Jonathan Robinson Appointed Visiting Professor

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 9 April 2014

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Jonathan Robinson, currently Director of resources and Legal Services at the Environment Agency, England and Wales, has been appointed a Visiting Professor to the Faculty.

 Jonathan was a senior lawyer at the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, before taking up the position of Chief Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand. He was subsequently appointed Chief Legal Adviser to the Department of Communities and Local Government before taking up his present position with the Environment Agency in 2009.

On learning of the appointment, Jonathan said, “I’m have always greatly enjoyed my discussions with the high calibre students and academic staff and researchers at UCL, and am delighted and hugely honoured to be made a Visiting Professor.  I look forward to working more closely with UCL over the coming years”

Richard Macrory, co-director for the Centre for Law and the Environment, commented, “We are all absolutely delighted at the prospect of closer collaboration with Jonathan – he is someone with  enormous experience of environmental law and the machinery of government, and his appojntment comes at a period in the development of thinking about  environmental regulation and environmental regulators.”

 Jonathan’s CV

KCL and UCL CCS Conference Report

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 25 March 2014

CCS Conferene Cover ImageOn the 6th of March 2014, King’s College, in collaboration with UCL, organised a conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) (see our previous post for more details and a short summary of the event). The Conference Report, including the day’s programme and a list of delegates, is now available and can be downloaded from the following link: CCS Conference Report (KCL & UCL). For copies of speakers’ presentations and more information on events at King’s College in general, please click here.

Supreme Court on nuisance and planning

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 19 March 2014

The Supreme Court handed down an important decision on the relationship between private nuisance and planning permission on 26 February, citing publications by a member of the UCL Centre for Law and the Environment.

In broad terms, the tort of nuisance addresses the reasonable use and enjoyment of land. The paradigm private nuisance is perhaps a case of noise or smells from industrial or commercial activities, although a nuisance can also take the form of physical harm to property or encroachment on the claimant’s land (for example by tree roots). Many of the activities challenged in private nuisance have been granted planning permission, raising profound practical and constitutional questions about the relationship between the regulatory state and the courts. Read the rest of this entry »

A successful conference on CCS – 6 March 2014, London

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 11 March 2014

KCLresizedOn the 6th of March 2014, King’s College, in collaboration with UCL, organised a conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), held in Senate House (London).

With contributions from government, industry and academia, discussions were lively, informed,  and encouraged  a sense of urgency to get CCS on track. Speakers included the Government Chief Scientist, Sir Mark Walport, Dan Byles MP, Prof. Stuart Haszeldine of University of Edinburgh, Ward Goldthorpe (Crown Estate) , David Kennedy (Climate Change Committee) Ashley Ibbett (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Ian Havercroft (Global Carbon Capture Storage Institute) and many others. Read the rest of this entry »

Polish Report on Carbon Capture and Storage

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 5 March 2014

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The UCL Carbon Capture Storage Programme today published a report on the implementation of the EU CCS Directive in Poland. Jerzy Jendroska, one of Poland’s leading contemporary environmental lawyers, was commissioned by the Programme to write the report.

Transposition of the Directive was a lengthy process, with the final national legislation agreed in September 2013, over two years after the Directive’s deadline for transposition. The delay was largely due to the challenges of creating a workable and clear legal framework within existing complex mining and energy legislation.

To read the full report, please click on on the following link: J. Jendroska – Implementation of the CCS Directive in Poland

Read the rest of this entry »

“Nuclear energy sounded wonderful 40 years ago”

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 4 March 2014

Four UCL academics have recently published on ‘UK citizen views on Carbon Capture and Storage’ in Energy Policy.

Simon Lock, Melanie Smallman, Maria Lee (of the CLE) and Yvonne Rydin, ‘”Nuclear energy sounded wonderful 40 years ago”: UK citizen views on CCS’ (2014) 66 Energy Policy 428, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421513011312

Abstract

Around the world there is increasing interest from government and industry in the potential for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies to play a part in decarbonisation. This paper examines how people with little previous exposure to CCS technology, frame and discuss it, and how in the absence of information, ideas, notions, values and experiences shape opinion. We present data from a series of focus groups held with environmental activists, planning councillors, and adult and youth community group members in London in 2012. We found that views on CCS are shaped strongly by wider factors, particularly trade offs between different energy futures. Lay-critiques were similar to those put forward by environmental groups and were strongly framed by conceptions of nuclear power. We argue that although there is little public disquiet concerning this technology in private opinions were generally negative. This, and the use of nuclear power as a framing device, may present a challenge to policy-makers and industry committed to implementing CCS while promoting education as the main mechanism for public acceptance.

