Law 798:  Philosophical Foundations of Environmental Law

This one credit course will begin with a survey of the nature of environmental problems, such as: human-driven climate disruption, animal agriculture, human-caused mass species extinction, man’s clearing of wilderness areas, focusing on the unique theoretical difficulties they pose to our current moral and legal systems.

Next, students will critically examine the moral and legal machinery that has been suggested, and occasionally employed, in attempts to address some of these problems.

Finally, the course will end by turning to an exploration of recent rights-based approaches to environmental problems. Rights-based solutions to environmental problems are on the rise in legal systems around the world, but few advocates for animal and environmental rights have asked whether a rights-based approach can adequately tackle our most pressing environmental problems. 

Sequence and Prerequisites: None

Evaluation: Grades will be determined based equally on class participation and a 10 page paper, due three weeks after the course has concluded, on a course-related topic of the student’s choosing.

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