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International natural resources law


This course will provide you with the skills to analyse the theory of international natural resources law and its practical application through a critical assessment of relevant literature and the jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals.

The course begins by dealing with the fundamental notion of and general issues in international natural resources law and then looks at some specific issues relating to the management of natural resources. The course also covers international energy law and the Energy Charter Treaty and the energy and climate policies of the European Union.

Module A: General aspects of international natural resources law


  • The development of the notion of permanent sovereignty and sustainable development
  • International governance and management of natural resources
  • Property rights and natural resources
  • Nationalisation and expropriation of foreign-owned property

Module B: Specific issues relating to management of natural resources


  • Transboundary freshwater management
  • International law of the sea and natural resources conservation and management
  • Fisheries management
  • General principles of the conservation of biological diversity
  • Dispute resolution

Module C: International energy law


  • International organisations in the energy sector
  • Climate change law
  • The regime for exploration and exploitation of offshore energy resources
  • Energy law and the environment

Module D: Energy law in Europe


  • The Energy Charter Treaty
  • EU energy law I – market liberalization and regional cooperation
  • EU energy law II - sustainable energy
  • The EU climate change law


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you complete Module A first.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Commercial and Corporate Law
  • Economic Regulation
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  • International Business Law
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • Law and Development
  • Public International Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.

Academic Co-ordinator

Dr Ricardo Pereira

Dr Ricardo Pereira

Dr Ricardo Pereira is a senior lecturer in Law at the School of Law and Politics at the University of Cardiff. At Cardiff he is the LLM in International Commercial Law Route Convenor, Module Leader of the International Energy Law LLM module and also teaches in the LLB programme in Company Law and European Union Law.

Prior to joining Cardiff he held positions of Senior Lecturer in Law and Sustainability at the University of Westminster, Business School (2013-2015); and Lecturer in Environmental Law at Imperial College London, Centre for Environmental Policy (2009-2012).

His research interests lie primarily in public international law, environmental and energy law, European criminal law, international economic law, the law of the sea and human rights law.