University of Malta

Environmental & Resources Law
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Department of Environmental and Resources Law

The Environment and Resources Law Department was set up just before the beginning of the academic year 2010/2011. The decision to set up this new Department within the Faculty of Laws has been prompted by the vast developments on a national, European and International level in the legal framework addressing the topics mentioned above. The regulation of these sectors is horizontal in nature and impinges upon all of the major legal streams and human activities. The entire mass of norms that fall under Environment and Resources Law has introduced specialised legal regimes that complement and at times supersede the lex generalis under which, they originated. This enables the Faculty of Laws to keep abreast with the demand for legal learning and research in these legal fields, as they evolve from statutory sources as well as case law. This would consequently benefit and contribute to the development of the other existing departments.

There is a strong and steady demand for academic learning in the legal fields afore mentioned within the Faculty of Laws, but also from other faculties and institutes at University as the subject is essentially horizontal. The proliferation of national legislation on environment and planning law reflects the changes the country is undergoing as a member of the European Union. Apart from the bulk of laws involved, most of these laws are subject to specialised legal regimes that have no link with other legal fields. Indeed Environmental Law studies particularly in the field of renewable energy resources, the earth sciences and planning development are on the increase in Malta in synch with other EU States. The Department is gearing itself up to support this influx of interested applicants by offering study units that train students in understanding the legal framework that supports innovation and developments in this field of academic study. The Department focuses on the lecturing, tutoring and research in:

  • Environmental Law
  • law relating to the sustainable development and sustainable resource management
  • development planning law
  • climate change law
  • occupational health and safety law
  • food safety law
  • energy law
  • fisheries law
  • heritage law and aspects of policy making related thereto

As for affiliations and achievements, the Department acts as the representative of the Academy of Environmental Law and the Environmental Law Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Malta. It benefits from an ERASMUS mobility programme with the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in lecturing and research on Environmental and Energy Law. Its academics regularly publish legal works in Malta and abroad on research in the field. The Department seeks internship programmes as practical legal training for students specialising in the legal fields above mentioned at both public and private entities that have an interest in the topics. The Department strives to academically address and in so doing promote legal research that may be commissioned by the public and private sector. Its ongoing research projects include: the setting up of the Forum of European Legal Experts on Adaptation to Climate Change supported by the University of Leuven Belgium and the European Commission DG CLIMATE ACTION. The role of the Forum is to provide a think tank amongst leading academics in European Universities to build a legal framework on climate change adaptation. The Department coordinates the Climate Change Platform at the University of Malta. The role of the platform is to identify any research and studies being carried out by the the University’s faculties, institutes and centres to promote collaboration and coherence on climate change studies. It is currently carrying out research on the legal assessment of waste ownership for WASTESERV plc. It has produced on behalf of the Ministry for Tourism, Culture and the Environment, a White Paper on Noise Pollution. It is contributing to a Programme for Estate Management and its Legal Implications, with the Institute for Sustainable Development as well as a  Programme for a Joint Masters on Ocean Governance in collaboration with Xiamen University and the International Oceanographic Institute. A Study on the Regulation of Reprotoxins under Malta’s Occupational Health and Safety Law (EU Commission).






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