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The University of Southampton
Courses

LAWS6163 International Environmental Law

Module Overview

Environmental challenges do not respect national borders. International cooperation and law is therefore crucial to addressing many of the wicked problems currently facing the international community: including for example, climate change and air and water pollution. The International Environmental Law module provides an introduction to the specialised field of public international law which is concerned with addressing such challenges. This module examines the governance and regulatory aspects of international environmental law, as well providing an introduction to the law (key treaties and cases) which has been instrumental to the development of this field. In so doing it also examines the principles which underpin international environmental law, such as the precautionary principle and sustainable development

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • A1. The historical and political context and development of international environmental law
  • A2. The sources of international environmental law and the role played by international courts, tribunals and other relevant actors
  • A3. The core concepts and principles underpinning international environmental law, and their application
  • A4. Contemporary global challenges facing international environmental law and its governance
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • B1. Source relevant legal materials, including international conventions, statutes, case law on international environmental law
  • B2. Identify legal concepts and principles and apply to breaches of international environmental law
  • B3. Identify and critically evaluate legal and policy responses to environmental challenges.
  • B4. Communicate legal arguments and opinions within the context of international environmental law clearly, accurately and objectively.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • C1. Undertake independent research and access primary and secondary sources effectively.
  • C2. Analyse complex written texts and evaluate different types of arguments
  • C3 Construct arguments based on premises drawn from various sources
  • C4. Communicate arguments in writing and reference sources appropriately

Syllabus

This module will examine: - The development of international environmental law with reference to the historic and political context. - The sources of international environmental law. - The governance of international environmental law, including the respective roles of the various actors and institutions. - The core concepts of international environmental law, such as the principle of sustainable development and the precautionary principle. - Contemporary global challenges facing international environmental law and its governance.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods: One 2-hour seminar per week Learning methods include: - Essential and additional directed reading, as per distributed reading lists reproduced on Blackboard; - Engagement with current legal or commercial developments to ensure that you can relate the material being discussed in class to contemporary issues

TypeHours
Teaching20
Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Sands and Peel (2018). Principles of International Environmental Law. 

Birnie, Boyle & Redgwell's (2019). International Law and the Environment. 

Assessment

Formative

Essay

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Open Book Exam  (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

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate. For example: Sands and Peel Principles of International Environmental Law. (Cambridge University Press) 2018

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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