Seline Trevisanut appointed as Professor of International Law and Sustainability

Seline Trevisanut was appointed professor at Utrecht University as of 1 February 2018 and will hold the chair of International Law and Sustainability.

Seline Trevisanut
Seline Trevisanut, hoogleraar Internationaal Recht en Duurzaamheid

This chair will address, in her own words "some of the most crucial concerns of our times": climate change, the sustainable management of natural resources, decarbonisation of the economy, protecting the environment, ensuring energy security and energy efficiency. Trevisanut has been working at Utrecht University since 2012. In December 2014 she received an ERC Starting Grant for her project "Sustainable Ocean", which is still running today. The subtitle is: "Accommodating New Interests at Sea: Legal Tools for Sustainable Ocean Governance”." The project examines how the law can contribute to the sustainable use of the oceans.

The role of legislation

"Challenges such as climate change or diminishing biodiversity can only be efficiently tackled through international cooperation and with the means of international law", says Professor Trevisanut. The Chair of International Law and Sustainability will therefore be devoted to the study and education of areas of international law that contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources and to the protection of the environment. This includes international environmental legislation, international investment legislation and international energy law.

A core research question, according to Trevisanut, is the role of legislation in determining, supporting and stimulating sustainability. "This requires an in-depth analysis of the relevant fields of law but also of how law interacts with other relevant fields, such as governance or geosciences."

Discussions about sovereignty and jurisdiction

Public international law, according to Trevisanut, is heading towards important discussions and re-conceptualisations of some of its core concepts which are challenged by our times, and in particular by sustainability objectives. "I refer to concepts such as sovereignty, jurisdiction, and sources."

What exactly is sustainability?

"I think it is the responsibility of the academic world to first of all try to clarify what sustainability is, in relation to the different relevant fields and contexts. This is an essential first step towards enhancing implementation through the development of legal tools for stakeholders."