The following are examples of broader questions and major themes that you may wish to consider as the course progresses:
1. The challenge to International Law: In what ways are traditional concepts of international law -- such as state sovereignty, consent and territoriality -- challenged in meeting environmental problems? How true is it to say that environmental law is a global law in that it affects actions of states within their territory, and involves and affects other actors such as multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations?
2. Transboundary Pollution and Inter-state Cooperation: How do principles of international environmental law deal with the ill-effects that one state, acting on its own territory, may cause to another? Is the first responsible for the damage suffered by the second? How do states cooperate, or fail to cooperate?
3. Development of International Environmental Law: Has the patchwork development of environmental law developed into a more comprehensive approach to the issues? Is it binding law or merely moral principle?
4. North-South Divisions: What differences are there between the perceptions of environmental problems in the developed countries and the concerns of the developing countries? How can any such differences be bridged?
5. Compliance and Enforcement: Are "soft" law declarations and other principles enunciated by the international environmental community really "law"? If so, how do we ensure that states comply with such laws? What forms of sanction or assistance can be used? If there are few effective sanctions, how do we improve state compliance with international environmental law?
6. International-National Links: How do national laws relate to and embody principles of environmental law made at the international level -- like the principle of intergenerational equity, the concept of sustainable development, the principle of participation? Is international law effective in changing the content and practice of laws at the national level?
7. International Institutions: What are the international institutions that supervise and develop international environmental law? How do they coordinate with each other and with states, without a world government? To what degree are they independent of states, exercising their own initiative and supervision?
8. Sustainable Development: What is sustainable development? How can economic development for all be reconciled with a good environment and what role, if any, can law play in reconciling the two?
9. Non-State Actors: To what degree are non-state actors recognized in international environmental law? What is the role of non-governmental organizations and multinational businesses?