Land and Environment Court

​​​​​​​​​Welcome to the website of the NSW Land and Environment Court.

The Land and Environment Court hears environmental, development, building and planning disputes. Read more.

Latest News

18 September 2019

The 2018 AustLII Database Metrics and Statistics for the Court

AustLII has provided the database metrics and statistics for the Court in 2018. They can be accessed through this link.

A comparison between 2017 and 2018 shows that, during 2018, there were 412 new citations of this Court's decisions. Although primarily in other decisions of this Court (internal citation), there were also two new citations of this Court's decisions in New Zealand and there were regular citations in other Australian jurisdictions.

During 2018, decisions of this Court were cited in all Australian states and territories as well as in the Federal jurisdiction. Details of frequency of citation can be seen in the table “Citations by database” in the full metrics information.

The historic rate of citation trend line shows that there has been a plateauing of the increase in citation of this Court's decisions but that the annual rate of citation has remained above 900 for the past two years. Citations during 2018 have included an immigration case in the Federal Court (Buadromo v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] FCA 1592) and a contempt case in the Victorian Supreme Court (Alpass  v Hession [2017] VSC 748) – to give but two examples of the eclectic range of cases where decisions of this Court are cited.

4 September 2019

New Judge Announced

Attorney General Mark Speakman SC today announced the appointment of barrister Sandra Duggan SC as a judge of the Land and Environment Court. View the media release. Ms Duggan SC will be sworn in on 10 September 2019 at 9am in the Banco Court, Law Courts Building.

Ms Duggan is a leading barrister in planning and environmental law.  After initially practising as a solicitor from 1988, Ms Duggan was called to the Bar in 1995 and was appointed a Senior Counsel in 2010, specialising in local government, planning, environmental, mining and property law. She holds a combined Arts/Law degree from Macquarie University and is currently completing a Master of Archaeological Science degree at the Australian National University. 

Throughout her career Ms Duggan has advised and appeared for all parties to planning and environment disputes, including local government, State government, developers (corporate and individual) and community groups.

Ms Duggan has been actively involved with legal professional bodies, including serving as President of the Environmental and Planning Law Association of NSW (EPLA), Chair of the Women Barristers Forum, member of the Bar Association Practice Development Committee and managing Editor of the Environmental Law Reporter. 

4 September 2019

New Acting Commissioner Appointments

The Chief Judge is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Philip Clay SC and Ms Maureen Peatman as Acting Commissioners of the Court for the period commencing 4 September 2019 and expiring on 3 September 2020.

Acting Commissioner Philip Clay

Mr Clay SC holds the degrees of Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws (University of New South Wales) and a Diploma of Legal Practice.  Mr Clay was admitted as a solicitor in 1979 and was called to the Bar in 1992. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2011.

Mr Clay has 39 years applied experience as practising lawyer. At the Bar, Mr Clay has specialised in planning and environmental law work, primarily in the Land and Environment Court, but also in the Supreme Court of NSW, Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia.

Mr Clay has been actively involved in legal professional bodies, serving as President of the Environmental and Planning Law Association (NSW) (2010-2012) and has also assisted the NSW Bar Association in continuing professional development programmes, including the Bar Reader's Course.

Acting Commissioner Maureen Peatman

Ms Peatman holds a Diploma of Law (Solicitor's Admission Board) from the University of Sydney. She has over 35 years applied experience as a solicitor specialising in environment and planning law, valuation law and compulsory acquisition law.

The compulsory acquisition cases in which she has been involved have included cases involving the power to acquire land, simple acquisitions of land, and complex matters.

Ms Peatman has been actively involved in legal professional bodies, including serving on the Executive and as Vice President of the Environmental Planning Law Association (NSW), establishing the Australian Environment and Planning Law Group of the Law Council of Australia and serving as Chair (2004-2008), and serving on the Executive of the Legal Practice Section of the Law Council of Australia (2012-present), including as Chair and Deputy Chair.

23 July 2019

The Court's Annual Review for 2018 is now available. 

12 July 2019

The Civil Procedure Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2019 and Criminal Procedure Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2019 has increased the Court's fees by 1.75% effective from 12 July 2019. The fee schedule is now available.


Recent New​s​

9 July 2019

Volume 11 Issue 2 (June 2019) of the Court's Judicial Newsletter is now available.

25 March 2019

Volume 11 Issue 1 (February 2019) of the Court's Judicial Newsletter is now available.

15 March 2019

The Practice Note – Class 3 Compensation Claims dated 15 July 2011 has been replaced with a new Practice Note that:
  • requires early identification of areas of proposed expert evidence and of the proposed experts;
  • shortens the times for taking procedural steps in compensation claim proceedings; and
  • sets out the standard directions which will be made if the compensation claim hearing is to be conducted on a paperless basis.

21 December 2018

The Chief Judge is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Julie Bindon as an Acting Commissioner of the Court for the period commencing 21 December 2018 and expiring on 25 February 2020.

22 November 2018

The Practice Note – Class 2 Tree Applications dated 13 May 2014 has been replaced with a new Practice Note that adds a paragraph to direction 10 of the Usual Directions found in Schedule A.

The new Practice Note commences on 1 December 2018.

20 November 2018

Volume 10 Issue 3 (October 2018) of the Court's Judicial Newsletter is now available

3 October 2018

Court Vacation 2018-2019

The Judges' fixed vacation begins on 17 December 2018 and the first day of term in 2019 will be Tuesday, 29 January 2019.

The final Registrar's directions hearing list for 2018 will be on Wednesday, 19 December 2018. The Registrar's directions hearing list will resume on Monday, 21 January 2019.

27 September 2018

Commissioner Timothy Horton Appointment

The Chief Judge is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Commissioner to the Court.

Mr Timothy Horton has been appointed a Commissioner of the Court from 5 November 2018 for a period of 7 years.

21 August 2018
The Chief Judge is pleased to announce that the Land and Environment Court of NSW has been awarded "Courts and Tribunals – ADR Group of the Year" at the prestigious Australian Disputes Centre ADR Awards 2018.


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