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Personal profile

Research Interests

Open Letter from Climate Scientists
Climate Strategies COP26 events
UKRI Climate Pioneers


COP26 Events:

26 October, Royal Society of the Arts/RSA Fellows’ R+EINS Network, Perspectives on the Climate Challenge

27 October, UoE Environmental, Climate and Oceans Law Discussion Group (ECO Law Group), Before COP26: Promises and Prospects

29 October, Law Society of Scotland, Lawscot COP26 Conference – Lawyers and climate change

6 November, Secretariat, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,  Launch of the UNFCCC Innovation Hub

9 November, Secretariat, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Measuring and Attributing Climate Contributions (with Dr Justin Macinante)

10 November, Climate Strategies/Stockholm Environment Institute, Oil and Gas as the Next Climate Frontier (with Dr Kirsten Jenkins)


My primary research focus is on climate law, often from an interdisciplinary perspective and occasionally co-authored with non-lawyers and/or practitioners. Interests range across regulatory regimes (recent writings on the Paris Agreement are here and here), regions (e.g. Asia, and EU), institutions (UK Supreme Court, Export Credit Agencies, UNFCCC), technologies (CCS), and legal approaches/practices (Just Transitions, theory, and definitions). My teaching reflects these interests, in particular the LLM propgramme GECC which I direct, and on which I currently teach the following courses (Climate Change Litigation, International Climate Change Law). Finally, I am deeply involved in the translation of climate research into policy. I am a long time member of the global research network, Climate Strategies, and since 2020 have chaired its Board. Climate Strategies has over 90 members and offices in London and The Hague.

I also have an active research and teaching interests in constitutional and public law. At Edinburgh I head up the Public Law Subject Area, lead the course Public Law & Individual Rights (statutes), and am the PI for the ESRC funded network of UK/Japanese constitutional and international lawyers.

Current and forthcoming research projects:
1. Greenhouse Gas Removal technologies - interdisciplinary project on developing GGR tech and defining the conditions in legal, social, and economic terms. £30m, funded by UKRI/NERC
2. Oil and Gas Transitions - project across UK/Denmark/Norway to develop just transitions to ending O&G extraction. £0.5m funding from various philanthropies
3. Export Credit Agencies - focussing on legal tools to decarbonise ECAs, esp regarding their high carbon investments in Asia. £50k, funded by UK Global Challenges Research Fund
4. EU-Japanese networking - developing network between EU and Japanese public and environmental lawyers. £50k, funded by UK Economic and Social Research Council
5. Constitutional Clauses - project to develop climate/net zero constitutional clauses, esp in the global south. Funding University of Edinburgh/philanthropies.
6. UNFCCC Secretariat to develop a framework for assigning, assessing, and evaluating GHG emissions within value chains. Multi-disciplinary, with lawyers, computer scientists, and business scholars.



I have been at Edinburgh Law School since 2003. Previously a barrister in London and Lecturer at King's College London, I undertook my graduate work at the University of Cambridge, the European University Institute (Florence) and the University of California, Berkeley (Fulbright Scholar). 

A significant part of my work consists of engaging with practitioners in the climate world: legal professionals, public bodies, and civil society actors. These engagements include advisory roles, board memberships, and sharing research with stakeholders via presentations or publications. For example, I write the climate law content for LexisNexis and my work has been widely cited and reviewed in the quality press, and parliamentary reports. I advise philanthropic foundations, regulatory agencies, committees, international organisations and industry. My work in bridging the research/policy gap comes together in my role as Chair of Climate Strategies, a global network of climate researchers with offices in London and The Hague.

These research and practices areas deeply influence my teaching in the Global Environment and Climate Change graduate LLM programme, which I direct, integrating  cutting edge legal thinking with climate research in cognate disciplines including business and geosciences.


I welcome PhD applicants in the fields of his research interests. I have supervised eleven doctoral candidates to completion, and am currently supervising a further four - see below for details.


Current and past community roles include: Director of Alumni Relations; Head of Public Law Subject Area; Convenor, Equality Diversity and Inclusion committee, Society of Legal Scholars (and Executive Committee member); Board Member and Chair of Climate Strategies.


Current and past research funders include: European Commission; Economic and Social Research Council; Natural Environment Research Council, the British Academy, Daiwa Foundation, UK Energy Research Council, Laudes Foundation, and the KR Foundation.


Research students

Dr Dagmar Medeiros, Assessing the standard of legitimacy in the United Nations climate change regime through a compensatory constitutionalism lens (2020)

Dr Yawen Zheng, Towards China’s Development Goals: An Evaluation of the Role Played by China’s Foreign Investment Legal Regime (2020)

Dr Justin Macinante, Effective and flexible emissions trading markets: international emission trading by networking carbon markets on distributed ledger technology architecture – regulatory and institutional frameworks (2019)

Dr Pascal Gotthardt, Quest for truth: unilateral measures within the climate change-trade nexus (2018)

Dr Majid Rizvi, JAG Griffith's Normative Positivism (2015)

Dr Nazli Ismail Nawang, Political Blogs and Freedom of Expression (2015)

Dr David Rossati, International law and the governance of climate finance: navigating global institutional complexity (2015)

Dr Asanga Welikala, Beyond the Liberal Paradigm: National Pluralism and Constitutionalism in Sri Lanka (2015)

Dr TJ Macintyre, Internet Filtering - Implications of the 'Cleanfeed' System (2014)

Dr Handa Abidin, REDD-plus and the protection of indigenous peoples under international law (2014)

Dr Wanli Wang, The Role of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under China's 'One Country, Two Systems' Principle (2010)


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