By Richard B Macrory, on 14 November 2012
On 7 November 2012 the UCL Centre for Law and the Environment and the KCL Dickson Poon School of Law hosted a symposium at UCL which saw a gathering of environmental law research students for a full day of presentation, debate and discussion.
The event, co-organised by two PhD students, Emily Barritt (KCL) and Carrie Bradshaw (UCL), brought together over sixty participants, comprising postgraduate students and academics from institutions across Europe. The Symposium provided both a much-needed platform for student speakers, as well as an opportunity for research students to meet in person, share their research and collectively develop a lively research community on a topic of such contemporary relevance and import – environmental law and governance.
In an opening address, UCL Professor of Environment Law Richard Macrory praised the potential of such events to “provide key opportunities for the development of innovative approaches and methodologies across both research and teaching.”
Comprised of seven thematic sessions, the topics covered a truly diverse range of topics: from socio-legal and cultural perspectives on environmental law to economic analysis; emerging and interdisciplinary environmental methodologies; environmental adjudication by the ICJ and in the WTO; as well as sessions on two important environmental regulatory techniques – public participation and emissions trading.
Sessions allowed students to present for 15 minutes, followed by lively and challenging debate chaired by a number of expert academics: Professor Maria Lee (UCL), Dr Frederico Ortino (KCL), Dr Liz Fisher (University of Oxford), Professor Philippe Sands (UCL), Dr Eloise Scotford (KCL), Dr Rachael Walsh (Trinity College Dublin) and Professor Catherine Redgwell (UCL).
Summing up the event, co-organiser Carrie Bradshaw commented:
“The richness and variety of approaches adopted by the speakers exemplifies the way research students are ably grappling with the methodological challenges facing environmental law scholars today. The presentations were truly interdisciplinary, and a key theme which emerged from the day was the importance of identifying not only the research questions we ask, but the research questions which we don’t ask. The symposium has been a testimony to the high quality of research being carried out by early career academics at a range of institutions across Europe.”
The event was generously funded by UCL Centre for Law and the Environment and the UCL Graduate School. The reception was kindly sponsored by Francis Taylor Building