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.
INTERNATIONAL ENERGY LAW (LAWSG086) Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Assessment method for LLM students: 3-hour unseen written examination
Assessment method for SIL students: 3.000 word coursework essay
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 both the Energy Charter Treaty and energy trade under the WTO. Part II ends with a cross-sectoral look at energy security issues ranging from piracy, hostage-taking and armed incursions, to 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, nuclear, and renewable sectors. Consideration will be also given to the regional development of energy law and policy with a case study of the EU. The unique features of the legal regimes which have developed to support development of transboundary oil and gas fields are also highlighted in this part. Other resources – genetic resources, water, wood, fish and mammals are also briefly examined in Part I (what are natural resources?) and Part IV (human rights and environment). This latter Part includes case study of transboundary pipelines development to illustrate, inter alia, the complex interplay of human rights, environment and other factors, and to identify the actors involved (including international financial institutions such as the World Bank) and the remedies routes available to affected individuals and groups. This links to Part V, the accountability of non-state actors – including multinational enterprises - and 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?
2. Key Actors and Institutions
3. Sources of International Energy Law
4. Fundamental Legal Concepts: from Permanent Sovereignty to
5. State Jurisdiction and Responsibility
Part II: Providing a Stable Legal Environment for Energy Trade and Investment
6. Dispute Settlement, Sanctions and Remedies
7. International Regulation of Energy Investment
8. International Regulation of Energy Trade I
9. International Regulation of Energy Trade II
10. Energy Security
Part III: International, Transnational and Regional Regulation of Energy Activities
11. Mock Examination; Offshore Oil and Gas I
12. Offshore Oil and Gas II
13. Nuclear Safety and Liability
14. Renewable Energy
15. EU Energy Law & Policy
Part IV: Energy, Human Rights and the Environment
16. Regulating the Environmental Consequences of Energy Activities
17. Environmental Impact Assessment and Public Participation
18. Substantive Human Rights Challenges to Energy Activities: Transboundary Pipelines Case Study
Part V: Accountability of Non-State Actors and Institutions
There is no recommended module text, for the simple reason that a single text which covers the range of energy and natural resources law topics addressed in this module simply does not exist. A reading list with required and further reading, drawn from a wide range of specialist monographs and journal articles, will be supplied at the beginning of the module, covering each seminar topic and providing questions for discussion.
A basic knowledge of public international law is essential for anyone taking this module. Those whom 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 Vaughan Lowe, International Law (Clarendon Press, 2007), chs. 1-2 (general overview, and how international law is made).
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 and/or J.E. Hickey, ‘International Law’ (Ch. 4) in J.E. Hickey et al., Energy Law & Policy for the 21st Century (Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 2000). The former (Redgwell chapter) is also a good broad overview of most of the major topics addressed in the module.
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 open.
Please refer to the How to apply section for information on the application process.