Dr Francesco Sindico



Personal statement

Francesco has been at Strathclyde Law School since 2012. He has established and developed the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG), now one of the leading centres in the UK in the field of environmental law. Francesco thrives in multidisciplinary and multipartner projects and environments. He brings passion and competence to his work on International Environmental Law and is always keen to learn more and develop new partnerships. Francesco is an academic who believes universities need to work with non-academic partners and share results from their research also in ways that will deliver real impact on the ground. 



Has expertise in:

    Francesco has worked closely with international organisations, non-governmental organisations and governments in a number of consultancies and projects. He feels comfortable providing training on complex international legal matters to non-legal audiences in an accessible and engaging fashion. He has experience in either leading or contributing projects requiring a quick turn around and immediate results. He has developed over the past years experience in providing legal advice to governments in interstate disputes before international courts, hence honing his legal skills with the necessary strategic litigation skills required to provide tailored and effective advice to his clients.


Francesco Sindico is a Professor in International Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. He is a member and founder of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance and the Founder and Co-Director of the Climate Change Litigation Initiative (C2LI). 

Previous posts include Lecturer in International Law at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy of the University of Dundee (where he is currently an Honorary Lecturer in International Law) and Lecturer in Law at the School of Law of the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, where he also served as Deputy Director of the Environmental Regulatory Research Group. Francesco was a Visiting Professor at the Brunel University Institute for the Environment, at the Tilburg Institute for Law and Technology and will be a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore in January 2022. 

Francesco Sindico holds a PhD in Law from the Universitat Jaume I in Castellon de la Plana, Spain, an LLM in International Law and International Relations from the Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain and an LLB in Law from the University of Turin, Italy. 



A roadmap for implementing the SDGs using space data
Ponti Marta G, White Christopher J, Morse Tracy, Sindico Francesco, Vasile Massimiliano, McKee David
Climate change, islands and net zero
Sindico Francesco
Islands Economic Cooperation Forum Annual Report on Global Islands 2021 (2022) (2022)
Risk, innovation and resilience : moving towards mutual supportiveness
Sindico Francesco, Switzer Stephanie, Qin Tianbao
The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance Risk, Innovation and Resilience (2021) (2021)
The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance : Risk, Innovation and Resilience
Sindico Francesco, Switzer Stephanie, Qin Tianbao
Sub-national island jurisdictions and biodiversity protection : moving towards greater resilience and sustainability
Sindico Francesco
Biological Diversity and International Law Challenges for the Post 2020 Scenario (2021) (2021)
'Splendid isolation' : Embracing islandness in a global pandemic
Agius Karl, Sindico Francesco, Sajeva Giulia, Baldacchino Godfrey
Island Studies Journal (2021)

More publications


Francesco has been teaching for over ten years in three different UK higher education institutions (University of Strathclyde, University of Dundee and University of Surrey) and as a visiting lecturer in several UK and oversea universities. He is confortable teaching at both post graduate and undergraduate level and has a strong experience in teaching law to students from other schools.

Post graduate teaching experience:

  • International Environmental Law
  • Climate Change and International Law
  • Climate Change and Litigation
  • International Trade Law
  • Global Water Policy (for students in Engineering)

Undergraduate teaching experience

  • Environmental Law
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law (tutorials)
  • Property Law (tutorials)

Research interests

Francesco's main areas of work include International Climate Change Law, International Water Law, Island studies, Sustainable Development and International Trade Law.

In 2020 he published a monograph on Transboundary Aquifers and International Law, which brings together over 10 years of research and professional experience in this field. He has collaborated extensively with international organisations and advised governments before international courts in the field of International Water Law in this period. 

From a water law perspective Francesco is expanding his work exploring the land/sea interface and how to coordinate transboundary water governance and law of the sea in order to mitigate ocean pollution. He is undertaking this area of research in the context of the One Ocean Hub project. Another emerging area of work for Francesco is a critical analysis of youth movements and how they can become meaninful actors in promoting sustainability policies. Again, he is undertaking this strand of research in the context of the One Ocean Hub.

Francesco is also the founder and Co-Director of the Climate Change Litigation Initative (C2LI) together with the University of Geneva and the National University of Singapore. C2LI builds on the efforts that led to the book "Comparative Climate Change Litigation: Beyond the Usual Suspects" published in 2021. C2LI is a policy oriented web based platform that explores climate change litigation in countries with little or no litigation using a scenario based methodology.

Francesco has been one of the leading organisers of the 2018 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloqium and is now co-editing the book sytemming from the event titled "The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience".


