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Law Courses Catalog

International Environmental Law

NOTE: As a result of the Professor’s travel schedule, this course will meet for 2 hours twice a week to avoid make-up classes.

This course examines the principal laws and institutions in the field of international environmental law. The course begins with a review of the fundamental underpinnings of environmental and international law, including the precautionary principle, polluter pays principle, state responsibility for environmental harm, and permanent sovereignty over natural resources. The course next examines issues of the global commons, such as ozone depletion, climate change, and depletion of ocean resources. It explores international treaties to protect biological diversity, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. It also examines major pollution issues, such as hazardous waste trade. Throughout these discussions, we examine development issues, the polarization of issues as developed and developing country issues, and the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the development and enforcement of international environmental law. Grading is based on an examination.