Course code:



A - Advanced

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

This course is designed to provide an overview of the use of international law in solving transnational environmental problems and shaping international behavior.

We examine, as background, the nature and limitations of international law as a force for change. The course will then explore customary law, the relationship between soft and hard law, enforcement of international law, implementation mechanisms, and the effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements.

Special attention is given to existing international environmental law frameworks addressing climate change, Arctic and Antarctic development, ozone depletion, biological diversity, forest loss, export of toxic chemicals, and the host of issues raised by the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development and subsequent environmental fora.

Students will also consider the interface between international environmental law and other important international forces such as the Bretton Woods institutions, human rights frameworks, and international development entities. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their classroom comments and several analytical problem sets given during the term.

Students will also be asked to complete a major research project examining the effectiveness of a treaty or a proposed international environmental legal arrangement.


Environmental Law and Policy, Global Environmental Politics, or Signature of Instructor.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.