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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 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.

Professor Ryall is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency; a Vice President of the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL); a member of the Avosetta Group of Experts on EU Environmental Law; and a member of the Academic Panel at Francis Taylor Building, Inner Temple, London.

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. 

Visit Dr Marie Aronsson-Storrier's Research Profile 

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 Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, University College Cork (UCC). Dr Cubie is a founding co-editor of the Yearbook of International Disaster Law, and has published extensively on disaster law, humanitarian action and forced displacement. His monograph, The International Legal Protection of Persons in Humanitarian Crises: Exploring the Acquis Humanitaire (Hart Publishing, 2017), explored the different legal frameworks for humanitarian assistance. Prior to his career in academia, Dr Cubie worked for over 10 years in refugee protection and humanitarian action, including with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nepal and the Republic of Congo, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Irish Refugee Council in Dublin, and Amnesty International in Hong Kong. Dr Cubie’s experience working on the Irish Red Cross’ Indian Ocean Tsunami programmes in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives led directly to his academic research on disaster law.

Visit Dr Dug Cubie's Research Profile.

Dr Aoife Daly

Professor Aoife Daly teaches law, and specialises in human rights law at the School of Law. Aoife's research focuses on human rights-based approaches and children's rights in areas which include environmental rights, climate action, and access to justice. She is author of the internationally celebrated Children, Autonomy and the Courts (Brill, 2018) and Child/Youth Climate Action and Human Rights Law (forthcoming 2024 with Routledge). She is an award-winning university teacher, and also enjoys teaching children about human rights through art. In 2023 she secured a European Research Council Consolidator Grant to build a team to carry out a large scale research study on child/youth climate justice - inside and outside the courts - around the world. She is a member of the Global Network of Human Rights and the Environment, and UCC's Environmental Research Institute.

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 a senior lecturer in UCC Law School and currently Co-Director of the Traveller Equality and Justice Project and former Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights. She researches in the areas of access to justice, administrative justice, free speech/activism, and equality law. 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) which was the first analysis of Strategic Law Suits Against Public Participation in Europe. She continues to work in this area and is a member of the Ireland Anti-SLAPP Network. In addition, she publishes on protest, human rights, and prisons.

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 Cork.  She 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

Anne Marie has over 20 years of experience in applied marine and coastal research. Her background is in environmental science and law. Anne Marie is currently the Principal Investigator on the Marine Institute-funded CoCoMar project on Co-existence and Co-location in shared island Marine governance and previously led the Navigate project on Ocean Law and Marine Governance (2018-2023). Until 2018, she was the Coordinator of the SIMCelt project on supporting Implementation of MSP in the Celtic Seas with seven partners from Ireland, UK and France and has since coordinated its successor the SIMAtlantic project, which covered the Atlantic area. Prior to that she worked on the legal aspects of ocean energy development, planning and management systems for offshore energy devices and their environmental effects. She has also worked on a number of multidisciplinary projects focused on aquaculture and Maritime Spatial Planning, streamlining environmental assessment, and risk-based consenting for offshore consenting (RiCORE, SafeWAVE). Anne Marie represents MaREI on a number of working groups including the IEA’s Ocean Energy Systems Agreement (IEA-OES) Tasks on Environmental Impacts of Ocean Energy and also their Consenting Processes Task; and is the Honorary Secretary of the all-Ireland Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA). She is an invited member of the National Stakeholder Advisory Group on Marine Spatial Planning. In 2019 she was asked to chair the sub-group on law and governance of the Government’s Expert Advisory Group on expending Ireland’s network of Marine Protected Areas. She also contributed to the Marine chapter of the forthcoming Climate Action Plan 2024 for Ireland. She provides guest lectures to students on the LLM in Marine & Maritime Law (Law School, UCC) and the MSc in Marine Biology (School of BEES, UCC).

Visit Dr Anne Marie O'Hagan's Research Profile 

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. 

Centre for Law and the Environment

Room 1.63, T12 T656