My choice of Environmental Law

As you know, third-year students of the Grande Ecole du Droit attend Masters’ 1 courses (4th year) by anticipation during their 3rd year. Every student can choose one course by semester, among a wide range of classes. I chose to attend the Environmental Law course.

I have always been interested in the environment. In my future professional life, I want to work with scientists and environmental law seems to me the perfect balance between law and science. Therefore, I chose to attend this course, having no precise idea of what I would discover. But no more suspense, here is what to expect if you choose this course.


Chart of UN Sustainable Development Goals (Source : Wikipedia)

You will study the basis of environmental law, since this class is an “Introduction to Environmental Law”. You will learn about the principles and notions that structure this area of law (the precautionary principle, the principle of information and participation, sustainable development etc.) and its sources (in international, European, EU and French law).

This class is taught interactively (and for French students, you know how rare it is in France): you can ask questions during the class, and you will be able to give your opinion on various subjects. This advantage is reinforced by the presence of fourth-year students coming from Master’s 1 with different concentrations (Business Law, Urbanism Law, Public Law…). Each student has his or her own opinion according to his or her specialization, and I was glad to see how environment goes beyond the classic categories of law.


Clémence and Inès (left) both studied Environmental law this year – © Christophe Rabinovici

So now that you know a little more about this class, why should you choose it? First and foremost, don’t worry if you are a “privatiste”, that is to say specialized in private law, environmental law can also be studied from a private law point of view. Even if historically public law has a large place, it is changing little by little.

Then, environmental law can be for you if:

  • You are not completely allergic to administrative law. Since environmental law is both public and private, you will study some principles and decisions of the Conseil d’Etat seen in second year. (Don’t worry again, I am not fond of administrative law, and this class helped me to better understand my second year classes. Knowing the outline of the major principles is sufficient, and some reminders will be provided during the class.).
  • You are interested in International and/or EU law. French environmental law has been developed on international treaties and EU regulation. By the way, if you are planning to do an LL.M. in EU law or in international law, this course can be a good option to strengthen and deepen your knowledge.

COP21 Logo – Photo taken by JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS (Le Figaro)

To conclude, Environmental Law course is not designed for environmentalists only, so if you are curious about it, if you felt concerned by the COP 21, if you think environment is essential for the development of mankind, go for it without any apprehension!

For more information about the courses you can choose in the Grande Ecole du Droit, click here : GED 3 (DU EJCI) and

By Clémence Lamy