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Høst 2019

JUR-3622 International Environmental Law and Climate Change in the Arctic - 15 stp

The course is administrated by

Faculty of Law

Type of course

Master level. The course is given during the spring and the fall term.

Course contents

This course offers a broad introduction to international environmental law, after which students will gain a specialized insight into the legal framework applicable to the Arctic region. The Arctic region is environmentally vulnerable, and is thus greatly affected by climate change. Climate change threatens biodiversity, the livelihoods of Arctic indigenous peoples, and leads to sea level rises and changing weather patterns, amongst others. This, in turn, leads to increased shipping in the Arctic as well as fisheries moving up further North. The North West Passage and the Northern Sea Route will likely be used for commercial shipping in the near future, leading to increased risks of oil pollution in the vulnerable Arctic ecosystems.

International environmental law is a rapidly developing field that seeks to mitigate effects of climate change and protect the environment. It involves a multitude of multilateral treaties, declarations and other instruments of international law. This course aims to provide students with an introduction to the major concepts, cases and principles that together shape the body of international environmental law. Students will learn how these concepts and principles apply in the Arctic, especially in the context of climate change.

The course covers the following topics:

Admission requirements

Students must be on master level and should have a basic knowledge of public international law and/or the law of the sea.

Students at the Integrated master´s degree programme in law may choose this course as a partial fulfillment of the requirements for the elective part of the programme's fifth year, cf. Programme Specification for the Master's Degree in Jurisprudence at the University of Tromsø (Studieplan for graden Master i rettsvitenskap ved Universitetet i Tromsø), Sec. 4.

Followed by necessary application and admission process, other students (such as exchange students) may also choose this course, cf. Regulations for the Elective Component in the Master's Degree Programme in Jurisprudence (Reglement for den valgfrie delen av masterstudiet i rettsvitenskap) (Regulation).

Students who do not have admission to the Master of Law-studies at the Faculty of Law must contact the Faculty for information about required qualifications and application process for this course.  

Objective of the course


Having passed the exam, the student shall have acquired:


Having passed the exam, the student is able to

General Competence:

Having passed the exam, the student:

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

This course uses interactive and dynamic teaching methods. The course will consist out of both lectures and seminars comprising a total of 30 hours. The course will include a practical exercise (in the form of a moot court, or otherwise) and student presentations of a small research project. Students are encouraged to participate actively during the lectures and seminars. Students are expected to be prepared for lectures and seminars by studying the corresponding literature of the curriculum. Students should study independently in periods when there are no lectures or seminars.

Students will write a research essay of 5 pages (double-spaced) about one of the topics made available to them. They should engage critically with their research question, demonstrate independent thinking, and structure their arguments accordingly. They are free to use the literature in the curriculum, but are also encouraged to find additional literature in academic books or journals. Students are expected to present their research projects in the form of an oral presentation to the rest of the class. The essay must be handed in before the presentation.


The course is assessed through a six hours closed book written school exam. The exam may include theoretical and/or scenario questions.

Students is allowed to bring into the examination room a specific treaty collection identified in advance by the Faculty of Law. The treaty collection may only contain underlining etc. in accordance with the Faculty's regulations on that matter. Students may also bring a dictionary, as long as it merely provides translations and no definitions. The Faculty must approve each students examination supports (treaty collection and dictionary) prior to the examination.

The grading scale of A to F is applied, where F constitutes fail.

Students who fail their examination are entitled to re-sit the examination, cf. Regulations for examinations at the University of Tromsø Sec.22.

Date for examination

Written test 29.11.2019

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced at your faculty early in May and early in November.

Lectures Autumn 2019
Lectures f.aman. Vito de Lucia
stip. Linda Emilia Finska