Skip to main content

Exeter Centre for Environmental Law (ExCEL)

Welcome to the Exeter Centre for Environmental Law

The Exeter Centre for Environmental Law (ExCEL) was established at the end of 2021 to stimulate interdisciplinary internal partnerships with centres within the University. The Centre is based in the University of Exeter, School of Law, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, as a home to cutting edge interdisciplinary research in the fields environmental law, policy and governance across the institution. All students and scholars are welcome to attend and participate in our events. Please, go get in touch if you would like to participate!

International workshop on “Interdisciplinary Explorations of Ecocide in Times of War and Peace” (28 June 2024, Penryn Campus and Hybrid)

About us

Our mission

The Exeter Centre for Environmental Law (ExCEL) was established at the end of 2021 to stimulate interdisciplinary internal partnerships with centres within the University. The purpose of ExCEL is to provide an intellectual environment to create a Worldwide Environmental Law and Policy Research Network with international academic partners, such as Duke, QUEX, and CUHK. In parallel, it is aimed to engage with international, national, and local stakeholders. In addition to being an attraction centre for law researchers willing to conduct their research in Cornwall, it is also one of the goals of ExCEL to support members with achieving impact through policy workshops and training, as well as PR and marketing.

Our research will focus on:

  • promoting the study and development of environmental, climate, and marine law and policy;
  • stimulate debate, collaboration, and networks in response to the most pressing needs of international, European, and local environmental matters; and
  • support teaching and training in the fields of environmental, climate, and marine law.

Our work

‌Our work is not merely based on legal discipline, but also has an interdisciplinary focus. Many of our members are from different disciplines and have first-hand experience related to environmental issues since ExCEL intends to leverage interdisciplinary network to produce research based on existing research in other disciplines. Accordingly, it is aimed to provide opportunities for all ECRs and postgraduates to be involved in producing outputs and funded projects by giving members advice on funding options and potential links and partners.

Members of the Centre conduct research for a future-proof environmental governance. We aim to contribute to the solution of international, national, and local environmental issues. In addition to build an efficient academic network as well as strong cooperation between the academia and stakeholders, we publish leading articles and reports concerning about current affairs. We actively participate in the work of international professional organizations and contribute to the events across the world. We convene various workshops on critical topics, which are open to academicians and stakeholders so that problems and potential solutions can be discussed from a holistic perspective.

The centre has close links with the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Law and Business Cornwall (LAB/C) and is open to external researchers or practitioners who are interested in developing work in ExCEL research areas

Our members and research interests


Research interests

Dr Misan Afinotan

Environmental justice, Socio-ecological resilience, climate resilience, sustainable development law, climate change law, African legal theory and human rights law

Dr Livia Regina Batista-Pritchard

Climate law; climate justice; intellectual property rights; circular economy

Thomas Baycock

Environmental Law; Law of the Sea; Polar Law; Environmental Criminal Law; Climate Law and Justice; Legal Personhood and Rights of Nature; Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction 

Dr Catherine Caine

Environmental Law; Planning Law; Renewable Energy; NSIPs; EIA

Dr Tiago de Melo Cartaxo

Environmental law; environmental rights; climate law; resilience justice; adaptive law; land law; smart cities and territories; sustainable development goals

Professor Clair Gammage

International trade law and governance, sustainable development, gender, human rights, labour and environment

Dr Swati Gola

WTO; GATS; medical tourism; right to health; trade liberalisation and implications for human rights and social justice; conflict of norms in international law; surrogacy

Dr Victoria Hamlyn

Offshore renewable energy regulation, marine law, marine heritage and stewardship, international environmental law and policy (particularly climate change and law of the sea), UK marine law, land law.

Dr Ben Hudson

International human rights law; internal displacement; refugee and asylum law; access to higher education; legal education

Dr Caroline Keenan

Education for sustainable development; learning design and environmental conflicts

Dr Janet Keliher

Corporate and commercial law; corporate transactions; criminal law; contract law; law of corporate finance and legal foundations for business; employment law; family law; EU law; law and culture; gender-based violence at UK universities

Professor Joasia Luzak

Consumer protection, consumer behaviour, sustainable consumption, digitalisation, transparency, information rights, data protection

Dr David Monciardini

Business regulation, Sustainability reporting, Circular economy, Innovation and value creation, Business and human rights, Sustainable finance

Dr Swastee Ranjan

Critical environmental law; law and urban environment; law and materialism; law and aesthetics

Dr Malcolm Rogge

Business & human rights law; international economic law; corporate law theory; comparative corporate governance; law and economic thought; law and development; law and philosophy; human rights and documentary cinema; law and film

Dr Isabelle Rueda

 Europeanization of Private Law, Comparative Law, Private International Law, Transnational Commercial Law

Professor Aurel Sari

Public international law; the law of armed conflict; international conflict and security; hybrid threats; operational law; status of forces agreements; use of force; peacekeeping; collective security; grey zone conflict; NATO; hybrid warfare

