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Centre research profile

The Centre addresses environmental issues and sustainable development through a nexus between international and environmental law. Due to the interdisciplinary approach adopted by the Centre, researchers are drawn from various disciplines such as law, economics, geography and environmental science. As a result, the Centre has developed and implemented strategies to target a wider range of researchers nationally and internationally.

As one of the oldest continually functioning environmental law centres in the southern hemisphere, CEL has recognised the role of local governments and institutions as an integral part of the effective implementation of environmental law and policy. Moreover, the Centre is internationally renowned for its interdisciplinary approach towards the dynamic fields of international trade and sustainable economic policy development.

The Centre provides world-class research not only on environmental law, but also in the dynamic areas of international law, sustainable development and human rights. CEL also addresses national environmental law and policy issues, as reflected in ongoing partnerships with local government councils.

The Centre for Environmental Law engages with national and international environmental organisations through its collaborative partnerships, visitors and faculty exchanges from different countries, capacity building and professional development programs. The Centre’s programs and seminars, including the Annual Lecture Series and the ‘Sustainability Dialogues’ with our local government partner have solidified CEL’s national and international reputation as the leading centre of research. Moreover, the Centre attracts not only researchers and academics but also undergraduate and postgraduate students who participate via CEL’s student volunteer program to engage with both community engagement activities and research projects.

Our research approach

The research goals of the Centre are oriented around 3 interconnected clusters:

Cluster 1: Sustainable development and trade

The Centre is an acclaimed leader in the dynamic fields of international trade and sustainable economic policy development. The trade-environment nexus is a central tenant of strategic research and development, particularly in building sustainable dialogue and international capacity building initiatives, particularly in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Cluster 2: Environmental planning, local government and adaptation

The Centre membership reflects its dedication to the important role of local government and localism as part of environmental law and policy. Management of environmental impacts must take into account local conditions and vulnerability. Effective implementation of environmental law and policy therefore depends heavily upon the contribution and capacity of local government.

Cluster 3: Human rights, health and environment

The focus of this cluster is on the intersection of human rights issues with environmental law and public health policy. The right to a healthy environment and the right to health are inextricably linked. Current work within the Centre examines the differing environmental responsibilities of developed and developing countries; the impact of gender on the realisation of land rights; collective indigenous rights and the environment. This cluster explores the means to achieving social and environmental justice through integrated decision-making and innovative research in the nexus between human rights, environment and health.

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