This WebLog offers a brief introduction to all the Modules taught by Rory MacPhee at Falmuth Marine School. For full information on the Marine Environmental Management Degree see

Monday, 7 July 2008

Policy and Law

Year 1 Module Code FDMS 117 20 Credits 70% coursework and 30% exam

Lecture Time: Every Tuesday 0900 to 1100

Learning Outcomes

Explain the principles of regulation
Identify the key debating positions of the business community and conservationists
Debate the need for international regulation
Describe how policies are defined and subsequently imposed

Questions Addressed

Why do I need to understand the basics of regulation?
What is the value of an understanding of ethics?
In societal terms, what is the value of regulation?
Where do laws come from, and how are they categorised?
Why should we recognise and obey laws made by international organisations?
What is the process of law-making?
How do the courts of law operate?
What is the distinction between civil and criminal jurisdictions?
What is the law of negligence, and how does it impact both on everyday life and business?
How are consumers protected?
How is the environment protected?
How does English law encourage effective safety management?
Is their a conflict between envorinmental protection and economic growth?


11 November Debate: "This House believes that conservation of the natural environment has greater importance than economic growth". Issues to be summarised and referenced after the debate on individual weblogs for submission Tuesday 25th November 1600hrs. Follow this format: Title of debate; summary of your individual arguement in 500 words with references; summary of the Key Debating Points - 100 words; Evaluation of the Debate 200 words (ie how did you feel about the preparation/delivery/group dynamic/your understanding of complex issues/ideas for the future). I will be going through the issues in class on 18 November and making sure that you are Blogged Up.

Format: Divide into groups of four. One student from MEM to act as chair. Please investigate possibilities of MP3 or video capture. MEM to propose, MLM to oppose. Start with a team meeting, then a literature search focusing on local conflicts such as the cruise ship terminal, mussel farm location and slipway maintenance. During my absence on 4th December work up your arguements, and advise opponents of your main points in the DISCOVERY process. I will offer consultancy to MEM on 6 November at 0900 and to MLM at 1100 same day.

During the debate, format as follows:

Opening statements: two by 15 mins
3 arguements from Team A, with rebuttal by Team B 15 mins
Ditto except for team change
Breakout: discuss closing statement 20 mins
Closing statements: 2 by 20 mins.

20 January Exam: multiple choice format testing understanding of the basics of English Law. You will be expected to know the following: Sources of Law, Distinctions between Private Law and Public Law, Definition of Tort, Basics of a Legally Binding Agreement and Statutory Nuisance.

5 May Essay submission: "Despite recent legal developments, companies can still avoid their moral obligations to customers and employees". Discuss this statement in the light of recent legal developments in the law of corporate manslaughter with particular reference to marine accidents. 2500 words, plus reference section and appendices. Ensure a high quality of presentation.

Lecture Notes

Please ensure that you have a developed methodology of ordering information, whether it be from lectures, seminars, discussions, fieldtrips, reading, listening, viewing.

Week 1 We will look at your coursework obligations to begin with, then discuss the nature of order. How do we constitute our society to obtain our objectives, whether informed by ethics, material gain or otherwise? How does the United Kingdom achieve order? Who makes the rules? What is the British Constitution? Wiki view What does it mean to be British? How do we secure our freedom? What is freedom? This first lesson will be discursive, inviting contributions from the group. Objective: Understand how las is made and imposed.

Week 2 Global Perspectives: the role of religious observance, time lines of history, demographics. International organisations (Environmental Organisations) - IMO, EU, UN, UNEP, Rio Declaration, WTO, IUCN, Greenpeace, FOE. Objective: Commence an analysis of international policy. Homework: email me a summary of international legislation relating to bio-diversity - see here for a good start

Week 3 Regional Perspectives: British Marine Federation, GreenBlue, Natural England: Objective: commence an understanding of regional/national policy.

Week 4 Local Perspectives: local governance and accountability - Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, Cornwall Council, Cornwall Marine Network, Fal/Helford Marine SAC, Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency: Objective: develop an understanding of local issues and conflicts. We will also look at some wider perspectives - see Monbiot's lates article where he discusses the "nature crunch". Note that this article is published both on his website and that of the Guardian - but references only carried on his site. A paper copy will be given to you.

