Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law
Bhutan Summer School - Jigme Singye Wangchuck (JSW) School of Law

The JSW School of Law has invited ANU final year LLB or JD students to attend a Special Graduate Program on Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability at its spectacular new green campus just outside of Paro, Bhutan. Students will have a choice of two courses taught by highly respected legal academicians from leading law schools in the United States and Australia. The courses will be taught intensively over a two and a three-week period. Ordinarily, this program is for graduate students only, however, the JSW has issued a special invitation for your final year students to be involved. 



  • Highly topical and engaging courses taught by skilled and experienced legal academicians.
  • A pristine Himalayan setting, the highest law school in the world.
  • Interaction with International and Bhutanese law students in the classroom, residences, and on field trips.
  • Special exposure to unique aspects of Bhutanese society and its legal system through field trips to Thimphu, the capital city, and Punakha, the previous seat of government.


Courses Offered

  • Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century (two-week course 13 – 27 July)
  • Rule-of-Law, Governance, & Environment (three-week course 13 July – 3 August)


Program Details and Course Delivery

The Program will admit a maximum of 25 students. Students may enroll in one or both courses offered. The timetable is designed so that students enrolling in two courses will spend around 4.5 hours in class per teaching day with ample breaks in between. The three-week class will meet two days a week, The two week class will meet 4 days a week. Friday and the weekends will be reserved for field trips to sites related to both classes. Students have free days on weekends for optional activities. Each course is taught using the seminar method. There are 27 total class contact hours, plus field trips. Students are assessed by continuous modes such as reading reflection papers, student presentations of readings, class participation, and a final assessment which may be an exam, a paper, or a reflection. The final assessment may be made during the class time or it may be completed a few weeks after the summer school has ended depending on the instructor’s preference.

Upon satisfactory completion, students will be awarded a certificate detailing the courses they have taken and will receive unspecified course credit towards their ANU program. 


Course Details

Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century (2 weeks)

In the late 20th century, the law made great strides in tackling fundamental environmental problems such as pollution, cleanup of hazardous wastes, and overuse of natural resources. While the problem of climate change has deservedly received much attention in the first decades of the 21st century, countries around the world are also grappling with emerging environmental and sustainability challenges, many with direct links to climate. For example, significant amounts of fossil fuels go into rapidly escalating production of plastics, which drive greenhouse gas emissions, fill the planet with debris, and even inject microplastics into people’s and animals’ bloodstreams. Such problems have prompted the global community to begin negotiations on an international treaty that could use new legal approaches to manage and reduce persistent materials that pose threats to the climate, communities, and even our health.

This class will survey a few of the emerging environmental and sustainability challenges of the 21st century, as well as both traditional and innovative legal responses to these problems. In addition to plastics, the course will consider innovative legal approaches to issues such as tourism, which accounts for ten percent of greenhouse gas emission and increasingly harms local communities; the biodiversity crisis; and efforts to change the behavior and reduce carbon emissions of powerful corporations.


Rule-of-Law, Governance, & Environment (3 weeks)

This course focuses on the intersection of environment with rule-of-law and governance. Environmental rule-of-law and environmental governance deal with the implementation gaps between environmental laws in books and environmental laws in practice. Implementation is a major concern for the promotion of international environmental law agendas. Since the 1972 Stockholm Declaration on Human Environment, international environmental law has hosted a proliferation of norms, principles, rules, and institutions dedicated to sustainable development and environmental protection. Major impetus occurred at the 1992 World Conference on Environment and Development, which initiated a corpus of instruments whose contents have become foundations of environmental law: the Rio Declaration, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and Agenda 21. In the decades since then, however, the goals of international environmental law has been frustrated by implementation problems within individual countries, with the United Nations identifying issues of rule-of-law and governance as primary challenges.

The course is intended to give students an introduction to concepts, principles, and trends regarding rule-of-law and governance in connection withenvironmental issues. The course covers theory, policy, & practice, with attention to ongoing controversies and challenges in implementation. The goals of the course are to help students understand 1) the implementation gaps that reflect problems of rule-of-law and problems of governance, and 2) potential approaches to resolving those problems. In particular, the course focuses on the work of the United Nations and its agencies, which have issued international standards for environmental rule-of-law and environmental governance. The course will then survey the application of those standards across a range of current environmental cases, including but not limited to climate change, biodiversity conservation, water management, mining, forestry, ecosystem management, protected areas management, and World Heritage.


Planning Your Travel

There are two airlines flying into and out of Paro, the only international airport in Bhutan: Druk Air- Royal Bhutan Airlines and Bhutan Airlines. Both Airlines charge similar and fixed fares. Druk Air flies into Bhutan from India (Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and Bagdogra), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Thailand and Singapore. Bhutan Airlines flies from India (Delhi and Kolkata), Nepal (Kathmandu) and Thailand.

Optionally, students can fly to Bagdogra and travel by road to Jaigaon (border town), West Bengal, India, which will take approximately 4 hours. From the border town of Phuentsholing, Bhutan, it is approximately another 4 hours drive to Paro.

Your student visa will only cover the time you are in class. You will not be able to travel in Bhutan outside of the class activities without paying for a tourist visa for extra days you stay.


Applying for the Program

Who Can Apply?

To apply, ANU students must be in their final year of their LLB or JD program.


How to Apply?

To apply for the summer school program, download the application form HERE. You must duly fill the form and email it to summer.school@jswlaw.bt along with other relevant documents as specified in the form.



  • Application deadline: March 1, 2024.
  • Selection results on a rolling basis but no later than March 15, 2024.
  • Payment of half the fees, which are non-refundable, March 30, 2024.
  • Payment of balance of fees non-refundable April 15, 2024.
  • Early applicants will be given an advantage in the selection process.



  • $2,000 USD per course ($1,000 USD per credit hour)*
  • $1,000 USD for suite with shared bath and meals on campus for three week course. $800 for students signed up only for the two week course.
  • Meals on field trips and optional travel are not included. 
  • The above fee structure includes an overnight trip to Thimphu, the Capital City of Bhutan, the first weekend. 

The above fee also includes an overnight trip to Punakha, the previous capital of Bhutan.


Visa Information

Upon confirming your enrollment, and receiving at least half of your tuition, room and board fee, the JSW School of Law will email you the visa application form. Note that you will be required to pay the USD $40 visa fee separately.


ANU Course Credit

Upon completion of the course, students will receive an official transcript from Jigme Singye Wangchuck (JSW) School of Law. To receive course credit towards your ANU degree, students will need to apply for credit and supply their official transcript. 


Funding Available

Students who are experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to also apply for the Yuill Bursary to support ANU College of Law students in order to help with the costs associated with this opportunity.



For any enquiries about the course, please contact the Jigme Singye Wangchuck (JSW) School of Law at graduate.summer.school@jswlaw.bt .