LAW-2738 International Environmental Law

Prof. Sharmila Murthy,

3 credits day; 3 credits evening.


This course will provide an introduction to the field of international environmental law and policy. The class will be interactive, incorporating problem-solving activities and role-play simulations (such as a mock climate change negotiation). In addition to readings from the textbook, videos and news-articles will be frequently assigned in an attempt to link class discussions with the real-world.

The class will cover a myriad of pressing global topics such as: ozone, climate change, water, biodiversity, hazardous materials, and corporate social responsibility. The class will also consider how U.S. law intersects with the international environmental regime, and examines creative and business-oriented strategies (such as shareholder resolutions on environmental issues).

Throughout the course, we will explore key tensions in international environmental law and policy, including between economic development and ecological limitations; between state sovereignty and the global nature of environmental problems; and between scientific understanding and the desire for certainty. We will consider the limitations of the traditional state-oriented approach to international law and consider the increasing relevance of non-state actors, such as NGOs, corporations and multi-lateral actors. Guest speakers may also offer different real-world perspectives on the practice of international environmental law and policy. There are no prerequisites except an interest in the topic!

The class will be taught in an innovative format: the first half will be primarily in person, while the second half will be primarily online. In the second half, students will watch online lectures with integrated powerpoint slides, and then respond to a series of multiple choice questions. The class will also make use of Blackboard features, such as the online discussion board. This class promises to be exciting, and will also offer more flexibility than a traditional course. This class qualifies as a 'distance education course' under the ABA rules because more than one-third of the instruction will be online.

The grade will be based on a final paper (and interim steps such as an outline, etc.) as well as on class participation. The final paper may fulfill the legal writing requirement.


pointer    Enrollment is limited: 20 

pointer    Elective Course

pointer    Meets International Law Concentration Requirements

pointer    May Fulfill Legal Writing Requirement

pointer    Final Paper Required

pointer    LLM Course


<<Course Updated: March 11, 2016>>