Freshfields LLM Student Evening

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 4 February 2014

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City solicitors Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hosted an informal evening in January for UCL LLM students taking environmental and energy options.  Over supper, around 35 students from all over the world heard from Senior Associate Vanessa Jakovich and two of her colleagues what it was actually like practicing environmental law in an international law firm, and the qualities needed to be effective.  This was followed by a talk from Richard Gordon QC, a leading London public law barrister, who considered the proper relationship between the unelected judiciary and an elected government, especially in the light of current tensions. Richard Macrory co-director of the Centre for Law and the Environment commented, “Freshfields have long been supportive of UCL’s environmental law activities, and we are delighted yet again for their generosity in making this such a worthwhile evening for our current students.”

Marine protected areas in Antarctic waters

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 20 January 2014

Ben Milligan’s paper concerning marine environmental management in the waters surrounding Antarctica has been published in The Limits of Maritime Jurisdictionan edited collection by the University of California Berkeley Law of the Sea Institute and Martinus Nijhoff PublishersThe Limits of Maritime Jurisdiction ‘comprises 36 chapters by leading ocean scholars and practitioners devoted to both the definition of maritime limits and boundaries spatially and the limits of jurisdictional rights within claimed zones.’ Ben’s paper reviews several policy options for establishing marine protected areas in Antarctic waters, and identifies how international legal frameworks both constrain and enable their implementation.

Law and Policy Seminar Series

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 13 December 2013

All talks take place in Seminar Room 7 on Wednesdays, 1-2 pm (unless otherwise stated). A sandwich lunch is provided – please register for each event for catering purposes.

To register, contact Liz Carter at liz.carter@ucl.ac.uk.

Tuesday 19 November 6pm-7.30pm
Freshfields, London
The Annual Journal of Environmental Law/ UKELA Garner Lecture
‘The Common Laws of the Environment, at Home and Abroad’
Rt Hon Lord Carnwath CVO of Notting Hill, UKELA President
27 November ‘High Speed Rail and High Speed Reform: Perspectives from the Environmental Bar’
New Westaway, Barrister, Francis Taylor Building
4 December Richard Jackson, Directive, Environmental Sustainability Team, UCL
29 January ‘Representing Small Island States in Climate Negotiations’
Linda Siegele, Centre for Law and Environment, UCL
12 February ‘The State of Climate Justice’
Sharon Turner, Climate and Energy Senior Lawyer, ClientEarth and Honorary Professor at UCL
5 March
Barnes, 2.15-4.30pm
Meet at 1.15pm in the Law Faculty Foyer
Trip to London Wetlands Centre
12 March ‘Access to Environmental Justice’
Tom Brenan, Environmental Law Foundation
19 March Dissertation ‘drop in’ clinic for LLB students
25 March, 1 – 1.50 pm ‘Europe and the Environment – Is there a Future?’
Ludwig Kramer

European Environmental Prosecutors Meet in the Hague

By Centre for Law and Environment , on 4 December 2013

Environmental prosecutors from all over Europe attended the Hague on 27 and 28 November 2013 at a conference hosted by EUROJUST and the newly formed European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment (ENPE). The meeting brought together for the first time prosecutors specialising in environmental crime from Eurojust and the ENPE as well as representatives from the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL), Interpol and Europol.

In most European countries, bodies responsible for the prosecution of environmental crime are distinct from the regulatory agencies who have responsibility for licences and inspection and the imposition of administrative penalties -  the Environment Agency and Natural England in England and Wales are unusual is that they combines both functions. Professor Richard Macrory, co-director of the Centre for Law and the Environment, gave the key-note speech at the conference and outlined his vision for a more coordinated and integrated system, spanning criminal and administrative responses.

“We now need to think how we can more effectively coordinate criminal and administrative sanctions. There should be a number of principles that should underline any system of sanctions. A core principle is that a sanction should be designed to change the behaviour of the offender – sometimes this needs a criminal punishment, sometimes not. Second, an effective sanctioning system will ensure no financial gains are made by non-compliance. Sometimes this can be achieved by a criminal fine. But again there may be other more imaginative ways of ensuring this. An effective sanctioning system has to be very responsive to a broad range of offenders, and the bodies responsible for enforcement, whether criminal or administrative, need to create and publish an integrated enforcement policy. Such a policy will indicate the range of sanctions available and the circumstances when they are most likely to be applied – this gives important signals to the businesses concerned, and increased public confidence in the overall system.”

Mr Leif Görts, National Member for Sweden and chair of the meeting, commented: “This meeting was broad and ambitious and the first of its kind…… We all agree on the threats, and we also agree on the obvious need to share experience and knowledge; this is exactly why Eurojust bringing together senior environmental prosecutors is so important and highly relevant.”