Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law
Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law 2022-23
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 2
This module will examine the theory and practice of international environmental law. Topics covered may include: sources of international environmental law including multilateral environmental agreements and customary law; Theoretical understandings of international environmental law such as anthropocentrism, anthropomorphism and envirocentrism; Principles and concepts of international environmental law including sustainable development, the precautionary principle, the ‘polluter pays’ principle, prevention; Information, public participation, and access to justice in environmental matters; Transboundary pollution; Climate change and energy; Conservation and biodiversity; Protection of different ecosystems including marine, forest and polar ecosystems; Environmental impact assessments; Human rights, conflict and the environment; Enforcement issues. When covering topics in this module, the emphasis will be on supporting students to develop the capacity to apply international environmental law to specific contemporary issues that cross a number of topics, issues such as addressing marine plastic waste and regulating the use of geoengineering.
Students will be required to submit an essay critically analysing a contemporary issue under international environmental law. In a separate assessment students will be required to develop a report on a case study which communicates complex issues and a complex legal analysis of a contemporary environmental issue to a non-expert audience.
Excellent A- to A* (70%+) · Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of the subject area. · Demonstrate extensive background study. ·Be well structured and highly focused. · Contain logically presented and defended arguments. · Be free of factual/computational errors. · Include significant elements of original interpretation. · Demonstrate an ability to identify, develop and present new links between topics. · Include new approaches to analysing and/or explaining a problem. · Be presented to very high standards with very accurate communication.
Good B- to B+ (60-69%) · Demonstrate strong knowledge and understanding of most of the subject area. · Demonstrate evidence of background study. · Be well structured and focused. · Contain coherently presented arguments. · Be mostly free of factual/computational errors. · Include some elements of original interpretation. · Describe well known links between topics. · Analyse and/or explain problems using existing methods/approaches. · Be presented to high standards with accurate communication.
C- to C+C- to C+ (50-59%) Demonstrate knowledge of key areas/principles. · Have some, if only limited, evidence of background study. · Be focussed on the question with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure. · Attempt to present relevant and logical arguments. · Not contain a large number of factual/computational errors. · Describe major links between topics. · Attempt to analyse and/or explain problems. · Be free of major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy
- Conduct independent research into the field of international environmental law in relation to topics covered during the module and topics that fall outside the parameters of the syllabus in any given year.
- Critically analyse contemporary issues and problems in the field of international environmental law and apply an understanding of the ethical foundations of the subject and relevant legal concepts to contemporary issues.
- Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the of the key legal principles and concepts relating to the protection of the environment at the international level and engage in sophisticated discussion and debate in relation to the wider context in which international environmental law operates.
- Develop the ability to communicate informed opinions and ideas on issues within the field of international environmental law to both experts and non-experts alike through written and spoken expression.
- Identify and interpret primary and secondary legal sources of relevance in relation to international environmental law to critically analyse areas of major controversy under international environmental law and in the scholarly literature related to this field
Students will be required to submit an essay critically analysing a contemporary issue under international environmental law.
Students will be required to develop a report on a case study which communicates complex issues and a complex legal analysis of a contemporary environmental issue to a non-expert audience.