Dr Francesco Sindico




Personal statement

Francesco is a Professor of International Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School. He is the Director of the Climate Change Legal Initiative (C2LI), the Co-Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Climate Change Specialist Group (where he leads the Islands, Nature and Renewable Energy Project (INREP) and the Co-Chair of the I International Water Resources Association (IWRA) Islands Water Congress. From September 2021 to April 2024 he was seconded to the Scottish Government where he led the Carbon Neutral Islands project. 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. 


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Area of Expertise

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. 

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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)
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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

International Symposium “Groundwater Commons? Transboundary Challenges and Opportunities in the Anthropocene”
Islands and net zero: Biodiversity and Health co-benefits
Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore, 14 February 2023, ‘The Silala Case between Chile and Bolivia before the International Court of Justice: Future Implications for International Water Law’
Asia Pacific Centre for Environmental Law Seminar, National University of Singapore, 7 February 2023, ‘Islands and Climate Change: Going Beyond Adaptation’
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)

More professional activities


Electric Islands: Public reaction to changes in transport systems
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator) Corbett, Hannah (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-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 (Erasmus +)
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2023
Implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Bill
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2019
GCRF One Ocean Hub
Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator) Baum, Thomas (Co-investigator) Cathcart, Alison (Co-investigator) Clark, Bryan (Co-investigator) Da Lomba, Sylvie (Co-investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator) Revie, Matthew (Co-investigator) Sindico, Francesco (Co-investigator) Switzer, Stephanie (Co-investigator) Vermeylen, Saskia (Co-investigator) Webster, Elaine (Co-investigator) Laverick, Jack (Researcher)
13-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2024

More projects

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Dr Francesco Sindico

Email: francesco.sindico@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 4295