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    Archive for the 'Activities' Category

    UCL Energy and Development Group

    By Centre for Law and Environment , on 14 September 2016

    GroupPhoto20Jun2016In 2015, a number of UCL academics working on energy access challenges in the global South began meeting informally to discuss common research interests.  Now a team of about 16 from the UCL Energy Institute, Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE), Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR), Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), Development Planning Unit (DPU), Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Centre for Law and Environment, and other departments are meeting regularly as the “UCL Energy and Development Group”. The group is working together to build both a community of practice and to access research funds.  The team is already working on a research paper, has established a wide view of the relevant capability and capacity across UCL, and has served as a hub which has enabled several responses to large consultancy opportunities with valuable research and impact outcomes. The coordinator for the group is Dr Long-Seng To, Research Fellow at STEaPP (second from the left in the photo). Please contact her or Centre for Law and Environment member Ben Milligan to learn more or to join.

    Annual Lecture 2016

    By Centre for Law and Environment , on 30 August 2016

    Offshore wind turbines

    Local Publics and Offshore Wind Farms: constructing evidence in nationally significant infrastructure planning

    Tuesday 11 October 2016, 18:00 – 19:00

    Speaker: Professor Yvonne Rydin (UCL Barlett School of Planning)
    Chair: Professor Maria Lee (UCL Laws)

    About the lecture:

    The regulation of offshore wind farms and other major renewable energy infrastructure provides an opportunity to examine the processes put in place by the Planning Act 2008. There has been little research on the operation of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) regime to date and an ESRC-funded project (Rydin, Lee, Lock and Natarajan No. 164522) is currently filling this gap. The project focuses particularly on how local publics are involved and their representations constructed – or not – as evidence. In this lecture, research on the NSIPs regime, based on detailed reading of extensive documentation, supplemented with on-going interviews, focus groups and attendance at hearings, will be used to show how science and technology studies (STS) offers insights into how the voice of local publics is constructed, the way that knowledge claims are recognised as evidence, and the role that material artefacts play in the hearings and deliberations.

    About the speaker:

    Yvonne Rydin has been at UCL since 2006. Before that she was at the LSE in the Department of Geography and Environment for 16 years. Prior to that she taught at the University of East London (Departments of Applied Economics and Land Mangement) and De Montfort University (School of Land and Building Studies). Yvonne has a BA in Land Economy (with Economics Part 1) and a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning Studies. She is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an accredited Mediator.

    Register your place:
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/local-publics-and-offshore-wind-farms-registration-26756032012

    Reflective Learning

    By Centre for Law and Environment , on 10 June 2016

    CNV00007Last term  Professor Jane Holder and LLB Environmental Law students attended a two-day study retreat at the Sustainability Centre, Hampshire. The outdoor learning environment encouraged reflection on valuing nature and measuring loss, together with their legal mediation. Former students now working in a range of professional settings contributed to the event.

    ​Avosetta Meeting on EU Environmental Law

    By Centre for Law and Environment , on 1 June 2016

    IMG_0105Academics specialists in EU and national environmental law met at the end of May in Riga, Latvia for the annual meeting of the Avosetta group of lawyers.  Professor Macrory was one of the founding members of Avosetta when it was launched in 2001, and attended the Riga meeting.
    This year’s meeting was focussed on national procedures for authorising major installations and infrastructure, set in the context of EU environmental law.  Papers also considered the extent to which Member States had introduced procedures to speed up decision-making. This was set against the context of the EU Commission’s current regulatory reform programme including REFIT and the Make It Work, an initiative of some Members States designed to improve the effectiveness of EU environmental law.
    Papers presented at the meeting, which include national updates of significant recent legislation and case-law, will soon be available on the Avosetta web-site together with general lessons and conclusions which will be sent to the European Commission.

    Partnership with the Environmental Law Foundation

    By Centre for Law and Environment , on 1 June 2016

    ELF LOGO Professor Jane Holder has been leading our partnership with the Environmental Law Foundation established last year.  The ELF/UCL Clinic has been set up allowing the introduction of an environmental  legal practice element into the LLB programme and bringing UCL Laws  into a national network of ELF clinics located in universities.  This provides the opportunity to share expertise and best practice in clinical legal education, as well as identifying patterns of environmental injustice.

    As outputs from the partnership and clinic, this year’s LLB environmental law students have:BATTERSEA PARK

    • – researched EU environmental assessment law to support a cross-NGO complaint to the European Commission about the non-implementation of national regulations relating to farmland biodiversity.
    • – embarked on advice work for users of Battersea Park in relation to decision making about planned Formula E racing events.  The areas of law include environmental assessment and Aarhus participation rights.

    LLM Students Hold Climate Change Conference

    By Centre for Law and Environment , on 20 April 2016

    c5c7b637-fead-43c4-bc9b-bdb82fe12557PIEL UK held its 10th Annual Conference on 15 April : “Climate Talks After Paris: Beyond the Pledges.” Students, academics and legal practitioners attended the all day event which was organized by LLM environmental law students at London universities including UCL.

    The aim was to critically assess the future of climate negotiations and its impact on the international legal sector. The conference opened with keynote speaker Kirsty Schneeberger, who participated in the Paris negotiations as former advisor to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary. Other speakers and panellists included participants in the Paris negotiations and leading specialists in international climate law.

    Professor Richard Macrory was moderator of one of the sessions, and Ned Westaway, Hon Research Associate and a founding member of PIEL provided the closing speech. Ashley Overhouse from PIEL has provided a Detailed Account.

    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.

     

    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
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/environmental-law-in-the-glasshouse-tickets-17525575468

    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.