LL4BV      Half Unit
Transnational Environmental Law

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Veerle Heyvaert


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation, MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Policy and Regulation) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Regulation and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: European Law, Public International Law, Public Law.

This course has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.

Course content

The course instructs students on key issues in environmental law and governance beyond the state. Through the study of recent developments in international environmental law, regional law (including EU law) and private environmental regulation, the course investigates how new transnational environmental laws are made, what the role is of science in environmental decision-making and dispute resolution, how transnational environmental law is implemented and enforced, and whether transnational corporations can be held accountable for environmental damage. The questions are illustrated through case studies relating to, among others, climate change, biodiversity protection and chemical risk control.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Lent Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

One 1,000 - 1,500 (upper limit) word essay.

The students are given an opportunity to sit a mock exam in Week 9 of MT.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list will be provided for each seminar. The overwhelming majority of readings are electronically available as e-books or in journals. Essential reference works include the journal Transnational Environmental Law; Heyvaert, Transnational Environmental Regulation and Governance (CUP, 2019); Heyvaert & Duvic-Paoli, Research Handbook on Transnational Environmental Law (Edward Elgar, 2020); Kingston, Heyvaert & Cavoski, European Environmental Law (CUP, 2017); Sands & Peel, Principles of International Environmental Law (4th ed, CUP, 2018); Bodansky, The Art and Craft of International Environmental Law (2010, Harvard University Press); Bodansky, Brunnee & Hey, The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (OUP, 2007); and the Stern Review Executive Summary (online).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2020/21: 36

Average class size 2020/21: 17

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills