Human Rights Speaker Series: Critical Perspectives on Global Law and the Environment

  • Tue 21 Jun 22

    11:30 - 13:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker


  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Human Rights Centre Speaker Series

  • Event organiser

    Human Rights Centre

  • Contact details

    Law and HRC Events and Communications Team

Please join us for the latest Human Rights Speaker Series, hosted by the University of Essex Human Rights Centre and co-hosted Amsterdam Centre for International Law (ACIL), University of Amsterdam

HRC Speaker Series: Critical Perspectives on Global Law and the Environment

Co-hosted with: Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL), University of Amsterdam

Global law and the environment is an increasingly prominent and rapidly evolving area of scholarship. In confronting global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, freshwater scarcity, and other symptoms of planetary breakdown, critical scholars from different intellectual traditions are questioning the traditional approach taken within environmental law which has, so far, only managed to save “some trees” but failed to keep “the forest”. These dominant legal interactions often use the law to address environmental harms after they arrive. However, the law plays a key role also in constituting these harms by incentivizing certain harmful activities, upholding socio-political-economic structures, and through the limited framing of the issues it claims to solve.

In 2022 The Asian Journal of International Law published a Symposium on the theme “Critical Perspectives on Global Law and the Environment.” The Symposium comprises articles by cutting edge early career researchers which were developed from papers presented at workshop with the same title, held by the School of Law and Human Rights Centre in April 2021.

The panel is composed of the authors of these articles who are joined by leading TWAIL scholars Professor Antony Anghie and Dr Julia Dehm. The panel will be structured around key questions about the environment and global law, reflecting on limitations of current mainstream approaches and the contribution of critical scholarship towards reframing debate and practice to improve protection of the environment including nature, human and non-human animals and broader ecosystems.

The Symposium’s articles are:

1. CUSATO, E., JONES, E., OHDEDAR, B., & BUENO DE MESQUITA, J. Symposium Introduction: Critical Perspectives on Global Law and the Environment.

2. FYOCK, C. What Might Degrowth Mean for International Economic Law? A Necessary Alternative to the (un)Sustainable Development Paradigm.

3. LOKHANDWALA, Z. Peasants’ Rights as New Human Rights: Promises and Concerns for Agrobiodiversity Conservation

4. NUNES CHAIB, A. Multinaturalism in International Environmental Law: Redefining the Legal Context for Human and Non-Human Relations.

5. OFFOR, I. Global Animal Law and the Problem of “Globabble”: Toward Decoloniality and Diversity in Global Animal Law Studies.

6. RAO, M. A TWAIL Perspective on Loss and Damage from Climate Change: Reflections from Indira Gandhi's Speech at Stockholm


Professor Antony Anghie qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and practised law in Melbourne, Australia before commencing his graduate studies at Harvard Law School, where he earned his S.J.D degree and was appointed as a Senior Fellow in the Graduate Program. He then taught at the S.J. Quinney School of Law, University of Utah, where he served as the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law. He has been a visiting professor at numerous schools including the American University Cairo, Cornell Law School, the London School of Economics, Harvard Law School and the University of Brasilia. He has served in different capacities on the governing bodies of the Asian Society of International Law since its founding, and was a principal organizer of the Society’s biennial Conference in Beijing in 2011. He delivered the Grotius Lecture at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law in 2010.Professor Anghie is Co-Editor of the Asian Journal of International Law. Professor Anghie's research interests include public and private international law; human rights; globalization, development issues, and international law; terrorism and the use of force; international business transactions and international economic law; colonialism and the history of public international law; and third world approaches to international law.

Dr Julia Dehm’s scholarship addresses urgent issues of international and domestic climate change and environmental law, natural resource governance and questions of human rights, economic inequality and social justice. Her detailed analysis of various facets of the international climate regime coalesce to produce a compelling account howthe field of international environmental law is both structured by unequal power relations and complicit in their reproduction and how international law is implication in the production of ecological harm. Julia's first monograph, Reconsidering REDD+: Authority, Power and Law in the Green Economy was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. Julia is a Committee Member of the International Legal Research Studies Group (ILSRG); Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment and a member of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment. She has previously held posts at University of Texas in Austin; the Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy. She is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Claiton Fyock is a PhD Candidate at the University of Leicester Law School in his final year of study. His research interests extend across the areas of international economic law, development, environmental policy and radical methodologies. His PhD research critiques the narrative of development found in international investment arbitration from Marxist and Third World Approaches to International Law methodologies. His other work seeks to introduce interdisciplinary concepts such as Degrowth to areas of international economic law and corporate governance.

Zainab Lokhandwala’s Phd research is on ‘Biogenetic Resource Rights of Indian Farmers: Towards Greater Food Sovereignty'. She was awarded the SOAS Studentship (Law Department) for pursuing her research. In her thesis, Zainab uses the food sovereignty approach to inspire a stronger biogenetic resource rights framework in India, wherein farmers can exercise greater autonomy and control over these resources. As a teaching fellow, Zainab has co-convened modules with other departments at SOAS: multinational enterprises and law with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, and water law with the Development Studies department; and has taught some modules in the law department over the past 2 years, such as, international environmental law, bioiversity law, and law and natural resources. Prior to moving to the UK, Zainab was a researcher at the Centre for Comparative Law (CCL) at the National Law University Delhi, and the Centre for Regulatory Studies, Governance and Public Policy (CRSGPP) at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) Kolkata. She has also worked as a lawyer in her home city Kolkata in matters of environmental law, consumer protection and family law. Zainab graduated from ILS Law College, Pune (India) in 2014.

Dr André Nunes Chaib is Assistant Professor in Globalization and Law, at the Faculty of Law, Maastricht University. He was previously Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law. He completed his PhD at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne on the laws applicable to the operations of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His research is situated at the intersection of cultural anthropology and international environmental law and currently focuses on how different indigenous forms of life may impact the development of environmental law. His research expertise is further informed by his previous practical experience as both a lawyer in Brazil and a legal officer for international organizations.

Dr Iyan Offor conducts interdisciplinary, theoretical research focusing on global animal law, environmental justice, intersectionality, posthumanism and law in the Anthropocene. Iyan is passionate about delivering research and legal education that will lead to the improvement of protections for animals and the environment in law. Iyan is in the conceptualisation phase for a new research project entitled “Law’s Other: Animals and Posthumanist Legal Subjectivity in the Anthropocene”. Some of Iyan’s most recent publications can be found here, here and here.

Malavika Rao is a PhD Candidate in International Law at The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), where she also worked as a Teaching Assistant in the International Law Department from 2019-2021. She received her LL.M. degree in Environmental Law and Energy and Clean Technology Law from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests lie in international migration law and international environmental law. Her doctoral thesis analyses the application of the principle of non-refoulement in international law to food deprivation.

How to register

Wednesday 21 June 11:30-13:00pm GMT

Please register for this webinar via Zoom.

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