LL4BV      Half Unit
Transnational Environmental Law

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Veerle Heyvaert

Additional teachers: Mr Oliver Hailes, Mr Jakub Bokes


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 has a limited number of places and demand is typically high. This may mean that you’re not able to get a place on this course.

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, transnational trends in national environmental law, and private environmental regulation, the course engages with the dominant environmental challenges of our age. It addresses a range of topical themes including the effectiveness of international treaties, the rights and responsibilities of large corporations, the meaning and impact of environmental legal principles, the role of science and of indigenous knowledge in environmental decision-making and dispute resolution, the potential and risks attached to rights-based approaches to environmental protection, and integration of environmental concerns into other legal disciplines and economic transactions. The questions are illustrated through case studies relating to, among others, climate change and biodiversity protection.


This course will have 20 hours of teaching content in Winter Term and an additional two hours of teaching in the Spring Term. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Winter Term.

Formative coursework

The students can choose between a formative essay (1,000 - 1,500 word limit) and a mock exam.

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 spring exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2022/23: 29

Average class size 2022/23: 29

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills