Environmental Regulation and Redress

Module titleEnvironmental Regulation and Redress
Module codeLAW2016C
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Mrs Kate Holtaway (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

If you are concerned about environmental destruction and ensuring accountability on a global basis, then learning to articulate your argument and back it up with a sound grasp of the law might help you to make a real difference! The module is crucial to establish a working knowledge of how the law can be used as a mechanism to reconcile competing values in the protection of the environment and seeks to develop an understanding of the legal avenues available to mitigate environmental harm. As an environmentally aware individual what can you do if you feel that another individual or business has committed an environmental wrong? What guidance is given on a global level, and what are the forms of redress where law is ignored? If it is the ‘polluter’ who should pay for environmental damage, how should that principle be enforced, and what immediate action can an individual take where he/she is concerned that irretrievable environmental damage might occur?

Module aims - intentions of the module

You will look at international contributions to UK law and policy and the important role the EU has had in setting environmental standards. You will examine how, during our membership of the EU, we have been obliged in the UK to reflect these decisions in our own legislation. You will critically reflect on the extent to which the law might be used to embed pro-environmental behavior and sustainability.

Various forms of redress will be considered within popular contexts in environmental law, for example climate change, air quality, biodiversity and marine pollution. You will be introduced to the difference between public law responses in the form of legislation and private law controls like negligence and private nuisance. We will also explore potential future avenues for redress as individuals for example through the expansion of the application of a human rights agenda in environmental matters, as well as considering national accountability for wrongdoing.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify and explain the historical foundations of environmental law
  • 2. Illustrate the key principles of environmental law
  • 3. Describe the main ethical perspectives of environmental law and policy
  • 4. Analyse the different sectors of environmental regulation
  • 5. Identify and evaluate with minimum guidance the current content and direction of environmental law
  • 6. Use relevant information to explain and discuss how environmental law has developed and is applied in practice

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Relate theoretical perspectives to specific legal cases
  • 8. Assess the methods and rationales for studying environmental law

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Retrieve and efficiently use primary and secondary library-based and electronic resources with minimum guidance
  • 10. Participate in discussions on a selected topic and defend an argument in similar discussions
  • 11. Understand and reflect upon substantive and theoretical texts
  • 12. Work independently and manage time efficiently and effectively in preparing for the coursework and the examination
  • 13. Effectively interact with peers for small-group presentations and general discussion, modifying your own position where appropriate

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary each year, it is envisaged that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The role of international and EU law in the protection of the environment, the role of the environmental principles, and adjudication in environmental matters.
  • Private law actions, namely under the ‘torts’ of private and public nuisance, trespass, negligence, the ‘rule' in Rylands v. Fletcher and civil liability.
  • Environmental justice
  • The Law of the Sea
  • Habitat Protection
  • Environmental rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • The Law relating to protest
  • Law in Extreme environments. In particular,we will look at the Antarctic Treaty.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 2211 x 2 hour Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22 x 1 hour workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching21 x 2 hour workshop
Guided Independent Study124Additional research, reading and preparation relating to each lecture and in preparation for workshop tasks


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Assessment themed workshop PreparationFormative discussionsAllTutor and peer oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Poster50Individual poster worth 1,500 words. 300 word poster including visual, pictorial and diagrammatic information; text must remain legible (font size no less than 10 point) and a separate 1,200-word rationale.1-13Written
Essay502,000 words1-13Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PosterIndividual poster worth 1,500 words. 300 word poster including visual, pictorial and diagrammatic information; text must remain legible (font size no less than 10 point) and a separate 1,200-word rationale.1-13August/September re-assessment period
EssayEssay1-13August/September re-assessment period


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bell, McGillivray, Pedersen, Lees, Stokes, Environmental Law (9th Edition, 2017)

Wolf and Stanley on Environmental Law, Wolf, F and Stanley, N (6th edition, 2013) Routledge

Finch and Fafinski, Legal Skills, OUP (7th Edition, 2019). Copies can be found in the library. The textbook explains how to find legal resources from statutes to cases and includes tips on legal writing.

Kramer, EC Environmental Law, Sweet and Maxwell (8th Edition, 2016)

Connie, Bradney and Burton, English Legal System in Context (5th Edition, 2010), OUP, Oxford

Partington, M, Introduction to the English Legal System (2019) OUP Oxford

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

 An online Electronic Leaning Environment will accompany the course. 

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Environment, law, regulation, EC, environmental, crime, prosecution, public, participation

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date

October 2012

Last revision date