“Environmental Law at a Crossroads”

Professor Duncan French, Co-Director of Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law & Justice, has recently been involved in two events establishing a paradigmatic shift in environmental law. First, he attended the inaugural and founding event for the Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA) at the University of Siena, Italy. Secondly, he participated via video-link in a global conference based in Montreal between lawyers and economists on the governance challenges of the Anthropocene.

ELGA’s mission is premised on the 2016 “Oslo Manifesto” which recognises that current environmental law is at a crossroads and, on the whole, fails to regulate human activity sufficiently in light of the enormity of impending ecological crises. ELGA thus seeks to promote “ecological law” as a less anthropocentric approach to nature.

The Montreal conference took this idea further, recognising the geological agency of humanity in changing the Earth. Professor French participated in the event, with a particular focus on the role of international dispute settlement in holding States to account as we move towards increasingly seeing the impacts of our shift into he Anthropocene.

Duncan French commented: “it has been truly exciting to contribute to these two events, both of which have explored the limitations of current environmental rules. The Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law & Justice will continue to be involved in these activities, reflecting also its recently work on animal welfare with our Visiting Professor, Professor Werner Scholtz, as well as preparing for welcoming in the New Year of our Marie Curie international fellow, Professor of Environmental Law, Professor Louis Kotze.”

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Lincoln Professor discussing Environmental Crime at UN

Professor Duncan French, Head of Lincoln Law School, has recently been in Rome to attend a 2 day Experts Group Meeting organised by UN Environment (UNEP) and UN Interegional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) on combatting environmental crime.

As a member of the technical advisory group, Professor French has been involved since the beginning of the project and led conversations during the experts meeting.

The next stage is for the group to revise the document on which the project has been working, for preparation for the UN Environment Assembly, the most senior political body in the UN System exclusively focused on environmental matters.

Professor French notes: “it has been a huge honour to be involved in this process, and to develop relations not only with UN colleagues but other experts and intergovernmental officials seeking to tackle environmental crime”.

Law School / Artist in Residence film

Lincoln Law School is delighted to announce the first showing of “DisObey” – the film made by Jordan Baseman during his time as our Artist in Residence.

The film was shown in the Close Up Film Centre in London to c120 people over three showings, prior to its showing at the Lincoln Frequency Festival in October.

“DisObey” deals with crime and policing, how society identifies and characterises what is criminal, and the contested value of prison as a punitive measure.

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How to Teach Complex Case Law – Keynote Address

Professor Duncan French, Head of School, was recently invited as a keynote speaker to the Australasian Law Teachers Association annual conference held in the University of South Australia, Adelaide.

On a panel discussing the recent South China Sea Award between the Philippines and China, Professor French considered the pedagogical issues surrounding the teaching of complex cases. Using the trope of Pride and Prejudice’s “Universal Truth”, Professor French unpacked the idea that it is a “truth universally acknowledged that academics with limited time in a lecture do summarise unduly complex case law”.

Whilst recognising the constraints of time, Professor French argued that it behoves us as academics to ensure our students don’t treat our case summaries as the totality of what is important about a case. Speaking to an audience of lecturers across specialisms, and not just international law, he asked them to reflect on their own “favourite” cases and how they teach them.

Professor French also took the University’s public international law class during his visit.

Professor French found time to attend his first Ozzie Rules footie game – the local team Adelaide Crows won 104-45 against the Western Bulldogs!

Lincoln Academic discussing Global Environmental Law

Professor Duncan French, Head of Law School and Co-Director of Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law & Justice, has recently been involved in a number of international projects discussing contemporary issues of environmental law.

Professor French has recently been appointed to a United Nations technical advisory group to advise UN Environment (UNEP) and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) on environmental crime. The group met recently in Turin to consider a draft UN report and will be attending an intergovernmental meeting of 84 states in September to discuss the issue further.

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Professor French also provided the keynote address on environmental caselaw at a workshop of experts at McGill University, Montreal. He has also contributed to a major new book on sustainable development jurisprudence in international courts and tribunals, recently published by Routledge.

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