The Centre for Law and the Environment at UCC

The Centre for Law and the Environment at UCC


Professor Owen McIntyre is the Director of the LLM (Environmental & Natural Resources Law) Programme at UCC's School of Law. His principal area of research is Environmental and Natural Resources Law.

Professor Owen McIntyre

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Professor Áine Ryall’s research interests lie at the intersection of international, EU and national environmental law and governance.

Professor Áine Ryall

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Professor Owen McIntyre (Co-Director)

Professor Owen McIntyre is a Professor and the Director of the LLM (Environmental & Natural Resources Law) Programme at the School of Law, University College Cork.  His principal area of research is Environmental and Natural Resources Law, with a particular focus on International and Comparative Water Law. Prof McIntyre has over 25 years’ experience in the field of Water Law, having acted as a consultant for a wide range of clients, including the World Bank, UNEP, UNDP, Asian Development Bank, EU Commission, GIZ and SIDA. In April 2013, he was appointed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the statutory Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB).  He serves on the editorial boards of a number of Irish and international journals and is widely published in his specialist areas, including a monograph on Environmental Protection of International Watercourses under International Law (Ashgate, 2007), which has been translated into Mandarin and published in China (IPPH Publishing, Beijing, 2014).

He serves as the inaugural Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law’s Specialist Group on Water and Wetlands, as a member of the Project Complaints Mechanism of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and is a former member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency.  In 2014 Prof McIntyre was appointed as an Honorary Professor jointly by the School of Law and the Centre for International Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS), Wuhan University, China, and as an Honorary Associate by the China International Water Law (CIWL) Programme at Xiamen University Law School.

Visit Prof Owen McIntyre's Research Profile.

Professor Áine Ryall (Co-Director)

Professor Áine Ryall’s research interests lie at the intersection of international, EU and national environmental law and governance. She has a particular expertise in access to justice in environmental matters and environmental law enforcement. Current research projects include the legal response to the climate challenge (with particular reference to Ireland), including the impact of climate litigation; identifying and developing standards within environmental human rights; and the impact of the Aarhus Convention on access to justice in environmental matters in the EU and its Member States.

Professor Ryall is Vice-Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee. The Aarhus Convention is a multilateral environmental treaty which links environmental rights and human rights.  The Compliance Committee, which sits at the Palais de Nations, the United Nations Office in Geneva, oversees how 47 State Parties implement their obligations under the Convention as a matter of international law.

In November 2019 Áine was honoured with the Cork Environmental Forum Public Sector Award in recognition of her outstanding public service, her influence of future generations through her teaching and her outreach work which enables learning and networking across a wide and diverse community. 

In 2020, she was awarded the UCC College of Business and Law Advanced Researcher of the Year Award.

Visit Professor Áine Ryall's Research Profile.

Professor Femi Amao

Femi Amao is a Professor of Company Law & Sustainability at UCC. Femi was previously a Reader in Law at the Sussex Law School, University of Sussex (2019-2023) and a Senior Lecturer in Corporate/Commercial Law (2015-2019). He was also previously Lecturer in International Commercial Law at the Brunel Law School, Brunel University, London (2009-2015) and a Lecturer in Law at the University College Cork, Ireland (2008-2009).  

Femi’s research broadly focuses on the examination of the role of law in the regulation of new social phenomena or emerging social change. He explores these issues principally in the areas of Company Law & Sustainability. In that context, he is currently focusing on Corporations and Sustainability in Africa and also business and human rights. 

He is the author of Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Rights and the Law: Multinational Corporations in Developing Countries (Routledge, 2011) and African Union Law: The Emergence of a Sui Generis Legal Order (Routledge, 2019). He also co-edited the book The Emergent African Union Law: Conceptualization, Delimitation, and Application (Oxford University Press, 2021). 

He was the PI for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded African Union Law Research project.

Dr Marie Aronsson-Storrier

Dr Marie Aronsson-Storrier is a Lecturer in Law at University College Cork. Previous to joining UCC in April 2022, Marie was a lecturer in Global Law and Disasters at the University of Reading, and she has published widely on law and disasters including the edited collections The Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law (CUP, 2019), Defining Disaster: Disciplines and Domains (Edward Elgar, 2022), and the Research Handbook on International Law and Disasters (Edward Elgar, 2nd edn, forthcoming 2023). Marie holds a PhD in International Law from the University of Melbourne (2017). Her PhD thesis formed the basis of her monograph Publicity in International Lawmaking: Covert Operations and the Use of Force, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. Marie’s current research explores the role of international law in creating and addressing disaster risk, including questions around root causes of risk, the Anthropocene, and the inclusion of marginalised groups and persons in law- and decision making processes. 

