New members of CLE

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 3 November 2015

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two new members to the Centre for Law and the Environment, Professor Catherine Redgwell and Justine Thornton.

Justine is a barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, specialising in environmental law, and has been appointed a visiting professor at the Centre. Catherine is Chichele Professor of International Law at University of Oxford, All Souls College, and has been appointed an honorary professor at the Centre.

We are thrilled to be joined by two such accomplished colleagues, and very much look forward to working with them.


Climate Change Conference announced

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 2 November 2015

1kpp4cvg0yww5ajdZiwiYuUKMqcntEy64pjk-CD2Jne_PLZFvmOvpWecxUdtKC1lEgWiq1g=s105An important conference exploring the role of national courts and climate change issues is to be held on December 1st 2015 5.45 – 7.15pm.
The event is co-hosted by UK Environmental Law Association, Planning & Environment Bar Association, and Constitutional & Administrative Law Bar Association, and will be held at Mishcon de Reya LLP, Africa House, 70 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6AH


Tom Burke, chair E3G, Visiting Professor UCL Faculty of Laws
Sarah Kohl, Head of the Climate Change legal team at the Department of Energy & Climate Change
Professor Richard Macrory, Centre for Law and the Environment , University College London
Lord Carnwath, UK Supreme Court

Chair: James Maurici QC, Landmark Chambers

Registration at

Climate Change and the Courts

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 20 October 2015

Climate Change and the Rule of Law

Members of the Cimagesentre recently took part in an important three-day symposium on climate change and the rule of law held in London in September. In the build-up to the December Paris climate change negotiations, the symposium brought together judges, practitioners and academics from around the world to explore the role of courts and and the judiciary in handling climate change issues. Phillipe Sands gave a public lecture at the Supreme Court on the role of international courts, and climate change. In other symposium sessions, Maria Lee considered the challenges of adjudicating climate change in the private law context, while Richard Macrory presented thoughts on the UK Climate Change Act and the extent to which it could be subject to judicial review.

Further details of the event, which was hosted by the Supreme Court, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Dickson School of Law, Kings College, and Journal of Environmental Law can be found at

There is also a write-up of the symposium by Professor Chris Hilson of Reading University

IV UCL-KCL Postgraduate Environmental Law Symposium

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 21 September 2015

After three highly successful events, the fourth Postgraduate Environmental Law Symposium jointly organised by University College London (UCL) Faculty of Laws and King’s College London (KCL) Dickson Poon School of Law will be held on 25 February 2016 at King’s College London.

Announcement and call for papers.

European Environmental Law Forum

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 7 September 2015

Professor Richard Macrory was a key note speaker at the 2015 European Environmental Law Forum conference held in Aix en Provence.

imgresAlmost 150 people attended the meeting held 2-4 September at the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Aix-Marseille University, with workshops including presentations from many PhD students across Europe.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘The Effectiveness of Environmental Law” and Professor Macrory addressed the final plenary session on the challenges of designing effective sanctions at both national and European Union level.


New Centre for Law and the Environment Annual Lecture Series launched

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 3 August 2015

First Annual Lecture
Environmental Law in the Glasshouse:
A Decade of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and What It Tells Us About Environmental Law

Professor Liz Fisher, University of Oxford, Corpus Christi College

Tuesday 20 October 2015, 17:00 – 18:00 (followed by drinks reception)
at UCL Marquee (Main Quad), Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

The UCL Centre for Law and the Environment Annual Lecture Series is being launched in 2015 as a platform for the development and showcasing of contemporary environmental law scholarship. The Lectures are delivered on an annual basis and cover a wide range of environmental law scholarship and methodological approaches to law.

About this talk
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), as with other information rights legislation, has now been fully in force for over a decade. The starting assumption for these different regimes is that they are straightforward mechanisms that balance a general right of disclosure against limited reasons for non-disclosure. The end result is presumed to be greater clarity about environmental governance. But a decade’s worth of Information Commissioner decision notices, and tribunal and court decision reveals the opposite. The application of the EIR regime is underpinned by assumptions about good environmental governance and its operation leads to a questioning of the structure and nature of environmental governance. This paper draws on a century’s worth of experience with glass in architecture to show that this is inevitable and not a negative. But it does mean that the EIR cannot be understood as simply cutting a window into the side of government to reveal what is inside.  Rather EIR and related regimes need to be understood as architectural structures that force us to reflect on the malleable and complex nature of environmental law.

About the speaker
Liz Fisher, BA/LLB (UNSW), D Phil (Oxon) is Professor of Environmental Law at Corpus Christi College and UL lecturer in the Faculty of Law. She researches in the areas of environmental law, risk regulation and administrative law. Much of her work has explored the interrelationship between law, administration and regulatory problems.
To read more about our speaker click here.
Read further work on this topic Liz Fisher: A Decade in the Glasshouse.

About the Centre for Law and the Environment
Keep up to date with our work http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/law-environment/
Follow us on Twitter @UCLlaw_env 

Book your place online at

For queries
Please email Cat Balogun (c.balogun@ucl.ac.uk), Events Coordinator, at UCL Faculty of Laws.

Evidence, Publics and Decision-making for Major Wind Infrastructure

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 28 July 2015

Maria Lee from the Centre for Law and the Environment is part of a team of UCL academics recently awarded ESRC funding for a project exploring the space for public participation in decision-making on major wind energy infrastructure projects. Bringing together academics from planning and science and technology studies, as well as law, this project will examine the ways in which publics engage, and the ways in which evidence and knowledge are constructed and understood, in decision-making on major wind infrastructure projects.

A pilot research project had suggested that central government policy, at that time strongly in favour of major wind farm development, was constraining engagement with public concerns and aspirations; and also that there is a preference for ‘evidence’ and ‘knowledge’ to be constructed from highly technical ‘expert’, rather than lay, contributions. These observations raise interesting questions about how decision-making on major wind projects might take the concerns of diverse local publics into account in practice.


Carbon Storage and Long-Term Viability of Northsea Production

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 19 June 2015

Professor Macrory took part in a workshop at the European Parliament in Brussels on 17 June exploring issues concerned with achieving a low carbon future for the North Sea.  The workshop, chaired by Ian Duncan MEP and organized by SSCS (Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage) was attended by parliamentarians, industry and non-governmental grBRU Brussels European Parliament building boups.  Enhanced Oil Recovery is a long established technology used in the United States for extracting the maximum amount of oil from a reservoir by pumping CO2 into the well. It has not yet used in the North Sea, but if combined with the long term of storage of CO2  could provided a much needed  economic incentive for CCS.  But it is not without controversy and the workshop explored issues of public engagament and perception, comparative balances (i.e. by allowing more oil extraction do you simply wipe out any benefits of the stored CO2? ), and the security of storage.  Professor Macrory focussed on legal issues likely to be associated with the approach, building on the Report that he and colleagues at the Centre wrote for SCCS last year : SCCS-CO2-EOR-JIP-WP6-Legal

Effective Enforcement of Environmental Law

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 26 May 2015

Speakers at the conference of enforcement of environmental law held at the Faculty on March 30th have kindly provided their power point presentations, which are available here.





International Carbon Capture Workshop

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 20 May 2015

3-carbon-capture-and-storage-processProfessor Richard Macrory was a contributor to the recent international workshop of liability issues and carbon capture and storage organized in Paris by the International Energy Agency and the Global Carbon Capture Storage Institute.  Professor Macrory and Ian Havercroft of the GCCSI and Hon. Senior Research Associate with the Centre presented key findings from their study Legal Liability and CCS – A Comparative Perspective  published by the GCCSI last year, with Professor Macrory examining transfer mechanisms to the state.    Following the workshop the IEA held the 7th International CCS Regulatory Network Meeting, attended by government officials and regulators , industry, and academic and private sector lawyers working in this field.  Professor Macrory chaired the session on the implementation and review of the EU CCS Directive, and gave a presentation on the challenges of regulating   CCS and Enhanced Oil Recovery using CO2, based on his report  published last year, Legal Status of CO2 – Enhanced Oil Recovery