University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

International Environmental Law (LL.M.)


This course introduces students to international environmental law and considers how international law may be used to facilitate environmental protection. The first part of the course (Michaelmas Term) commences with an overview of the international legal system in the context of environmental protection. It then discusses the history, development, sources and principles of international environmental law and reviews the role of the UN and other international organisations in the context of environmental protection. Next, it reviews key issues (atmospheric protection, climate change, transboundary water, biodiversity and international forest law) to analyse the creation, implementation and effectiveness of international environmental law.

The second part of the course (Lent term) analyses particularly complex international environmental issues. Using case studies which may include hazardous waste, nuclear energy and biotechnology, it explores damage, liability and dispute settlement in an international environmental context, discusses the role of international litigation, and analyses the relationship between environmental protection and international trade law.

  1. History and Development of International Environmental Law (IEL)
  2. Sources and Principles of IEL
  3. Atmospheric Protection
  4. Climate Change
  5. Transboundary Water
  6. Biodiversity I
  7. Biodiversity II
  8. International Forest Law
  9. Hazardous Waste and Toxic Substances
  10. Nuclear Energy
  11. Biotechnology
  12. Environmental Protection and the Law of Armed Conflict
  13. Environment and Trade I
  14. Environment and Trade II
  15. International Environmental Litigation I
  16. International Environmental Litigation II