Dr Stephen Turner

Senior Lecturer
School of Law
Dr Stephen Turner
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 874452

  • Location

    4SB.6.15, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Wednesdays 4-5pm



Dr Stephen Turner began working at Essex Law School in 2019. He has research interests in international environmental law, climate change, global environmental governance and corporate responsibility. In particular he has written extensively on the subject of human rights and the environment. He has written two books that focus on 'rights-based' approaches approaches to environmental governance: 'A Substantive Environmental Right' (Kluwer Law International, 2009) and 'A Global Environmental Right' (Earthscan /Routledge, 2014). Between 2015 and 2019 he led the 'Standards in Environmental Rights Project' which resulted in the publication of a book that analysed the different types of 'standards' that are evolving within the field of environmental rights: Turner, Shelton, Razzaque, McIntyre and May (Eds) 'Environmental Rights - The Development of Standards' (CUP, 2019). He has spoken widely on the subject of environmental governance at numerous venues including the United Nations Environment Programme (Nairobi), the World Bank (Washington D.C.) and leading universities internationally. He has also been consulted by the World Health Organisation and has played an active role in the consultation processes associated with the mandates of successive UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights and the Environment. Stephen wrote his PhD thesis on the relationship between human rights and the environment. His thesis approached the subject from the perspective of business and industry by considering the responsibilities of corporations, multilateral development banks and the WTO, as well as States. The thesis included a case study of the Camisea Natural Gas Extraction Project in the Peruvian Amazon, and an analysis of the consultation processes carried out by the companies involved, with a focus on the effects of the project on the indigenous communities in the area. More recently Stephen has carried out empirical research relating to the duties that directors have under company law with regard to the environment, human rights and other stakeholders. In particular this research has focused on the decision-making processes of boards of directors and the relationship this has with policy choices for reform in the field of corporate responsibility. In 2007 Stephen represented opponents to the installation of a mobile telephone mast at a Consistory Court (2006) and the Court of Arches (2007). (Party Opponent v Chingford St. Peter and St. Paul [2007] 1 Fam 67, Court of Arches). He became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1995 and that year coordinated a research project related to the indigenous rights of the Sami people in northern Scandinavia. During the 1990s, Stephen worked in the field of criminal defence litigation and subsequently co-founded IPSA, a business partnership which provided legal advice on behalf of firms of solicitors. Between 1989-91 Stephen worked as a contracts executive at British Aerospace (Commercial Aircraft) Ltd. He was involved in the administration of the return of leased aircraft and the administrative preparation of aircraft prior to the completion of lease and sales contracts. Stephen is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and is interested in approaches for PhD supervision from those with proposals relating to international environmental law, global environmental governance, human rights and the environment, and corporate responsibility.


  • PhD London University (Queen Mary), (2007)

  • LLM London University (SOAS), (2002)

  • LLB (Hons) The Polytechnic of Wales, (1987)


University of Essex

  • Co-Director of Post-Graduate Education, Law School, Essex University (1/9/2019 - present)

Other academic

  • Senior Lecturer, Law School, Lincoln University (1/9/2014 - 30/8/2019)

  • Senior Lecturer, Law School, Kingston University (1/9/2011 - 30/8/2014)

  • Senior Lecturer, Law School, Winchester University (1/9/2010 - 30/6/2011)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Company Law (LW225)

  • Legal Research Skills (LW254)

  • International Environmental Law (LW356)

  • International Human Rights Law: Law and Practice (LW901)

  • The Current Issues in Social Science (SC340)


Journal articles (6)

Turner, S. and Ahuja, N., The Relationship between Bhutan's GNH pillars and the Environmental Rule of Law. Journal of Gross National Happiness and Law. 1 (1)

Turner, S., (2020). Corporate Law, directors’ duties and ESG interventions: Analysing pathways towards positive corporate impacts relating to ESG issues. Journal of Business Law. 2020 (4), 245-264

Turner, S., (2020). Practica Empresarial - Sobre o Equilibrio entre o Sucess o Empresarial e a Responsibilidade Ambiental e Social. Revista do Centro de Estudios de Direito do Ordenamento, Urbanismo e Ambiente. XXII (43), 27-40

Turner, S., (2017). The Use of 'Macro' Legal Analysis in the Understanding and Development of Global Environmental Governance. Transnational Environmental Law. 6 (2), 237-257

Turner, S., (2013). Factors in the Development of a Global Substantive Environmental Right. Onati Socio-Legal Series. 3 (5), 893-907

Turner, S., (2004). The Human Right to a Good Environment – The sword in the stone. Non-State Actors and International Law. 4 (3), 277-301

Books (3)

Turner, SJ., Shelton, DL., Razzaque, J., McIntyre, O. and May, JR., (2019). Environmental Rights The Development of Standards. Cambridge University Press. 1108482244. 9781108482240

Turner, S., (2013). A Global Environmental Right. Routledge. 1135090246. 9781135090241

Turner, SJ., (2009). A Substantive Environmental Right An Examination of the Legal Obligations of Decision-makers Towards the Environment. 9041128158. 9789041128157

Book chapters (7)

Turner, S., (2019). The Constitution of Bhutan - A Quantitative Environmental Standard. In: Environmental Rights - The Development of Standards. Editors: Turner, S., Shelton, D., May, J., McIntyre, O. and Razzaque, J., . Cambridge University Press. 323- 341. 9781108711746

Turner, S., (2019). Introduction: A Brief History of Environmental Rights and the Development of Standards. In: Environmental Rights - The Development of Standards. Editors: Turner, S., Shelton, D., Razzaque, J., McIntyre, O. and May, J., . Cambridge University Press

Turner, S. and Marrani, D., (2019). The French Charter of the Environment and Standards of Environmental Protection. In: Environmental Rights - The Development of Standards. Editors: Turner, S., Shelton, D., Razzaque, J., McIntyre, O. and May, J., . Cambridge University Press. 309- 322. 9781108612500

Turner, S., (2019). Conclusion: Analysing the Development of Standards in the Field of Environmental Rights. In: Environmental Rights - The Development of Standards. Editors: Turner, S., Shelton, D., Razzaque, J., McIntyre, O. and May, J., . Cambridge University Press. 383- 400. 9781108612500

Turner, S., (2019). Business Practices, Human Rights and the Environment. In: Human Rights and the Environment - Legality, Indivisibility, Dignity and Geography. Editors: James, M. and Daly, E., . Edward Elgar. 9781788111454

Turner, S., (2017). Quantitative Standards within the Environmental Provisions of National Constitutions - Bhutan and Kenya. In: New Frontiers in Global Environmental Constitutionalism. Editors: Daly, E., Kotze, L., May, J., Soyapi, C., Kreilhuber, A., Ognibene, L. and Kariuki, A., . United Nations Environment Programme. 212- 212. 9280737600

Turner, S., (2015). The Interface between Human Rights and Ecosystem Services. In: Water Ecosystem Services. Editors: Martin-Ortega, J., Ferrier, R., Gordon, I. and Khan, S., . Cambridge University Press. 163- 169. 9781316178904

+44 (0) 1206 874452


4SB.6.15, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Wednesdays 4-5pm