International Environmental Law

Module code: LW7143

Module co-ordinator: Thoko Kaime 

Module Outline

This module focuses on international legal and institutional arrangements concerning the conservation and use of the environment. It explores some of the most salient aspects of the expanding area of international environmental law. It examines, in particular, global environmental issues that have risen to the top of the international law and policy agenda in the wake of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Conference) and the 2012 United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio +20). The notion of sustainable development occupies an important place in this course. It provides an acknowledgement that environmental law needs to be considered at the same time as social and economic dimensions of development. This broader framework which puts environmental issues in the much broader context of development constitutes the overall framework of reference within which environmental law is to be considered today.

The course highlights several key aspects of international environmental law including an introduction to the general principles of international environmental law; an introduction to the issues and governance frameworks for the air and atmosphere (climate change and air pollution); land (sustainable land management and biodiversity protection); and sea (marine environments and marine living resources). This course also examines questions related to compliance, effectiveness and the enforcement of international environmental law. This includes, for instance, an examination of liability and redress and compliance mechanisms.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures, Seminars, Private study and Blackboard VLE.

Assessment Methods

Research paper on a topic chosen by the student and agreed with the Module Convenor not exceeding 5,000 words including the abstract and footnotes.