Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
International Environmental Law
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

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


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT  (6,000 WORDS)  80%
Supplementary Assessment WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT  (6,000 WORDS TO BE SUBMITTED, IF FAILED)  80%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Outline the historical background and context of the development of international environmental law, the underlying principles and be critically aware of the role and interrelationship between science, law and politics in this process.
2. Show a critical appreciation the international governance and regulatory environment within which principles and rules are developed, implemented and enforced.
3. Consider the nature and effectiveness environmental law principles, and in in reconciling developmental, social and environmental objectives.
4. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of the governance, implementation and enforcement of international environmental law.
5. Develop an understanding of the interrelationship between environmental law protection and the international economic system, especially trade and investment.
6. Have a detailed understanding of key international environmental law and policy regimes
7. Access the relevant literature and materials in this field and use them to engage in a critical discussion of the subject both orally and in writing

Brief description

The aims of this module are two-fold. First, it is designed to help the student to understand how basic environmental principles can be employed in a legal context to give effect to environmental objectives. The module covers the implementation and enforcement of environmental law at international and domestic level, with emphasis on the relationship between science, law and policy development as complementary regulatory tools. Second, this modules explores the significance of international law in the environmental field has increased considerably following the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and the gradual development of principles of international environmental law, in relation to particular environmental issues such as atmospheric pollution and the conservation of biological diversity. The tensions between environmental requirements and other aspects of international legal relations, notably with respect to trade, are also considered. Overall, the module invites the student to examine the significance of the environment in the international playing field and the significance of international agreements for the protection of the global, regional and local environment.


This module consist of 10 ‘units’ on the following topics:
1. Background and Historical Context: the development of International environmental law and policy
2. International Environmental Principles (1)
3. International Environmental Principles (2)
4. International Environmental Law-Making- Institutions structures and governance
5. Implementation and Enforcement of International Environmental Law- states, public institutions and private persons
6. Case Study of implementation (mechanisms and processes at international and national levels)
7. International Environmental Law and Trade
8. International Environmental Law and Investment
9. Protecting the Global Commons
10. Regulation of Hazardous Products- transboundary wastes, chemicals pesticides

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Assignment and oral presentation; participation with online discussion group
Improving own Learning and Performance Studying the material and writing the assignment
Information Technology Module requires the use of IT as a core resource for locating legal material
Personal Development and Career planning Gaining confidence in legal thinking and analysis
Problem solving Assignment and oral presentation
Research skills The module seeks to further develop practical legal skills and a theoretical engagement with environmental law and policy
Subject Specific Skills Apply generic skills to specific subjects of the theme through the assignment
Team work Online discussion group


This module is at CQFW Level 7