Mission Statement

Environmental degradation is the major challenge of the 21st century. The Centre's overarching goal is captured by the notion of environmental justice, namely that in seeking to resolve such environmental issues, the legal and regulatory response must not exacerbate, but seek to address, underlying structural human inequalities - be that globally, domestically, within legal and criminal justice processes, and as a tool for wider social change. This also recognises that environmental harm is often global in scale, yet local in terms of impact, which also has intergenerational implications.   

Talk from UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment  

In May 2016 the Centre hosted a Symposium on Standards in Environmental Rights. The event commenced with an address from UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment Prof. John Knox.    

John Knox is an internationally recognized expert on human rights law and international environmental law. In July 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed him to a three-year mandate as its first Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In 2015, his role was extended for another three years as special rapporteur. In that position, he is preparing a series of reports to the Human Rights Council on the relationship of human rights and environmental protection. For more information about his work as the Independent Expert, visit ieenvironment.org. His recent scholarship addresses a wide variety of issues, including the human rights obligations of corporations, the application of human rights law to climate change, citizen suits in international environmental law, and the extraterritorial application of U.S. law.
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International Judge Gives Seminal Talk at Lincoln

In August 2015 the Centre's inaugural lecture was delivered by His Excellency Judge Weeramantry, former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice (full lecture available to the right of this text).

As a world expert on environmental law, and law and religion, Judge Weeramantry gave a magisterial and insightful talk on how global wisdom from many religious and cultural traditions can help inform modern-day environmental law.

With an audience of nearly 60 people, including academic colleagues from other universities around the Midlands and the North, Judge Weeramantry highlighted how sayings and principles from Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and native Indian tradition, amongst others can assist in transforming our environmental regulation more meaningful, and just.

Professor Duncan French, Co-Director of Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law & Justice, gave a rejoinder to Judge Weeramantry's talk noting how His Excellency had contributed so significantly to international law during his time as a judge with clear and principled opinions on such matters as the illegality of nuclear weapons, the importance of responsibility transboundary environmental harm, infusing law with fairness, and the legal implications of sustainable development.

After the lecture, Professor French remarked: "It has been a great honour to host Judge Weeramantry in Lincoln“ it has served to underscore how important law is tackling some of the major environmental crises of our time".
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Recent work and events from the Centre:

To read more about the Centre's work, take a look at our Publications , Projects and Archive pages

Environmental Liability:
Law, Policy and Practice

ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY: LAW, POLICY AND PRACTICE is a peer-reviewed journal edited by our Centre Co-Director, Pof. Duncan French. It is international in outlook, reflecting the transnational impact of environmental issues. The journal focuses on developments in environmental law and policy which are of significance for lawyers - academic, in house and practising, policy makers and administrators, developers, industry and business. The journal looks at the civil liabilities, criminal responsibilities and liability to pay preventive or clean up costs behind issues of increasing world concern such as:

- Contaminated land
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Climate change
Cross border pollution
- Waste management
- Natural resource damage

Further details can be found on the journal's website - here