UCL Faculty of Laws


Land Use, Sustainability and Environmental Justice (LAWS0301)

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

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. 

We plan to hold some of the seminars in an outdoor environment (most likely Camley Natural Park, St Pancras). 

Module syllabus 

  • Sustainability and environmental justice in Environmental Law
  • Ecological foundations of environmental law
  • Tragedy of the commons
  • Sustainable development trajectories
  • Dimensions of environmental justice
  • Climate justice and land use
  • Ecological justice and ecological theories: wild law, deep ecology, social ecology and ecofeminism
  • Sustainable communities, planning and the law 

Teaching and assessment 

We teach this course by encouraging and leading seminar discussion and debate, rooted in law and policy, and supplemented by presentations and group exercises and debates.   

The course assessment is a 3000-word essay.  You may develop your own essay title (following discussion) or address one of the questions that we suggest.  

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:22.5 credits (225 learning hours)
Convenor:Jane Holder
Other Teachers:Eloise Scotford
Teaching Delivery:

10 x 2-hour weekly seminars, Term One

Who may enrol:LLM Students Only


Must not be taken with:None
Qualifying module for:LLM in Environmental Law and Policy
Practice Assessment:TBD
Final Assessment:

3,000 Word Essay (100%)