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Global Environmental Law Centre (GELC)

Global assessments present a disconcerting view of the condition of the environment, a condition that is likely to have a severe impact on the survival of humankind. Humankind is rapidly transgressing existing planetary boundaries. This apocalyptic nightmare is, however, not equally applicable to everyone, as the poorest and most vulnerable will be harder hit by environmental degradation than others. Environmental degradation will exacerbate inequity and inequality. Hence, the environmental crisis is closely associated with issues of equity and justice.

This crisis raises questions about the adequacy of law as a mechanism to counter global environmental degradation. It seems that environmental law is fraught with structural shortcomings that necessitate an innovative, and perhaps radical, revision of its tenets in order to address a looming environmental crisis. The specific nature of global environmental challenges and the dire consequences of phenomena such as climate change necessitate the rapid and flexible development of law.

Against this backdrop, the Global Environmental Law (GEL) research niche aims to foster legal research and innovation to enhance the ways that global environmental law responds to the environmental crisis. The niche area pursues its objectives through, inter alia:
  • organising annual international seminars on critical topics;
  • hosting leading international scholars;
  • postgraduate supervision;
  • academic publications; and
  • International collaboration.
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