Professor Lavanya Rajamani
I am the Yamani Fellow in Public International Law at St Peter’s, and a Professor of International Environmental Law at the Law Faculty. I did my graduate studies in Oxford, taught in Cambridge, and worked at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi before joining St Peter’s and the Law Faculty in the summer of 2019.
In college, I teach Public International Law and Jursiprudence, and at the Law Faculty I lecture on Public International Law to the undergraduates, and run a seminar on International Environmental Law for the graduates (B.C.L and M.Jur).
My research is focused on international environmental law, in particular international climate change law. I have worked extensively on the international climate change negotiations. I have represented small island states, advised climate change negotiators from around the world, and provided legal expertise to the United Nations Climate Secretariat, including as part of the core drafting and advisory team for the 2015 Paris Agreement.
My expertise lies in drafting constructively ambiguous compromise language in the vanishingly small sweet spot between the red lines of states. The dysfunctional politics of the international climate negotiations have led to considerable innovation and experimentation in the legal character of obligations, in differentiation between developed and developing states, and even in the processes and procedures used to organise multilateral negotiations. My research explores the ways in which the international climate change regime, and innovations within it, are shifting the boundaries of international law.
I have authored several books and articles in this field. My latest book is the second edition of the Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (August 2021), a massive tome with 67 chapters. My previous book titled, Innovation and Experimentation in the International Climate Change Regime, is based on a Special Course I delivered at the Hague Academy of International Law and was published in March 2020 as part of the Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law/ Receuil des Cours. My book International Climate Change Law (Oxford University Press, UK, 2017), co-authored with Daniel Bodansky and Jutta Brunnée won the 2018 American Society of International Law Certificate of Merit in a Specialized Area of International Law.
Among other roles, I serve as Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, and a member of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group. I am also involved in differing capacities, but in particular in providing the evidence base, in current and prospective climate cases before national and international courts. I am currently external counsel supporting the Government of Vanuatu in its pursuit of an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice on the climate crisis.
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