong; under the supervision of Professor David Farrier; author of the NSW Environmental Law Handbook.

His current research focus is on energy and climate change law.

 

Appointments

  • Member; Commission on Environmental Law; International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Member, ANU Energy Change Institute
  • Member, Australian Institute of Energy
  • Member, Australian Network for Japanese Law
  • Member, ANU Japan Institute

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Recent news

18
Nov
2016
Yallourn Power Station - Victoria, Australia

While the Australian government congratulates itself on ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change, it is dragging its feet on a less well known, but very important, international treaty on air pollution - the UN's Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Research projects & collaborations

  • (2016-7) Obstacles and Opportunities for Solar Energy in Indonesia, Australia Indonesia Centre Energy Cluster (with Dr. Andri Wibisana of Universitas Indonesia, Fakultas Hukum), and Dr. Laode Syarif, Universitas Hasanuddin, Makassar)

  • (2015) Geothermal energy law in Indonesia (Hukum energi panas bumi di Indonesia), Australia Indonesia Centre Energy Cluster (with Dr. Andri Wibisana of Universitas Indonesia, Fakultas Hukum), and Dr. Laode Syarif, Universitas Hasanuddin, Makassar)

  • (2015 -2016) “‘A comparative review of Spanish and Australian Law and Policy for Concentrating Solar Thermal Electricity Generation’, Project Leader: Prest J (ANU Law); Collaborators: Pye, J., (ANU Solar Thermal), Zapata, J. (ANU Solar Thermal), Santiago Alonso Arias (Torresol Energy), Pablo del Río González, Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC, Madrid), Dr. F. Javier Sanz Larruga (Facultad de Dereito, Univ. de A Coruna, Spain).

Grants

  • (2016-7-8) Principal Investigator on Work Package #3 ‘Regulatory and Policy transformation for Microgrid enablement’, $60,000, within Project SRP#2 ‘Optimal Microgrid Design and Operation' (led by principal investigator Dr Hassan Hijazi), funded by Australia-Indonesia Centre (total funding of this Strategic Work Package #2 is $440,000) . 

  • (2014-2015) Principal Investigator on “Overcoming Legal and Governance Barriers to Clean Energy in Indonesia and Australia”, $16,413, Australia Indonesia Centre (with Dr. Andri Wibisana of Universitas Indonesia, Fakultas Hukum), and Dr Laode Syarif, Universitas Hasanuddin, Makassar.

    (2013) “Reforming National Electricity Law in a Clean Energy Era”, ANU College of Law Small Grants scheme, Funds awarded: $3831.00.

      (2010) “Legal Incentives & Barriers to Renewable Energy Development”, ANU College of Law General Scheme Awarded: 17/08/2010, Report filed: 9.11.11., Funds awarded: $4000.00

     (2009) Vice Chancellor’s ANU Travel Grant: Attendance at UN Climate Conference Negotiations (Bonn, Copenhagen COP 15) plus comparative international research interviews, Funds awarded: $9000. Funded travel in June 2009, December 2009. (Awarded 23.4.09)

Consultancies

I am available to give assistance on a consulting basis to international organisations, corporations, NGOs, and multilateral institutions on a range of topics within energy law, climate law and environmental law. I am interested in particular in opportunities in the Asian and Pacific regions in the field of renewable energy law and policy.

A sample of past assistance in Australia that I have given includes the following:

  • (2012) Advice to ACT Legislative Assembly members regarding National Energy Retail Law (ACT) Bill 2012 and Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement Bill 2012 (oral and by email).

     
  • (2011) Advice to NSW Legislative Council members regarding proposed amendments to NSW FIT law and retrospective application.

     
  • (2011) Advice to ACT Legislative Assembly members regarding solar access legislation (in writing, in person and by telephone) and Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Amendment Bill 2011.

     
  • (2011) Advice to ACT Legislative Assembly members regarding proposed amendments to planning law for renewable energy projects (in person, by telephone and by email), plus advice on Planning and Development (Climate Change Targets) Amendment Bill 2011.

     
  • (2011-2010) Advice to WA MPs re: Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFiT WA) Bill 2010.

     
  • (2010) Advice to ACT Legislative Assembly members on (i) Planning and Development (Environmental Impact Statements) Amendment Bill 2010, (ii) Comments on ACT Planning Draft Variations 301 and 303, (iii) advice on climate change amendments to planning legislation, (iv) advice on solar access legislation.

