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Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04

Course Overview

Corporate environmental liability is a significant area of concern not only for those corporations engaged in activities which exhibit environmental risk but society as whole. An efficient, effective liability regime must be present to ensure that corporations do not shirk their financial liabilities. The course draws attention to the conflicting goals of corporate law (i.e. the limitation of liability) and environmental law (i.e. ensuring that polluters pay for damage caused) and encourages students to consider and develop solutions to this problem. Whilst the course focuses on EU environmental law, many of the concepts covered are relevant to other jurisdictions.



Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Roy Partain

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • Master of Laws in International Law and Strategic Studies (Studied)
  • Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (Studied)
  • Master of Laws in International Law and International Relations (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course would:

• Introduce the key concepts and terminology covered in the module;

• Examine the evolution and application of the polluter-pays principle of environmental law and the overriding aim(s) of imposing environmental liability;

• Introduce fundamental doctrines of corporate law, notably limited liability and separate legal personality, and consider their role and purpose;

• Examine the relevant EU environmental legislation and its capacity to regulate the environmental activities of corporations;

• Through use of a practical case-study, apply the relevant law to a given factual scenario;

• Examine relevant US environmental legislation as a comparative indicator as to: (1) how successful it has been in regulating corporate environmental behaviour; and (2) whether it could inform and improve the EU regime; and

• Examine solutions to the problem of corporations utilising corporate law doctrine to avoid liability (e.g. financial security such as insurance).

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 39

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1000 words essay 20%

2x 2000 words essay 40% each


Resit: resubmission of failed elements

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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