Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 2 Hours. Seminar. This module is taught through postgraduate seminars of one and a half hours held once a fortnight over 2 semesters. See timetable for times and rooms. Outside visits may be arranged


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment The first piece of coursework will consist of a report of the work carried out in semester one.  Course Work:  20%
Semester Assessment The second piece will consist of the students individual contribution to the case study and the students report on the case study session.  Course Work:  60%
Semester Assessment The students presentation of their work to the group in the case study session will carry 20% of the marks.  Presentation:  20%

Learning Outcomes

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

Lawyers and scientists traditionally follow rather different educational paths. Communication between the two can be
problematic. While both seek objective understanding of the world, the standards and language used differ. The nature of
scientific and legal proof is a good example. There are many examples of mis-understandings especially where statistics are
used. Difficulties in understanding terminology also abound. The purpose of this course is to equip students with sufficient
insight into other disciplines to enable them to become aware of potential points of conflict and know how to address them.

Brief description

Law plays a central role in environmental management. A study of the law in isolation, however, will not reveal the precise way
in which the legal mechanisms are implemented in practice. Neither will it provide any understanding of how environmental
policy is formulated nor of the practical constraints on its translation into law and subsequent implementation. Knowledge of
the fundamental scientific factors that explain environmental change and of the human impacts on these factors is essential if the
role of law is to be properly evaluated.

The module is designed to complement the other modules in the LLM in Environmental Law and Management. An
understanding of the political and social influences on the development of environmental law within the European Community
and in the international sphere is important for critical analysis of specific provisions. Scientific considerations in this context are
often less important but can, ultimately, determine the effectiveness of a piece of legislation such as, for example, the EC
Habitats Directive or the Convention on Biological Diversity. Nature Conservation, planning law, environmental audit and
environmental impact assessment are all, essentially, concerned with management and require the ability to consider the social,
commercial, political and scientific factors involved as a part of the process of evaluating and explaining the legal rules.
Similarly, a study of pollution law is greatly enhanced by bringing a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the analysis and,
especially, an understanding of the limitations of risk assessment and environmental evaluation.


1. Environmental Principles

Environmental concepts in science, social sciences and law; the nature of environmental law and its limitations; environmental
rights including human rights and rights of the environment; environmental evidence and the nature of proof in science and law.

2. Environmental Law in Context

Use of environmental information including access to, and interpretation of, environmental statistics; environmental tribunals as
a means of dispute resolution; environmental crimes and the nature of liabilities for environmental damage.

3. Environmental Management in Practice

4. Environmental Case Study

Group work on a named environmental case study to include consideration of legal, social, political and scientific factors.

Reading List

J F McEldowney and S McEldowney, (1996) Environment and the Law Longman Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7