LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 15 credits (6 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Professor Maria Lee
Other Teachers:
Ms Chiara Armeni
Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method:10 x two-hour seminars
Who may enrol: LLM students, Other UCL Masters students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: Environmental law and policy, European Union law
Practice Assessment: one 1,500 word practice essay with feedback
Assessment method for Masters students: 3,000 word coursework essay
Module Overview

Module summary

The European Union has built up a substantial body of law and governance mechanisms relating to environmental protection over the past forty years or so, deploying the full scope of available legal instruments and regulatory techniques over a wide range of policy areas. EU environmental law and policy is enormously important within the national jurisdictions of the Member States of the EU, and is increasingly influential as a model beyond the EU. The aim of this module is to examine the foundations of the environmental law of the EU.

The Treaty was initially silent on environmental protection, but now provides a considered framework for the introduction of law and policy on environmental matters, complete with important overarching principles and objectives, such as the precautionary principle, the integration principle and sustainable development. We will study the development of EU environmental law and policy and the most significant ideas driving this area. EU governance has become increasingly complex as awareness has grown of the proliferation of techniques and participants in EU legal and quasi-legal instruments. We will identify various approaches to and instruments of governance and regulation of environmental protection in the EU.

Module syllabus

Development of treaty framework - The Treaty title on the environment (principles) - Sustainable development - Experts, politics and institutions - Regulation and governance approaches in the EU - Public participation in EU environmental decision making - Access to justice in environmental matters - Command and control European style (Industrial emissions) – Enforcement - National autonomy post-authorisation (GMOs)

Recommended materials

There is no single text, but see
Maria Lee, EU Environmental Law: Challenges, Change and Decision making (Hart, 2005);
Joanne Scott (ed) Environmental Protection: European Law and Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Preliminary reading

Maria Lee, EU Environmental Law: Challenges, Change and Decision making (Hart, 2005);
Joanne Scott (ed) Environmental Protection: European Law and Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2008) (esp chap 1)

Other information: N/A
Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.