European Environmental Law
Full course description
Environmental law has emerged as an extremely dynamic field of law, particularly in view of the urgent need to develop adequate legal approaches to deal with various transboundary and global environmental problems. This course addresses the role of European law in protecting human health and the natural environment against the (potentially) damaging effects of pollution. In particular the global problem of climate change will be taken as a central focus: the EU has tried to establish itself as a global leader by having adopted a vast package of secondary legislation addressing greenhouse gas emissions, with a prominent role for market-based regulation in order to reach efficient outcomes. Meanwhile, Environmental nongovernmental organisations (ENGOs) have got stronger legal rights, and we will discuss legal strategies that ENGOs employ in their attempt for reaching more environmental protection.
The course covers:
- EU competences for environmental decision-making;
- the interplay between international environmental law and EU environmental law;
- human rights (ECHR) and the environment, sustainable development and the right of future generations, and procedural rights for environmental organisations and potential victims;
- regulatory instruments for steering the behaviour of industries, with attention to the market-based instrument known as “emissions trading”.
- enforcement of environmental law in view of EU secondary legislation establishing liability of polluters.
The main objectives of this course are that the student:
- acquires knowledge of the main characteristics, developments, strengths and weaknesses of European environmental law;
- understands the relationship between international and European environmental law, in particular in the field of climate change and in the field of procedural rights;
- is capable to identify environmental procedural rights, and is capable of determining legal strategies for improving environmental protection;
- can apply his/her knowledge on true-life environmental cases (particularly climate change);
- can develop a critical analysis (both orally and on paper) of concrete environmental law developments, in particular governmental policies and regulations and court decisions
Bachelor-level based knowledge of European law is needed.
- A reader with environmental legal texts will be provided.
- In addition, an e-reader is provided through the library.
- Furthermore, the course book refers – with links - to useful documents and articles.