Dr Monica Vessio

Contract law (smart contracts); banking law (digital banking: cbdcs, alt coins, stabelcoins); commerical law (circular economy, supplychains, sustainability)

PhD Students


Research interests

Faruk Divarci

Law of the Sea; Offshore Renewable Energies

Harry Rawlinson

Transnational environmental law, environmental politics, urban climate law, systems theory/critical autopoiesis, object-oriented ontology, spatial law, and critical legal theory

Khurram Usman

Force majeure in commercial and environmental law

External Associates


Research interests

Professor Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold

Environmental justice principles and tools of land-use planning and the effects of land use on environmental justice; resilience justice; the concept of property as a web of interests; the integration of land use and water (“wet growth”); adaptive law for resilience; adaptive and inclusive watershed planning; public-interest limits on water privatization; equity in urban ecosystem services; and the emergence of “fourth-generation” legal and governance institutions.

Dr Justine Bendel

Global environmental law; international dispute settlement; public international law; environmental governance; environment and development nexus; protection of forests; methodologies in international law

Matthew Gingell

Climate Contracts: ground level commercial contracts creating global environmental outcomes. Blue Carbon and its interaction with Marine Law. Democratising Natural Capital. Legal Systems for Global Change. Climate Legal Governance. Green Statutes: Converting General Law to become Climate Law.

Dr Kyriaki Noussia

Insurance/reinsurance; AI and data ethics; AI regulation; maritime law, international commercial arbitration ; investment law and arbitration;  environmental law;  energy law (oil and gas)

Dr Noreen O'Meara

European Union Law, Law of the ECHR, Human Rights and the Environment, Environmental Governance, Environmental Pollution, Plastics Pollution, Circular Economy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice.

Jack Robirosa

Human rights and the environment; public international laws and international mechanisms to enforce climate goals; jurisdictional issues relating to climate change and laws, including at sea; European Law and retained laws environmental laws in the UK; regulation of plastics, chemicals and other pollutants; water pollution; corporate accountability; causation in tort as regards to environmental harms.

Professor Severine Saintier Commercial contracts; commercial agency contracts; contract law; comparative law; good faith; relational contracts; consumer protection; vulnerable consumers; AI and the law
Dr Miracle Uche Public international law with specific focus on international criminal law and transitional Justice; diplomacy and humanitarian studies, International environmental law, climate change particularly in Nigeria, and peace and conflict studies.

Research Assistants



Iona Allen


Norah Alkhattaf


Becca Simmons


Archie Snowling


Lara Tomlinson



ExCEL is involved in the following projects focusing on environmental law and policy:

  • Future-proof Transdiciplinary Thinking in Environmental Law - NERC Discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions Fund (Dec 2021 - Jul 2022)
  • ExCEL Interdisciplinary and External Network-Building Workshops - ADR Funding (Dec 2021 - Jul 2022)
  • Making Cornwall a Biosphere Reserve? Local, National and International Policymaking for Effective Governance in Biosphere Reserves - Research England Policy Support Fund (Dec 2022 - Jul 2023). Download feasibility report.
  • Research on the effectiveness of the local environmental compliance regime within Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly - Research England Open Innovation Collaboration Fund, with Cornwall Council (Dec 2022 - Oct 2023)


ExCEL host events in Exeter and Cornwall (e.g. conferences, research facilitation, PGR events, visiting speakers) as well as attend strategic events and activities, so members and associates can meet each other and share their ideas in person. Policy and funding-related training workshops and writing/research retreats are also in the planning.

ExCEL Environmental Justice Café: First Tuesday of the month

Our next event is with

Holly Astle & Ethan Paul from Just Stop Oil

Holly is an illustrator and climate activist. She has worked with many clients with a focus on the climate and ecology, such as the UN and The Wildlife Trusts. Her activism has included work with both Extinction Rebellion, and more recently Just Stop Oil. Ethan was recently described as brave and brilliant by Paloma Faith for their nonviolent actions.

4 June, 13:00  

Join online via this Teams Link. 

Previous Café topics:

  • A Practitioner’s Guide to Commencing a (planning) Judicial Review Claim with Susan Ring, Goodenough Ring Solicitors

