International and European Environmental Law


To give students knowledge and insight in the complexity of international and European environmental law, more specifically towards global environmental problems, the relationship between developed-developing countries, interaction between a universal and regional approach (i.a. EU), the situation and evolution of international and European environmental law (national sovereignty vs. environmental protection), the international organisations involved, the general principles of the international protection of the environment, the specific rules applicable in cases of prevention, reduction and control of transboundary fresh water and air pollution, measures of protection related to global environmental threats (ozone layer, climate change), the protection of oceans and seas.


A first part is a general introduction on international and European environmental law. An overview is given of international and regional organisations relevant for the development of international and European environmental law, as well as the sources of international and European environmental law (including treaties, decisions and resolutions of international governmental environmental organisations, European Union environmental law, soft law, case law). Specific attention is given to the principles of international and European environmental law (e.g. the principles of prevention, the principles of source, the principle of prevention, the principle that the polluter pays, sustainable development, the principles of cooperation, the common but differentiated responsibility). An overview is given of the different measures, the implementation of environmental obligations and compliance mechanisms.

A second part concentrates on specific international and European rules in a thematic context: protection against pollution of rivers and of seas and oceans, transboundary air pollution air, protection of the ozone layer, transport of dangerous wastes, climate change, accidents and liability in case of pollution, environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters.

For each theme, an introduction is given. Every student gives a presentation on a relevant court case.

There will be a limited number of guest lectures on specific topics.

Key words: 
International and regional environmental law, European environmental law, international environmental policy, pollution, transboundary damage
Faculty members: