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Environmental Law and Governance Working Group

Coordinators:  Marie-Catherine Petersmann

Contact: [email protected]

The field of environmental law is rapidly evolving and continuously impacting different areas of national, European and international law and governance. Environmental protection concerns have spread across many branches of international law: the body of human rights law acts as a prime example, but also other specialized fields such as trade, investment and even humanitarian law illustrate this tendency. Additionally, as a corollary to the proliferation and specialization of international (environmental) law, subfields of environmental law have emerged such as climate change law, energy governance, environmental litigation or environmental justice. The study of these branches relates to broader questions on global governance (of international public goods) and regulatory theories. Given the interest in these areas of a significant number of researchers and Professors at the EUI, access to information on environmental law and climate change law seems key to keep the debate alive and informed within the Institute.

The ELG WG is conceived as a forum for EUI researchers and fellows to reflect on key developments in the theory and practice of international environmental law and governance. To this end, the ELG WG will convene a range of activities including workshops, conferences and guest lectures. EUI researchers and fellows will also present, discuss and peer-review their work. Activities will, therefore, include fortnightly lunchtime meetings where researchers can engage with each other’s work.

We invite all researchers and fellows interested in topics relating to environmental law and governance to get involved with the ELG WG!

The working group is thankful for the generous support of Prof. Joanne Scott.

The ELG WG is a continuation of the former Environmental Law & Policy Working Group established in 2004 and active until 2007 (thanks to the support of Prof. Pierre-Marie Dupuy), and again from 2009 to 2013 (thanks to the support of Prof. Francesco Francioni). 

Active Members:

Dr. Matthew CanfieldRyan GladychDr. Ioanna Hadjiyiann iArpitha Upendra KodiveriGonzalo LarreaMario PaganoMarie-Catherine Petersmann, Kinaya Pijl, Delia RaduRicardo Rodrigues de OliveiraHarri Ruohomäki, Mike VidelerRebecca Williams.

Past Members: 

Prof. Elisa Morgera; Prof. Valentina Vadi; Dr Jerneja Penca; Dr Patrycja Dabrowska; Dr Hanne Birgitte Jensen; Dr Emanuela Orlando; Dr Laura Zanotti. 

Academic Year 2017-2018


  • 14/05/2018: The Environment in Court: Contemporary Issues and Challenges. Paper presentations by Marie-Catherine Petersmann (EUI - Law Department), Mario Pagano (EUI - Law Department), and Marta Morvillo (Max Weber Fellow, Department of Law, EUI). Comments by Prof. Lüdwig Krämer, chaired by Arpitha Kodiveri (EUI Researcher)
  • 11/05/2018:The Human Right to a Healthy Environment. Presentation by John Knox (UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment), chaired by Marie-Catherine Petersmann (PhD Researcher Law Department).
  • 05/04/2018: Towards a Post-Colonial Competition State? Transnational Environmental Governance and Indigenous Rights in India. Lecture and Discussion with Prof. Thomas Eimer, Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), chaired by Marie-Catherine Petersmann (PhD Researcher Law Department).
  • 08/02/2018: The Extraterritorial Reach of EU Environmental Law and Access to Justice by Third Country Actors. Presentation by Ioanna Hadjiyianni (Max Weber Fellow, Department of Law) in the framework of Max Weber Fellows’ Presentations – LAW Department.
  • 07/12/2017: Presentations by First Year Researchers, chaired by Marie-Catherine Petersmann (PhD Researcher Law Department).
  • 22/11/2017: Compromised Collaborations: Disputing Biofuels in the Age of Anthropocene. Presentation by Matthew Canfield (Max Weber Fellow, Department of Law), chaired by Marie-Catherine Petersmann (PhD Researcher Law Department).
  • 27/10/2017: Renewable Energy and the North Sea: Match Made in Heaven or Hastily Made Gamble? Presentation by Jaap Waverijn (Groningen Centre of Energy Law, University of Groningen, the Netherlands), chaired by Rebecca Williams (LLM Researcher Law Department).

Academic Year 2011-2012


  • 18/05/2012:  Workshop on The Dominance of Climate Change in Environmental Law: Taking Stock for Rio+20, in cooperation with the Global Governance Programme (working paper accessible here).

Academic Year 2010-2011


Academic Year 2009-2010


  • 11/11/2009: Pre-Copenhagen Perspective: Present and future of climate change law with prof. Massimilano Montini, University of Siena.
  • 25/06/2009: Symposium on Sustainability Governance, organized by the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG) in collaboration with Prof. Francesco Francioni and the Law Department.

Academic Year 2008-2009


  • 13/11/2008: Joint and open session between the WGEL and the WG on Cultural Heritage on "Land use, Global Change and its Different Implications" (Human Rights, environmental issues, tangible and intangible cultural heritage).
  • Presentation by Patricia Quillacq: The Project of EU Directive for Soil Protection and New Trends in European Spatial Planning.
  • 8/11/2008: Open session with Prof. James Salzman (Professor of Law and Professor of environmental policy, Duke University, Durham, NC), on Climate Change Beyond Kyoto: What Role for International Law?  
  • 28/04/008: "The CPA Iron-Rhine Arbitration and the Principle of Sustainable Development" by I. Dubava; and 'The Erika Affair and the Notion of Ecological Damage' by P. Quillacq and E. Orlando.
  • 07/02/2008: Access Rights, Procedural Questions and Public Participation in EU and National Environmental Law.

Working Papers


Page last updated on 07 May 2018