Global Environmental Law and Pollution Control - LAWS8390

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Andreas Kotsakis checkmark-circle


This module provides an introduction to global environmental law and a preface to regulatory themes, principles, values, and strategies that are examined in other modules. The focus of the module is on the law relating to pollution in relation to the three environmental media of water, air and land. It uses examples and case studies from around the world and different legal cultures to demonstrate various approaches and efforts to address pollution and improve environmental quality. The module seeks to assess different models and strategies for environmental quality regulation against broader objectives for the environment in reflecting upon what it is that is to be regulated, and why, and whether actual approaches to regulation are the best way of achieving this.


Contact hours

Total study hours: 200
Contact hours: 18
Private study hours: 182


optional module for all LLM courses/pathways

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module will be assessed by 100% coursework as follows:

Coursework - essay 1 (1000 words) - 20%
Coursework - essay 2 (4000 words) - 80%

Reassessment methods

The module will be reassessed by a reassessment instrument of an essay (100% coursework). The reassessment will test all of the learning outcomes as can be seen in the mapping of the essay in section 14 below.

Indicative reading

J. Alder and D. Wilkinson, Environmental Law and Ethics (Palgrave 1999)
E. Fisher, B. Lange and E. Scotford (eds), Environmental Law Text, Cases and Materials (2nd ed, OUP 2019).
A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (ed.). Law and ecology new environmental foundations (Routledge 2011).
J. Dryzek, The politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses (4th ed, OUP 2022).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a comprehensive familiarity with the main sources of law relating to pollution and gain a reasonable
understanding of how to access these materials for the purpose of preparing a module assessment and for more general research
2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the relationship between global environmental law and the policy objectives that it seeks to implement
and gain the capacity to evaluate particular legal provisions in relation to underlying policy goals.
3. Demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the particular legal provisions concerning pollution in relation to water, air and land,
and the interrelationships between these, and be able to compare, contrast and assess the different approaches used.
4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of different approaches to pollution control at international, European Community and national
levels, and the tensions which exist between these, and understand the significance of an appropriate empowered regulatory body in
securing effective enforcement in practice.
5. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the key principles that underlie legal responses to particular kind of environmental
6. Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the general legal options available for addressing environmental quality issues, to see how
these are utilised in the context of the different environmental media of water, air and land and interrelations between these.
7. Demonstrate a conceptual familiarity to particular pollution control issues in relation to their institutional contexts, with particular emphasis
upon the contrasts between international, European Community and national levels of control and the problems of enforcement which

The intended generic learning outcomes are as below.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate sophisticated research techniques in locating and using materials.
2. Formulate written arguments, presenting a reasoned and critical opinion.
3. Critically evaluate the application and practice of law within and across different contexts.


Stage 1


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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