     
  • (2009) advice to ACT Legislative Assembly members on (i) Building (Energy Efficient Hot Water Systems) Legislation Amendment Bill (ii) solar access legislation proposals.

     
  • (2008) Consulted by the ACT Government’s Director of Energy Projects regarding implementation of the ACT Electricity Feed-In (Renewable Energy Premium) Act 2008.

     
  • (2008) Consultations with ACT Members of Legislative Assembly regarding amendments to Electricity Feed-In (Renewable Energy Premium) Bill 2008, (mid 2008), including drafting of amendments.

Book chapters

  • (2017) “Policy Frameworks And Institutions For The Decarbonisation Of The Electricity Sector”, with Sue, K., Smith, M. in Smith, Hussey, Lindesay, Raupach, Baldwin (eds.), Low Carbon, Resilient and Prosperous Economies, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
  • (2015) "Sustainability [Energy and Climate Law in the ACT]" ch.11 in Taylor, C. (ed.) ACT Environmental Law Handbook, publisher:  Softlaw Community Projects Pty Ltd and Environmental Defender's Office ACT., 3rd edition, 221-248. 
  • 2015) "Forests and Plantations Law", in Farrier, D. and Stein, P. (eds) The Environmental Law Handbook, Thomson Reuters, 6th edition, (forthcoming).
  • (2011) “Forests law”, in Farrier, D. and Stein, P. (eds) The Environmental Law Handbook, Thomson Reuters, 5th edition, 533-571. 
  • (2010) “The Australian Capital Territory and the Gungahlin Drive Expressway”, in Bonyhady, T. and  Macintosh, A. (eds.) Mills, Mines and Other Controversies: The Environmental Assessment of Major Projects, Federation Press at 207-223.
  • (2009) “Sustainability and the Law: Climate Change, Energy and Urban Issues”, ACT Environmental Law Handbook, A. Rawson, ed., Environmental Defender’s Office (ACT) Inc., pp.151-165
  • (2009) “A Dangerous Obsession with Least Cost? Climate Change, Renewable Energy Law and Emissions Trading” in Gumley, W. & Daya-Winterbottom, T. (eds.) Climate Change Law: Comparative, Contractual & Regulatory Considerations, Thomson Reuters, 179-205.
  • (2008) “Australia” in Kormos, C. (ed) A Handbook on International Wilderness Law and Policy, Fulcrum Press, Golden, Colorado, at pp.56-89.
  • (2007) "The Bald Hills Wind Farm Debacle", in Bonyhady, T. and Christoff, P. (eds.) Climate Law in Australia, Federation Press at 230-261.
  • (2006) "Forestry Law" in Farrier, D. and Stein, P. (eds.) The Environmental Law Handbook: NSW, 4th edition, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing, Sydney, 440-466.
  • (2004) "The Forgotten Forests: The Regulation of Forestry on Private Land in NSW 1997-2002" in Lunney, D. (ed.) Conservation of Australia's Forest Fauna , 2nd edition, Royal Zoological Society NSW, Mosman, at 297 - 330.  
  • (2001) "Land Clearing Approval Rates in NSW" in Williams, J. (ed.) Biodiversity Theme Report: Australia State of the Environment Report 2001, CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, at 42-43.
  • (1999) "Marine Protected Areas" [the Law of], (Book Chapter in Title 14.7 "Biodiversity Protection", of Laws of Australia, Law Book Company, Chapter 3, Part B.

Refereed journal articles

  • (2012) "The Future of Feed-in Tariffs: Capacity Caps, Scheme Closures and Looming Grid Parity",  1/2012, Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review (Lexxion, Berlin), 25-41.
  • (2011)  "Summary: Law and Policy to Advance Renewable Energy - A Comparative Colloquium" 2(2) Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 171-177.
  • (2011) “Editorial: Renewable Energy Law after Fukushima”, Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 2/2011: pp. 89-90.
  • (2007) “Council Officer Prosecuted for Biodiversity Offences: Garrett v. Freeman”, 13(1) Local Government Law Journal 1-11.  (Extended casenote) 
  • (2000) “Implementation of Threatened Species Law by Local Government in NSW” 17(6) Environmental and Planning Law Journal 584-601 (50%, 50% Andrew Kelly). (Cited by 3 works)
  • (1993) “Environmental Audit as a Regulatory Strategy: Prospects and Reform” 15(4) Sydney Law Review 492-526 (40%, 60% by Gunningham, Neil) (cited by 16 works).

Conference papers & presentations

 

  • (2016) “Regulatory and policy transformation for microgrid enablement”, Australia Indonesia Centre Energy Cluster Workshop, Presentation at Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, 24 August 2016.
  • (2016) ‘Legal and Regulatory Implications of Energy Storage Technologies’ to Workshop:  Regulating The Energy Transition: Issues At The Intersection Of Energy And Environmental Law, 1 July 2016, All Souls College, University of Oxford.
  • (2016) 'Litigation over the Solar Energy Revolution', paper to the 14th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, University of Oslo, Norway, 22 June 2016.
  • (2014) 'Competition law perspectives on attainment of renewable energy targets', to Energy Market Regulation stream of 12th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, 2 July 2014, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain.
  • (2014) 'Regulating Emissions from the Electricity Generation Sector: A Comparative Review', 12th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain.
  • (2013), “Australia and Energy and Climate Change Law: Contradictions and Challenges in the Asian region”, Seminar by invitation to Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, at Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore , 7 November 2013.
  • (2012) "Australian Energy Governance, Fossil Energy Exports and International Responsibility to Address Dangerous Climate Change: A review of competing legal frameworks for Clean Energy in the Asia Pacific Region", forthcoming presentation to Workshop session: Meeting Asia's Energy Needs in the 21st Century - Energy Law session, 25th LawAsia Conference, 18-21 November 2012, Bali, Indonesia 
  • (2010) “Fast Tracking Versus Public Participation? Planning Law for Wind Energy Development: Weighing Global Benefits Against Local Impacts”  Yale 2nd UNITAR/Yale 2010 Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy Strengthening Institutions to Address Climate Change and Advance a Green Economy, Law School, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 17-19 September 2010.
  • (2010) “Australian Vegetation and Biodiversity Law – Ignoring Climate Change Impacts in a Context of Regulatory Flexibility, Offsetting and Fast Tracking”, paper presented to 8th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, University of Ghent, Belguim, 14-17 September 2010, paper presented on 16 September to Panel 36.
  • (2009) “Planning Law for Renewable Energy Development: Fast Tracking or Public Participation? Weighing Global Benefits Against Local Impacts” IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Academy of Environmental Law, 7th Annual Colloquium, Wuhan, China, 1-7th November, (Competitive Peer Reviewed Application Process).
  • (2009) “Trading Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis? delivered 20.2.2009 to Osaka Graduate School of Law and Osaka International School of Public Policy, Osaka University, Osaka (by invitation).
  • (2008) "Legislating to Promote Renewable Energy Deployment - a Comparative Review of Law & Policy in Australia and Japan", paper presented to 6th Annual Conference of Australian Network for Japanese Law, School of Law, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, 16th February 2008. 
  • (2008) “A comparative review of legal mechanisms for renewable energy development”, paper to Lexis Nexis Environmental and Climate Change Legal Symposium, Wellington, New Zealand, 2-3 April 2008.

Commissioned reports

  •  

Government submissions

  • (2016) Submission to Council of Australian Governments, Consumer Protection for Behind the Meter Electricity Supply, August, with Energy Change Institute (ANU) collaborators, on behalf of ECI.
  • (2015) Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, 20pp., plus attachments, June, Submission No.462. Video of my evidence is available here, from minute 41:00 to 1.41.00
  • (2011) Submission to the Expert Review Panel, Review of Future Directions for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, December, 16pp. (with Claude Walker).
  • (2011) Submission to Senate Community Affairs References Committee - Inquiry into the Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms, February 2011
  • (2010) Senate Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee – National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010, 12 Apr 2010 (PDF 458KB)
  • (2008) Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Feed-In Tariff) Bill 2008, 29 August 2008

Committees

 ANU Committees

  • Member of Executive Committee, ANU Energy Change Institute (2014-)

Case notes & book reviews

  •  

Other

  • Referee in blind peer review process for Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review (Lexxion VmbH)  Melbourne University Law Review, Federal Law Review, University of Tasmania Law Review, Local Government Law Journal, Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, University of NSW Law Journal, Canberra Law Review, Melbourne Journal of International Law, Sydney Law Review, Climate Law (IOS Press).

Currently supervising

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: Principles of Quality in Environmental Regulation: Powers, Remedies and Sanctions
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: Marine Governance in an Industrialised Ocean: a case study of the emerging marine renewable energy industry

PhD supervision

Supervision availability

I am available to supervise students with proposed research projects in the fields of climate law, energy law, and environmental law.

 

SJD supervision

Supervision availability

I am available to supervise students with proposed research projects in the fields of climate law, energy law, and environmental law.

 

Honours thesis supervision

  • (2015, Semester 2), Thomas Jenkins, ‘An examination of the network connection and access regime of the National Electricity Rules in light of national trends toward renewable and decentralised electricity generation’
  • (2015, Jan-June), Markus Klaiber, "The Law and Policy of Energy Storage: Experiences in Germany and California, and the Case for Government Intervention in Australia"
  • (2014, July-November) Nicholas Bouvier, "A Nuclear Liability Framework for Australia"
  • (2013) Lee Usher Clarke “Reform of Australian Legal Framework to Encourage Electricity Generation from Solar Thermal Technologies”, Semester Two.
  • Alexandra Auhl (2012) “Examining the Effect of Legal Framework on Activity in the Community Renewable Energy Projects Sector”, Semester Two.
  • Charlotte Hanson (2011) – “Regulating the Known Unknowns: How Environmental Uncertainty is Addressed in the Regulation of the Coal Seam Gas Industry in Queensland and New South Wales” (Sem 2, 2011)
  • Byron Fay (2011) – Environmental Clinical Education (“Beckoning the age of the public interest environmental law sector: The key to public enforcement of environmental standards in NSW”, Sem1, 2011)
  • Claude Walker (2011) – “The Legal Framework for Geothermal Energy: Stimulating Development through Law and Law Reform” (Sem2, 2011)
  • Josh Prentice “Making Effective Use of Australia's Natural Resources ; The Record of Australian Renewable Energy Law in the International Context” (Hons. S1, 2010), published as “Making Effective Use of Australia’s Natural Resources – The Record of Australian Renewable Energy Law under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth) Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review 1/2011: pp. 5-16 [Article]
  • Martin King, “Wasted Opportunities: Non-technical barriers to increased uptake of municipal solid waste to electricity technology under Commonwealth and NSW Law”, Semester 1, 2011. 
  • Andrew Brickhill “Blowing Communities Apart: Addressing Community Resistance to Wind Farms under NSW Planning Law” (Hons. S1, 2010)
  • Supervision availability

    I am available to supervise students with proposed research projects in the fields of climate law, energy law, and environmental law.

 

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2017 LAWS8181
Class #6863
Australian Climate Law

Previous courses

Year Course code Course name
2016 LAWS8189
Class #1396
Fundamentals of Environmental Law
2016 LAWS4230
Class #2409
Law Internship
2016 LAWS4230
Class #1539
Law Internship
2016 LAWS4274
Class #1814
Climate Law

Past courses


Undergraduate
  • Environmental Law (Laws 4215) (Convenor)
  • Climate Law (Laws 4274) (Convenor)
  • Internship Program (Laws 4230) (Convenor) (ongoing, S2 2015, Summer 2015-6, S1 of 2016)
  • Environmental Law Clinic (Laws 4281)  (invited presenter, 2016, 2015)

Postgraduate

  • Australian Climate Law (Laws 8181) (Convenor)
  • Biodiversity Law (Laws 8280) (Convenor)
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Law (Laws 8189) (Convenor in 2014)
  • International Law of the Environment (Laws 8264) (Spring 2015)
  • Sustainable Energy Law (Laws 8037) (Convenor)

Teaching in Other Courses

  • Environmental Law Clinical Program (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Wind Energy - Masters of Energy Change (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017) 
  • Introduction to International Law (2011)\
  • Comparative US-Australian Environmental Law (with Heather Elliott, Univ. of Alabama)
  • Planning and Environmental Practice (Legal Workshop), 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Foundations of Australian Law (2004, 2011)
  • Lawyers Justice and Ethics ( 2006, 2007)

International Teaching Invitations

He has taught by invitation at the University of Alabama, Tokyo University, Chuo University, Waseda University (Japan) and the Wuhan University of Geosciences (China).

 

How my works connects with public policy

 
Critical analysis of current regulatory frameworks to encourage investment in solar PV in Indonesia
Seminar
Tuesday 11 April 2017
12.30PM–1.30PM
Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building #8, ANU
ANU Canberra
 

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team