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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Global Environmental Law and the Comparative Legal Method (LAWS11350)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe increasing specialisation of environmental law is thriving on the interactions between different levels of regulation; between different actors and between unilateral, bilateral and multilateral initiatives; as well as between public and private tools. Global environmental law is a concept that helps to understand these trends that affect the work of international, EU and national environmental lawyers alike. Global environmental law captures the inter-relations and mutual influences between international, regional, national, sub-national and transnational law for the protection of the environment, pointing to the increasing usefulness of comparative legal methods to understand environmental law at any level of regulation.

This course aims to explore the relevance, methods and challenges of comparative environmental law in a global perspective. Students will, on the one hand, discuss the role of national law in implementing international environmental law, with particular emphasis on the use of international guidelines and other soft law instruments by national legal drafters. They will also reflect on how experiments in national environmental law may have an influence on the making of international environmental law. In that respect, this course complements the LLM course in International Environmental Law.
Course description In addition, the course combines an academic approach to the comparative legal method with insights from the course organizer's experience as UN legal advisor to developing countries on reforms of natural resource laws. The course thus aims to explore the influence of international organizations┐ in-country advice on the development of national environmental law. The course will draw attention to questions related to legal drafting in the environmental field, participatory approaches to environmental law-making, and the role of international cooperation in relation to national environmental law-making.

Finally, the course aims to discuss more generally: 1) the role of law in addressing global environmental challenges, looking into diverse areas of environmental protection and natural resources management (such as protected areas, environmental impact assessment, forests, wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture, land, water); and 2) the relevance of the comparative legal method for a variety of international and transnational environmental legal scholars and practitioners.

In addition to the course organizer, guest practitioners and academics will teach on the course to share unique, first-hand insights into how the comparative legal method is increasingly relied upon in the making and practising of environmental law at all levels.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
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 mutual interactions between international, regional, national, transnational and sub-national environmental law
  2. Gained an understanding of the comparative legal method and its challenges
  3. Gained an understanding of the growing international and transnational influence of non-state actors on environmental law-making
  4. Gained an understanding of the cutting-edge legal scholarship on global environmental law and its relevance for a variety of legal professions within and outside academia
  5. Developed specialist research skills to critically appraise rules, approaches and legal tools on environmental regulation at different levels
Reading List
Elisa Morgera 'The Future of Law and the Enviroment: the Emergence of Global Enviromental Law' in Sam Muller, Stavros Zouridis Morly Frishman and Laura Kistemaker (eds), The Law of the Future and the Future of Law: Volume II (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2012) 39-50
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 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.
KeywordsInternational Law,Global Law,Environmental Policy,Environmental Negotiations,
Course organiserProf Elisa Morgera
Course secretaryMs Karin Bolton
Tel: (0131 6)50 2022
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