  • Interaction in the UK Environmental Movement - The Role of Collective Identity, 5 March 2024: Sam Nadel, London School of Economics
  • Environmental (In)justice on Whipsiderry Beach, 6 February 2024: Leah Steward & Andrew Robey, Save Whipsiderry Cliffs
  • Environmental histories at the 'edges' of the British Isles, 5 December 2023: Dr Timothy Cooper, Humanities and Social Sciences, Cornwall, University of Exeter
  • From Environmental Justice to Resilience Justice, 3 October 2023: Professor Tony Arnold, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville
  • Circularity, Environment, Sustainability and Justice, 6 June 2023: Professor Séverine Saintier, University of Cardiff, and Dr Monica Vessio, University of Exeter Law School
  • Understanding planning processes and institutional structures that impede and ‘weaponize’ planning interventions against historically marginalized communities, 4 April 2023: Professor Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, University at Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning
  • Justice, sustainability, marine conservation and the governance of the commons, 7 March 2023: Professor Margherita Pieraccini, University of Bristol Law School
  • (Biocultural) justice, lab grown food, bio-capitalism, digital biopiracy and contested frontiers of genetic extractivism, 7 February 2023: Dr Molly Bond, University of Exeter 
  • On-the-ground experiences with environmental injustice: violence against environmental and land defenders, 1 November 2022: Dr Mary Menton, NOT1MORE 
  • An introduction to Environmental Justice, 4 September 2022: Professor Clare Saunders, Humanities and Social Sciences Cornwall

Other past events:

Contradictions of Space: Exploring the Dichotomy Between Legal and Ecological Borders to Improve Outlooks for Biodiversity, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 29 July 2022 (funded by SSIS ADR Discretionary Research Fund).

The aim of the roundtable was to explore the relationship between law, the spaces it creates and the ecosystems that are affected by the delineated territories conceived through modern organising principles. In addition to the colleagues from Law, Biosciences, and Economics, Richard Broadband, who is the director at Freeth’s and previously worked as the head of legal department at Natural England, also attended the roundtable. Thomas Baycock, a PhD Student in Law at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, made a presentation and started the discussion. He explained the difference in environmental and ecological law and stressed the importance of eco-centric approach. The current legal system was criticized due to its anthropocentric conceptions of space. Especially, in terms of migratory and transboundary species, national borders do not overlap the ecological realities. All participants stressed there is a need for a cohesive and interconnected response, designed and agreed at an international level, for these are not problems that plague just one country, they are problems that pervade international society and ecosystems on a global scale.

Legal Aspects in Offshore Renewables, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 22 July 2022 (funded by SSIS ADR Discretionary Research Fund).

The aim of the roundtable was to involve strategic external non-academic partners in offshore renewables sector. In addition to the colleagues from Law, Renewable Energy, Economics, and Energy Policy, two sector representatives from Celtic Sea Power and Oxygen House also attended the roundtable. Associate Professor Philipp Thies, from Renewable Energy, pointed out technical and legal challenges that the offshore industry tries to overcome. He stressed net benefit of the investments is key for the success, and the added lawyers should expose to engineering challenges as well as engineers should expose to legal challenges. Legal risks can only be properly understood if the area is assessed from a wholistic approach given there is multiple use of the sea in certain areas. Thereafter, Matt Hudson (Celtic Sea Power) and Matthew Gingell (Oxygen House) shared their ideas about the energy transition and current market conditions. They told British government bodies concerning offshore energy are keen to help to offshore investors and it is of great importance for a long-lasting success. They stressed the role of insurance companies and risk assessment process. There can be a need for a risk maturity model or a governmentally backed insurance system. Contract models for a more effective system can be though as well. After the valuable contributions of the stakeholders, Faruk Divarci, a PhD student in Law at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, made a presentation about the legal aspects in offshore renewables. The dynamic nature of the marine environment and offshore sector is underlined by the participants. In conclusion, we teased out from the stakeholders some insights about the various legal and policy challenges they experience in the context of environmental protection.

Eco-Law Café, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 30 March 2022 (funded by NERC Hopping Interdisciplinary Fund).

The main aim of this networking event was to introduce the recently created ExCEL – Exeter Centre for Environmental Law to the academic community across campus, meeting new researchers who are interested in environmental legal issues and building a network under a semi-formal atmosphere for future transdisciplinary research work. Participants were from various disciplines, such as Politics, Law, Biosciences, and Geography. It was a great opportunity for us to make colleagues aware of the legal and policy implications of the work they do and a great start for long-term cross-disciplinary dialogue.

The Right to Repair: Future Proof Transdisciplinary Thinking in Environmental Law, in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, on 28 March 2022 (funded by NERC Hopping Interdisciplinary Fund).

We invited researchers based on their ongoing and projected research interests and activity. With a focus on circular economy, invited speakers Professor Stefano Pascucci and Professor Tapas Mallik presented short notes in which they discussed the various aspects of the right to repair, its different perspectives, ways of addressing its need and how law and other disciplines could enhance its implementation. After the initial presentations, participants raised several pertinent questions, such as what the exact definition of repair is or what the nature of the right to repair would be. Besides, practical issues were also discussed to an effective repair system could be established, e.g., based not only but also on legal and political instruments.

There are no current events to display, but please come back soon for updates.

ExCEL Working Paper Series

Available soon.

Contact us

For non-media enquiries about the Exeter Centre for Environmental Law and its activities, please contact us in one of the following ways.



Exeter Centre for Environmental Law
University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Peter Lanyon Building
Penryn, Cornwall
TR10 9FE, UK

For media enquires, please contact the Press Office at or +44 (0)1392 722307.