University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Friday 16th November 2012, 13:00

LCIL Friday Lunchtime Lecture: Wombats, Weapons and Water - Environmental Protection and the Law of Armed Conflict

A Lecture by Dr Catherine MacKenzie, University of Cambridge



Dr Catherine MacKenzie, Lecturer in Law, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge (Law profile »)



Friday 16th November 2012



1pm (with a sandwich lunch, sponsored by Cambridge University Press, from 12:30pm)



Finley Library, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, 5 Cranmer Road, Cambridge 

Catherine MacKenzie

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Dr Catherine MacKenzie is a University Lecturer in Law and Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. Her work focuses on international environmental law, international law and the rule of law and good governance and her book, Law, Tropical Forests and Carbon, which is co-edited with Rosemary Lyster of Sydney and Constance McDermott of Oxford, will be published by CUP in 2013.
An Academic Fellow of Inner Temple, she is a member of the bar of England and Wales and the High Court of Australia. She has been employed by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations, and has held fellowships at Oxford University, the Australian National University and the University of Tokyo. She has also served as a Legal Officer in the Australian Army Reserve and as a civilian rule of law monitor with the United Nations Mission in Liberia.

Lecture Summary: There is almost universal agreement on, and respect for, the norms of international humanitarian law. That body of law has developed, in recent years, often in response to societal change, public opinion and changes in technology. The use of Agent Orange in Vietnam ushered in a new type of warfare: environmental modification as a weapon of war. Although 1976 ENMOD and Additional Protocol 1 prohibit the use of methods and means designed to cause widespread, long term and/or severe damage to the natural environment, it was not until several years after the burning of the oil fields in the first Gulf War and the establishment of UNCC, that intentional environmental damage was criminalised in the Rome Statute.

This lectures explores the role of international environmental law in armed conflict, in peace-keeping and in post-conflict reconstruction. Environmental offences are often particularly difficult to investigate as monitoring may be limited, baselines may not exist and scientific and technical expertise may be lacking. My research considers international environmental obligations in the light of these challenges and explores the role of accountability mechanisms.



Approx. running time: 43 minutes

Lower bandwidth versions of this audio are also available at the University Streaming Media Service

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Lauterpacht Centre for International Law