Dr Phyllis Comerford

Dr Phyllis Comerford is a lecturer (part-time) in planning and environmental law at the School of Law, University College Cork.  She was awarded a PhD in Environmental Law from UCC in 2016.  Her thesis is entitled “The Aarhus Convention and its Implementation in Ireland: Strengthening the Role of NGOs in Environmental Governance”. Dr Comerford’s research interests involve the interchange between international, EU and national environmental law and specifically include NGOs and the enforcement of environmental law; environmental governance; environmental rights and obligations; and access to justice in environmental matters.

Dr Dug Cubie

Dr Dug Cubie is a lecturer in the School of Law, UCC and Deputy Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (CCJHR). During 2014-15, Dr Cubie was a lecturer in the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast.

Before returning to academia in 2010, Dr Cubie worked for over 10 years in refugee protection and humanitarian action, including with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the UK, Belgium, Nepal and the Republic of Congo, with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Irish Refugee Council in Dublin, and Amnesty International in Hong Kong. Dr Cubie’s experience working for the Irish Red Cross’ Indian Ocean Tsunami programmes in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives led directly to his academic research on international disaster law. Dr Cubie was actively involved in the EU COST Action programme IS1101 on climate change and migration, and his monograph The International Legal Protection of Persons in Humanitarian Crises: Exploring the Acquis Humanitaire was published in 2017 by Hart Publishing (Oxford).

Visit Dr Dug Cubie's Research Profile.

Dr Aoife Daly

Dr Aoife Daly is a lecturer at the School of Law, University College Cork. She has taught widely on human rights, most recently at the University of Liverpool and the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex. She is at present researching youth climate activism; writing about its protest rights element, and argues that such activism is changing the arena of human rights. She is currently writing a book entitled Youth Climate Activism and International Human Rights Law. Aoife is author of Children, Autonomy and the Courts: Beyond the Right to be Heard (Brill, 2018) and A Commentary on the UNCRC, Article 15: The Right to Freedom of Association and to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly (Brill/Nijhoff, 2016). She is also a winner of the 2021 Teaching Hero Award of The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and the Union of Students in Ireland. She is an Early Career Fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation which funds her research into children and the law. She is also an Honorary Researcher at the European Children’s Rights Unit, University of Liverpool, where she trains (with colleagues) NHS nurses on children’s consent to vaccination.

Visit Dr Aoife Daly’s Research Profile.

Dr Fiona Donson

Dr Fiona Donson (LLB, Leicester University) (LLM, Queen's University, Canada) (PhD King's College London). She is currently the Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights in the Law School, University College Cork. She researches in the areas of administrative justice, free speech/activism, children’s rights and criminal justice. Fiona’s publications include Law and Public Administration in Ireland (with Dr D. O'Donovan, Clarus Press, 2015) and Legal Intimidation: A SLAPP in the Face of Democracy (Free Association Books, 2000). In addition, she has published articles on protest, human rights, administrative justice, policing and prisons.  Before joining UCC at the end of 2007, Fiona worked as a child rights advocate for a number of years in Cambodia including developing child rights training for lawyers for UNICEF and running a major child rights project funded by the European Commission.

Visit Dr Fiona Donson's Research Profile.

Professor Irene Lynch Fannon

Professor Irene Lynch Fannon is a Professor in the School of Law at University College CorkShe teaches Company Law, Contemporary Issues in Corporate Law and Corporate Insolvency and Rescue Law and has published extensively in these areas including articles in the Journal of Corporate Law Studies, the Northern Irish Legal Quarterly, the Dublin University Law Journal, and The Commercial Law Practitioner; book chapters in numerous collections and books including Corporate Insolvency and Rescue (1st Edition, Butterworths, 1996, Corporate Insolvency and Rescue (2nd Edition, Bloomsbury Professional, 2012), IRELAND : Partnerships and Corporations (First Edition, 2010, Second Edition, Kluwer, 2016). Working Within Two Kinds of Capitalism (Hart Publications, 2003). A third edition of Corporate Insolvency and Rescue is under contract with Bloomsbury Professional and an edited collection entitled Corporate Sustainability: Gender as an Agent for Change is forthcoming from the Cambridge University Press. (Co-edited with Prof. Beate Sjafjell). She is a partner in the EU funded SMART (Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade) project based at Oslo University. She has served on a number of government bodies, including the Business Regulation Forum established by the Irish Minister for Enterprise and Employment in 2005, The High Level Group on Business Regulation (Better Regulation Forum) 2007-2012. She is currently a member of the Company Law Review Group. She has been the Head of the Department of Law (1999–2002); Dean of the Faculty of Law (2000–2002) and Head of the College of Business and Law (2008-2013) at University College Cork.  As Head of Law she was part of the UCC bid for PRTLI2 funding for the ERI (2000) adding an environmental law component to this bid which was successful. She is a graduate of University College Dublin, Oxford University (Senior Scholar, Somerville College), the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland (Solicitor) and obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.

