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Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Law: Reimagining the New Roots of Environmental Law

Date: 23 - 24 July 2020

Time: 11:00 - 13:00 BST

Venue: Online

Event Details

The world faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency, from biodiversity degradation to global warming, pollution, soil erosion, water scarcity, and ultimately pandemics. While the past half-century has seen a critical worldwide development of environmental laws and policies, the progress made doesn't seem to be enough to timely achieving our collective goals and ambitions. Changing the current trajectory will closely depend on the capacity of the whole of humanity to fully implement existing policy instruments, yet also to make a wise use of technology in order to tackle environmental issues. In the current era of Big Data, and while Artificial Intelligence is entering a rapid transition from theory to reality, the crossroad between these critical branches of computer science and the Law could really make the difference.

As well stated by Howard Covington in his contribution to our featured initiative 'Reimagining the Law': 

Environmental lawyers struggle to obtain and analyse big data to detect policy failures, monitor compliance and prosecute offenders. Better data are needed, as well as machine learning algorithms to spot patterns of forensic interest and provide alerts. Environmental scientists, data scientists and lawyers could work together to achieve this.

The necessity of this collaboration was also highlighted by Sir William Blair, according to whom:

Financial documentation for infrastructure projects includes environmental covenants, but the problem is effective monitoring. The advancing technologies of satellite imaging and AI can remedy this by providing reliable data - "spatial finance" clauses should be included in contracts, supporting the all-important global effort towards sustainability.

On that account, and building on our webinar series on Artificial Intelligence and Big Data,  BIICL in collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute and ClientEarth will organise a two-day workshop on this ground-breaking interdisciplinary area of research and legal perspectives. The event will gather together leading experts from different legal and scientific disciplines and horizons, in order to think and discuss around possible new legal tools or better applications for existing ones, towards an improved environmental protection, thus, in the attempt of Reimagining the New Roots of Environmental Law. 


Welcome and Introduction:

Professor Spyros Maniatis - Director, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)


  • Howard Covington, Alan Turing Institute, and ClientEarth
  • Sir William Blair, Queen Mary University of London, and BIICL
  • Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, Geography and Environmental Science - University of Southampton
  • Adam Weiss, Oceans, Plastics and Chemical - ClientEarth
  • David Quest QC, 3 Verulam Buildings
  • Professor Andrew Lowe, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - University of Adelaide
  • Dr Scott Hosking, British Antarctic Survey, and Alan Turing Institute
  • Professor Rosa Lastra, Institute of Banking and Finance Law, CCLS , Queen Mary University of London
  • Professor Mark Findlay, Centre for AI and Data Governance - Singapore Management University, and BIICL

Event convened by Ivano Alogna, Arthur Watts Research Fellow in Environmental and Climate Change Law, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law

This event is for invited guests only. For more information please contact the event convenor.

Join in the conversation @BIICL #AI&law #BigData&law #ReimaginingEnvironmentalLaw

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 4 CPD hours.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Photography and Recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day.

Alternatively you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Carmel Brown in advance of the event that you are attending.

Event Cancellation Policy

When you register for an event you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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