The Australian Resources and Energy Law Journal (ARELJ) began as a collaboration between The Centre for Energy and Resources Law of the University of Melbourne, The Centre for Mining Energy and Natural Resources Law of the University of Western Australia and AMPLA Limited.

A peer reviewed, academic publication, the ARELJ covers current issues, recent developments and challenges relevant internationally and locally to each state and territory.

As well as peer reviewed articles, the ARELJ contains comments on matters of interest, notes on recent developments in case law and legislation, case notes and occasional book reviews.


ARELJ 39 (2)




The notion that a nation owes the benefit of its natural resources to the nation’s people has survived the advent of capitalism. This apparently simple concept, however, belies a host of complex issues. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the regulation of offshore petroleum exploitation in Australia. This article argues that the national interest in offshore petroleum regulation is not sufficiently protected by the current Australian regulatory framework. This is troubling, as failure to protect the national interest in offshore petroleum regulation can result in the loss of economic value to Australia. This article considers the current offshore petroleum regulatory regime, and proposes the first steps necessary to define and protect Australia’s national interest in offshore petroleum regulation.


Representatives of beneficiaries under a native title land access commercial agreement brought an action for breach of contract in the Supreme Court of Western Australia when the mining company parties to the agreement refused to make a payment owing under the agreement. The companies refused to pay on the basis that the agreement was frustrated or void for uncertainty and therefore unenforceable since the relevant native title claim had been dismissed by the Federal Court of Australia and deregistered. The Supreme Court dismissed the claim and declared that the commercial agreement had been, since the date the native title claim was dismissed and deregistered, terminated for frustration and unenforceable.


In February 2020 the OECD endorsed a framework, aimed at governments and investors, for the content and negotiation of extractives exploration and production contracts. The principles are expressed as relevant to all systems of granting petroleum and mineral exploration and production rights – whether by contractual regimes or legal systems of non-negotiable provisions. The purposes of the principles include promoting long-term sustainable development, while attracting and sustaining investment; providing mechanisms for changes in circumstances; and ensuring “a fair share for all parties to the contract and optimise the value from resource development through equitable, sustainable and mutually beneficial contracts and operations”. These principles should inform advice and analysis by Australian resources practitioners: of matters in Australia and regarding the involvement of Australian entities in other countries.

Members can access older issues of the journal online in via the AMPLA Library

Editorial Committee

The Editorial Committee is responsible for the publication of AREL Journal, reviewing all submissions, and approving or rejecting each for publication.

Editor: Dr Alexandra S Wawryk, Senior Lecturer Law School, The University of Adelaide
Committee Members:
• Simon Bladen, Rio Tinto
• Kanaga Dharmananda, Francis Burt Chambers WA Bar
• Mark Gerus, Francis Burt Chambers
• Peter Holden, ActewAGL
• Lauren Kirkwood, Baker & McKenzie
• Natalie Lonergan, Norton Rose Fulbright
• Robert Merrick, Herbert Smith Freehills
• James Minchinton, Sparke Helmore
• Peter Rose, Johnson Winter & Slattery


Authors considering a submission should contact their State Coordinator to discuss whether any proposed topic has already been assigned to an author.


Submission Requirements

An article is 3-10,000 words and argues a core substantial point with appropriate supporting analysis and references. An article may be submitted to the Branch Coordinator at any time. Articles are subject to peer review and will not be published until that process is complete.

Comments, case notes and book reviews are 1-3,000 words and will give an explanation and analysis of a recent topical issue, case or book.

Recent development reports are up to 1,500 words and describe a recent policy, legislative or case law development with minimal analysis


Notes for Authors

Authors preparing submissions for the AREL Journal should ensure that all references and other material are in accordance with the Notes for Authors.


Articles subject to peer review - authors are required to provide an assignment of their copyright.

Other submissions - authors are required to provide AMPLA with a licence to publish

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