LAWENVIR 420 - Global Environmental Law

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Semester One
Contact hours: 3 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Professor Klaus Bosselmann
Prerequisites: 30 points at Stage II in Global Environment and Sustainable Development or LAW 211

Course description

Concepts, principles, customs, and treaties of international law as related to the protection of the global environment including: prevention of pollution, protection of the marine environment, ozone layer protection, climate change, biodiversity, the UNCED process and the legal framework for sustainable development.

Course overview

Global Environmental Law (GEL) examines treaties, institutions and principles of international environmental law and national environmental laws (incl. NZ, UK, Germany) from the perspective of the global environment - or Earth. GEL transcends conventional distinctions between national and international, private and public, formal and informal and aims for law-making beyond the nation state. GEL asks why states are failing, promotes a shift from state-centered to earth-centered perspectives of law-making and develops new concepts such as rights of nature, trusteeship responsibilities and Earth governance. 


  • Reflection piece (5%)
  • Essay (45%)
  • Exam (50%)