Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation and Impact project
Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation and Impact Project
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.
Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation & Impact Showcase Video
Digital Badge in Climate Law and Governance for Engaged Citizenship
During 2020/21 we offered a new online Digital Badge programme in Climate Law & Governance for Engaged Citizenship. Designed for first year undergraduate students across the University, the programme aimed to create a dedicated forum for students to engage with, and reflect on, key elements of climate law and governance. Our particular focus was on developments in climate law and governance in the contemporary Irish context. We delivered the course in collaboration with UCC Skills Centre.
Engagement and Advocacy
From the outset of the project we were keen to ensure that our work was visible to a wide audience. We communicated our work and our progress via social media on a regular basis. We participated in the PILnet Global Forum in October 2020 by organising an expert panel to examine Climate Change, Human Rights and Public Interest Law. We collaborated directly with our students by hosting a seminar in conjunction with UCC Law Society and UCC EnviroSoc in March 2021 on the theme How to use the law to support climate action.
Law Soc & Enviro Soc event: How to use the Law to support climate action
On 30 March 2021, UCC Law Society and UCC Environmental Society joined forces to host an online event focusing on the theme: How to use the Law to support climate action.
The event featured two guest contributors: Clodagh Daly, Climate Case Ireland and Lucy Maxwell, Senior Legal Associate, Climate Litigation Network. Professor Áine Ryall chaired the proceedings.
The event, which was student-led, provided practical insights into the important role that Law plays in supporting climate action. It focused on developments in Ireland and internationally. Rebecca O’Shaughnessy, Auditor Law Soc; Bailey Lane, Internal Convenor, Law Soc; and Alicia O’Sullivan, Enviro Soc, introduced the event.
Clodagh Daly spoke about Climate Case Ireland and the wider campaign surrounding that case. Lucy Maxwell focused on the decision of the Supreme Court of The Netherlands in the Urgenda case and the impact of that judgment in other jurisdictions – including its impact on Climate Case Ireland. The contributors explained how litigation is one important part of a climate action strategy. However, they also highlighted the necessity to pursue a wide range of mechanisms to drive ambitious climate mitigation. Strong, community-led climate advocacy plays a vital role here.
Áine Ryall commended Law Soc and Enviro Soc on their initiative in developing the idea behind this event:
“The Centre for Law and the Environment is proud to partner with our students, Law Soc and Enviro Soc to deliver this important and timely event on climate action. The Centre is currently leading a research project funded by the Higher Education Authority and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning on the theme Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Innovation and Impact. The climate action event was an important element of that project. It showcases our students as leaders in facilitating informed public debate on climate action.”
The event was particularly timely with the new Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 published on 23 March 2021 and a public consultation process now underway to develop the new Climate Action Plan 2021.
This event was the final House Meeting for 2020/21 and marked the end of a very successful year for Law Soc.
Centre for Law & the Environment participates in 2020 PILnet Global Forum
Dr Áine Ryall, Co-Director of the Centre for Law & the Environment, convened an expert session at the 2020 PILnet Global Forum on 20 October 2020.
The Forum was a truly ‘global’ event, reaching over 800 participants from 70 countries across different time zones.
The theme of this year’s virtual Forum was Protecting Our Future.
In line with this overarching theme, the expert session led by the Centre for Law & the Environment focused on Climate Change, Human Rights and Public Interest Law.
The participants in the session were:
Dr Áine Ryall (Convenor/Moderator); Dr Fred Logue, Principal FP Logue Solicitors; Dr Andrew Jackson, UCD Sutherland School of Law; Éilís Barry, CEO FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres); Dr David Fennelly BL, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin; Cara O’Mahony, Centre for Law & the Environment UCC.
A recording of the forum session on Climate Change, Human Rights and Public Interest Law at the 2020 PILnet Global Forum is available here: https://www.pilnet.org/2020-pilnet-virtual-global-forum-videos/addressing-climate-change/
Our participation at the 2020 PILnet Global Forum aimed to showcase our research project Teaching Environmental Law for Policy Engagement and Impact.
This project is funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Higher Education Authority.
We acknowledge the invaluable support we received from Conference UCC, Audio Visual Media Services UCC and the PILnet team in preparing for and delivering our session.