Week 5 Conservation Policy: connecting the first four lectures, we will discuss in detail how policy is developing to ensure that the objectives of the Convention on BioDiversity are met.

The European perspective is all important. First step, then, the EU Commission DG Environment site. Then have a look at the pages relating to water and the marine strategy.

For your optional homework to take you through the half terms, study and summarise this report from the JNCC. If the link is broken, Google Update on UK and European Policy Initiatives.

It is important to maintain this EU wide perspective, so study Seas at Risk

Weeks 6 and 7: Preparation for the debate

Week 8: We are now in the run up to your exam on the 20th January. We have four teaching weeks until then, and will concentrate on understanding some basic legal principles and issues through these questions:

  • How is the law made?
  • Who makes the law?
  • What is the distinction between public and private law?
  • What is the meaning of "obligation"?
  • What is a tort?
  • What is criminality?
  • What is a contract?
  • What is a statutory nuisance?
  • What is an example of law making within your own area of interest/speciality?

Weeks 9, 10 and 11: Series of lectures focused on the Examination. Students emailed on 10/12 with group feedback - see below

Week 12: Revision - see

Week 13: Examination

Week 14: Examination de-brief

Week 15: Examination and Introduction to Corporate Responsibility, Risk Management and Health and Safety. This session was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Week 16: Corporate Responsibility, Risk Managment and Health and Safety. The objective of this part of the lecture series is to make you fully aware of the issues that business organisations have to face on a day by day basis. Note: HALF TERM FOLLOWS THIS

Student feedback on session 14: deaths at work HSE Statistics ILO Stats
Cornwall College - see Tim email 4/2/09
The Lyme Bay case -

Week 17: Risk Management

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were created in 1974 by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Hasawa).

They have published a leaflet of risk managment in the workplace, which defines the five essential components of risk assessment.

This, however, is only part of the story. Behind successful risk management is the concept of visualisation. This paper considers the visualisation of risk as it applies to hill walkers.

To be able to visualise risk requires both imagination and experience, as well as open and honest discussion with colleagues and stakeholders. This can be effected by the running of Focus Groups, using techniques that elicit ideas irrspective of individual shyness. See here for an explanation of the methodology.

I would argue that Risk Management is a basic skill which all students should have on graduation. The legal consequences of poor risk managment are what we are discussing in this module.

You mind find mind mapping a useful tool, so please assess and review for me next week.

This video and here and here sequence give a stark but humorous look at corporate killing.

Week 18: Criminal Liabilities

Week 19: Health and Safety

Inititial task: using post it notes, run a SWOT analysis of Health and SAfety observance at Falmouth Marine School. From this you will extract five key points and discuss how these can best be implemented.

We will then move on to discuss how we can reduce our risk exposure to catastrpohic events - this will preview the film tonight on Horizon which you should watch. It will be available on BBC iPlayer. This article will give some context - follow the links at the end.

The HSE have provided an interesting online tool for safety awareness here

HSE podcast on stress.

HSE video on general H and S issues

HSE stats 2007/8

HSE enforcement and sample prosecutions

Class summary:

An employer has a legal duty of care to ensure - so far as is reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare of an employee. This can be done for instance by risk assessing and reviewing all activities, providing training and initiating staff consultation. In particular, the empoyer should focus on infrastructure, substances, machinery, stress andwelfare facilities.

Week 20: Health and Safety

Task: write a risk assessment to the following have undertaken a variety of beach clean-ups as part of the Marine Conservation Society's clean -up initiative. However, it is apparent from your frequent excursions along the Cornish coast path that there are a great many beaches that are full of detritus but which are generally inaccessible. You conceive the notion of an extreme beach clean. To progress this you need to set up a website, develop mapping capability and - most importantly, undertake a Risk Assessment. The classic procedure is contained in this HSE leaflet.

However, there is usually more than one way to skin a cat, so try to develop a risk assessment using Mindmeister.

