We live in a technological world threatened by the 21st-century challenge of sustainability. No matter where you go, it’s difficult to escape the realities of an ever-changing environment. Every day we’re becoming increasingly exposed to the harsh realities of pollution and climate change.
Thanks to the rapid expansion of environmental awareness, you only need to spend a few minutes on the internet to realise how destructive global warming and threats to our eco-systems can be. The world’s most polluted waters, Asia’s garbage wasteland problem and the global plea for change from 15,000 scientists are all hot topics in the news right now.
According to WWF, Australia is facing detrimental issues of deforestation and many of their coastal ecosystems have been altered. As a result, there has been a decline in natural resources and various species are becoming extinct. As every country faces environmental issues, they each implement their own solution strategies.
Without any action, our world will fall apart. That’s why subjects such as environmental and agricultural law are so popular among the global student network. By forming legislations that will protect our environment, we can closely monitor the progress of global sustainability and counteract any unlawful acts that could harm the world’s natural resources.
As the link between law and sustainability strengthens, a huge amount of pressure has been placed on law schools around the world to generate globally aware graduates. That’s why schools are providing courses that combine the fundamental foundations of law and contemporary legal concepts. By mixing traditional methods with modern day tools, students are set to receive a balanced education in the field of sustainable development and environmental law.
Current modules are frequently introduced because of the impact of widespread digitization. In 2015, for example, the Story of Stuff project launched a campaign to ban plastic microbeads from personal care products. These beads are so small and billions of them have been washed down the world’s waterways, consequently polluting the Earth’s crucial underground systems.
The ‘Ban the Bead’ campaign went viral. The message was spread across a multitude of social media platforms and triggered an online debate regarding the use of microbeads. Fueled by relentless effort and the power of technology, 2017 legislation made it illegal to sell products that contained plastic microbeads.
Of course, this digital campaign is just one of thousands that has made an impact on the World Wide Web and demonstrates just how powerful the relationship between law and sustainability can be. So if you’re looking to pursue a career in the legal world, it’s always best to opt for a school that encourages and embodies this relationship.
Here are 3 leading law schools that strive for global sustainability…
Internationally recognised for its gold star status in the Good University Guide 2018, the University of New England has rightfully earned its title as one of Australia’s most prestigious universities. With a first-class reputation, the established UNE School of Law attracts students from all over the world, helping them secure a place in one of their many undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.
With a passion for environmental protection and a thorough understanding of the relationship between law and sustainability, the UNE School of Law strives to give students a balanced educational framework. Through the flexible Bachelor of Environmental Science and Bachelor of Laws (BEnvSc/LLB) degree, undergraduate learners are encouraged to address regional, national and global environmental issues and connect them to an accredited legal curriculum.
For students looking to further their education, UNE School of Law provides a multidimensional postgraduate platform with courses like the Master of Natural Resource Governance and a research-orientated PhD pathway. For instance, the Master of Natural Resource Governance boasts a leading advantage, with courses that often incorporate environmental modules and adopt an eco-friendly approach.
The University of New England is also home to The Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law. Alongside various other outstanding environmental research efforts, the centre aims to improve rural sustainability and promotes social justice. Once you become a law student at UNE, you join an innovative and global network of environmental pioneers.
The award-winning CUHK Faculty of law offers a selection of law degrees and practical study routes. This faculty believes that law touches every aspect of life, understanding that environmental welfare is an essential education field.
For first-time learners of law, the Chinese University of Hong Kong provides a traditional Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree for students to familiarise themselves with primary theories and concepts. Once completed, graduates may wish to progress to the postgraduate options and shape their studies around environmental law.
A popular choice for aspiring graduates is the Masters of Laws (LLM) in Energy and Environmental Law. By supplying students with niche knowledge on climate change mitigation, the current state of energy investments and the purpose of project finance and infrastructure development, the course transforms learners into international practitioners in environmental and energy law. There’s also the exclusive opportunity to join in with Sir TL Yang Society career talks and guest lectures; an ideal place to share your thoughts about global sustainability issues and the complexities of climate change.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on the CUHK Faculty of Law conference and seminar schedule, as well as the CUHK blog for talks on the enforcement of new environmental legislation and global campaigns. By building your professional portfolio with student engagement events and international sustainability sessions, potential employers are more likely to pay attention to your application.
In New Zealand, Auckland Law School students are taking control of their future by making sure their studies and surroundings are healthy and sustainable.
On its Humans of Auckland Law School webpage, you’ll find students from a wide range of backgrounds sharing their experiences of their Auckland law degree. As you’ll notice from the comments, learners here especially enjoy the elements of community engagement and the informative events on offer at the school. Topics are varied and often highlight global sustainability issues, for instance, the Battle against Chemical Weapons in Syria and the Potential of International Law debates.
As the Auckland Law School accommodates an assortment of undergraduate and postgraduate law degrees, there will be one that caters to your needs. For any eco-friendly enthusiasts, there’s the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) course with a unique specialisation in environmental law which you can combine with a generous postgraduate scholarship!
If you’re wondering what it takes to become a law student at Auckland, you may want to hear what Tate has to say in her introductory video. As she explains, “The main question to ask yourself when approaching a law degree at the University of Auckland is, what will my future look like? As you’ll be learning so many amazing and transferable skills, you’ll need to keep your options open and understand all areas of the subject. As Law is such a diverse and multifunctional field, your degree could take you anywhere!”
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International