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International Environmental Law




Admissions requirements

Principles of Public International Law. The Energy and Resource Management course is recommended.


International environmental law (IEL) is an innovative, dynamic, and rapidly developing field that seeks to ameliorate global environmental issues such as the impacts of climate change and marine pollution/exploitation. As the causes, effects, and potential solutions of such global phenomena transcend national boundaries, international cooperation is increasingly important as reflected in a growing number of international environmental agreements governing disparate issues such as nuclear testing, hazardous substances, and atmospheric pollution. This course aims to provide students with an overview of the evolution of international environmental law, as well as an introduction to the major concepts, cases, and principles that shape effective global environmental governance. Throughout the course, attention will be focused on international responses to environmental issues with a transboundary or global scope. Following the introductory lectures, which will set the scene by introducing the major players (international institutions and actors) in the field, students will have an opportunity to explore the role of international law in regulating environmental problems such as marine pollution, climate change, nuclear testing, deforestation, and ozone depletion, as well as the governance of outer space, the Arctic, and Antarctica.

Course objectives

Upon completing this course students will be able to:

  • Think holistically about global environmental issues and discuss the complexity of human interaction with the earth’s biosphere

  • Describe the foundations and evolution of IEL

  • Discuss and identify key concepts and doctrines of international environmental law

  • Critically evaluate the role and remit of international institutions, and State’s compliance with IEL in addressing the challenges facing the global environmental system

  • Apply the knowledge gained in class to evaluate various environmental governance regimes, such as climate change and atmospheric protection; the law of the sea; protection of the Arctic and Antarctica; and conservation and biodiversity

  • Display a capacity to communicate effectively, both orally and in the written form, about international environmental law issues.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

This course will proceed primarily as a seminar. Each class will include opening remarks/introductory lecture followed by a discussion of assigned readings and student presentations. It is expected that students will engage actively in class discussions and debates.


Discussion leader: 20%
Oral presentation: 20%
Tribunal hearing: 30%
Final research paper: 30%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Readings will be made available upon commencement of the course.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Bríd Walsh, (Block 1)
Alexandros Sarris, (Block 3)