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Alexandra Harrington, University of Lancaster,; Ben Mayfield, University of Lancaster,

The focus of the last few decades has been ever-increasing globalisation and global cooperation. In the environmental law context, this can be seen within global efforts to combat climate change; conserve wildlife; and protect our common resources, as well as efforts to understand the relationship between environmental law and other disciplines, especially human rights law. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a renewed sense of urgency in creating and implementing international and national laws and rules that bring together public health measures, biodiversity protections and environmental law. The final negotiations for the High Seas Treaty have recently been concluded and there are currently efforts for several new international environmental law treaties, namely to address plastic pollution and to create a Science-Policy Panel for Chemicals and Wastes, suggesting that environmental law is advancing across different levels. At the same time, a series of global conflicts has and continues to cause short-term and long-term threats to the environment in contested regions as well as to the human rights and humanitarian law protections of those impacted.

This stream would therefore particularly welcome papers on environmental law and governance that respond to and/or challenge this theme. This would include papers with either a national or international environmental law focus and would include papers considering specific environmental regimes, or those that consider broader concepts of environmental governance.

More specifically, some of the themes and questions that the papers might want to explore include:

  • How does the recognition of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment by the UN General Assembly impact environmental law and regulatory systems?

  • The role of multi-national corporations and market mechanisms in environmental law.

  • The recognition of the triple planetary crisis (climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution) as a means to expand environmental law beyond climate change and carbon emissions.

  • The role/ influence of politics and policy in environmental protection and in the generation of new environmental rules at the national and international levels.

  • Historical perspectives on environmental law, including those that are forward looking.

  • The role of military conflict in environmental protection and law enforcement.

  • Emerging themes and trends in environmental law, regulation and governance.

  • Submissions on topics relating to environmental education and engagement with non-academic bodies are also welcome.

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