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Exeter Centre for Environmental Law (ExCEL)

Welcome to the Exeter Centre for Environmental Law

The Exeter Centre for Environmental Law (ExCEL) was established at the end of 2021 to stimulate interdisciplinary internal partnerships with centres within the University. The Centre is based in the University of Exeter, School of Law, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, as a home to cutting edge interdisciplinary research in the fields environmental law, policy and governance across the institution. All students and scholars are welcome to attend and participate in our events. Please, go get in touch if you would like to participate!

About us

Our mission

The Exeter Centre for Environmental Law (ExCEL) was established at the end of 2021 to stimulate interdisciplinary internal partnerships with centres within the University. The purpose of ExCEL is to provide an intellectual environment to create a Worldwide Environmental Law and Policy Research Network with international academic partners, such as Duke, QUEX, and CUHK. In parallel, it is aimed to engage with international, national, and local stakeholders. In addition to being an attraction centre for law researchers willing to conduct their research in Cornwall, it is also one of the goals of ExCEL to support members with achieving impact through policy workshops and training, as well as PR and marketing.

Our research will focus on:

  • promoting the study and development of environmental, climate, and marine law and policy;
  • stimulate debate, collaboration, and networks in response to the most pressing needs of international, European, and local environmental matters; and
  • support teaching and training in the fields of environmental, climate, and marine law.

Our work

‌Our work is not merely based on legal discipline, but also has an interdisciplinary focus. Many of our members are from different disciplines and have first-hand experience related to environmental issues since ExCEL intends to leverage interdisciplinary network to produce research based on existing research in other disciplines. Accordingly, it is aimed to provide opportunities for all ECRs and postgraduates to be involved in producing outputs and funded projects by giving members advice on funding options and potential links and partners.

Members of the Centre conduct research for a future-proof environmental governance. We aim to contribute to the solution of international, national, and local environmental issues. In addition to build an efficient academic network as well as strong cooperation between the academia and stakeholders, we publish leading articles and reports concerning about current affairs. We actively participate in the work of international professional organizations and contribute to the events across the world. We convene various workshops on critical topics, which are open to academicians and stakeholders so that problems and potential solutions can be discussed from a holistic perspective.

The centre has close links with the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Law and Business Cornwall (LAB/C) and is open to external researchers or practitioners who are interested in developing work in ExCEL research areas

Our members and research interests

Name

Research interests

Dr Misan Afinotan

Environmental justice, Socio-ecological resilience, climate resilience, sustainable development law, climate change law, African legal theory and human rights law

Dr Justine Bendel

Global environmental law; international dispute settlement; public international law; environmental governance; environment and development nexus; protection of forests; methodologies in international law

Dr Catherine Caine

Environmental Law; Planning Law; Renewable Energy; NSIPs; EIA

Dr Tiago de Melo Cartaxo

Environmental law; environmental rights; climate law; resilience justice; adaptive law; land law; smart cities and territories; sustainable development goals

Dr Swati Gola

WTO; GATS; medical tourism; right to health; trade liberalisation and implications for human rights and social justice; conflict of norms in international law; surrogacy

Dr Victoria Hamlyn

Offshore renewable energy regulation, marine law, marine heritage and stewardship, international environmental law and policy (particularly climate change and law of the sea), UK marine law, land law.

Dr Ben Hudson

International human rights law; internal displacement; refugee and asylum law; access to higher education; legal education

Dr Caroline Keenan

Education for sustainable development; learning design and environmental conflicts

Dr Janet Keliher

Corporate and commercial law; corporate transactions; criminal law; contract law; law of corporate finance and legal foundations for business; employment law; family law; EU law; law and culture; gender-based violence at UK universities

Dr David Monciardini

Business regulation, Sustainability reporting, Circular economy, Innovation and value creation, Business and human rights, Sustainable finance

Dr Swastee Ranjan

Critical environmental law; law and urban environment; law and materialism; law and aesthetics

Dr Malcolm Rogge

Business & human rights law; international economic law; corporate law theory; comparative corporate governance; law and economic thought; law and development; law and philosophy; human rights and documentary cinema; law and film

Professor Severine Saintier

Commercial contracts; commercial agency contracts; contract law; comparative law; good faith; relational contracts; consumer protection; vulnerable consumers; AI and the law

Professor Aurel Sari

Public international law; the law of armed conflict; international conflict and security; hybrid threats; operational law; status of forces agreements; use of force; peacekeeping; collective security; grey zone conflict; NATO; hybrid warfare

Dr Monica Vessio

Contract law (smart contracts); banking law (digital banking: cbdcs, alt coins, stabelcoins); commerical law (circular economy, supplychains, sustainability)

Postdoctoral researchers

Name

Research interests

Dr Lívia Batista

Climate law; climate justice; intellectual property rights; circular economy

PhD Students

Name

Research interests

Thomas Baycock

Environmental Law; Law of the Sea; Polar Law; Environmental Criminal Law; Climate Law and Justice; Legal Personhood and Rights of Nature; Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

Faruk Divarci

Law of the Sea; Offshore Renewable Energies

Harry Rawlinson

Transnational environmental law, environmental politics, urban climate law, systems theory/critical autopoiesis, object-oriented ontology, spatial law, and critical legal theory

Khurram Usman

Force majeure in commercial and environmental law

External Associates

Name

Research interests

Professor Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold

Environmental justice principles and tools of land-use planning and the effects of land use on environmental justice; resilience justice; the concept of property as a web of interests; the integration of land use and water (“wet growth”); adaptive law for resilience; adaptive and inclusive watershed planning; public-interest limits on water privatization; equity in urban ecosystem services; and the emergence of “fourth-generation” legal and governance institutions.

