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Environmental Law and Policy


Espa I.

Course director

Pandey A.



The course examines the main instruments regulating States’ environmental policy from a multilayered governance perspective. It first introduces the students to the main features of international environmental law (actors, sources and institutional frameworks) and gives an overview of its foundational principles and objectives, which contribute to the pursuance of sustainable development. It then focuses on climate change and energy, with a focus on how the international regime (from the UNFCCC through the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement) shape the regional instruments (with a focus on the European Union legislation) and the national policy responses (with a focus on the Swiss legislation). Finally, it addresses the relationship between environmental protection instruments and other branches of international law such as international economic law and human rights.

Basic textbook:

Lecture notes made available to the students. 

Additional reading:

Selected articles and cases made available on the portal iCorsi (including a series of lecture notes prepared by the Professor).


1. To understand how international environmental law works and how it is has evolved over time;

2. To understand how international legal instruments contribute tackling complex global environmental problems, with a focus on climate change;

3. To understand how regional and national climate policies fit within the inter-national legal regime on climate change;

4. To understand the relationship between environmental policy and trade policy.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Lectures, in-class discussions. 

Examination information

Written exam.