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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Law of Climate Change (LAWS11301)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis module explores the law concerning global, anthropogenic climate change; its sources and institutions, and some of the most pressing legal and policy challenges it faces. This is an area of regulation that has developed most influentially in the realm of Public International Law in the form of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, as well as in the ongoing negotiations in those forums. More than twenty years since the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992, the international legal regime of climate change has branched out into numerous issue areas and related mechanisms for the implementation of climate change mitigation (reducing greenhouse gasses emissions) and adaptation measures.

Indeed, the Law of Climate Change spans from international states' obligations regarding mitigation and adaptation, to marked-based mechanisms for carbon mitigation; from an international mechanism for avoiding deforestation in developing countries (REDD+), to strategic uses of international human rights for the purposes of climate protection. Each of these themes raises numerous questions, which you will address and debate.

Law of Climate Change is avowedly inter-disciplinary, drawing on insights from economics, ethics, international relations theory and the physical sciences. A feature of this module is its close relationship to fundamental research that is undertaken across the University.
Course description Session titles:

Session 1: The international climate change regime and its sources
Session 2: UNFCCC: Principles, Institutions and Processes
Session 3: UNFCCC: Conference of the Parties decisions and the roadmap to Paris 2015
Session 4: Kyoto Protocol: Commitments, Mechanisms and its future
Session 5: Kyoto Protocol: the Clean Development Mechanism & the non-compliance procedure
Session 6: Legal aspects of climate finance and the action market
Session 7: Climate change and international human rights
Session 8: Technology transfer and intellectual property rights
Session 9: Geoengineering and Carbon Capture and Storage
Session 10: Reducing the Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students must have regular and reliable access to the internet
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%).

Requirements for all module assessments will be outlined to students at the start of each semester.
Feedback Students can expect to receive timely feedback on their assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a sound knowledge of the sources, processes and key issues of the international climate change regime and its current negotiations;
  2. Understand the functioning of market-based mechanisms, the carbon market and their role in curbing emissions;
  3. Navigate the relationship between the law of climate change and related disciplinary approaches, both within and outwith the social sciences;
  4. Critically address some emerging climate mitigation technologies and approaches, and their legal regulation.
Reading List
A list of key module readings will be available in advance of the module. Detailed reading lists are then available each week.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:

1. Research and enquiry, through e.g. selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;
2. Personal and intellectual autonomy, e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;
3. Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form;
4. Personal effectiveness, e.g. working constructively as a member of an online community;
5. Students will also develop their technical/practical skills, throughout the module, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of another¿s arguments.
Special Arrangements This course is taught by online distance learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by online distance learning.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr David Rossati
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 9704
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