Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture One two hours lecture per week (part of 30hrs allocation)
Lecture Two one hour lectures per week (part of 30hrs allocation)
Seminars / Tutorials 6 Hours. Seminar. Three two hour seminars during the semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay: Assessed essay of 1000 words required in week 11  33%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   67%
Supplementary Assessment By retaking the failed element (ie written assignment or examination or both, as applicable) 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminars and the carrying out of written coursework, students should have developed:

  • A knowledge and understanding of, and the interrelationship between, the system of environmental law and policy at the international, EU and domestic level; uncover and explore the issues of law, the environment, economics and social policy which are inherent in the question of environmental protection; and develop her/his own critical analysis of the existing system in relation to alternative models of environmental protection.
  • Good time-management skills in preparing for seminars and submitting work on time.
  • The ability to find, read and evaluate relevant hard-copy and electronic sources for seminars, course works and exams, for which credit will be given in the assessments.
  • Ability to work in groups and oral presentation skills: some of the seminars will run as workshops in which students work in small groups and organise a short presentation.

Brief description

Environmental law and policy forms a point of convergence for the forces produced by environmentalism, economics and the imperatives of justice and fairness amongst others. As well as involving profound issues confronting humanity it also forms an important area of specialism for legal practitioners.

Each part of the course seeks to facilitate the student not just in learning the law but also in uncovering and critically analysing the concepts, principles and policies informing and moving the law in this area.

Environmental law & policy at the domestic level is hugely influenced by European Community and International law, and, attention is therefore paid to the role of these.

Environmental Law tends to be in a state of rapid flux, so emphasis is placed not only on the law as it stands, but also on policy and legislative trends so that students can see the direction in which the subject is moving. The course helps to give students some insight into the importance of economic, social and political pressures in law-making.


This module aims to explore international environmental law and policy, and UK environmental protection law, together with certain aspects of EC environmental law. It contributes to the development of lawyers equipped to give practical and effective advice in this area. In seeking to assist students to develop their own analysis of the environmental, economic, social and other issues underlying this area of law, the module contributes to the preparation of students to proceed to carry out further social and/or legal research.


The course will be taught by lectures and seminars. It is intended that the lectures will introduce the student to the essential elements of the subject and provide some critical analysis upon which the student can build her or his reading in preparation for the seminars.
Seminars will provide the opportunity for a more detailed examination of important topics. Students will be expected to participate in a reasoned discussion. The seminars are seen as essential to the promotion of skills in information gathering, selection and retention, and to giving students an opportunity to present structured, persuasive and logical arguments. Students are also expected to provide solutions to legal problems.


1.0: International Law and the Environment
2.0 Environmental Principles and Compliance Mechanisms
3.0 Pollution Control
4.0 Nature Conservation Law

Reading List

Recommended Text
Bell & McGillivray (2008) Environmental Law 7th Oxford University Press Primo search Birnie, Patricia W. (2009.) International law and the environment. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Wolf, Susan (2003.) Wolf and Stanley on environmental law. 4th ed. Cavendish Primo search
Supplementary Text
Sands, Philippe (c2003.) Principles of international environmental law /Philippe Sands. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press Primo search Thornton, Justine. (2004.) Environmental law /Justine Thornton and Silas Beckwith. 2nd ed. Sweet & Maxwell Primo search
Recommended Consultation
(c2006.) EU climate change policy :the challenge of new regulatory initiatives /edited by Marjan Peeters and Kurt Deketelaere. Further Reading Edward Elgar Primo search (c2010.) Human rights and climate change /edited by Stephen Humphreys ; with a foreword by Mary Robinson. Further Reading Cambridge University Press (2003.) Transnational corporations and human rights /edited by Jedrzej George Frynas and Scott Pegg. Further Reading Palgrave Macmillan Primo search Hawkins, Keith (March 1984) Environment and Enforcement:Regulation and the Social Definition of Pollution Further Reading Oxford University Press, Incorporated Primo search Holder, Jane. (2007.) Environmental protection, law and policy :text and materials /Jane Holder and Maria Lee. Further Reading 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press Reid, Colin T. (2009.) Nature conservation law /Colin T. Reid. Further Reading 3rd ed. Thomson/W. Green Primo search Richardson, Geneura. (1982.) Policing pollution :a study of regulation and enforcement /Geneura Richardson with Anthony Ogus and Paul Burrows. Further Reading Clarendon Press Primo search Stone, Christopher D. (c2010.) Should trees have standing? :law, morality, and the environment /Christopher D. Stone. Further Reading 3rd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Ends Report Primo search Environmental Law Review Primo search Journal of Environmental Law Primo search Journal of Planning and Environmental Law Primo search Review of European Community & International Environmental Law Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6