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: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Dr Danae Azaria
Other Teachers:


This module examines the legal regulation of international energy activities. It is divided into five parts. Part I provides a solid foundation in the general international law concepts and principles applicable to energy and natural resource activities, including permanent sovereignty over natural resources and sustainable development. The extent to which the key actors engaged in energy activities are subject to international regulation is also examined, including the rules of international law governing state responsibility and the exercise of state jurisdiction over energy and natural resources activities. Given the extent of private sector involvement in these activities, the protection of foreign direct investment and the responsibility of States for expropriation is examined in Part II. Energy trade is also covered in this part, including under both the Energy Charter Treaty and the WTO. Part II ends with a the examination of the laws of armed conflict and how they apply to energy activities, and a cross-sectoral look at energy security issues ranging from piracy, hostage-taking and security of supply in times of international emergency.

Part III examines the international legal regulation of specific energy and natural resources sectors, in particular the oil and gas, and renewable sectors with detailed discussion of the rules concerning offshore exploitation. The unique features of the legal regimes, which have been developed to support the development of transboundary oil and gas fields, are highlighted in this part, along with rules for the protection of the environment in a transboundary context.

Part IV examines the complex interplay of different interests and actors in activities in the energy sector, and includes a case study of transboundary pipelines development to illustrate, inter alia, the complex interplay of human rights, environment and other factors. It also identifies the actors involved (including international financial institutions such as the World Bank) and the remedies available to affected individuals and groups. This links to the accountability of non-state actors – including multinational enterprises - and international institutions for the environmental, human rights, and other consequences of their energy and natural resources activities.


Part I Introduction: What is International Energy Law and Where Do We Find It?

  1. Introduction
  2. Key Actors and Institutions
  3. Sources of International Energy Law
  4. Fundamental Legal Concepts: from Permanent Sovereignty toSustainable Development
  5. State Jurisdiction and International Responsibility
  6. Dispute Settlement, Enforcement, Compliance and Remedies
  7. Part II: Providing a Stable Legal Environment for Energy Trade and Investment

  8. Foreign Direct Investments and Expropriation
  9. Energy Charter Treaty
  10. Energy and the WTO
  11. Energy and Armed Conflict [+Mock Examination]
  12. Part III: International and Regional Regulation of Energy Activities

  13. Offshore Oil and Gas I
  14. Offshore Oil and Gas II
  15. Renewable Energy: Offshore and Onshore
  16. Part IV: Energy, Human Rights and the Environment

  17. Environmental Impact Assessments and Public Participation
  18. Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  19. Substantive Human Rights Challenges to Energy Activities: Transboundary Pipelines Case Study
  20. Corporate Accountability
  21. Institutional Accountability

  22. Energy Security in International Law
  23. Exam Review /Mock Examination

Background Reading (optional):

A basic knowledge of public international law is essential for anyone taking this module. Those who have never studied public international law are strongly encouraged to do some background reading.

A good introductory text is M. Shaw, International Law (6th edn, Cambridge University Press, 2009) chs. 1 & 3 (nature and development, and sources) or J. Crawford, Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law, (OUP: 2012), chapters 1 (introduction), 2 (sources) and 4 (subjects of international law)

A useful refresher for the general principles, discussed in a specific energy context is C. Redgwell, ‘International Regulation of Energy Activities’ in M.M. Roggenkamp, C. Redgwell I. del Guayo and A. Ronne, eds., Energy Law in Europe: National, EU and International Regulation (Oxford University Press, 2nd edn, 2007), pp. 13-40. This chapter also provides a broad overview of most of the major topics addressed in the module.

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: Yes
Previous module enrolments: Medium - 16-50 students
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisities: There are no formal pre-requisites, but a basic knowledge of public international law is essential (see background reading above)
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: International Law, Environmental Law and Policy, Energy Law
Final Assessment: 3-hour unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: Opportunity for feedback on one optional practice essay per term

This page was last updated on 8 July, 2014


The application process for the 2015-16 academic session is now open.

Please note, for the 2015-16 intake, we are not accepting the TOEFL test. If you have an English condition to meet, you must take one of the alternative tests listed here instead.