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Unit information: Environmental Law in 2020/21

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Unit name Environmental Law
Unit code LAWD30123
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Layard
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides an opportunity for students to obtain an overview of the concepts used by law when tackling environmental issues, the sources of environmental law and the relative merits of deploying different legal tools. Students will consider environmental law primarily in the British and EU contexts; will consider a variety of regulatory approaches and enforcement issues from a theoretical and practical perspective and will look at a number of sectors to ground the various issues in empirical realities.

Although the emphasis is on EU law and national law, some sectors demand a consideration of international law aspects (climate change law).

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. Identify, explain and critically discuss key environmental legal principles, environmental regulatory approaches and theoretical perspectives as well as the law related to selected environmental sectors (e.g. climate change, nature conservation, water pollution).
  2. Employ key environmental regulation concepts and theoretical insights to the analysis of environmental statutes and case law.
  3. Critically analyse environmental law through an in-depth discussion of the environmental sector(s) in question and provide a comparison of different environmental regimes and/or jurisdictions, where appropriate.
  4. Articulate general principles of environmental law through a synthesis of the law and reference to theories of environmental law.
  5. Provide a critical argument to evaluate the role of environmental law in the protection of the natural environment and prevention/mitigation of pollution.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

1 x summative assessment: coursework with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

  • Fisher, Lange and Scotford, Environmental Law (2nd ed, 2019 OUP);
  • Bell, et al. Environmental Law (9th ed, 2017 OUP);
  • Sands and Peels, Principles of International Environmental Law (4th ed2018 OUP- Chapter 8.