May Graduate Researcher Colloquium 2023

Tuesday 30 May 2023
Room 920

8:50am - 9.00amWelcome
9.00am - 9.30am

PhD Confirmation: Rebekkah Markey-Towler
(Supervisors: Jackie Peel, Andrew Godwin and Ben Neville)

Climate action starts with home (loans): Law and regulation to address climate change in the context of banks’ mortgage lending

This thesis aims to investigate how law and regulation can mitigate the effects of, and adapt to, climate change in the context of banks’ mortgage lending. Emerging literature around this problem, situated at the intersection of climate, banking and finance law, has largely focused on discussing discrete legal developments like adapting corporate and financial law tools to the climate context or the role of central banks and financial regulators in climate action. However, this thesis seeks to contribute a more comprehensive approach. It will not only compare and evaluate how regulators and others are already using law and regulation to respond to the challenge of climate change and mortgage lending but will also contribute to law reform/design by considering how they ought to respond to this challenge. This comprehensive approach will be based on insights from regulatory theory and comparative empirical case study research.

9.30am - 10.30am

PhD Completion: Alex Dela Cruz
(Supervisors: Sundhya Pahuja and Margaret Young)

The Archipelago in International Law: Philippine state formation and the law of the sea

The concept of the archipelago, as defined in the law of the sea, has important consequences for sovereign rights, freedom of navigation, and territory. Yet the implications of the concept for post-colonial states have been poorly understood. This thesis argues that the concept of the archipelago has both enabled and constrained assertions of Philippine sovereignty over sea and land areas since independence in 1946. Drawing on historical international negotiations and jurisprudence from 1958 to 2016, this thesis demonstrates the role of the law of the sea in state-making after imperial rule.

10.30am - 11.00am Morning Tea
11.00am - 11.30am

PhD Confirmation: Ishrat Jahan
(Supervisors: Rebecca Nelson and Erin O'Donnell)

Exploring the Rights and Liabilities of Rivers under the River Rights Model of Bangladesh: Challenges and Way Forward

In 2019, in a landmark judgment, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh declared the rivers of Bangladesh as legal persons and appointed a legal guardian to protect the rivers. This thesis situates the Bangladesh case in the global river rights scholarship and examines through doctrinal and empirical approaches the challenges arising from the river rights model of Bangladesh in respect of the rights and liabilities of the rivers. Using both methodological approaches, this thesis also explores which features need to be incorporated into the river rights model of Bangladesh to protect its rivers and how this might be achieved.

11.30am - 12:30pm

PhD Completion: Juliette McIntyre
(Supervisors: Hilary Charlesworth and Margaret Young)

Behind La Bonne Administration de la Justice: Values in the Procedure of the International Court of Justice

This thesis investigates the role of values in the procedures of the International Court of Justice, with a focus on revision, intervention, and oral proceedings. It argues that procedures are neither neutral nor inevitable but rather implicate value choices such as finality or efficiency. Values inform the Court’s procedures when the Court’s Rules are drafted, as justification for a procedure’s application, and expressively. These values, their interactions, and implications, need to be identified and clearly articulated rather than remaining hidden.

12.30pm -
1.30pm - 2.00pm

PhD Confirmation: Michael Ukponu
(Supervisors: Alison Duxbury and Rebecca Nelson)

Eco-Justice for Environmental Crimes During Peacetime: Examining Regionalism as an Alternative Pathway for the Recognition of Ecocide Under International Law

In a bid to leverage ‘hard’ international law to combat anthropogenic climate change, ecological loss, and environmental degradation, various stakeholders have called for the recognition of “ecocide” as a crime under international criminal law, particularly the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (‘Rome Statute’). However, there are a plethora of limitations inhibiting the feasibility of its recognition under the Rome Statute. This dissertation aims to investigate these limitations and evaluate the plausibility of regionalism, which it terms the ‘mid-level approach’, as an alternative pathway for recognizing ecocide under international law. Observably, the success of this mid-level approach would substantially depend on judicial (pro)activism at the regional court level in enforcing extant provisions of relevant regional treaties and conventions.

2.00pm - 3.00pm

PhD Completion: Tim Lindgren
(Supervisors: Sundhya Pahuja and Shaun McVeigh)

Peoples’ Institutions and the ‘Nature’ of International Law

International law is a discipline of States. Still, peoples’ tribunals have become a prominent feature in the international legal domain. In the traditional story, these civil society organised institutions are treated as spaces of politics for better international law. This thesis argues that peoples’ tribunals do more on the international legal domain: they invite a pluralised reconceptualising of the international legal order. It explores the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, and traces how it assembles and performs as an international legal institution alongside international law. It reads the form and formation of the Tribunal in relation to international legal concepts such as sovereignty, territory, sources, statehood and jurisdiction. It canvasses how the Tribunal develops an international law of peoples’ in institutionalised form, inviting a different understanding of the international legal order and its relationship with ‘nature’ and peoples alike.