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LAWS3097 Globalisation and Law

Module Overview

Can a state impose human rights conditions on its trading partners? Can a state regulate the import of goods on the basis of environmental considerations? Is it legitimate for a state to require labelling of goods (such as dolphin friendly tuna) in response to consumer concerns? Can the EU legitimately ban the import of ‘hormone treated’ beef? To what extent is individual state regulatory choice constrained by international commitments and regulatory frameworks? Such questions are at the heart of ‘Globalisation and Law’ ‘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. 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 environmental protection, to labour standards, to 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: a principle or problem of particular contemporary significance is selected (such as the principle of sustainable development) 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 global governance
  • The regulatory challenges arising from the global commitment to prima facie conflicting objectives, such as
  • Different regulatory approaches to the management of diverse objectives
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
  • 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
  • Effectively research, organise and manage an independent project using available primary and secondary, electronic and paper sources

Syllabus

Globalisation is a concept which gained currency through the latter half of the twentieth century and encapsulates the developing inter-connection of markets and economic systems, driven by trade liberalisation. Yet alongside this drive towards trade liberalisation, the international community has committed itself to a range of objectives including inter alia environmental and social. These diverse objectives are established by different actors through separate (specialist) regimes. Thus for example the World Trade Organisation regulates international trade at multilateral level, alongside this trade regime are numerous regional and multilateral sets of international commitments relating to (inter-alia) environmental protection, to labour standards, to human rights. The emergence of new and diverse global, non-state, actors 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. There are thus a number of key legal and regulatory issues raised which will be 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 This module will explore these questions through means of a case study approach selecting a problem or principle of particular contemporary significance, such as the principle of sustainable development or challenges arising relating to risk regulation. Indicative example of how this will be done: The module may well approach these questions through a case study on sustainable development. In this event the module would explore: • 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 • the meaning and content of sustainable development (highlighting the prima facie conflicting objectives therein) • the international legal and institutional regulatory frameworks within which this principle has been adopted and can be delivered • The diverse (sometimes conflicting) regimes engaged by the commitment to sustainable development. • the operationalisation of the principle in particular contexts (e.g. the EU) • the institutional response where the principle has manifested (whether explicitly or implicitly) in case law in different fora (e.g. ECJ, 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

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Weekly seminars Learning activities include: • Directed Reading (as per distributed reading lists) • (Management of) independent research (for coursework) • Preparing and writing formative coursework and self-reflection of that process • Preparing and writing summative coursework • Preparation and delivery of oral presentation • Class discussion (including small group work).

TypeHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions68
Follow-up work10
Seminar22
Wider reading or practice10
Completion of assessment task40
Total study time150

Assessment

Formative

Coursework

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (5000 words) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (5000 words) 100%
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