Module Identifier LAM1920  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Paul Street  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 2 hours  
Assessment Seminar presentation     20%  
  Essay   Students may choose one of the following 1. 2 x 2500-3000 word essays 2. 1 x 5000-6000 word essay   80%  
  Resit assessment   Resubmission of failed coursework    
Further details  

Brief description

This is an optional module for students on both the existing LLM programmes, in addition to being a compulsory course for the LLM in the Law of International Business and the Environment.

The course locates and critically analyses the linkages between international trade and the environment, within the context of current debates on sustainable development and globalization. Drawing on a variety of legal and social theoretical sources, as well as comparative materials and case studies drawn from countries in both the two thirds and one third worlds, students will consider the extent to which the international community in general and international institutions such as the WTO, FAO, and World Bank in particular, have responded to a number of specific environmental issues. The course will assess the impact that the policies and practices of international institutions are having on the environment and economies of countries within the global trading system, while at the same time considering the efficacy of possible reforms to these institutions within the current system of global governance. The course also considers the environmental and economic consequences and tensions that FDI brings to those in the two-thirds world, while considering the extent to which it is possible to regulate the activities of multi-national companies within the international trading system.

Aims of the module

The aim of the module is to provide a framework of substantive legal and theoretical materials within which students should then be able to develop their own interests and critical insights into the linkages between international trade, development and the environment.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should   

have gained a comprehensive body of knowledge concerning the legal rules relating to international trade and the environment;
be able to demonstrate their ability to critically analyse the substance, structures and application of the regulation of international trade and environmental law;
be able to situate their knowledge of the rules and principles of law as it applies to international trade and the environment within a wider social theoretical and jurisprudential context;
be able to situate the law relating to international trade and the environment within its appropriate historical, social, economic and political context drawing on comparative and international perspectives;
be able to situate the law relating to international trade and the environment within current debates on sustainable development and globalisation
be able to assess some of the current challenges that face the law relating to international trade and the environment based on their knowledge of existing research and literature;
have undertaken an appropriate degree of sustained and systematic research that identifies concerns arising from a number of topics, or line of enquiries in relation to international trade and the environment;
have developed the skills necessary to carry out independent research, using a variety of sources (e.g. international legal instruments, cases, journals, newspapers and electronic information sources);
developed coherence and clarity in written and oral presentations that allows them to articulate and more effectively communicate to others, both the extent of the knowledge they have acquired, and their critically evaluative understanding of that knowledge.


After the first few weeks of initial introduction and overview, each subsequent week will concentrate on particular aspects of the linkages between international trade and the environment through the use of specific examples and case studies. The written assessments and oral presentations required for the successful completion of this module will provide students with the opportunity to develop their critical and analytical skills within the context of the learning outcomes outlined above. The following list of subjects is not a week-by-week outline but a list of the subject areas covered and the order in which we shall deal with them; some of these subjects will take two weeks others one.

I Globalisation and Risk
II Development 1 ? Law and Development
III Development 2 - Sustainable Development
IV The WTO and the Environment
V Trade in GMOs and Biodiversity
VI Agriculture, Food Security and The Environment
VII TNCs, FDI and The Environment

Further Notes

A reading list for each subject area will be handed out in the week prior to which it will be dealt with in class. The Further Reading section on each of the subject lists will contain a number of books that it is highly recommended you read over the whole period of the course, not just when you are studying a specific subject area. Reading lists and other information for the course will also be posted on the internet at