- Professor of Environmental Law - UCL
Professor Scotford’s research and teaching interests cover a wide range of aspects of environmental law, within and across jurisdictions, with a particular focus on UK law, EU law, Australian law and international law. In relation to climate change law and governance, Professor Scotford researches climate change adjudication and legislation.
In relation to climate change adjudication, this research shows how legal challenges in court concerning climate change can be symptomatic of policy breakdown and political disputes but are fundamentally reflections of the legal and administrative systems in which they are brought. Climate litigation does not provide silver bullet solutions to climate policy problems, and is often indicative of regulatory and governance systems under strain. At the same time, climate change cases are an inevitable result of the nature of climate change as a polycentric, contested, dynamic problem and pose particular challenges for legal orders to accommodate climate change within legal structures that aim for stability and predictability.
In relation to climate change legislation and regulation, related issues arise in addressing the legal complexity of governing climate change. Climate change is a ‘all of legal system’ problem, just as it is an economy-wide and society-wide problem. This means that headline regulatory and legislative responses to climate change within a legal jurisdiction need to be investigated within regulatory schemes and administrative practices widely, in order to understand how effective climate laws are and can be in ‘delivering’ climate policy.
Professor Scotford has previously acted as advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat (along with Stephen Minas) on national climate legislation.