Visit Professor Irene Lynch Fannon's Research Profile.

Dr Anne Marie O’Hagan

Dr Anne Marie O’Hagan has over 15 years of experience in coastal and marine research and is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Marine & Renewable Energy (MaREI), University College Cork. In 2017, she was awarded funding for the Navigate project under a Marine Institute Fellowship for Ocean Law and Marine Governance which will address key challenges facing Ireland in relation to marine governance, including the implications of Brexit on Irish fisheries, climate-proofing of marine sectoral policies and implementing Marine Spatial Planning as well as build national capacity on this topic.

Dr O’Hagan qualified in environmental science before undertaking a Ph.D. on the legal framework for coastal management in Ireland. She subsequently completed a degree in law whilst working full-time on UN Law of the Sea projects at the National University of Ireland, Galway. In 2009, she took up a position under the prestigious Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)-funded, Charles Parsons Energy Research Award, a government initiative designed to build capacity in key research areas in University College Cork. Her work then focused on legal aspects of ocean energy, planning and management systems for deployment of offshore energy devices and environmental effects of ocean energy.

Since 2014, Dr O’Hagan has been involved in a number of multidisciplinary projects including those focused on aquaculture, maritime spatial planning, environmental assessment and risk-based consenting for offshore energy. She is a recognised expert on national and European coastal and marine legislation and policy and represents MaREI on a number of working groups including IEA-OES Annex IV as Irish representative, the European Commission’s Ocean Energy Forum Environment and Consenting Steering Committee, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s Advisory Group on MSP and the national (all-Ireland) Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA). She has worked as an external consultant on numerous European Commission contracts (e.g. Member State’s use of EU law in the licensing of marine activities) and, more recently, for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on a technical paper relating to marine spatial planning for the Gulf (RECOFI) area.

Professor Mark Poustie

Professor Mark Poustie is a public law scholar primarily focused on environmental and land-use planning law and human rights issues relating to such laws. Mark is currently Dean of the School of Law.

Mark was originally a UK government linguist before qualifying as a lawyer in Scotland in 1993. He worked at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland from 1992 to 2016, becoming a full professor in 2003 and serving as Head of School from 2007-2013 and Vice-Dean (Internationalisation) for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences from 2013-2015.  From 2016-2019 Mark worked full-time in China at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Law School under the Shanghai Thousand Talents Programme.

Mark’s principal research interest lies in the fields of regulation in the context of environmental and land use planning law.  He is interested in how regulation can contribute to positive environmental and land use planning outcomes; hence in the design and merits of different regulatory instruments and their effectiveness and the effectiveness of enforcement in ensuring not only improved compliance but also underpinning the credibility of regulation.

Interest in regulation has also led Mark to consideration of legitimacy of regulation and hence to a strand of research into public rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice, particularly in relation to environmental and planning matters, at the interface of human rights, planning and environmental law research.   In turn this has led to consideration of the appropriateness of dispute resolution mechanisms, including their compliance with human rights norms.

View Professor Mark Poustie’s Research Profile. 

Dr Bénédicte Sage-Fuller

Dr Bénédicte Sage-Fuller (currently on leave of absence) is a graduate of Université Robert Schuman (Strasbourg, Maîtrise en Droit, Certificat de Droit Européen, 1999) and University College, Cork (LLM, 2000 and PhD, 2009). She was appointed a lecturer in the School of Law in September 2007.

Dr Sage-Fuller has two main areas of research interests. First, it is all things maritime: the protection of the marine environment in Irish and international law, the law and management of fisheries, maritime and port law. But she is also active in the Comparative Law area. She researches the rich history of the evolution of the rule of law in Europe, through the study of various aspects of French, German and Irish law.

Before her appointment to UCC, Dr Sage-Fuller worked as Law of the Sea consultant and principal researcher in the Nautical Enterprise Centre Ltd, a Cork-based company specialised in pan-European maritime research projects (DG TREN). Since 2009, she has been working with UNCTAD and Dublin Port Company on Modern Port Management. This programme is aimed at providing development aid in the form of teaching to sea ports in developing countries. Dr Sage-Fuller is a guest lecturer at the National Maritime College of Ireland since 2008 (Fisheries Law, Port Law). She is a member of the Irish Maritime Law Association, and the Secretary of the Irish Society of Comparative Law.

Visit Dr Bénédicte Sage-Fuller's Research Profile.

Research Assistant: Alicia O’ Sullivan

Alicia O’ Sullivan is a researcher with Dr Aoife Daly on the Enterprise Ireland-funded project ‘Child-friendly justice for the climate crisis’. Alicia is a law student at UCC and has been a climate activist since the age of 8. She has worked on campaigns locally, nationally and internationally and has represented Ireland at the UN General Assembly and COP26.  

Centre for Law and the Environment

Room 1.63, T12 T656