Professional activities

IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law 2022 Oslo International Environmental Law Conference
Moderator for the session “Transformative legal tool to address climate change (part I)
National University of Singapore
Visiting researcher
COP26 Reflections
Towards a global legal framework in harmony and peace with nature, organised by the ICEL (International Council of Environmental Law)
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (External organisation)

More professional activities


Biodiversity, Climate and Global Public Health: Interactions and Challenges for International Law
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator)
Project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation; 35.695,00 € (co-investigator)

This research project aims at identifying the challenges and opportunities that the COVID-19 crisis has created in relation to the international and European legal frameworks applicable to the protection of biodiversity and to the fight against climate change. In turn, it aims to provide possible responses that will strengthen synergies that help the post-COVID-19 recovery process.
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2024
Electric Islands: Public reaction to changes in transport systems
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator) Corbett, Hannah (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2023
Smart, Sustainable Islands: Public reaction to changes in transport systems and mobility world
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator)
Project funded by Volkswagen Group - £ 33,707.45

This project, led by the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) in partnership with the University of the Aegean, the Strathclyde Centre for Energy Policy (CEP) and Island Innovation (II), aims to better understand how the island community of Astypalea, Greece, responds overtime to the changes in their transport systems and mobility world. In other words, the project will explore the social consensus around the island’s smart, sustainable mobility project and the key levers/barriers for its implementation. The project will also share the process leading to up to and including implementation as widely as possible with other policy makers and stakeholders and stakeholders in Greece and beyond.
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2023
SCELG Scottish Islands Collaboration COP26 Project
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator)
COP26 should be a legacy for all of Scotland, not just the Central Belt. Furthermore, Scotland’s children have an important message to share with COP 26. The project that takes place before, during and after COP26, will engage with island-based schoolchildren in Scotland and beyond to introduce climate science, clean energy and COP26. We will work with the children to bring their message back to COP26 and we will then return to the islands to share how that message was received by policymakers and climate stakeholders. The project collaborates with a wide range of partners including the Glasgow Science Centre, Island Innovation, the Scottish Island Federation and Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, amongst others.
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
A roadmap for implementing the SDGs using space data
White, Chris (Principal Investigator) Morse, Tracy (Co-investigator) Sindico, Francesco (Co-investigator) Vasile, Massimiliano (Co-investigator) McKee, David (Co-investigator)
Space data offers high-resolution, real-time, global scale earth observation and monitoring of our planet. Over half of the Essential Climate Variables (ECV) can only be measured from space, spanning the oceanic, atmospheric and terrestrial elements of the earth climate system. As well as supporting long term climate monitoring and modelling of impacts and change, space data offers a unique opportunity to support global efforts in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include observing global changes over different time scales such as rising sea levels, the quantification of our global carbon footprint, and the accounting of natural capital. Climate change is also increasing the frequency and severity of natural disasters which impact our most vulnerable populations, economies and environments. Space-based assets can support impact-based early-warning forecasts and real-time monitoring solutions to prepare for and respond to natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, and cyclones, as well as contributing to event attribution analyses that can enable relating causes to impacts.
Achieving the SDGs, and harnessing the potential of space data in a changing climate is beyond the reach of any single individual or institution. At Strathclyde, while we are well placed to service the Scottish government's needs on sustainable development, we do not fully understand where our cross-disciplinary expertise lies with regards to both sustainable development and the use of space data. The ambitions of the SDGs call for coordination and collective efforts from across disciplines and institutions. It is therefore critical that Strathclyde’s researchers and thinkers are able to come together in a common SDG vision through a detailed ‘roadmap’ to guide (and collaborate with) the Space Cluster and other external partners in how space data can be used to support sustainable development and the implementation of the SDGs.
The objectives of this project are to:
1.Review the SDGs and global space ECV data, including availability, accessibility, uncertainties and usability, based on existing publications and resources
2.Explore Strathclyde’s cross-disciplinary sustainability and space expertise, supported by the Space Cluster, the CfSD and SCELG, and map Strathclyde’s sustainability and space expertise to the SDGs
3.Review earth observation and space-related sustainable development expertise across the UK
4. Create a ‘roadmap’ for Strathclyde’s Space Cluster, identifying challenges, knowledge gaps and opportunities for external partnerships towards the implementation of the SDGs using space data

TIC Zone Ideas Fund (Strathclyde) (£11,653)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
Island Schools Harnessing Regional Innovation
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator)
Funded through Erasmus +, € 382,675.00 [co-investigator]

iSHRINK is an Erasmus+ programme that focuses on island schools in small islands across Europe. The programme will enable pupils on different islands to learn together about common sustainability challenges. Project based learning, attention to the specific reality of islands on small islands (composite classes) and the added input of e-learning are all elements that will define iSHRINK going forward. Initially, the programme will be present in island-based schools in Greece and in the Netherlands (De Jutter school on Vlieland), but it will develop a wider network of island-based schools across Europe. The project runs until 2023.
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2023

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