University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2017

Course Description
This one-week course focuses on an exciting and fast-moving area of international law – Human Rights and Environment. The course will discuss the history and substance of this relationship, including the ongoing work of both the first United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and environment, John Knox, who is nearing the end of his three-year appointment, and (to a lesser extent) the current Special Reporteur on Human Rights and Toxic Substances, Baskut Tuncak, who started his three-year term last summer. The course will also examine the controversial area of human rights and climate change, as well as several outstanding issues, including whether humans have a human right to a healthy environment and the extent to which States have human rights obligations regarding effects outside their territory.
Although significant issues remain unresolved, this area stands as one of the success stories of international law generally over the past several decades and of the development of the law of sustainable development.
The course will cover the following topics.

Introduction to the International Legal System
• International law
• International institutions
• International dispute settlement
Introduction to Human Rights
• Procedural rights
• Substantive rights
• Institutions
• Indigenous peoples
Introduction to Environmental Protection
• Basic concepts of environmental protection
• National environmental law
• International environmental law
The Interface of Human Rights and Environment
• History, including synergies and tensions
• International instruments
• Domestic law
o Constitutions
o Other
• Case law
o International
? Inter-American human rights system
? African human rights system
? European human rights system
? International Court of Justice
? Other, including World Bank Inspection Panel
o National
• Outstanding issues
o Right to a healthy environment
o “Extraterritoriality”
o Right of non-reversion
o Animal rights
o Rights of Nature/Mother Earth
Human Rights and Climate Change
• Introduction to climate change
• Inuit case
• Male Declaration
• Paris December 2015
Human Rights Defenders
• General
• Environmental

Class requirement: class participation, short presentation on one treaty or case (if there are not too many students), and a three-hour open book exam

Short Course Attendance Policy
Due to the small number of meetings, attendance to all meetings/classes for short courses is mandatory. Students who miss more than one class session (80 minute) of a 1-credit short course are subject to administrative withdrawal and will have a W for the course on their transcripts.

Course Schedule
Offering Dates: 02-20-2017 - 02-25-2017  

Dates Day Time Room
02-20-2017 - 02-23-2017   MTWR  12:30 PM-1:50 PM F200
02-24-2017 - 02-24-2017   F  2:00 PM-5:00 PM F200
02-25-2017 - 02-25-2017   S  10:00 AM-1:00 PM F200

Course Frequency
Occasional course offering

Course Information

Credits: 1
Pass/Fail Option: No
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Class participation, short presentation on one treaty or case (if there are not too many students), and a three-hour open book exam Final Exam - March 3
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Special Attributes:
Short Course
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s):
Environment & Natural Resources - Basic
Social Justice - Basic
Bar Subject(s): None
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s): TBD/None      
First Class Assignment(s): TBD/None



Contact Information: