The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4 (visiting address: Yliopistonkatu 3)
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140



Seminar on 'Theorising International Environmental Law'

Time: Thursday 21 May at 12.15
Venue: P545 Faculty Meeting Room (Porthania, yliopistonkatu 3)
Coffee will be served. No registration needed.

This talk, part of a larger work on international law theory, sketches some early lines of inquiry towards a theoretical understanding of international environmental law. As the body of international law regulating human interaction with 'the natural world', one might expect this branch of law to be a cornerstone of the international system. Yet in practice, international environmental law's reach is strikingly circumscribed. Little of the governance of 'natural resources', for example, is 'environmental'. Subsisting at the periphery, environmental law focuses on conserving particular (rare, exotic) species and 'ecosystems', and curbing certain kinds of pollution. Its principles are vague, peppering the margins of rulings within other judicial fora: it is quintessential soft law. This talk will analyse the competing heritages of environmental law in order to make a contribution to an understanding to its theory nowadays.


Bio: Yoriko Otomo BA/LLB (Hons), PhD University of Melbourne Dr Yoriko Otomo is a Lecturer in Law at SOAS, University of London. She was previously a lecturer at Keele University, and has taught at Birkbeck and the International Centre for Legal Studies in London. She has also worked at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (LSE). She teaches Environmental Law and Global Commodities Law, which drives her research: her current project focuses on the nexus between global history and colonial regulatory regimes of particular commodities.