International, European and Comparative Environmental Law

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
IUS/02 IUS/13
Learning objectives
The course explores and analyses the foundations and the main principles and rules of Environmental Law in an international, European, and comparative law perspective.
In the second part, selected topics will be addressed in the three perspectives (International, European and comparative).
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of this course, students will:
- have knowledge and understanding of the policy options, regulatory techniques, and implementation challenges of the environmental law, in its international, European, and comparative dimensions;
- have advanced knowledge and understanding of the legal principles, approaches, and techniques of environmental law and adequate knowledge and understanding of international and European rules relating to selected areas of environmental law
- understand the interplay between the different levels of environmental regulation (international, European, domestic), as well as how "legal transplants" shape the making and implementation of environmental law
- be able to identify and analyse legal issues of environmental law in a multi-level system, conduct basic research of the relevant materials, report on selected issues and cases, and apply their knowledge to other cases raising similar legal issues
- structure an adequate argument on practical cases, including: identify and synthesise the relevant facts, identify and analyse the applicable legal framework in a multilevel system, make a reasonable and coherent argument on the application of the rules to the facts of the case, and draw consequential conclusions.
- express advanced concepts of environmental law in a multi-level and comparative perspective law in a coherent and adequate fashion, using proper legal terminology
- acquire a method of independent research and study of international, European and comparative environmental law, including by learning how to search and use primary sources, case-law, and scholarship.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester

In the first semester, classes will be live-streamed on Microsoft Teams, following the lessons timetable.
Live-streamed classes will be recorded and will be available on the online platform.

Students will be informed as soon as possible, through the course ARIEL website, in case they will be able also to attend in person some classes at the University premises. This possibility will depend upon the evolution of the emergency and related safety measures, the availability of classrooms, the needs and preferences of students. In any case, all classes will be live-streamed and recorded and will be available on the online platform, in order to meet the needs of those unable or unwilling to attend in person. In this case, students willing to attend classes will be required to reserve their seat through a special app and to strictly comply with the COVID protocol (facemask-wearing, social distancing, hands disinfection, etc ).

The course will alternate and combine lectures and seminar teaching and will be tailored to match the learning necessities of students attending physically and remotely alike. Classes may require prior readings and include pre-recorded components.

To cope with possible connection and/or time zone issues, simultaneous course attendance (i.e. connection on the platform at the scheduled time) will not be mandatory. However, the Course will be based on class interaction. Therefore, students are strongly advised to strive to be able to attend the online classes and will be required to provide reasons for the inability to do so.

The course programme is unchanged. However, the specific contents of classes will adapt to the teaching methods outlined above.

Reference materials for each class will be adjusted to the distance learning modality and uploaded to the Ariel course website.

Class attendance and participation will be taken into account only as an additional component of the assessment.
An oral exam may take place instead of the written test unless all students will be able to physically attend an exam at the University premises or the University will provide a platform for written exams by remote. Updated information will be given through the ARIEL website of the Course in due time.
Course syllabus
1. Introduction to environmental law in a complex legal landscape
1.1. The relationship between international, European, and domestic Environmental Law
1.2. The techniques, approaches and added value of the comparative law method in environmental law. The concept of legal transplants
2. International environmental law
2.1. Origins and development
2.2. Principles and areas of regulation
2.3. Actors
2.4. Law-making processes: custom, treaties and soft-law
2.5. Dispute Settlement and accountability mechanisms
3. European environmental law
3.1. History and legal basis
3.2. Principles, policies and instruments
3.3. Implementation in Member states
4.1. Different approaches to environmental law within and outside of Europe
4.2. Legal transplants
5. Selected issues/topics in an integrated international, European, and comparative perspective.
Prerequisites for admission
Students of the LM in Sustainable Development must have passed all the exams of the first year in order to attend the course.
For other students, including international exchange students, there are no formal prerequisites to take the course. However, it is strongly recommended that students taking this exam have previous basic instruction in both Public International Law and EU law.
Teaching methods
Course attendance is mandatory: students will be required to attend at least 70% of classes.
During the course, lectures will be alternated with class discussions, case-law analysis, and workshops. Students are expected to read the relevant part of the suggested handbook and/or the material available on the ARIEL website in advance of the class in order to actively participate in discussions.
Teaching Resources
The following textbook will provide students with the basic elements of knowledge for the Course:
- E Hey, Advanced Introduction to International Environmental Law, Edward Elgar, 2016.
- G. Van Calster and L. Reins, EU Environmental Law, Edward Elgar, 2017 (Part I).
Further mandatory and suggested readings will be given during the Course and be available on the ARIEL page of the Course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final mark/grade will be expressed in **/30. Students will be assessed upon:
a) active participation in the course and to the activities that form an integral part of it, including the writing and presentation of a short essay (3.000 words) on an assigned topic or case (*/20);
b) the mark obtained in the written exams composed of multiple-choice questions and two open questions, to be chosen in a roaster of questions (*/10).
Lessons: 42 hours
Wednesday 9:00-11:00 AM, preferably by appointment
Dip. Dir. Pubblico It. e Sovr., Groun Floor, via Festa del Perdono 7, or Microsoft Teams