Daria Vasilevskaia

PhD Candidate

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Daria Vasilevskaia is a PhD candidate jointly enrolled through Melbourne Law School and Aix-Marseille University, France. She researches in the area of international and European environmental law. She is particularly interested in the impact of trade and transport of plastic waste on marine pollution. She lectures at both universities in the area of international and European environmental law.

Daria’s PhD research is funded by Aix-Marseille University with additional support from the Melbourne Law School. In 2019, Daria completed a three-month internship at the United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters in Kenya. She was a legal intern for the International Law Unit of the Law Division. She engaged in projects related to marine plastic pollution and plastic waste regulation, environmental defenders and environmental justice, climate change and renewable energy, and wildlife crime.

Daria holds an LLM in International and European Environmental Law from Aix-Marseille University, France, funded through a scholarship from the French Government. Daria’s two Master theses focused on the implementation of environmental treaties related to environmental justice and waste regulation. She also holds a degree in linguistics, interpreting, translation and simultaneous interpretation from Moscow State Linguistic University. Before taking up legal studies, Daria worked as an interpreter and translator.

Languages spoken: English, French, Russian

Thesis Title

Pollution of the Marine Environment by Plastic: Comparative Approach in International, European and Comparative Law

Thesis Summary

There is growing realisation that transport and trade in plastic waste is a major contributor to marine pollution. Plastics enter the oceans from the land due to inadequate waste management in recipient countries. While marine plastic pollution needs a holistic approach, international law is fragmented, and domestic law responses reveal the weakness of multi-level governance. My thesis aims to analyse the existing legal framework and gaps and propose practical and theoretical solutions to this systemic problem. It focuses on the waste stage of plastic products, and particularly the transport and trade in such products. It considers how laws at different levels of governance seek to limit the transport and trade in plastic waste, while at other times laws seek to liberalise it. The study explores the way international environmental, marine, and trade law can jointly respond to the problem. It does this by taking into consideration regional economic and legal particularities via examples from developed and developing countries.


  • International Environmental Law
  • International Trade Law
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • European Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Law and the Sea
  • International Law
  • French Law
  • Marine plastic pollution
  • Trade, transport, and regulation of waste and hazardous substances
  • Environmental justice