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Study information

Environmental Regulation and Redress

Module titleEnvironmental Regulation and Redress
Module codeLAW2016C
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Tiago De Melo Cartaxo (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


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 will help you 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, how can you use the law to prevent harm and what can you do if you feel that another individual or business has committed an environmental wrong? How can legal tools be used to redress and repair environmental harm?   As you progress through the module, you will discover answers to these and other questions.

Module aims - intentions of the module

You will look at the role of national and international law in setting environmental standards. You will critically reflect on the extent to which the law across the world, including indigenous laws and cultural norms, might be used to embed pro-environmental and sustainable behaviour.

Various forms of redress will be considered within popular contexts in environmental law. You will be introduced to the difference between public law responses, like criminal, administrative and human rights law, and private law controls like tort or contract law. We will also explore potential future avenues for redress, for example through the expansion of the application of a human rights agenda and international criminal law in ecocide as well as considering the expanding role of environmental justice and restorative justice.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Analyse the legal regulatory framework relating to environmental harms
  • 2. Evaluate legal forms of redress for environmental harm

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Identify key elements of legal problems and select appropriate methods for investigating and evaluating them
  • 4. Construct and support analysis using legal sources

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Use primary and secondary library-based and electronic resources effectively
  • 6. Interact with peers in group decision-making processes, modifying your own position where appropriate

Syllabus plan

The syllabus focuses on how the environment is regulated in law and how this is intimately linked to effectiveness of each type of regulation in redressing wrongs and making reparation. We will be looking across cultures and the world to see how the environment may be protected using legal mechanisms and how damage to the environment may be redressed. Whilst the module’s precise content may vary each year, it is envisaged that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

a. Law and regulation

  • Conventions, treaties, declarations and agreements
  • Domestic legislation and regulations
  • Command and control
  • Public protest

b. Redress

  • Public and private law remedies
  • Environmental Rights
  • Restorative justice

You will also practice the skills of ‘thinking like a lawyer’ to make the best case you can for the environment.

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 Activity 128 x 1.5 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity63 x 2 hour workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity22 x 1 hour legal hearing
Guided Independent Study130Additional 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
Abstract and feedback session500 words1-6Oral and Peer review

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
Environmental Redress Report1002,500 words1-6Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Environmental Redress Report (2,500 words)Environmental Redress Report (2,500 words)1-6August/September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

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)

Mark Hamilton Environmental Crime and Restorative Justice - Justice as Meaningful Involvement (Palgrave 2021)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

 An online Electronic Leaning Environment will accompany the course. 

Key words search

Environment, law, regulation, environmental, redress, environmental justice, restorative justice, ecocide

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date

October 2012

Last revision date