UCL Faculty of Laws


Land Use, Sustainability and Environmental Justice (LAWS0042)

This course examines the relationship between sustainability and environmental justice, focusing upon land use and development.

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Sustainable development and environmental justice represent two vitally important environmental ‘movements’ which have developed rapidly over the past twenty years or so, both in parallel and in tandem, depending on the relative strength of each concept at a particular time. It is now clear that the realisation of sustainable development as well as other environmental goals) is underpinned by considerations of justice having international, domestic as well as intergenerational dimensions. This course provides an examination of the central issues relating to sustainability and environmental justice, through a close analysis of regulatory approaches and theoretical perspectives relating to land use and development. We consider the legal and policy dynamics of environmental regulation and critically assess the role that law and policy has to play in achieving sustainability and environmental justice. Our starting point is EU environmental law, in particular environmental assessment, nature conservation and strategic planning, but we also draw upon examples from other jurisdictions.

Module syllabus

This module is subject to change.

  • Sustainability and environmental justice in Environmental Law
  • Ecological Foundations of environmental law
  • The Tragedy of the Commons
  • Tracing Sustainable Development
  • Dimensions of Environmental Justice
  • Relating Inter- and Intra-generational Justice
  • Ecological Justice and ecological theories: wild law, deep ecology, social ecology and ecofeminism
  • Sustainable communities, planning and the law
  • Presentations

Recommended materials

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment. No single book takes the approach envisaged for this module.

Preliminary reading

  • J. Agyeman, Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice (NYUP, 2005) which explores the argument that there is considerable theoretical and practical compatibility between sustainability and environmental justice.

Key information

Module details
Credit value:15 credits (7.5 ECTS, 150 learning hours)
Convenor:Jane Holder
Other Teachers:Maria Lee, Eloise Scotford
Teaching Delivery:10 x 2-hour weekly seminars, Term One
Who may enrol:Any UCL Master’s student
Must not be taken with:None
Qualifying module for:LLM in Environmental Law and Policy
Practice Assessment:Opportunity for feedback on one optional practice essay
Final Assessment:Essay (100%)