Matthew Gingell

Climate Contracts: ground level commercial contracts creating global environmental outcomes. Blue Carbon and its interaction with Marine Law. Democratising Natural Capital. Legal Systems for Global Change. Climate Legal Governance. Green Statutes: Converting General Law to become Climate Law.

Projects

ExCEL is involved in the following projects focusing on environmental law and policy:

  • Future-proof Transdiciplinary Thinking in Environmental Law - NERC Discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions Fund (Dec 2021 - Jul 2022);
  • ExCEL Interdisciplinary and External Network-Building Workshops - ADR Funding (Dec 2021 - Jul 2022)
  • Making Cornwall a Biosphere Reserve? Local, National and International Policymaking for Effective Governance in Biosphere Reserves - Research England Policy Support Fund (Dec 2022 - Jul 2023)

Events

ExCEL will host events in Exeter and Cornwall (e.g., conferences, research facilitation, PGR events, visiting speakers) and will attend strategic events and activities, so members and associates can meet each other and share their ideas in person. Policy and funding-related training workshops and writing/research retreats are also planned to be organised.


ExCEL Environmental Justice Café

  • An introduction to Environmental Justice, 4th September, 2022: Professor Clare Saunders, Humanities and Social Sciences Cornwall
  • On-the-ground experiences with environmental injustice: violence against environmental and land defenders, 1st November, 2022: Dr Mary Menton, NOT1MORE

Contradictions of Space: Exploring the Dichotomy Between Legal and Ecological Borders to Improve Outlooks for Biodiversity, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 29th July 2022 (funded by SSIS ADR Discretionary Research Fund).

The aim of the roundtable was to explore the relationship between law, the spaces it creates and the ecosystems that are affected by the delineated territories conceived through modern organising principles. In addition to the colleagues from Law, Biosciences, and Economics, Richard Broadband, who is the director at Freeth’s and previously worked as the head of legal department at Natural England, also attended the roundtable. Thomas Baycock, a PhD Student in Law at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, made a presentation and started the discussion. He explained the difference in environmental and ecological law and stressed the importance of eco-centric approach. The current legal system was criticized due to its anthropocentric conceptions of space. Especially, in terms of migratory and transboundary species, national borders do not overlap the ecological realities. All participants stressed there is a need for a cohesive and interconnected response, designed and agreed at an international level, for these are not problems that plague just one country, they are problems that pervade international society and ecosystems on a global scale. 

Legal Aspects in Offshore Renewables, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 22nd July 2022 (funded by SSIS ADR Discretionary Research Fund).

The aim of the roundtable was to involve strategic external non-academic partners in offshore renewables sector. In addition to the colleagues from Law, Renewable Energy, Economics, and Energy Policy, two sector representatives from Celtic Sea Power and Oxygen House also attended the roundtable. Associate Professor Philipp Thies, from Renewable Energy, pointed out technical and legal challenges that the offshore industry tries to overcome. He stressed net benefit of the investments is key for the success, and the added lawyers should expose to engineering challenges as well as engineers should expose to legal challenges. Legal risks can only be properly understood if the area is assessed from a wholistic approach given there is multiple use of the sea in certain areas. Thereafter, Matt Hudson (Celtic Sea Power) and Matthew Gingell (Oxygen House) shared their ideas about the energy transition and current market conditions. They told British government bodies concerning offshore energy are keen to help to offshore investors and it is of great importance for a long-lasting success. They stressed the role of insurance companies and risk assessment process. There can be a need for a risk maturity model or a governmentally backed insurance system. Contract models for a more effective system can be though as well. After the valuable contributions of the stakeholders, Faruk Divarci, a PhD student in Law at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, made a presentation about the legal aspects in offshore renewables. The dynamic nature of the marine environment and offshore sector is underlined by the participants. In conclusion, we teased out from the stakeholders some insights about the various legal and policy challenges they experience in the context of environmental protection. 

Eco-Law Café, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 30th March 2022 (funded by NERC Hopping Interdisciplinary Fund).

The main aim of this networking event was to introduce the recently created ExCEL – Exeter Centre for Environmental Law to the academic community across campus, meeting new researchers who are interested in environmental legal issues and building a network under a semi-formal atmosphere for future transdisciplinary research work. Participants were from various disciplines, such as Politics, Law, Biosciences, and Geography. It was a great opportunity for us to make colleagues aware of the legal and policy implications of the work they do and a great start for long-term cross-disciplinary dialogue. 

The Right to Repair: Future Proof Transdisciplinary Thinking in Environmental Law, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 28th March 2022 (funded by NERC Hopping Interdisciplinary Fund).

We invited researchers based on their ongoing and projected research interests and activity. With a focus on circular economy, invited speakers Professor Stefano Pascucci and Professor Tapas Mallik presented short notes in which they discussed the various aspects of the right to repair, its different perspectives, ways of addressing its need and how law and other disciplines could enhance its implementation. After the initial presentations, participants raised several pertinent questions, such as what the exact definition of repair is or what the nature of the right to repair would be. Besides, practical issues were also discussed to an effective repair system could be established, e.g., based not only but also on legal and political instruments. 

 

 

 

 

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ExCEL Working Paper Series

Available soon.

Contact us

For non-media enquiries about the Exeter Centre for Environmental Law and its activities, please contact us in one of the following ways.

Email:

exetercel@exeter.ac.uk

Post:

Exeter Centre for Environmental Law
University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Peter Lanyon Building
Penryn, Cornwall
TR10 9FE, UK

For media enquires, please contact the Press Office at pressoffice@exeter.ac.uk or +44 (0)1392 722307.