CV / Biography
Julius Weitzdörfer is the 2014 Charles & Katharine Darwin Research Fellow and Director of Studies in law at Darwin College, and an affiliated lecturer teaching EU Environmental and Sustainable Development Law. In 2016 he joined the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) as a Research Associate, where he works on the project "Managing Extreme Technological Risk" under the direction of Dr Robert Doubleday and Prof Lord Martin Rees. He is a member of the CSaP Policy Fellows Network, the Energy @ Cambridge strategic research initiative and the Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies in Frankfurt. His work is funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.
Julius' expertise lies in the regulation of risk, as well as in disaster-, nuclear- and environmental-law. At CSER, he works on the law and governance of extreme risks, asking what can be done to encourage risk-awareness and societal responsibility in the development of technologies with the greatest transformative potential, without discouraging innovation. His previous work covers dynamic fields of Japanese law, including civil and criminal liability, criminal trials, consumer protection, disaster response and particularly the Fukushima liability case, using a comparative, economic and socio-legal approach.
Julius studied journalism and Japanese in Leipzig and Tokyo (Waseda University). He then read law in Hamburg (Bucerius Law School, Max-Planck-Insitute), Shanghai (Fudan University), Kyoto (Kyoto University) and Cambridge. He worked as an editor and co-host on educational television in Japan (NHK 3) and as an editorial assistant for the Journal of Japanese Law. Julius provides expert legal opinion to international media, his research was relied on by Greenpeace International in its official report on the Fukushima accident, and recently in the European Commission's case on state aids for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. It received coverage in Japan Focus (Japan), The Conversation (English and French), Der Standard (Austria), Asienspiegel (Switzerland), Nuclear Intelligence Weekly (England), Forschung und Lehre, Wissenschaft und Forschung Japan and Deutschlandradio Wissen (Germany). For an outreach video, please see this discussion on Fukushima at the Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival; for a lecture video, see this presentation on the law and economics of the Fukushima liability case.
In 2016-17, Julius is co-organizing the first Cambridge Conference on Catastrophic Risk and the Darwin College Lecture Series on "Extremes" as well as the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Lunchtime Talks. Publishing in three languages, he has recently completed a doctoral thesis on financial crimes and regulation in Japan and is currently editing a book on the legal lessons from the Fukushima accident.