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Arthur Watts public international law seminar series sponsored by Volterra Fietta: "A New Dimension in International Environmental Liability Regimes"

11th March 2015

Time: 17:30-19:30, followed by a reception from 19:30-20:30

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP

Arthur Watts public international law seminar series sponsored by Volterra Fietta

A New Dimension in International Environmental Liability Regimes:

The Significance of the New Rules on Liability and Redress for Biosafety Damage

This seminar will examine the significance of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress on Biosafety. It was adopted in 2010 when the wisdom of attempting to negotiate an international environmental liability regime was seriously questioned, as many earlier liability treaties had failed to attract enough ratifications for entry into force. As an attempt to find a way out of this liability occlusion, the Protocol takes an innovative approach that is now widely called "the administrative approach to liability".

It establishes international rules for liability and redress in case a genetically modified organism (GMO) causes biodiversity damage, and has already gained 28 ratifications, including the EU and the UK, out of the necessary 40. Japan is working towards ratification.

Speakers will discuss the significance of the Protocol as a new type of international environmental liability regime, which may set a precedent for other multilateral environmental agreements. They will examine whether the Protocol has achieved the right balance between international and domestic rules, and what kinds of problems are likely to arise in practice when the Protocol enters into force and the implementing EU and national rules are applied, in Europe, Japan and in developing countries.

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  • Professor Alan Boyle, Edinburgh University and Essex Court Chambers
  • Dr Edward Brans, Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Simon Parker, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Professor Akiho Shibata, Kobe University, Japan and Editor, International Liability Regime for Biodiversity Damage

Join in the conversation @BIICL #EnvironmentalLiability

Sponsored by

Event convened by Jill Barrett, Arthur Watts Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).

CPD points

This event is accredited with 2 CPD points.

Pricing and Registration

BIICL Members:

  • Individual - £40
  • Full-time Academic - £25
  • Full-time Student - £15


  • Individual - £70
  • Full-time Academic - £45
  • Full-time Student - £25

N.B. The Academic rate also applies to staff of government and non-profit organisations.

Free NGO Places

A limited number of places for this event are available for staff of NGOs to attend free of charge as part of an initiative by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to provide NGOs with access to legal education and training events.

Please email our Events Team at with your contact details, your position and the NGO that you work for. We will organise your attendance, subject to availability.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Photography and audio recording

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