LAS 381 • COMPARATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
MEETING TIME: T 630-715P; W 530-715P; F 1030-1215P
This course intends to group in one semester a variety of complex modern environmental issues which interest both common and civil law Jurisdictions. Traditional Comparative Environmental Law courses start from existing international and national environmental legislation and legal institutions. This approach will not be followed here. Instead, the courses uses a problematic methodology, departing from a group of controversial evnrionmental issues common to most countries in the world. In this context, the legal solution and instruments adopted by the different jurisdictions are analyzed. There are two basic goals of this approach. First, it is meant to free the students from the legal frameworks in place in their country thus stimulating creativity in the use of law as a tool for the protection of the environment. Second, the course stresses the desirability of studying core environmental problems from a global perspective, irrespective of established national legal orders or traditional normative instruments. Objectives: The course intends to five the student basic knowledge of some of the most important environmental issues of the world, enabling the student to analyze and understand the different forms of environmental regulation and legal solutions adopted in various countries and legal systems. The purpose of the course is not to train the student on international environmental law or on national environmental law from specific countries, but rather to provide the student with the means to identify the major environmental problems in any jurisdiction and come up with reasonable solutions which could be applied worldwide. Students who plan to work for multilateral organizations, multinational corporations and major law firms with international clients will benefit the most from the course. The course is divided into 5 main parts: (1) property rights and the environment; (2) consititutional basis for environmental law; (3) sustainable development and the role of law; (4) environmental enforcement; and, if time allows, another topic (5) trade and environment will be covered. Methodology: The course will use three types of learning tools: (a) legal and non-legal texts; (b) long distance and conference call discussions; and (c) lectures by legal experts from outside the Law School. Reading Materials: The course does not use a specific book. It will use reading materials from different authors. All reading materials are in English. Long Distance conference calls: At the end of each topic there will be a long-distance conference call discussion among the students and the author of one of the articles or chapter of books previously assigned. In previous years, scholars from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Italy and Germany opened the discussions. Grading policy: Grades will be determined primarily on the basis of a final examination, but substantial weight will also be given to class participation.