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UCL Centre for Law and Environment


UCL Laws


PhD students

Completed PhDs

  • Dr Kim Bouwer – Kim’s PhD thesis examines the limits and potential of tort for problems in energy efficient buildings. The interdisciplinary project examines two such problems – poor energy performance and overheating – exploring the extent to which (predominantly) tort provides any or adequate remedy for these. Asserting the significance of such disputes as part of a polycentric response to climate change, the thesis illustrates some problematic aspects of the invisibility and incompatibility of climate change issues in mundane private disputes. It suggests that climate consciousness in resolving such disputes, would require attention to the various interfaces between private interests and good responses to climate change. Kim successfully defended her thesis, entitled Building Disappointment, in September 2016.
  • CarrieDr Carrie Bradshaw – Carrie’s PhD thesis considers the normative space for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within increasingly decentred environmental regulation and governance, raising corollary questions as to the appropriate relationship between environmental and company law and governance.  In rejecting the theoretical orthodoxy that the environment should be irrelevant to the goals and purposes of companies and company law, the thesis considers the use of company law to foster a pro-environmental voice or conscience within corporate decision-making.In October 2013, Carrie successfully defended her thesis, Corporations, responsibility and the environment, which will be published as a monograph by Hart Publishing.  After nine wonderful years at UCL, Carrie has left London to take up a Lectureship at the University of York.
  • Dr Olivia Woolley – Olivia undertook research at UCL between 2007 and 2011 (supervised by Professor Jane Holder and Professor Maria Lee) into the use of law to protect ecosystems.  Her thesis presents proposals for a system of ecological governance whose purpose is to improve the protection of ecosystem functionality by driving progressive reductions in the cumulative pressures that human living places on the natural world.  Olivia defended her thesis in September 2011, and the award of the doctorate was confirmed in January 2012 following the completion of minor corrections.  A monograph based on the thesis will be published by Cambridge University Press.  Olivia completed the thesis whilst working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Groningen Centre of Energy Law of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.  She is now working as a lecturer in energy and environmental law at the University of Aberdeen.

  • Dr Jin Liu – Jin’s PhD considers the urgent need to explore legal regulations for limiting and/or reducing the adverse impacts of aircraft emissions on the environment in the light of new governance theory. It examines the progress which has been made on international aviation emissions abatement and provides an analysis of the reasons for delay. It concludes that the contribution of aviation to climate change is a multi-scalar problem and as such neither conventional top-down international legal regimes, nor any single regulatory instrument can solve it. Drawing on the scholarly literature on new governance, the thesis argues for a multi-scalar regulatory architecture which simultaneously engages multi-level governance, and a multi-party and multi-instrument approach to the problem. Jin successfully defended her thesis, Legal regulation of aircraft engine emissions in the age of climate change, and received the degree in June 2011. Jin taught Climate Change Law and Regulation at Queen Mary University of London in 2012, and is currently busy at home with her two sons Jamie and Harry.
  • Dr Rónán Kennedy – Rónán carried out research on the application of information and communications technology (ICT) , beginning in January 2010. The final thesis examined the use of ICT by environmental regulators, NGOs, and the general public. It drew on field work (interviews with staff in regulators and NGOs), science and technology studies perspectives, and the theory of the rule of law. It concluded that there is a real need to take proactive steps to protect fundamental legal values from invisible encroachment in an regulatory process that is increasingly managed by ICT. Rónán successfully defended his thesis in January 2015. Portions of it have since been published as academic articles. He works as a lecturer in the School of Law at the National University of Ireland Galway, as he did during his studies.

  • Dr Christopher Anderson – Christopher’s thesis is a comparative study of administrative law and risk regulation in the European Union and the United States. The analysis proceeds from the premise that the main objective of administrative law is to reconcile the exercise of bureaucratic power with liberal democratic values. In this way, administrative law constructs the legal legitimacy of administrative regulation, including administrative risk regulation. The thesis argues that the most important differences between European and American risk regulation are better explained as expressions of the normative commitments of the two public law systems rather than as the product of fundamentally different attitudes toward technological risk. Methodologically, the thesis is a comparative study of legal doctrine and, as such, its goal is to understand the unique contribution of law as a discourse to the social phenomenon of risk regulation. Christopher successfully defended his thesis in March 2016 and now practices law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Current PhD students

Christopher Anderson
Supervisor: Prof. Richard RAWLINGS
Subsidiary supervisor: Prof. Maria LEE
Start date: 03/01/2012
End date: 02/01/2016
Risk Assessment as a Legal Concept in the European Union and the United States

Elizabeth James
Supervisor: Prof. Catherine REDGWELL
End date: 24/09/2012
End date: 15/09/2016
Geoengineering – Should we arm the future? How to govern intentional climate change

Gerard Kelly
Supervisor: Prof. Maria LEE
Subsidiary supervisor: Prof. Richard MACRORY
Start date: 01/06/2010
End date: 20/03/2015
Environmental Law: Legal & Economic Aspects of EU emissions trading scheme

Ronan Kennedy
Supervisor: Prof. Jane HOLDER
Subsidiary supervisor: Prof. Richard MACRORY
Start date: 11/01/2010
End date: 10/01/2015
Environmental Law: A Case Study Using Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

Larissa Verri Boratti
Supervisor: Prof. Jane HOLDER
Subsidiary supervisor: Prof. Richard MACRORY
Start date: 09/01/2012
End date: 08/01/2016
Environmental Law and regulatory system in urban areas