Research Handbook on International Law and Natural Resources

Prof Elisa Morgera, Co-director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG), and Prof Kati Kulovesi from the University of Eastern Finland and the Center for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law (CCEEL), have co-edited the Edward Elgar ‘Research Handbook on International Law and Natural Resources’, a timely collection of essays on the intersection between international environmental, economic and human rights law.  

A systemic and comprehensive analysis

The Handbook provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the role of international law in regulating the exploration and exploitation of natural resources. The book covers overarching and sectoral, as well as traditional and emerging, legal issues in natural resource development.

The book illuminates interactions and tensions between international environmental law, human rights and economic law, as well as the law of the sea, tracing their evolution and identifying critical areas for further investigation. It also discusses the relevance of soft law and international dispute settlement, as well as of various unilateral, bilateral, regional and transnational initiatives in the governance of natural resources. Analysis of historical and current policy debates, including the incipient negotiations of a new international legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change, are included.

Critical acclaim

Prof Ellen Hey (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands) described the volume as “an excellent and long overdue assessment of international law as related to the use of natural resources”, praising its analytical focus and deep insight into “the often disjointed nature” of the relevant legal landscape. Prof Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (University of Geneva, Switzerland) characterized the Handbook as “required reading” and commended the authors for highlighting the need for more integrated approaches and “setting an agenda for the years ahead”. Professor Robin Churchill (University of Dundee, UK) further emphasized the value of the holistic approach employed by the authors, welcoming the Handbook as an important contribution to the literature.

Research-led teaching

Prof Elisa Morgera is the Director of the new LLM in Global Environmental Law and Governance, which aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically understand the interactions of a multitude of continuously sub-specialising, complex and multi-layered regimes of international, EU, regional, national and sub-national environmental law, including the customary laws of indigenous peoples and local communities. 

Prof Morgera also contributes to the teaching of the LLM in International Law and Sustainable Development and the LLM Climate & Energy Law.