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Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

DSBA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/10)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Mission & Content Summary

The course deals with legal and policy frameworks governing environmental problems and relating to the wider sustainability agenda, especially at EU levels. In particular, it examines the principles of European environmental law and techniques for environmental management with specific emphasis on substantive aspects of EU environmental law, including climate change and air quality regulation, EU nature conservation law, environmental impact assessment, industrial emissions controls, water pollution, waste management and the enforcement of EU environmental law at Member State levels. Students are introduced to the key challenges and opportunities faced by policy makers, governments, citizens and legal actors in tackling environmental problems and the complex issue of sustainable development.

  • The main characteristics of environmental law.
  • The notion of environment.
  • Principles of EU Environmental Law (i.e. sustainable development, the precautionary principle, the prevention principle; the source principle; the polluter pays principle).
  • The environment in the Italian Constitution, in the European law and in the International law framework.
  • Techniques for environmental management: market-based v.command-and-control regulatory strategies: overview.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment.
  • Regulation of specific sectors (ex. climate change and air pollution, renewable energies, protection of nature and biodiversity, strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assesment, waste management).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the complex nature of environmental problems and the multiple ways in which law applies to and engages with environmental problems.
  • Gain a deeper legal understanding of EU environmental principles and the concept of sustainable development.
  • Analyze the various regulatory strategies involved in dealing with environmental problems and the role of the key actors involved in implementing such strategies within the EU.
  • Gain a solid understanding of EU legal frameworks that apply to key environmental problems, including climate change, protecting the environmental media (air pollution, waste management), nature protection and the control of industrial emissions.
  • Foster team work, critical and analytical analysis and problem solving (especially through case studies and class projects).
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Locate, read, and analyzeEU and domestic environmental law and case law.
  • Recognize situations in whichEU environmental law may be useful or essential.
  • Be aware of relevant stakeholders, their preferences, and the path by which they can influence EU environmental law.
  • Understand the particular challenges related to key environmental problems addressed by environmental law.
  • Understand the process by which EU environmental law is negotiated.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments

Teaching method is based on active learning and includes lectures and several case studies (as an aid to understanding). Students are expected to ensure regular class attendance (at least 75%) and to actively participate in class discussions and teamwork. Slides and other materials are made available to students beforehand in order to facilitate note taking.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •     x
    • Students sit a written open book exam consisting of one open question (a hypothetical scenario the solution to which requires familiarity with, and mastery of, the course materials)  to be answered in 70 minutes. This counts as 85% of the marks. Students may use their books, materials and the internet when answering the question. Answers must be emailed at the end of the hour to the professors of the course. Students can sit the written open book exam only in the first two exam dates.
    • Students must also work in-group (max. 4 students per group) to prepare a response paper on a specific topic directly relevant to environmental law as it applies in the European Union. Each group is asked to select a topic at the beginning of the course. Some groups present on their response paper during the course. The group assignment evaluation counts 15% of the marks.

    Final written exam consisting of three open qestions to be answered in 70 minutes. This counts as 100% of the marks.
    Non attending students who however are able to attend part of the course can decide to sit the written open book exam (only in the first two exam dates). This counts as 100% of the mark.

    Teaching materials
    • F. FRACCHIA, Environmental Law. Principles, Definitions and Protection Models, Editoriale Scientifica, Napoli, 2018.
    • Other materials, readings, case law are made available on Bboard.
    • F. FRACCHIA, Environmental Law. Principles, Definitions and Protection Models, Editoriale Scientifica, Napoli, 2018.
    • S. KINGSTON, et al, European Environmental Law, Cambridge University Press, 2017 ISBN 978-1-107-640443  (chapters: 8-9-11-12-14).
    Last change 12/06/2019 14:04