Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance

PhD Research

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The Centre constitutes a vibrant and engaging research community where PhD students and their work thrives and flourish. PhD students are active members of SCELG during their stay at the University of Strathclyde and are then offered to collaborate with the Centre as affiliates. Each year the PhD Members of SCELG organise an Environmental Law and Governance PhD Colloquium.

A number of funding opportunities are available for our PhD students, including University of Strathclyde studentships, Campbell Burns Scholarship the IBA Energy Natural Resources post graduate studentships. For further information click here.

Current PhD students:



Eloamaka Okonkwo - The Legal concerns of Environmental Insecurity and Environmental justice in Developing Countries: The Nigeria’s Experience

My research investigates the current environmental situation in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, focusing on the effect of oil exploration activities and its resulting consequences. It examines current environmental pollution laws, enforcement powers of the enforcement agencies and impediments to enforcement, the role of the court and limitations to access to environmental justice. It will emphasize accountability for failure of laws where it fails and the available remedies. The set objective is to find working principles that may be used to ensure institutional accountability for the reduction of environmental injustice in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.

Jingjing Zhao - How General Rules on Conflict of Norms in International Law Relate to the Relationship between WTO Agreements and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Jingjing Zhao joined the Strathclyde Law School as a PhD candidate in October 2010, and has been working as a part-time tutor and lecturer since 2011. Her research is supervised by Professor Mark Poustie and Dr Stephanie Switzer and is supported by the Campbell Burns scholarship. Her research looks at the relationship between WTO agreements and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and considers how general rules on conflict of norms in international law relate to the international regulation of trade in genetically modified organisms. Jingjing’s main research areas include International Environmental Law, WTO Law, and Public International Law.

Saheed Alabi - Using Litigation to Enforce Obligations under the Global Climate Change and Marine Regimes

My thesis discusses using litigation to reshape global responses to climate change in the face of increasing adverse consequences.  It acknowledges that the implementation of Kyoto Protocol is not adequate to achieve drastic emission reduction and adaptation. The thesis explores how climate litigation could be used as an alternative method of enforcement. In so doing, the thesis proposes to extend the purview of enforcement of climate obligations beyond the climate regime to link global regimes of importance such as human rights, trade and the marine environment. Specifically, it focuses on the linkages between climate change and the marine environment by using the compulsory procedures for settlement of disputes in UNCLOS for potential enforcement of climate obligations. Also, the thesis argues that climate obligations are implicit in UNCLOS. However, the evidence and effectiveness of using litigation to address climate change at the domestic and international levels are explored.

Uzuazo Etemire - Improving Laws on Public Participation in Environmental Matters in Nigeria: Lessons from International Initiatives

Grounded in its socio-political and theoretical contexts, my research investigates the adequacy of relevant legal regimes in Nigeria aimed at guaranteeing the public right to appropriate access to environmental information and meaningful participation in environmental decision-making processes, in view of considered international minimum standards or good practices. The main aim of this assessment is to enable proposals to be made (where necessary and in consideration of the country’s social realities) for the improvement of such legal regimes in Nigeria so that they could better fulfil their original purposes in an environmental context. In that light, on the Nigerian front, materials mostly related to the Nigerian Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Impact Assessment Act are being discussed in my thesis, while on the international front, materials mainly related to Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and the Aarhus Convention are in consideration.

Wanying Huang - Could the legal framework for the trade in international waste promote sustainable development to a greater extent?