Chapter 1: From marginality to mainstream: the evolution of teaching and learning in environmental law
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Environmental law has evolved from having status as a marginal aspect of legal education to become a new and dynamic sub-discipline that constitutes a part of the mainstream of legal scholarship and education in many parts of the world. This evolution is reflected in the burgeoning body of publications in this field and in the emergence of an expanding community of environmental law scholars, particularly through the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. This chapter examines ways of addressing the challenges that arise in designing and delivering an environmental law course, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It focuses particularly on the purpose, scope and content of such courses. It also outlines a wide range of innovative teaching methodologies that have been deployed by environmental law teachers, including to deal with the interdisciplinary nature of the subject. It also covers the teaching of international environmental law and the supervision of doctoral dissertations in this area. Finally, the chapter identifies two broad challenges that remain with respect to the future direction of environmental law teaching: first, to find the resources to enable an expansion of the number of legal scholars equipped to teach environmental law in those parts of the world where it is not yet a mainstream subject in the law curriculum; and second, the need to manage the impacts of technological innovation on the teaching of environmental law, from expanding access to digital technologies in the classroom and effectively utilizing such technologies in distance learning to determining the role of technologies such as remote sensing, data analytics, algorithms and artificial intelligence.

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