LAWSG028A International Environmental Law A

Credit value: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS, 150 learning hours)
Convenor: Steven Vaughan
Other Teachers: None
Teaching Delivery: 10 x 2-hour weekly seminars, Term Two
Who may enrol: Any UCL Master’s student
Prerequisites: None
Must not be taken with: None
Qualifying module for: LLM in Energy Law;
LLM in Environmental Law and Policy
Introductory video Currently there is no introductory video for this module
Practice Assessment: Opportunity for feedback on one in-class mock exam
Final Assessment: One 2-hour unseen written examination (100%)
Module Overview
Module summary:

This module will examine the main principles and instruments of international environmental law that address global environmental challenges. A brief introduction to the actors and agencies involved in the field of international environmental law is provided, and the sources of international environmental law identified. This module will explore the principles and objectives underpinning international environmental law, such as sustainable development, the precautionary principle, and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as well as implementation, state responsibility for environmental harm and dispute resolution. The module addresses the evolution of international environmental law through case studies including the atmosphere, hazardous substances, and marine resources.

Module syllabus:

The precise material caught will vary year by year, but will include the following:

  1. Introduction to IEL: Definitions, Sources and Actors
  2. Principles of IEL
  3. Guidance and the Bindingness of IEL
  4. Responsibility, Dispute Settlement and Enforcement
  5. Hazardous Substances and the Control of Chemicals
  6. Nuclear Energy and the Environment
  7. Mock Exam/In-Class Test
  8. Marine Resources and Fisheries
  9. Atmosphere Protection
  10. Waste Management and the Basel Convention
Recommended materials:

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment.

Preliminary reading:

Background reading (optional):

  • Chapter 1 of Birnie, Boyle and Redgwell, International Law and the Environment, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition (2009); or
  • Chapter 1 of Sands, Principles of International Environmental Law, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 3rd edition (2012); or
  • Chapters 1 and 2 of Bowman, Davies and Redgwell Lyster’s International Wildlife Law, Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition (2010); or
  • Redgwell, ‘International Environmental Law’ in M. Evans (ed), International Law, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition (2010), chapter 23.

Some background reading in public international law is recommended if not previously studied. A good source is: Vaughan Lowe, International Law, Clarendon Press (2007) Chapters 1-2 (general overview, and how international law is made) and chapter 7 (on the global environment).