LAW42220 Marine Environmental & Conservation Law

Academic Year 2022/2023

Recent years have seen rising concerns over the human impact on the marine environment, marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Overexploitation of marine living resources, ocean warming and acidification as well as harmful pollution, especially from micro plastics, together suggest the need for concerted action to improve the health of the world's oceans and seas. The international community has responded to these concerns through a number of legal instruments, regimes, and institutions, at the global and regional levels. In this course we will seek to outline the main laws, regimes and frameworks that come into play at the international and European levels, regulating both the conservation of marine living resources and marine environmental protections. The course will also seek to understand how these global rules and policy frameworks shape local legal and policy responses across the island of Ireland, looking in particular at the implementation of fisheries rules, marine protected areas and marine spatial planning north and south of the border.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, diligent students should have a strong understanding of:
1. The foundational rules of the international law of the sea, and especially the jurisdictional principles that apply in each of the maritime zones;
2. International fisheries and marine conservation laws, including through regional regimes and institutions, international and regional environmental rules, and the protection of marine biodiversity
3. European Union rules on fisheries law, habitats and protection of marine biodiversity
4. National approaches to the conservation of marine living resources and marine spatial planning, as influenced by international and European legal rules and regimes (including application of transboundary approaches)

Students should also be able to:
5. Understand and evaluate problems and tensions in international legal frameworks
6. Critically engage with national practices from the perspective of norms and standards of international marine environmental and conservation laws

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will be delivered through a range of online resources, including pre-recorded lectures, podcast style interviews, web resources, surveys and quizzes, and scheduled synchronous online seminar discussions. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: End of trimester 3,000 word essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes


Continuous Assessment: Reflective diaries and questions set on class content throughout the trimester Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on weekly tasks / questions / diaries of work combined with group and individual feedback on end of trimester assessment

Name Role
Ms Dererca Ní Chianáin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Katie Nolan Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 14:00 - 15:50