International Environmental Law - Legal Foundations - LAWS9060

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Module delivery information

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


This module is designed to examine and assess the core foundational legal principles and regulatory structures underpinning international environmental law and policy. Specifically, it considers the various core sources of international law relating to the environment, the principal international institutions involved in its development as well as legal issues involved relating to its implementation and enforcement.


Contact hours

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


LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law; PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law

Method of assessment

Assessment methods
Main assessment methods

Short essay - 1000 words - 20%
Long essay - 4000 words - 80%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Beyerlin/Marauhn, International Environmental Law (Hart, 2011)
Birnie/Boyle/Redgwell, International Law and the Environment (2nd edn) (2009: Oxford)
Bodansky/Brunee/Hey (eds), Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (Oxford 2007)
Sands/Peel, Principles of International Environmental Law (3rd edn) (2012: Cambridge UP)

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 knowledge and understanding of the key concepts, principles, and rules relating to the legal foundations of international environmental law, including those relating to legal sources, institutional arrangements, implementation and enforcement of international environmental law.
2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the importance of broader underlying political and policy contexts and dynamics that underpin the evolution of the legal foundations of international environmental law.
3. Access the main sources of literature and legal texts relating to the legal foundations of international environmental law, including relevant treaty and/or legislative sources, as well as secondary literature such as quality academic opinion.
4. Assimilate and analyse complex material from various sources including international treaties, protocols, declarations, judgments of international courts and tribunals in the field of international environmental law;
5. Undertake appropriate further training or research in the environmental law field.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Present relevant knowledge and understanding in the form of reasoned and supported argument.
2. Carry out thorough research analysing various points of view and using wide sources.
3. Express themselves to a high standard, with appropriate use of citation.
4. Find relevant primary and secondary material for research in hard copy and through electronic sources.


  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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