The Land and Environment Court in New South Wales was established just over twenty one years ago, and has long operated in a climate of trenchant and often misconceived criticisms about its role. This article considers the factors that led to its establishment and assesses how well it has lived up to expectations. The Court has recently been subject to external review by a former Chief Justice which largely endorsed its work. But the author argues that a one-off review of this nature has limited value, and that the Court still lacks a coherent image, especially amongst local authorities, developers, and the environmental groups. Only by confronting the differences in viewpoint concerning its role can a more stable foundation for the Court be laid.