Keynote Speakers

Saskia_Vermeylen-298x300Saskia Vermeylen is a chancellor’s fellow at the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance at Strathclyde University’s law school. She is interested in the normative dimension of environmental law and her research focuses specifically on the connection between international environmental law, justice and ethics.

Inspired by her empirical fieldwork in Southern Africa, Saskia’s research explores the relationship between global and local law and has introduced a post-colonial and emancipatory understanding of legal pluralism and ‘informal’ law in the area of property theory and resource frontiers. She has studied the meaning of property through the eyes of communities and peoples who have experienced dispossession, leading to the development of a new property theory based on the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. She formulates in her work a bold critique of our current property regime but also reconstructs a new approach towards property through epistemological and ontological explorations and application of nomadic ethics to decentre western and hegemonic understandings of property. She also focuses in her work on establishing a better understanding of the meaning of an ontological turn in environmental law in the Anthropocene. In her most recent work she draws upon the concept of the post-human condition to establish a dialogue between theories of Natural Law and Speculative Realism and proposes that an epistemological-ontological-ethical framework can bring a new understanding to the legal condition in the Anthropocene.

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Louis Kotzé is Research Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa where he also teaches in the post-graduate LLM programme in Environmental Law and Governance. He is also Visiting Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Lincoln, United Kingdom and a Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Research Fellow at that institution.

His research focuses on the Anthropocene, environmental constitutionalism, human rights, and global environmental governance. He has published over 100 publications on these themes. Recent books include: Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment (with Anna Grear-Edward Elgar, 2015); Global Environmental Constitutionalism in the Anthropocene (Hart, 2016); Environmental Law and Governance for the Anthropocene (Hart, 2017). He is co-editor of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment. In 2016 he obtained a second PhD at Tilburg University, Netherlands, and has been awarded the prestigious European Commission Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Fellowship to lead a research project during 2018-2019 at Lincoln University entitled: Global Ecological Custodianship-Innovative International Environmental Law for the Anthropocene.


Jordi Jaria i Manzano is Serra Húnter Fellow of Constitutional and Environmental Law at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain), developing his research at the CEDAT (Tarragona Centre for Environmental Law Studies). His academic qualifications are BA (Philosophy and Sciences of Education) at the Universitat de Barcelona, 1994; LLB at the same University, 1996; PhD, with European Doctorate Mention, at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 2004; Master in Environmental Law, at Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 2004.

He has taken part of different research projects, as EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade), European Commission (2011-2015); or Business & Human Rights challenges for cross border litigation in the European Union (2014-2016), European Commission. By now is leading the project CONCLIMA (Global Climate Constitution: Governance and law in a complex context), Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (2017-2019), with Professor Susana Borràs.

He has presented papers to different international conferences as the following: the 8th, 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th Colloquia of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016); the Conference The Ways of Federalism and the Horizons of the Spanish State of Autonomies (2011); the 11th and 13th Spanish Conference on Political Science (2013 and 2017); the 13th Conference of the Spanish Constitutional Law Association (2015); and the First World Environmental Law Congress (2016). He has recently published different articles in journals: “El constitucionalismo de la escasez (derechos, justicia y sostenibilidad)”, Revista Aranzadi de Derecho Ambiental 30, 2015; “La independència com a procés constituent. Consideracions constitucionals sobre la creació d’un estat català”, Revista d’Estudis Autonòmics i Federals 22, 2015; “Constitución, desarrollo y medio ambiente en un contexto de crisis”, Revista Catalana de Dret Ambiental 8(1), 2017. He has also edited some collective books: Derecho penal constitucional, Tirant lo Blanch, Valencia, 2015 (with Gonzalo Quintero Olivares); and Energy, Governance and Sustainability, Edward Elgar, Chentelham-Northampton, 2016 (with Nathalie Chalifour and Louis J. Kotzé).