Dr Francesco Sindico

Reader In International Environ. Law


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 Reader in International Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. He is also the Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance and the Founder and Co-Director of the Climate Change Litigation Initiative (C2LI). Francesco is a co-investigator on the One Ocean Hub.

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. 



'Splendid isolation' : Embracing islandness in a global pandemic
Agius Karl, Sindico Francesco, Sajeva Giulia, Baldacchino Godfrey
Island Studies Journal (2021)
Ocean plastics : wither a treaty?
Kantai Tallash, Switzer Stephanie, Hamley Graham, Sindico Francesco
National sovereignty versus transboundary water cooperation : can you see international law reflected in the water?
Sindico Francesco
AJIL Unbound Vol 115, pp. 178-182 (2021)
Building back better : Covid 19 and island economies
Sindico Francesco
Islands Economic Cooperation Forum, Annual Report on Global Islands 2021 (2021) (2021)
The Islands (Scotland) Act : island proofing through legislation
Sindico Francesco, Crook Nicola
Scotland and Islandness Explorations in Community, Economy and Culture (2021) (2021)
Climate change litigation and the individual : an overview
Sindico Francesco, Moïse Mbengue Makane, McKenzie Kathryn
Comparative Climate Change Litigation Beyond the Usual Suspects (2021) (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

National University of Singapore
Visiting researcher
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)
Universidad de Vigo (External organisation)
International Small Island Studies Association (ISISA) 2021 Sharing Lessons, Sharing Stories
Transboundary freshwater security governance train, Interactive Online Session: International Water Law and Groundwater, organised by Global Water Partnesrhip and International Water Law Academy, Wuhan University

More professional activities


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
COVID-19 Island Insights
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator) Sajeva, Giulia (Co-investigator) Ramdall, James (Principal Investigator) Brinklow, Laurie (Co-investigator)
COVID-19 Island Insights is a project in collaboration with Island Innovation and the University of Prince Edward Island Institute for Island Studies. It reviews how 24 islands around the world have coped with COVId-19 and are planning a more resilient and sustainable recovery therefrom. A series of primers on thematic issues will be developed and presented at COP26. The project is being supported in kind by the partners involved. For further information see http://islandstudies.com/island-insights-series/
01-Jan-2020 - 01-Jan-2021
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)
13-Jan-2019 - 12-Jan-2024
Island Explorers
Sindico, Francesco (Principal Investigator)
Island Explorers is an education programme that offers primary age pupils (age 7-12 years) the opportunity to learn about sustainability and explore new cultures and geographies through islands. Island Explorers uses the context of island life to explore sustainability and current global challenges, such as sustainable energy and climate change. The programme draws on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Island Explorers runs over four years and is in its fourth year. It is currently present in schools in Glasgow, the Uists (where all materials are also present in Gaelic) and Reunion. The programme is currently pump primed by the University of Strathclyde, but further funding is currently being sought in order to enable its geographical expansion. For further information see https://www.strath.ac.uk/research/strathclydecentreenvironmentallawgovernance/ourwork/research/labsincubators/eilean/schoolsustainabilityandislands/
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2022
Legislative Study on the Right to Water for Food and Agriculture
Switzer, Stephanie (Researcher) Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator) Vermeylen, Saskia (Co-investigator) Webster, Elaine (Co-investigator) Sindico, Francesco (Co-investigator)
Legislative Study on the Right to Water for Food and Agriculture - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
10-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018

More projects