Law and the Environment

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LecturerYoko MASUZAWA, Associate Professor
DepartmentGraduate School of Environmental Studies, 2015 Spring
Recommended for:Graduate School of Environmental Studies (21.5 hours / session One session / week 15 weeks / semester)

Course Overview

In this class, the goal is for students to understand how law is related or can relate to solving or preventing environmental problems and to even consider legal aspects when dealing with specific environmental phenomena. For this reason, in class we will focus on getting a clear picture of the functions and characteristics of laws dealing with environmental conservation by examining concrete examples and arguments.

Key Features

We want students who do not major in law to have a tangible image of "Environmental law." So in this semester along with the textbook, we will use papers on environmental law or specific laws as supplementary material, and have students do a report on them every class. In each class, along with the reports, the teacher will explain important points, answer questions, and conduct discussions, so as to make learning as interactive as possible.

Course Schedule

  1. Introduction

  2. Nature conservation

    1. Nature conservation
    1. Conservation of aquatic environments
    1. Preservation of species
  1. Waste and Recycling
    1. Domestic waste problems
    1. International waste management and domestic law
  1. The atmosphere
    1. Air Pollution
    1. Climate Change
  1. Nuclear Energy
    1. Nuclear safety regulations
    1. Compensation for nuclear damage
  1. Basic Principles of Environmental Law
    1. The precautionary principle
    1. Environmental rights
    1. Environmental impact assessment
  1. Environmental conservation methods
    1. Economic instruments and other soft approaches


Textbook: Introduction to Environmental Law (3rd edition) by Kouketsu Hisashi, Usuki Tomohito, Maeda Youichi and Kurokawa Satoshi (Yuhikaku, 2015)

Preparation for Class

All students must review the assigned parts of the textbook before class. The person giving a report must prepare to present on the assigned paper.

Students other than the person presenting must read the assigned papers and be ready for discussion.

Grade Evaluation

  • Presentation of the assigned part and contribution to discussions (50%)
  • Final report (50%)

Last updated

April 29, 2020