Module Information

Module Identifier
LAM4820
Module Title
Human Rights, Environment and International Business
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Ms Emma R McClean (Senior Lecturer - Westminster University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT OF 5,000-6,000 WORDS  80%
Semester Assessment ORAL PRESENTATION  20%
Supplementary Assessment WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT OF 5,000-6,000 WORDS TO BE RESUBMITTED, IF FAILED  80%
Supplementary Assessment ORAL PRESENTATION OR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT IN LIEU OF ORAL PRESENTATION TO BE SUBMITTED, IF FAILED  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of and undertake a critical analysis of the theoretical discourse on this area of human rights protection.
2. Display a detailed understanding of legislative frameworks of the right to a healthy environment at international, regional and national levels.
3. Critically analyse the role of international businesses and evaluate the effect of this right on the protection of the environment and on the commercial, social, health and cultural interests of diverse communities.
4. Critically analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of implementation and enforcement mechanisms in the context of both economically developed and developing countries especially with regard to regulation and enforcement of environmental and human rights abuses against these companies
5. Critically analyse and evaluate the legal responses at the international and transnational levels aimed at protecting host communities from environmental human rights abuses by multinational companies.
6. Access the relevant literature and materials in this field and use them to engage in a critical discussion of the subject.

Brief description

The module will begin by introducing students to the various schools of thought on the emergence or otherwise of a new right to a healthy environment, drawing from various legal instruments, including soft law instruments, and judicial decisions through which this right has been introduced at the international, regional and national levels. This discourse will be situated within the context of sustainable development in light of global environmental challenges, with critical analysis of the linkages between more traditional human rights (such as the right to life) and the right to a healthy environment. The critical role of international business in this context will be explored with the use of case studies, demonstrating the impacts that business activities can have on the environment. Crucial to this discourse will be the nature of the personality of multinational corporations and the scope of their rights and obligations from both a historical and more modern perspective. This will be followed by an appraisal of the international law instruments/mechanisms that have developed to address some of these abuses and their implementation and enforcement. To the extent that there are still lapses, attention will be paid to transnational regimes such as the US Alien Tort Claims Act (US ATCA) which has been the basis of action for environmental and human right abuses against various US companies operating in foreign jurisdictions.

Content

The module will begin by introducing students to the various schools of thought on the emergence or otherwise of a new right to a healthy environment, drawing from various legal instruments, including soft law instruments, and judicial decisions through which this right has been introduced at the international, regional and national levels. This discourse will be situated within the context of sustainable development in light of global environmental challenges, with critical analysis of the linkages between more traditional human rights (such as the right to life) and the right to a healthy environment. The critical role of international business in this context will be explored with the use of case studies, demonstrating the impacts that business activities can have on the environment. Crucial to this discourse will be the nature of the personality of multinational corporations and the scope of their rights and obligations from both a historical and more modern perspective. This will be followed by an appraisal of the international law instruments/mechanisms that have developed to address some of these abuses and their implementation and enforcement. To the extent that there are still lapses, attention will be paid to transnational regimes such as the US Alien Tort Claims Act (US ATCA) which has been the basis of action for environmental and human right abuses against various US companies operating in foreign jurisdictions.

Transferable skills

Throughout the module, students will practise and develop their skills of research, analysis, time-management and written presentation. In seminars they will develop their ability to listen, understand and explain subject related topics as well as present a point of view orally and discuss their thoughts with the rest of the class; their assignments will enable them to develop their skills of independent research, analysis, presentation and writing (including data collection and retrieval, IT and time management). All learning throughout the module will be relevant to a career in any legal profession.


Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7