From the risk assessment you will then develop a protocol of safety procedures, eg equipment list.

The essence of a risk assessment is to make it dynamic. This means - in the classic definition - to embed regular reviews into the process. It might also mean, however, that more use for instance could be made of your base contacts and SMS messaging.

Week 21: Corporate Manslaughter


Week 22: Essay Build, Resource Build, Panorama Programme

Week 23: Essay Workshop

Week 24: Essay Submission - Rory's best practice essay group crit and peer review

Week 25: Away day to Egypt

Week 26: Feedback, Risk Assess and plan Mullion Harbour World Ocean Day event

WHITSUN BREAK NB Conference on 29th May

After Whitsun we will engage with some outside activities and preparation for your second year project. One of the activities is celebrating World Ocean Day at Mullion Harbour on Sunday June 8th


Amusing cases
Donogue v Stevenson


Tide predictions for Falmouth
Weather in Falmouth
Harvard Referencing
How to compose an essay
How to write a report
Generalists guide to statistics

Coursework Blogs

Tim Elks

As your Blogs are in the public domain, and as we need to work together as a group, I have decided to give feedback on individuals to the group. If you perceive a strength or weakness in a colleague, how should you respond? By helping others to grow, you may grow yourself. Is this a Darwinian thought? What does evolution really mean? Do we continually evolve?


55%. You need to put considerable effort in to your literacy, and ensure your work is of a professional standard – eg page numbers and referencing. You only used one reference for this work, which is not enough. Your blog architecture was good, though some might prefer a background that is not black. You have succeeded in meeting the learning outcome for this module, which is….?


55% You need to review your literacy – part of this is checking what you have written, page numbering, referencing – ie more professionalism. Part of the value of WebLogs is the facility to link to other www resources, something you failed to do. Good summary of the debate, and a fair conclusion.


74%. A very eloquent evaluation and summary, though you omitted page numbering. Your Blog was well designed, though you should take advantage of the micro settings to customise the design. I noted in particular that you made use of the Blog’s hyperlink facility, for which well done. However, I have reservations about use or over use of Wikipedia as a source. Universities in the USA do not allow use of this reference.


80%: Very thoughtful and well ordered, with good use of the Blog to burrow into the meat of the subject. Some of your links were broken. Ensure that you check your work carefully, rather too many grammatical errors. In your evaluation you state that I could have given more direction, as you were only briefed the day before. This is incorrect as we covered the protocols two weeks before and I uploaded details to my website.


66%. You state that in fact localized environmental effects are minor, which is, to say the least, controversial. Whilst this might be your own view, I would expect you to reference this contention. An efficient approach, though I would ask you to use the Harvard system for in text referencing and to make use of the hyperlink facility.


67%. You need to work a bit harder on your grammar and general literacy. Whilst we are using WebLogs, this does not mean you can slip into the vernacular. One of the bad things about blogspot is that it does not show spelling errors, so I recommend that you write on Word then transfer across.


81%. A thorough and well worked submission, which could benefit from having intext Harvard referencing as well as hyperlinks from words. Especially worthy was the amount of referencing which suggests detailed research. Note that you should also hyperlink to video resources as the video you copied in has dropped off.


56%. As Gladstone said to Disraeli, you have become intoxicated by the exuberance of your own verbosity. Whilst a great read, you forgot to structure your work into Summary/KDP’s/Evaluation. You should make use of the hyperlink facility and develop in-text references, and check your work for grammatical errors.

Particular thanks to Alex and Peter for acting as coordinators

08FCH.FowlerA (Alexandra Fowler); 08FCH.OHaraG (Gavin O'Hara); 08FCH.CozensO (Oliver Cozens); 08FCH.BurlinghamL (Laura Burlingham); 08FCH.BojkoA (Angela Bojko); 08FCH.HarleyM (Matthew Harley); 08FCH.HarleyM (Matthew Harley); 08FCH.OsmanP (Peter Osman); 08FCH.Guilietti-SiJ (Joseph Guilietti-Simner); 08FCH.ElksT (Tim Elks)

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