Research at the Centre for Law and the Environment
Report to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission regarding Major Retailer Own Brand Tea Bags
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the School of Law and the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science at University College Cork (UCC) has today submitted a Complaint to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) regarding major retailer own-brand teabags which are labelled as biodegradable but fail to perform accordingly.
The Complaint calls for urgent action from the consumer protection watchdog to investigate greenwashing by the retailer related to the teabags, but also against the systemic issue of misleading environmental claims by big retailers even though their products fail to meet any standard.
This kind of ‘greenwashing’ – marketing products on the basis of sustainability credentials that are incorrect, exaggerated, not substantiated or simply irrelevant – has become rife in recent years. As such, the CCPC must take urgent action to address these kind of ‘greenwashing’ claims by companies more systematically.
Rhoda Jennings awarded for digital poster at INGSA2021
Rhoda Jennings created an academic digital poster for presentation at the 4th International Conference on Science Advice to Governments, INGSA2021. The conference was a 4-day interactive hybrid conference, with over 2,600 participants discussing issues of science advice and diplomacy.
Rhoda presented her research on the use of science in the precautionary principle and her poster was chosen for an award together with five other presenters from across the globe. The posters feature on the INGSA Horizon Series Special:
Rhoda’s PhD research is supervised by Professor Owen McIntyre and Professor Mark Poustie and is funded by an Irish Research Council / EPA postgraduate scholarship.
Centre for Law & the Environment Researchers Participate at EELF Annual Conference 2021
Rhoda Jennings and Alison Hardiman (PhD Candidates at the School of Law) and Professor Áine Ryall participated at the 8th European Environmental Law Forum (EELF) Annual Conference hosted online by Bournemouth University from 8-10 September 2021.
The conference theme was Social and Scientific Uncertainties in Environmental Law.
Rhoda Jennings presented on ‘Scientific Uncertainty for Legislative Action: The Science of the Precautionary Principle in the European Union’. Alison Hardiman addressed ‘The Role of Public Participation in the Project Authorisation Process for Renewable Energy Infrastructure’.
Áine Ryall’s contribution focussed on ‘Interrogating Judicial Review of Environmental Decision-making in Ireland’, and she was also invited to participate in an expert Roundtable Discussion on the theme ‘Scientific Uncertainties in the Habitats Directive Regime before National Courts’ during the conference.
Read more about the Centre for Law and the Environment's participation at the EELF Annual Conference here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/lawenvironment/newsandevents/centre-for-law--the-environment-researchers-participate-at-eelf-annual-conference-2021.html
Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation and Impact
During 2020/21, the Centre for Law & the Environment engaged in a research project on the theme Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation and Impact.
Led by Professor Áine Ryall, this project aimed to design, develop and test a series of new models of experiential learning in the field of environmental law and policy. A key element of the project involved the development and testing of a new Digital Badge programme in Climate Law and Governance for Engaged Citizenship for first year undergraduate students.
The project was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Higher Education Authority.
Professor Mark Poustie’s work on the Wildlife Crime Penalties Review Group
Professor Mark Poustie, Dean of the School of Law, chaired the Wildlife Crime Penalties Review Group in Scotland, set up by the Scottish Government to review the penalties that were at the time available to punish perpetrators of wildlife crime. The resulting recommendations made by the Group proved impactful, significantly influencing legislative change in Scotland, including the recent enactment of the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020.
The School of Law interviewed Professor Poustie about this work in 2021. You can read it here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/law/news/spotlighting-research---wildlife-crime-penalties-review-group-in-scotland.html
Selected Research Highlights 2020
Notwithstanding the many challenges placed on us by the COVID 19 pandemic, 2020 was a very successful year for the Centre. We continued to deliver high-impact, frontier research activity and collaborated with a wide range of external stakeholders.