THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2018/2019

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Risk and Regulation: Health and the Environment (LAWS11342)

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
SummaryThis course is a detailed exploration of risk and its regulation with a focus on the health and environmental settings (and their interaction). Proceeding via a number of case-studies, and focusing on regulatory instruments and institutions - legal and non-legal, domestic, regional and international - which govern and shape individual and organisational conduct, it examines how regulatory frameworks are shaped and/or respond to new and emerging human activities, many of them which rely on or prompt new modes of action, new technologies, new relationships, and, importantly, new risks. Specifically, it explores regulatory frameworks in population genetic research, animal research, and the environment, and how they interact with other frameworks, concluding with a session on alternate (non-risk) approaches to regulation.

The aims and objectives of the course are to:

consider the concept of 'risk' and how it features in modern discourses and regulatory actions;

consider the articulation and governance or management of risks across a number of human activities through field-specific case studies;

discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various legal interventions at different levels of regulation;

explore how regulatory frameworks shape notions of risk in those other fields.

Course description Week 1: Exploring the Concept and History of 'Risk'
Week 2: Exploring Theories of 'Regulation'
Week 3: Risk and Animals
Week 4: Risk and Biodiversity
Week 5: Risk and Climate Change

Week 6: Risk and GMOs
Week 7: Risk and Chemicals
Week 8: Risk and Nuclear Power
Week 9: Student Poster Presentations
Week 10: Student Poster Presentations


This course is a detailed exploration of risk and its regulation with a focus on the health and environmental settings (and their interaction). Proceeding via a number of case-studies, and focusing on regulatory instruments and institutions - legal and non-legal, domestic, regional and international - which govern and shape individual and organisational conduct, it examines how regulatory frameworks are shaped and/or respond to new and emerging human activities, many of them which rely on or prompt new modes of action, new technologies, new relationships, and, importantly, new risks. Specifically, it explores regulatory frameworks in population genetic research, animal research, and the environment, and how they interact with other frameworks, concluding with a session on alternate (non-risk) approaches to regulation.

The aims and objectives of the course are to:

┐ consider the concept of ┐risk┐ and how it features in modern discourses and regulatory actions;
┐ consider the articulation and governance or management of risks across a number of human activities through field-specific case studies;
┐ discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various legal interventions at different levels of regulation;
┐ explore how regulatory frameworks shape notions of risk in those other fields.

By the end of the course students should be able to:

┐ appreciate that risk is not a purely local or field-specific matter, nor even necessarily a scientifically grounded concept;
┐ appreciate the range of competing interests and values which shape risk articulations and thereby feed regulatory efforts;
┐ appreciate how regulatory frameworks which address risk respond to and shape our conceptions of and tolerances for risk;
┐ analyse and critique both risk and regulation through a number theoretical lenses and formulate well-reasoned and coherent arguments relating to risk and, where appropriate, suggest reforms to regulatory responses to risk.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. appreciate that risk is not a purely local or field-specific matter, nor even necessarily a scientifically grounded concept;
  2. discuss the idea of risk and illustrate its operation in different regulatory settings;
  3. appreciate the range of competing interests and values which shape risk articulations and thereby feed regulatory efforts
  4. appreciate how regulatory frameworks which address risk respond to and shape our conceptions of and tolerances for risk;
  5. analyse and critique both risk and regulation through a number of theoretical lenses and formulate well-reasoned and coherent arguments relating to risk and, where appropriate, suggest reforms to regulatory responses to risk.
Reading List
U Beck, The Risk Society (London: SAGE, 1992). (Law Reserve)
A Giddens, ┐Risk and Responsibility┐ (1999) 62 Modern Law Rev 1-10. (eJournals)
D Lupton, Risk (London: Routledge, 1999), ch. 1-2. (Main Library)
C Panter-Brick & A Fuentes (eds.), Health, Risk and Adversity (NY: Berghahn Books, 2009), Introduction, ch. 7, Conclusion, Section Introductions. (Main Library)
P Slovic, The Perception of Risk (London: Earthscan, 2001). (Main Library)
J Black, ┐Decentring Regulation: The role of regulation and self-regulation in a ┐Post Regulatory┐ world┐ (2001) 54 Current Legal Problems 103-146. (eJournals)
J Black, M Lodge & M Thatcher (eds.), Regulatory Innovation (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2005), ch. 1, 2, 9 (Law Reserve)
R Baldwin, M Cave & M Lodge, Understanding Regulation, 2d ed. (Oxford: OUP, 2012), ch. 1, 2, 3 (Law Reserve)
B Morgan & K Yeung, An Introduction to Law and Regulation (Cambridge: CUP, 2007), ch. 1, 2, 3, 7. (Law Reserve)
R Baldwin, M Cave & M Lodge, Understanding Regulation, 2d ed. (Oxford: OUP, 2012), ch. 6, 13, 14 (Law Reserve)
European Commission, Communication on the Precautionary Principle, COM (2000)1. (online)
A Giddens, ┐Risk and Responsibility┐ (1999) 62 Modern Law Rev 1-10. (eJournals)
S Jasonoff, Designs on Nature (Oxford: OUP, 2005). (Law Library)
Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Emerging Biotechnologies: Technology, Choice and the Public Good (London: NCB, 2012), Summary and Chs. 3 and 8, at http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/emerging-biotechnologies
P Macnaghten and J Chilvers, ┐Governing Risky Technologies┐. In S Lane, F Klauser & M Kearnes (eds), Critical Risk Research: Practices, Politics and Ethics (London: Wiley, 2012), at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781119962748.ch6/pdf
D Fraser, ┐Assessing animal welfare at the farm and group level: the interplay of science and values┐ (2003) 12 Animal Welfare 433-443.
J Lassen, P Sand°e & B Forkman, ┐Happy pigs are dirty! Conflicting perspectives on animal welfare┐ (2006) 103 Livestock Science 221-230.
J MacArthur Clark, M Potter & E Harding, ┐The welfare implications of animal breeding and breeding technologies in commercial agriculture┐ (2006) 103 Livestock Science 270-281.
Corner, A., Venables, D., Spence, A., Poortinga, W. Demski, C. & Pidgeon, N., ┐Nuclear power, climate change and energy security: Exploring British public attitudes┐ (2011) 39 Energy Policy 4823-4833.
Pielke, R.A.Jr (2007) The Honest Broker. Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Chapter 1 ┐Four idealized roles of science in policy and politics┐

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding
A deep understand of the fundamental elements of risk and regulation and an understanding of the interaction between them and their influence on law, ethical, and professional frameworks.

Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry
The ability to analyse critically medico-legal and environmental law scenarios, drawing on different risk schools of thought and regulatory schools of thought, in order to demonstrate original and creative applications of knowledge and understanding.

Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
The facility to conduct independent study and research to a high level that demonstrates knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the importance of interaction between risk and regulation in the shaping of regulatory frameworks in different health- and environment- related settings.

Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Communication
The ability to engage critically in a group setting on issues of contemporary medico-legal and environmental law relevance, drawing on a range of ethical, legal and professional sources and to justify robustly any positions take or defended.

Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness
The ability to manage time effective, preparing for deep engagement in class, to conduct research for assignments to the requisite level and to demonstrate improvement over the course of the module.

Technical/practical skills
The improvement of legal research and writing skills, drawing on new insights from ethical discourse and professional practice.
KeywordsLaw,Medical Law
Contacts
Course organiserMr Edward Dove
Tel: (0131 6)50 6320
Email: edward.dove@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
Email: David.Morris@ed.ac.uk
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