News and Events

Selected Research Highlights 2020

24 Aug 2021

The Centre delivers a wide range of high-impact, frontier research activity.  Applied research, with a ‘real world’ focus is the hallmark of the Centre’s work to date.

During 2020, key publications included two significant collections edited by Professor Owen McIntyre: O. McIntyre, and S. Nanwani (eds.), The Practice of Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs): Towards Good Governance in Development Financing, (Brill, Leiden, 2020) and M. Tignino, R.M. Stephan, R. Martin-Nagle and O. McIntyre (eds.) Legal Perspectives on Bridging Science and Policy, (Routledge,   London, 2020).  Centre PIs continued to publish their work in important edited collections and in a wide range of national and international peer reviewed journals including: Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL); Environmental Liability: Law, Policy and Practice; International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics; Irish Supreme Court Review and Irish Planning and Environmental Law Journal.


Centre PIs are called on regularly to give expert input to law and policy developments at the highest level.  During 2020, for example, Professor Owen McIntyre was invited by UN ECE / UNESCO to act as External Reviewer of the Second Progress Report on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 6.5.2, measuring transboundary water cooperation.  Professor Áine Ryall was invited to give expert evidence to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action in October 2020 on the draft Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020.  Dr Ruby Moynihan was appointed as an international expert to China's new Wuhan University Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies, International Water Law Academy, of which Professor McIntyre is a member of the founding faculty.  In addition, Dr Moynihan was an invited Senior Visiting Research Fellow to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at the Victoria University of Wellington, where she conducted research on freshwater and ocean ecosystems, climate adaptation in coastal environments and marine protected areas.


In 2020, Amy O’Halloran was awarded an Irish Research Council / Environmental Protection Agency Postgraduate Scholarship (2020-2023) for a project entitled Private Transnational Environmental Regulation and Systemic Interactions in Global Environmental Governance.


Professor Áine Ryall was the recipient of the UCC College of Business and Law Advanced Researcher of the Year Award 2020.

A large stage pictured in silhouette under a tree. In the background, a fog is beginning to blanket the field in which the stag is standing.

Professor Mark Poustie, Dean of the School of Law, chaired the Scottish Government’s Wildlife Crime Penalties Review Group from 2014 to November 2015 and authored the group’s report: Wildlife Crime Penalties Review Group Report (Scottish Government, November 2015).  The Review Group was established because there was a perception that penalties available and those actually imposed by the courts were not acting as a deterrent to further wildlife crime and were tarnishing Scotland’s image.  This report made a number of recommendations including uprating and harmonising available penalties for key wildlife offences so they were comparable with those available in the case of pollution offences which have been significantly uprated and harmonised over the last 30 years.  The Scottish Government accepted the majority of the recommendations and the changes to penalties that were recommended were implemented by the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers)(Scotland) Act 2020 which was brought into force at the end of November 2020. 

Centre for Law and the Environment

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