LAW30440 Environmental Law and Policy UCD Assignment Example
The practice of environmental law and policy is constantly evolving. New challenges arise as our understanding of the environment changes, and new technologies are developed. Staying up-to-date with the latest developments in environmental law and policy is essential for anyone who wants to make a difference.
In this module, we’ll explore some of the most pressing issues in environmental law and policy today. We’ll discuss how these issues are being addressed by the government, businesses, and individuals, and what more needs to be done to protect our planet.
Assignment Activity 1: Have a good grounding in the history and key principles of substantive environmental law.
The history of environmental law is closely linked to the history of human interaction with the environment. For centuries, people have been using the environment to meet their needs, without understanding the consequences of their actions.
It was only in the 20th century that we began to realize the negative impact we were having on the environment, and the need to take action to protect it. The first step in this process was the development of environmental law, which aimed to regulate human activity in order to protect the environment.
Since then, environmental law has developed into a complex and far-reaching field. There are now hundreds of international, federal, state, and local laws that deal with everything from air pollution to endangered species.
Environmental law is based on a number of key principles, which have been developed over time by judges, legislators, and scholars. Some of the most important principles are:
- The polluter pays principle: This principle holds that the person or company responsible for polluting the environment should be held liable for the damage they have caused.
- The precautionary principle: This principle requires that action be taken to prevent possible environmental harm, even if all the scientific evidence is not yet in.
- The public trust doctrine: This doctrine holds that the government has a duty to protect certain natural resources – such as air and water – for the benefit of all citizens.
- The principle of sustainable development: This principle requires that we develop our economy in a way that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
These principles form the basis of environmental law and continue to be developed as our understanding of the environment changes.
Assignment Activity 2: Understand how environmental law is enforced and the remedies available for breach of environmental law at national, European and international levels.
Environmental law is enforced in a number of ways, depending on the level at which it applies. At the national level, environmental law is enforced by government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States and the Environment Agency in the United Kingdom.
At the European level, environmental law is enforced by the European Commission, which can take legal action against countries that violate EU environmental laws. The European Court of Justice can also hear cases brought by individuals or companies who feel they have been harmed by a breach of EU environmental law.
At the international level, environmental law is enforced by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). These organizations can take action against countries that violate their environmental treaties, such as imposing trade sanctions or withdrawing development aid.
Environmental law provides a number of remedies for breach of environmental law, which can be classified into two categories: civil and criminal.
- Civil remedies include things like compensatory damages, injunctions, and specific performance. Compensatory damages are paid to the victim of the breach and can be either monetary or in-kind. Injunctions are orders from a court telling someone to stop doing something that is causing harm to the environment, while specific performance is an order from a court requiring someone to take specific action to redress an environmental violation.
- Criminal remedies include things like fines and imprisonment. Fines are monetary penalties that are imposed by a court, while imprisonment is a punishment that can be handed down to someone who has been convicted of a criminal offense.
Assignment Activity 3: Understand the implications of the level at which environmental law is made – domestic, European, and international.
Environmental law is made at three different levels – domestic, European, and international. Each one of these levels has different implications for how environmental law is made and how it can be enforced.
At the domestic level, environmental law is made by individual countries. This means that each country can make its own laws governing the environment, and these laws will only apply within that country’s borders. This can be problematic because it means that neighboring countries may have different environmental laws, which can lead to conflict.
At the European level, environmental law is made by the European Union (EU). The EU has a supranational authority, which means that it has power over its member states. This means that all EU member states must comply with EU environmental law, and the European Commission has the power to take legal action against countries that violate these laws.
At the international level, environmental law is made by the United Nations (UN). The UN is a global organization that has representatives from all over the world. This means that environmental law made at the UN level is applicable to all countries, regardless of their size or level of development. This can be problematic because it can be difficult to get all countries to agree on something, and smaller countries may not have as much power as larger countries.
Assignment Activity 4: Have developed an awareness of the challenges that this field of law faces and will face in the future.
Environmental law is facing a number of challenges at the moment. One of the biggest challenges is climate change, which is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is causing global temperatures to rise, which is leading to a number of negative consequences, such as sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and food shortages.
Another challenge that environmental law is facing is the growing population. This is putting a strain on the planet’s resources, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect the environment when there are so many people using its resources.
Finally, environmental law is facing a financial challenge. With the global recession, governments are struggling to afford to protect the environment, and this is leading to cuts in environmental spending. This is making it more difficult to enforce environmental law, and it is becoming increasingly important for the private sector to take responsibility for protecting the environment.
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