UCL Faculty of Laws


Advanced Foundations of Environmental Law (LAWS0334)

Environmental law is a complex and fascinating field of study, as well as being of extraordinary practical importance. This module provides a foundation for advanced study in environmental law, as well as an advanced introduction to the topic. It examines different foundational ideas, perspectives and methodological frameworks for studying environmental law in a global context. It also explores particular examples of laws applying to complex environmental problems.

Advanced Foundations of Environmental Law will equip postgraduate taught students with key skills for critically analysing different bodies of environmental law globally.  Students will learn about the complex nature of environmental problems (temporally, geographically, scientifically, and socio-politically), such as air quality, climate change, and biodiversity loss.  Such polycentric problems often have no obvious legal or jurisdictional home, and there are rich bodies of law that are relevant, and concomitantly, a range of potential analytical approaches to studying them.  

The module is a foundational course for our current suite of LLM modules specializing in environmental law, and is also preparatory for further environmental law research, including for independent research projects.

It is expected that students pursuing the Environmental Law LLM specialism will take this module.  It also designed for students not specialising in environmental law who seek an advanced introduction to the subject and to broader ideas around regulation.

Module Syllabus

Across the ten seminars of this module, students will explore different foundational ideas (including issues such as environmental justice, regulatory theory, participation in environmental decision making, the role of expertise in environmental decision making) and methods that inform an advanced study of environmental law. 

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. The convenor is happy to discuss reading if contacted by a student during the module.

Key information

Module details
Credit value:22.5 credits (225 learning hours)
Convenor:Professor Steven Vaughan
Other Teachers:Professor Maria Lee and Dr Pedro Schilling de Carvalho
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:Opportunities for practice and feedback on both presentation skills and a short essay
Final Assessment:

Oral Presentation (50%)

1,500 Word Essay (50%)