Natalie Dobson is an Assistant Professor with the Department of International and European Law, and researcher with the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL). Her current research focuses on the EU as a global climate and environmental actor, and the policy developments emerging from the Fit for 55 Package and beyond. A golden thread of her research is the role of the law in balancing climate change burdens. Natalie explores this question at international, EU and Member State levels, in various fields, including international trade law, international maritime and aviation law, and the protection of biodiversity.
Natalie holds an LL.M. (Cambridge University, 2012), and a Ph.D. (Utrecht University, 2018) in international and European law. Her doctoral research concerned the bases and limitations of states’ regulatory rights to respond to climate change, resulting in the monograph: Extraterritoriality and Climate Change Jurisdiction (Hart Publishing (Bloomsbury) 2021).
In 2022, Natalie began work within the research cluster Empirical Research into Institutions for conflict resolution (ERI). Her project explores how domestic courts are using climate science when interpreting states’ climate protection obligations under international law. Natalie is a leader of the Water, Climate and Future Deltas (WCFD) community within Pathways to Sustainability, together with Professor Esther Stouthamer (Geosciences) and Dr. Mariet Hefting (Science), She is also an Editorial Board member of the Utrecht Law Review, an open-access journal which offers an international academic platform for cross-border legal research.
Currently, Natalie is involved in teaching a variety of courses in two Master programs within the Utrecht University School of Law. As part of the new Law and Sustainability in Europe LL.M. program, she coordinates and teaches the core course EU Climate Protection together with professor Edward Brans. Within the Public International Law LL.M. program, she teaches in the moot court course, as well as two capita selecta modules on international law and climate change and EU external relations and trade. She further supervises various bachelor and master theses in related fields.