Water and Environmental Law

The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to theoretical and practical aspects of water and environmental resources management from a legal and policy perspective. 

For whom?

This short course is for top and mid-level decision makers, technical experts and professional trainers and researchers in relevant technical and managerial fields of work in both the public and private sector. 


Relevant water science, engineering, management or governance related bachelor's degree or equivalent; and good command of English.

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. To understand the concepts, principles, instruments and procedures of (inter)national water and environmental law
  2. To explain how law at international, national and local levels institutionalize approaches to problem solving with respect to water sharing, water pollution, protection of ecosystems and climate change
  3. To critically analyse different international, national and local water and environmental problems and how law, institutional arrangements, principles and instruments can be used to address these water and environmental justice and sustainability problems

Course content

The national component plays an important part in the international part of this short course, and the international component is interwoven into the national dimension. The course uses interactive lectures, practices in stakeholder interviews and analysis, negotiation exercises, role-plays, workshops, case studies, the internet and audio-visual means.

Subjects at the international level

  • The UN institutional framework relevant to water and environmental law and management;
  • Theoretical concepts of multi-level governance, good governance, the rule of law, participatory approaches and international relations theories;
  • General principles of international law, and international water and environmental law;
  • Elaboration and analysis of the UN Law on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses and international treaties on climate change, desertification, biodiversity, depletion of the ozone layer and forestry;
  • Some regional water and environmental agreements;
  • Major water and environmental disputes and cases;
  • Negotiation theory;
  • Dispute resolution.

Subjects at the national level

  • National water and environmental law systems,
  • Institutional and management arrangements;
  • Decentralization, decision-making and communication;
  • Contract management.



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