University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2019

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 United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment, John Knox, and to a lesser extent the Special Reporteur on Human Rights and Toxic Substances, Baskut Tuncak. The course will examine several controversial issues, including the relationship of human rights and climate change whether there is a human right to a healthy environment, whether corporations have human rights obligations, 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. 8 Introduction to the International Legal System • International law • International institutions • International dispute settlement 8 Introduction to Human Rights • Procedural rights • Substantive rights • Institutions • Indigenous peoples 8 Introduction to Environmental Protection • Basic concepts of environmental protection • National environmental law • International environmental law 8 The Interface of Human Rights and Environment • History, including synergies and tensions • International instruments • Domestic law o Constitutions o Other • Case law o International o Inter-American human rights system o African human rights system o European human rights system o International Court of Justice o Other • Outstanding issues o Right to a healthy environment o “Extraterritoriality” o Right of non-reversion o Obligations of corporations o Animal rights of Rights of Nature/Mother Earth o Human Rights and Climate Change • Environmental Human Rights Defenders Class requirements: class participation and a three-hour 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: 02-18-2019 - 02-23-2019  

Dates Day Time Room
02-18-2019 - 02-21-2019   MTWR  12:30 PM-1:50 PM F200
02-22-2019 - 02-22-2019   F  2:00 PM-5:00 PM F200
02-23-2019 - 02-23-2019   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 and a three-hour exam -MARCH 1 @ 2:00 PM
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):
Textbook Required:
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: February 18, 2019 I. Introduction to the International Legal System A. International legal norms B. International institutions C. International dispute settlement D. Compliance and implementation E. Governance Required Reading Edith Brown Weiss, Daniel Barstow Magraw, Stephen C. McCaffrey, A. Dan Tarlock, & Stephanie Tai, International Environmental Law and Policy [hereinafter Brown Weiss], Chapter 19 – International Norms and Dispute Settlement, in HRE READINGS (on TWEN), pp. 1-43. Brown Weiss, Chapter 18: International Institutions and Governance, in HRE READINGS (on TWEN), pp. 44-61. Skim: Brown Weiss, Chapter 18: International Institutions and Governance, in HRE READINGS (on TWEN), pp. 61-78. The Changing Structure of International Law, Edith Brown Weiss, Georgetown Law—Res Ipso Loquitur 52 (Spring 1997), in HRE READINGS (on TWEN), pp. 79-80. Juliana v. United States, decision on standing (D. Oregon 2016)

    Syllabus Attached

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:

    Additional Information:
    Please register on TWEN as soon as possible this is were you will get you course materials and syllabus. If you are unable to sign into TWEN contact Robin Schard or Pam Lucken

    Professor Magraw Human Rights And Environment Syllabus Spring 2019.docx



Contact Information: