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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: European Environmental Law (LAWS11208)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryEU environmental law is often the source of more than 70% of the Member States┐ national environmental law. Furthermore, EU environmental law covers all the most important areas of environmental policy (waste, water, nature, climate, energy, air, GMOs, chemicals...). As one may easily conclude from this, EU environmental law is of the utmost importance in Europe. However, the interest of its study goes far beyond European borders.

Course description This course aims to explore the competence, instruments and actions of the European Union in environmental matters, focusing on the interactions between its internal and external dimensions. Students' attention will be drawn, on the one hand, to the way in which global commitments influence the development of EU environmental law, and on the other to the ways in which the EU seeks to influence the global protection of the environment. Therefore, the class will be interesting for EU and non-EU students alike.

EU environmental law is indeed embedded in a multi-level governance system which involves a multitude of actors (International institutions, Non-Member States, business lobbies, NGOs, etc.). In this context, EU environmental law is both a source and an object of influence for all these actors. As such, it is a fascinating branch of law which opens a reflection on the role that law can play in solving a global issue with local causes in an interconnected political and legal system.

This course aims at explaining, questioning and debating EU environmental law potential and limits in the light of this reflection.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students may benefit from having prior knowledge of EU law.
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gained an understanding of the multifaceted powers and resources of the EU in the field of environmental protection,
  2. Gained an understanding of persistent and emerging challenges in achieving sustainable development and of the level of environmental protection carried by EU environmental policy
  3. Gained an understanding of the ground principles of EU environmental law (precaution, prevention, polluter-pays, etc).
  4. Gained an understanding of EU legislation, such as the chemical regulation "REACH", the regulation of genetically modified organism, Water Law, Nature Conservation Law etc
  5. Write case notes, briefs and opinion reports applying critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to issues which are at the forefront of the discipline
Reading List
Reading lists will be provided in the Course guide but in preparation and to have a clearer picture of the EU, students can read the title 2 "The creation of a European Union" of the book Understanding European Union law written by Karen DAVIES.

Students can also use the 2011 edition that they will find online through MyiLibrary or the 2013 edition copy available at the Law & Europa library (call n░ KJE949 Dav.)

The students can also read: Lee M. ┐EU environmental law, governance and decision-making┐, 2014, Hart, chapter 1.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of this course students should be able to:

LO 3. Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
┐ Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues.
┐ Deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information. Especially, capacity to engage with a holistic assessment of complex policies, including by identifying synergies and conflicts between implemented actions.
┐ Identify the need for and engage with interdisciplinary cooperation to create and implement effective public policies.

LO 4. Skills and abilities in Communication
┐ Communicate with peers, more senior colleagues, and specialists.
┐ Participate to a brainstorming and contribute to a collective reflections on issue solving
┐ Understand a broad variety of sources.

LO 5. Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness
┐ Develop their ability to work independently under fixed deadlines.
┐ Develop their ability to lead and participate in team work.
┐ Develop their assertiveness with peers and supervising staff.
┐ Participate effectively in seminars and discussions.
┐ Develop their ability to present the outcome of independent research in a clear written and oral form.
Special Arrangements Please note that this course will be block taught. Please contact for more details.
KeywordsEnvironmental Law,Climate Policy,Climate Law,Energy Efficiency,European Union
Course organiserMr Navraj Ghaleigh
Tel: (0131 6)50 2069
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
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