Environmental Law

Environmental law has developed from land law and water law into its own field of law, and has been rapidly expanding and becoming internationalized in the past decades. Environmental law consists of many units of regulations, all of which use norms to guide the activities and behaviour affecting the environment.

Environmental law forms an extensive and multilayered field of law. In addition to the management of the land and water use, nature and landscape conservation, and the management of environmental impact, it also includes, for instance, the regulation of genetic engineering, chemicals, climate, and energy as well as the regulations related to environmental responsibility. Environmental law in also multidisciplinary by nature, since environmental regulation and research also require diverse scientific perspectives such as those of natural and social sciences.

Global environmental problems, climate change, and the decrease in biodiversity and natural resources have contributed to the expansion of environmental legal regulation. Previously, environmental law was considered to fall under civil law, but the development of modern environmental law has notably strengthened the emphasis on public law.

Studying environmental law gives the student an overview of the principles and the legal instruments of the discipline. The student gains knowledge about the basic features of national and international developments within the field. Subjects include environmental principles and instruments, land use planning and controlling, the prevention of environmental degradation, the management of natural resources, nature conservation, as well as land and water building. The more specialized courses offer the student a chance to focus on one of the aforementioned fields of environmental law, and they also emphasize the relationship between environmental law and other fields of environmental research.

The central research themes of environmental law are the result of the European Union environmental regulations on the development of national environmental law, the research on biodiversity regulations, and the energy law.