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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: International Environmental Law (LAWS11030)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThe principal aim of this course is to give students an understanding of contemporary developments in international law with regard to the protection of the environment and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources. Particular attention will be paid throughout the course to the processes of international law-making, regulation and institutional oversight.
Course description This course offers an introduction to international environmental law. It is suitable for beginners and it assumes no prior knowledge of the subject. This course will be taught by weekly seminars addressing key issues and trends in international environmental law. Students will be given reading assignments in advance and they will be expected to prepare for and take an active part in class discussion.

Seminars in semester one will address the development of international customary and treaty rules for the protection of the environment, the fundamental principles of international environmental law, the main duties borne by states in relation to the prevention of transboundary harm, the range of remedies available to address environmental damage, and the key features of multilateral environmental agreements, including dispute settlement and compliance mechanisms.

Seminars in semester two will survey the main treaties dealing with the protection of the environment, considering the scope, nature and substance of the rules contained therein. The precise content of the subjects addressed in semester two will vary from year to year, depending upon contemporary developments in international environmental law, but they will tend to address key issues relating to the regulation of hazardous substances, the conservation of biological diversity, the role of human rights in environmental protection, and the interaction between international environmental law and international economic law.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  32
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 372 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment Components:

4000 Word Essay (40%)
4500 Word Essay (60%)
Feedback Students will have an opportunity to write a practice essay during the first semester. Feedback will be provided either through individual feedback or a group feedback session.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand of contemporary developments in international law with regard to the protection of the environment and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources;
  2. Understand the main law-making techniques used to develop international rules and principles relating to environmental protection;
  3. Interpret treaty provisions and apply them to particular factual circumstances;
  4. Read cases and identify the key points of the decision;
  5. Contribute to discussions and debates on the key issues and challenges in contemporary international environmental law.
Reading List
The main textbook used for this course will be A Boyle and C Redgwell, Birnie, Boyle and Redgwell¿s International Law and the Environment (4th edition, Oxford University Press 2021).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On completion of this course the student will have:

Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry
- Find and contextualise key materials relating to international environmental law;
- Critically evaluate the opportunities and challenges presented by the international legal framework for the protection of the environment;

Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
- Work by themselves in order to complete assignments;

Skills and abilities in Communication
- Explain key concepts relating to international environmental law;
- Participate in debates about the effectiveness and challenges of international environmental law.

Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness
- Manage their time in order to complete assignments within set deadlines.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Michael Picard
Course secretaryMs Susanna Wickes
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