The aim of the course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of international environmental law. The course starts with a general discourse on the functions of law and how can law be employed to address global and regional environmental problems. A special emphasis is placed the relationship of environmental law and environmental ethics. Then students learn basics on sources of international law and explore how these sources apply to the protection of environment. This general introduction is followed by a more detailed analysis of particular areas such as climate change, biodiversity, water law, high seas fisheries, state responsibility and other topical issues. The emphasis in this course is placed on interactive study methods e.g., active student engagement via teamwork, discussions and student presentations.

Students who pass this course have knowledge of the basics of international environmental law. They know how the rules of international environmental law are formed, types of sources of law and their legal effect. Students have understanding of the role of states and international organizations in the application of international environmental law and are familiar with some of the most topical issues.

When dealing with a particular case, students are able to determine which areas of international environmental law are relevant and which conventions or customary rules applicable. Students also are able to identify, interpret and apply basic notions of general public international law and in simplified circumstances are capable to apply rules on the law of treaties and state responsibility.

Students are able to conduct independent legal research, present and debate their findings. Students are also aware of the most current legal research on topical environmental issues and are able to integrate these findings into their research.

To obtain the credits students are required to: 1) write an essay and present it before the class (25% of the final mark); 2) participate in a moot-court case (25% of the final mark) 3) pass the final exam (50% of the final mark).

State of Earth’s environment and the function of law
Environmental ethics
Sources of public international law
Sources of international environmental law
General principles of international environmental law
Application of the precautionary principle
Protection of marine environment
Negotiating multilateral environmental agreements
Simulation of multilateral environmental negotiations
State responsibility in international law
Water law disputes
Climate change
Protection of the biological diversity
Law of the sea and high seas fisheries
International trade and protection of environment

Basic textbooks
1. Birnie P., Boyle A., International Law & The Environment, 3rd edition, Oxford, 2008.
2 Fitzmaurice M., Research Handbook on International Environmental Law, Elgar, 2017
2. Bodansky D., Brunnée J., and Rajamani L., International Climate Change Law, Oxford, 2017
3. Gardiner S., Perfect Moral Storm, The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change, Oxford, 2011
4. Weiss, B., ed., Reconciling environment and Trade 2nd edition, Leiden, 2008.
5 Bodansky D., Brunnée J., and Hey E., The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, Oxford, 2007.