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Personal profile

Biography

 

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 Interests

My primary research focus is on climate law, often from an interdisciplinary perspective and often co-authored with non-lawyers and/or practitioners. My 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 offcies 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 XXX
2. Oil and Gas Transitions - project across UK/Denmark/Norway to develop just transitions to ending O&G extraction. c£2m 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.

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