Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE European Environmental Law and Policy

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is intended to acquaint the student with the Environmental Law and Policies of the European Union, including the international and regional conventions adhered to by the European Union. It is intended to cover the European Union’s Programme of Action on the Environment and the basic sectors of European Union Environmental Legislation, namely:- Water; Air; Wastes; Chemicals; Noise; Flora; Fauna; Pollution; and Nuclear Safety. It will also discuss the general principles of environmental law.

Specific aspects of European Union Environmental Law which will be dealt with in this study unit are: Prevention action, Economic aspect of pollution control, Research and the Environmental Impact Assessment. Other aspects addressed in this study unit comprise European Law on the Protection of the Cultural Heritage, Freedom of Access to Information on the Environment and the legal ramifications of sustainable development.

Study-unit Aims

The aim of this study-unit is to teach students the most salient parts of European Union environmental acquis. It is intended as an Introductory course to the subject giving a bird's eye view of the various environmental concerns regulated at EU level. The student will thus learn which are the main aspects of EU environmental legislation and policy and how these are regulated by the EU through various directives, council decisions, regulations and other policy decisions adopted by EU institutions.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(1) Comprehend what EU environmental law addresses
(2) Understand which are the environmental principles applied by the EU and Member States in EU environmental law (such as the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle, the principle of sustainable development, etc.)
(3) Know which is the main legislation covering the various topics lectured upon (e.g. pollution, wastes, natural heritage, cultural heritage, etc)
(4) Be conversant with the most important case law of the European Court of Justice relating to EU environmental acquis
(5) Appreciate the connection between international environmental law and EU environmental law

2. Skills: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(1) Apply the knowledge gained during the lectures to writing about current environmental law problems such as climate change, pollution of the marine environment, extinction of protected species and biodiversity, etc.
(2) Apply EU law and policy to environmental matters and be in a better position to follow post-graduate courses on EU environmental law and policy
(3) Distinguish between international environmental law and EU environmental law whilst understanding how these two laws complement each other.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings
(Availability at the Library is indicated against each entry)

- Dr. Ludwig Kramer, European Environmental Law, London, Sweet & Maxwell, 2003. (unavailable). But an earlier edition of 1997 is (London, Sweet & Maxwell, 1997, available: KC1016.31.K73.1997).
- Jan H. Jans, European Environmental Law, Europa Law, 2000 (available: KW125.J35 2000).
- Philippe Sands and Paolo Galizzi, Documents in European Community Environmental Law, Cambridge University Press, 2006 (available: KW125.D6).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Christopher Attard
Simone Borg
Antoine Grima
Louise Spiteri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.