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

The course examines environmental law and governance from the international, regional and national levels. The global coverage includes international environmental law and draws on experiences from the  EU, USA, Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand highlighting environmental policy innovations from around the world. The topics include state sovereignty, the UN system, principles and sources of international environmental law, climate change, biodiversity, trade, indigenous peoples, human rights and current and future developments in global governance.

Content outline

Part one of the course covers factual, political and legal issues surrounding protection of the global environment including history and concept of Public International Law, principles and guiding ideas of International Environmental Law, developments since the 1992 Earth Summit and emerging issues since the Rio+20 Summit 2012.

Part two covers specific areas of international environmental law including climate change, biodiversity, oceans, indigenous peoples, human rights, trade, and the emerging concept of sustainability law and governance.


2250 word assignment (30%)

2 hour closed book exam (70%)

Recommended text

Bosselmann, K., Grinlinton D. and Taylor, P. (eds.) Environmental Law for a Sustainable Society, 2nd ed., 2013, NZCEL Monograph Series, Auckland/NZ.