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Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:38

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 None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Colin Mackie

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Law (LS) (Studied)
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


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).

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

26 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st attempt: 1 three hour written examination (75%); 2,500 word essay (25%). Resit: 1 three hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment




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