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LAWS3097 Globalisation and Law

Module Overview

‘Globalisation’ encapsulates the developing inter-connectedness of markets and economic systems, driven by trade liberalisation. Yet, alongside this drive towards trade liberalisation, the international community has committed itself to a diverse range of objectives, including environmental and social, exemplified by the commitment to sustainable development. These objectives are established and pursued by different actors through separate (specialist) regimes. Thus while the World Trade Organisation regulates international trade at multilateral level, alongside this trade regime are numerous regional and multilateral commitments relating to, for example, environmental protection, climate change, to labour standards, to and human rights. This module, ‘Globalisation and Law’, is concerned with the challenges posed to democracy and accountability arising from the emergence of new and diverse forms of governance, undertaken by a diverse range of actors, responsible for a diverse range of (sometimes conflicting) interests. To explore, and give substance to these otherwise potentially abstract issues, the module is structured around a case study through which to expose the issues raised, and consider responses to the regulatory challenges posed, by globalisation.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Introduce you to the complexity of governance involved in regulation in an increasingly globalised context (including the complexities of the relationship between the various actors involved in regulation in the context of globalisation) • Expose the challenges posed to democracy and accountability by the emergence of new forms and levels of global governance • Provide you with an appreciation and understanding of the regulatory challenges posed by globalisation (such as the regulatory challenges posed by diverse international commitments to prima facie conflicting objectives.) • Encourage you to consider different approaches to achieving a regulatory balance between different international obligations and to meeting the challenges posed by new forms and levels of governance

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Different levels of governance and bodies of law which contribute to the regulation of globalisation
  • The challenges to democracy and accountability posed by new and emerging forms of governance
  • The regulatory challenges arising from the global commitment to prima facie conflicting objectives, such as are exemplified by the commitment to sustainable development
  • Regulatory approaches to the management of diverse objectives
  • The potential and limits of traditional approaches to, and instruments of, ‘public international law’ in responding to contemporary challenges posed by globalisation
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the regulatory challenges arising from the global commitment to prima facie conflicting objectives, such as those exemplified in the principle of sustainable development
  • Comment upon the impact upon democracy and accountability of new forms and levels of governance
  • Describe and critically assess the interaction between different bodies of law contributing to the regulation of globalisation
  • Evaluate different approaches to the achievement of a regulatory balance between different objectives
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate others’ arguments
  • Develop and present a written argument with appropriate evidence and attention to detail and demonstrating an awareness of academic integrity
  • Evaluate the material obtained from primary and secondary, electronic and paper sources
  • Undertake self-directed research

Syllabus

The emergence of new and diverse global, non-state, actors such as the World Trade Organisation and European Union raises questions relating to democracy and accountability of decision-making which compound the regulatory challenge posed by the need to reconcile the diverse commitments of the international community. Key legal and regulatory issues addressed in this module • The complexity of governance and regulation in an increasingly globalised context, where governance takes new and diverse forms and is undertaken by a diverse range of actors • The challenges posed to democracy and accountability by the emergence of such new forms and levels of global governance • The regulatory challenges posed by new forms and levels of governance acting in or applying to diverse, and frequently conflicting, fields • Different approaches to achieving a regulatory balance between different international obligations and to meeting the challenges posed by new forms and levels of governance Case study: The principle of sustainable development Sustainable development has been selected as a case study in recognition of its status as a ‘principle’ of particular contemporary significance. Thus the module, having provided an introduction to the theoretical framework of the course, highlighting questions of democracy and accountability posed by the emergence of new forms of governance by new international actors, examines: • the meaning and content of sustainable development: highlighting the interdependence of the prima facie conflicting objectives therein: social (including human rights protection), environmental protection and economic development are highlighted • the international legal and institutional regulatory frameworks within which sustainable development has been adopted and can be delivered • the diverse regimes engaged by the commitment to sustainable development: in particular trade liberalisation regimes (the EU and WTO) and International Environmental Law, in particular focusing upon the international responses to the challenge of climate change. • the operationalisation of sustainable development in particular contexts (e.g. the EU) • the institutional/judicial response where the principle has manifested (whether explicitly or implicitly) in case law in different fora (e.g. CJEU, WTO) • the challenges to democracy and accountability exposed by pursuit of the principle of sustainable development (and the responses to its delivery). • alternative regulatory approaches to the realisation of sustainable development To do so the module is structured in three substantive parts and a concluding part drawing the issues together: 1: The overarching legal framework - unpacking ‘sustainable development’ 2: Spotlight on the WTO - Trade and Environment 3: Climate Change: The International Framework of Regulation - Effecting Change? 4 Conclusions: Globalisation and Democracy: Regulatory Challenge

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Weekly one hour lecture • Weekly two hour seminar Learning activities include: • Directed Reading as per distributed reading lists • Preparation for seminars including preparing answers to set questions and identifying own questions to ask in the seminars • Preparing and writing formative coursework and self-reflection of that process • Class discussion (including small group work, presentation and debate) • Formative assessment, constructively aligned with the exam

TypeHours
Seminar20
Preparation for scheduled sessions70
Wider reading or practice10
Lecture10
Revision30
Follow-up work10
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Resources. This module is highly research led, exploring the key substantive issues through an innovative case study approach. This requires a range of sources including: Reid, Balancing Human Rights, Environmental Protection and International Trade: Lessons from the EU Experience, Oxford, Hart, 2017 The principal library resources exist through the library’s existing holdings (including electronic). The module will also be supported by material on the associated Blackboard VLE pages.

Emily Reid (2017). Balancing Human Rights, Environmental Protection and International Trade: Lessons from the EU Experience. 

Assessment

Formative

Formative Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Closed book Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Closed book Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

You may wish to purchase a copy of the key text, Reid, Balancing Human Rights, Environmental Protection and International Trade: Lessons from the EU Experience, Oxford, Hart, 2017. (Paperback, ISBN 9781509913800 £23.99) The module does not carry any further additional costs for you.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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