The Circular Economy LAB


Course Objective

This course provides an introduction to the principles of a circular
economy and the role of the law in this transition.

Course Content

Our current economic, financial and business models lead to economic
scarcity of resources. The dependence on natural resources to achieve
economic growth is no longer sustainable. Our production and consumption
patterns exceed the environmental resources of our planet and its
ability to provide us with all we need to maintain our current
A new circular economy model has the focus on e.g. longevity of
products, in renewability, reuse and on minimizing waste and resource
use. Rethinking the processes of production and consumption is thought
to benefit the economy, boost innovation, global competitiveness and job
creation. For the legal profession, the transition to a circular economy
represents a new opportunity to rethink and adapt regulation to
sustainable business models.
In Europe, the rethinking of regulation has been put in motion. In 2015
the EC adopted a Circular Economy Package including measures to support
and stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy. The EC has
revised legislative proposals on reduction and management of waste.
This course examines the main principles and drivers for the transition
to a circular economy, the legal implications, legal barriers and legal
opportunities, and the rise of new sustainable business models. The
course also explores some of the most pressing short-term business
challenges, providing examples of problematic business products and
business cases. Is technology innovation helping or working against the
principles of the Circular Economy? Regulation is not currently designed
to respond to the circular economy developments. What are the current
challenges and how can regulation respond and protect consumer

The debate about climate change and the law often seems to focus on what
companies should be forbidden or discouraged from doing. Yet a
sustainable future holds an enormous potential for business
opportunities. One role traditionally assigned to law is to facilitate
economic development and entrepreneurship. In this course, we will look
at how the law can help foster six sustainable business initiatives.

This course does not have a traditional set up. It is designed as a law
clinic. Students will be challenged to solve real life legal issues.
Academic professors, practicing lawyers and entrepreneurs will teach
classes jointly. Some of the business projects we will be looking at
are: development of solar parks, a waste recycling start up, electric
cars and development of windmill parks.

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Paper, presentation, participation and an exam.


T.b.a. The reading material will be distributed by the course

Target Audience

This course is only open to students of the programme International
Business Law: Climate Change and Sustainability.

General Information

Course Code R_TCirEL
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator A. Duarte Correia
Examiner A. Duarte Correia
Teaching Staff prof. dr. J.L. Smeehuijzen
A. Duarte Correia

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: