LL402E      Half Unit
Key Issues in Transnational Environmental Law

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Veerle Heyvaert NAB7.06


This course is available on the Executive LLM. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course will be offered on the Executive LLM during the four year degree period. The Department of Law will not offer all Executive LLM courses every year, although some of the more popular courses may be offered in each year, or more than once each year. Please note that whilst it is the Department of Law's intention to offer all Executive LLM courses, its ability to do so will depend on the availability of the staff member in question. For more information please refer to the Department of Law website.

Course content

The course focuses on current developments in environmental law beyond the State, which includes both the European and international level. It reviews the main law and policy principles that inspire transnational environmental developments, and identifies opportunities for and obstacles to the effectiveness of transnational environmental law. Then, the course turns the spotlight on the most important environmental challenges of our time and examines the role of transnational law in managing or resolving them. The course is structured as follows: 1. Environmental law in context: economic and alternative approaches to sustainable development. 2. Sources and principles of transnational environmental law. 3. Transnational liability: responding to global catastrophes. 4. Governing environmental risk and the role of the precautionary principle. 5. Controlling toxic substances. 6. Climate change: international law and policy developments. 7. Climate change: transnational carbon reduction regimes. 8. Protecting biodiversity through designation: the EU example. 9. Regulating markets for ecosystem services. 10. Trade and the environment. 11. Revision.


24-26 hours of contact time.

Formative coursework

Students will have the option of producing a formative exam question of 2000 words to be delivered one month from the end of the module’s teaching session by email.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list will be provided for each seminar. Essential reference works include Sands and Peel, Principles of International Environmental Law (CUP, 2012); Bodansky, The Art and Craft of International Environmental Law (Harvard University Press, 2010); Bodansky, Brunnee & Hey, The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (OUP, 2007); M. Lee, EU Environmental Law, Governance and Decision-Making (Hart, 2014); R. Revesz, P. Sands & R. Stewart, Environmental Law, the Economy, and Sustainable Development (CUP, 2000); Carlarne, Climate Change Law and Policy. EU and US Approaches (OUP, 2010); R. Coase, ‘The Problem of Social Cost’ (1960) 3 The Journal of Law & Economics, 1-44; and Stern Review Executive Summary (online).


Either a take-home examination or 8,000 word assessed essay (100%).

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills