Dr Birsha Ohdedar

School of Law
Dr Birsha Ohdedar



Birsha Ohdedar is a Lecturer at the School of Law & Human Rights Centre. His work focuses on climate justice, political ecology and law, water law, human rights, climate change litigation and environmental disasters. He works on these issues at both the international and domestic level (with a regional focus on India). Birsha's work has been published in journals such as Water International, Journal of Human Rights and Environment, and the Nordic Journal of International Law, as well as several chapters in edited volumes. Birsha is a member of the editorial board of the Law, Environment and Development Journal (LEAD Journal) a peer reviewed academic journal based in New Delhi and London. He is affiliated as a Research Associate with the International Environmental Law Centre (IELRC). Birsha previously taught at SOAS, University of London. Birsha holds degrees in Law and Political Science from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and LLM and PhD from SOAS, University of London. Prior to entering academia, Birsha practised for several years as a lawyer. He began his career qualifying as a lawyer in a large law firm in New Zealand, before working with human rights lawyers’ collectives and NGOs in Bangalore, India. Between 2014 and 2018 he worked at Simmons & Simmons and Cleantech Cadre, law firms in London, on renewable energy and climate change law. During this time, he also participated regularly at UN climate change negotiations, providing legal advice to climate vulnerable developing countries through his work with Legal Response International. Birsha welcomes PhD candidates interested in research broadly on climate change, environment, human rights and development, particularly with an interest in the Global South.


  • PhD, Law School of Oriental and African Studies, (2020)

  • LLM (Environmental Law) SOAS, University of London, (2013)

  • BA/LLB University of Auckland (New Zealand), (2009)

  • Barrister & Solicitor High Court of New Zealand,


University of Essex

  • Lecturer in Law, University of Essex (1/9/2019 - present)

Other academic

  • Senior Teaching Fellow, SOAS, University of London (1/9/2018 - 1/9/2019)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Human Rights and the Environment

International and domestic law and policy concerning the environment

Law and Natural Resources

Climate Change Law

Conferences and presentations

Climate Vulnerability and Rights: Broadening the Scope of Climate Litigation. Insights from India

Invited presentation, Climate Change Litigation and Human Rights Arguments: Stocktaking and a Look at the Future, Pisa, Italy, 7/5/2021

Law and the production of water and climate injustices

Invited presentation, South Asia Seminar Series, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway, 27/2/2021

Climate Change Litigation in India and Pakistan

Invited presentation, Climate Litigation: International and Comparative Perspective, London, United Kingdom, 16/1/2020

Human Rights & Climate (in)justices: Examining the role of law and policy in vulnerable coastal areas of the Global South

Invited presentation, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford, United Kingdom, 20/6/2019

The Human Right to Water in the Age of Climate Change

Invited presentation, UCL - Illumine Conference, UCL - Illumine Conference, London, United Kingdom, 6/6/2018

Human Rights to Water in the Anthropocene: Searching for a Critical Perspective

Workshop on Critical Environmental Law, Workshop on Critical Environmental Law, Oxford, United Kingdom, 10/5/2018

Human Rights and Climate Change: the case of the Indian Sundarbans

Invited presentation, SOAS Law, Environment and Development Evening Seminar Series, SOAS LEDC Seminar Series, London, United Kingdom, 22/3/2018

Rivers, Water, and Legal Interventions: Towards a More Comprehensive Approach

Workshop on Water Governance and Diplomacy, New Delhi, India, 4/5/2017

Climate Reductionism, Science, and the Law: Examining How legal frameworks understand and respond to climate and water challenges

Early Careers Scholar Workshop on Environmental Law, Early Careers Scholar Workshop on Environmental Law, Shatin, Hong Kong, 29/4/2017

Climate Change & Groundwater in a Trans-boundary Context: Examining Multiple dimensions”

Invited presentation, WWF and South Asia University Workshop on Water Governance and Diplomacy, WWF and South Asian University Workshop on Water Governance and Diplomacy, Chandigarh, India, 28/2/2017

Law & Hydro-Climatic Evidence: How law and policy understands the ‘uncertain certainties’ of a changing climate

LASSnet Conference, LASSnet Conference, New Delhi, India, 11/12/2016

Human Rights and the Commons: Climate Change and the Human Right to Water in India

International Association for Study of the Commons, Regional European Conference, International Association for Study of the Commons Conference, Berne, Switzerland, 12/5/2016

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Global Challenges in Interdisciplinary Perspective: Water Conflicts, Water Cultures (CS315)

  • Foundations of Property Law (LW109)

  • Tort Law (LW201)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)

  • International Environmental Law (LW356)

  • Human Rights and Development (LW915)

  • International Human Rights: Theories and Institutions (LW924)

  • The Current Issues in Social Science (SC340)


Journal articles (4)

Ohdedar, B., Climate Adaptation, Vulnerability and Rights-Based Litigation: Broadening the Scope of Climate Litigation Using Political Ecology. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment

Bhullar, L., Cullet, P., Lesniewska, F. and Ohdedar, B., (2019). Introduction - Designing Law and Policy Towards Managing Plastics in a Circular Economy. Journal of Law, Environment and Development (LEAD). 15 (2)

Ohdedar, B., (2017). Groundwater law, abstraction, and responding to climate change: assessing recent law reforms in British Columbia and England. Water International. 42 (6), 691-708

Ohdedar, B., (2016). Loss and Damage from the Impacts of Climate Change: A Framework for Implementation. Nordic Journal of International Law. 85 (1), 1-36

Book chapters (4)

Ohdedar, B. and McNab, S., (2021). Climate change litigation in the United Kingdom. In: Climate Change Litigation: A Handbook. Editors: Kahl, W. and Weller, M-P., . Verlag C.H.Beck oHG. 304- 323. 978 3 406 74389 4

Ohdedar, B., (2021). Litigating Climate Change in India and Pakistan: Analysing Opportunities and Challenges. In: Climate Change Litigation Global Perspectives. Editors: Alogna, I., Bakker, C. and Gaucci, J-P., . Brill. 103- 123. 978-90-04-44760-8

Ohdedar, B., (2019). The human right to water in India: In search of an alternative commons-based approach in the context of climate change. In: The Commons in a Glocal World: Global Connections and Local Responses. Editors: Haller, T., Breu, T., De Moor, T., Rohr, C. and Znoj, H., . Routledge. 475- 492. 9781138484818

Ohdedar, B., (2018). Groundwater law, abstraction, and responding to climate change: assessing recent law reforms in British Columbia and England. In: Groundwater and Climate Change: Multi-Level Law and Policy Perspectives. Editors: Cullet, P. and Stephan, R., . Routledge. 51- 68

Reports and Papers (1)

Ohdedar, B., (2012). Land Acquisitions for Tourism in India: A Review of State Practices, Laws and Policies

Other (3)

Ohdedar, B., Lokhandwala, Z. and Tweedley, P., (2019).Book Review: Andreas Philippopolous-Mihalopoulos and Victoria Brooks (eds.), Research Methods in Environmental Law: A Handbook. Law, Environment and Development Journal. 14(1),School of Oriental and African Studies

Ohdedar, B., (2018).Book review: Sumudu Atapattu, Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities (Routledge, Abingdon 2015) 324 pp.. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment. 9(1),Edward Elgar Publishing

Ohdedar, B., (2017).Book Review: Bridget Hutter (ed), Risk, Resilience, Inequality and Environmental Law. Law, Environment and Development Journal. 13(2),School of Oriental and African Studies

+44 (0) 1206 874923


5S.6.31, Colchester Campus

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