LLAW6037 International environmental law

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6037 / JDOC6037
Course name: International Environmental Law
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: Not applicable
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 40

1.2 Course description

Air pollution, deforestation, climate change, biodiversity loss and the extinction, or near extinction, of some wildlife species are just some of the many environmental problems that the world faces today. Environmentalists, governments, courts, NGOs, and a variety of other interested parties or stakeholders, both at the international and domestic levels, have contributed to solving environmental problems by the use of law. To what extent has it been successful, or unsuccessful? How do states solve environmental problems collectively, that is, by way of treaties and conventions, and individually, that is, by way of domestic law? How do some states balance economic development and resource exploitation against environmental protection?

This course aims to provide students with a contextual and elementary understanding of the key global and domestic environmental issues and the purported legal solutions. After a broad survey of the major international environmental laws, this course will look at some selected jurisdictions and see the way in which these jurisdictions deal with environmental problems legally. The jurisdictions that will be looked at include China, the UK and Hong Kong, as well as some major regional organizations such as the EU and ASEAN. Moreover, this course will delve into specific areas of environmental concerns such as the marine environment, climate change and the protection of wildlife. There are no prerequisites for this course.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Alison Cole acole@hku.hk CCT 615  By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Describe and explain the main international environmental treaties and conventions that have been ratified by the international community for the purposes of environmental protection, conservation and sustainable development.

CLO 2 Understand and use the relevant environmental theories that form the bases of environmental laws, regulations and policies to explain and justify the rationales behind such laws, regulations and policies.

CLO 3 Apply the forms and substances of the major international environmental treaties and conventions to the laws and regulations found at the domestic level in some jurisdictions and be able to conduct analytical comparisons and draw conclusions therefrom.

CLO 4 Demonstrate the ability to analyze environmental laws and regulations critically, as well as to appreciate the inherently controversial elements that make up certain environmental policies, which are the sources of much tension and debate.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 1  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Take home exam TBC 50% 1, 2, 3, 4
Research paper TBC 50% 1, 2, 3, 4
  *Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.