6.4. International Environmental Law: Overview and Perspectives

Friday, May 21
16:00 - 17:15

Channel 4
Open Access Live Stream

Track: 6. International Law. International Justice
Discussion session


This roundtable will take stock of the history and current state of international environmental law, while evoking avenues for future developments. It will address the merits and shortfalls of current instruments of environmental law, such as the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Going further, it will look at recent reform proposals such as the Global Pact for the Environment initiative proposed by France at the United Nations. 

The Global Pact for the Environment is a proposed international treaty that aims to recognize the fundamental principles of environmental law on a global scale. A preliminary draft was devised by an international group of jurists in 2017. It has been under discussion at the United Nations since United Nations General Assembly Resolution 72/277 of 10 May 2018, entitled 'Towards a Global Pact for the Environment'. A Political Declaration will be adopted on the matter in 2022 at an international conference.

Both Russian and French presidents have identified the environmental question as a priority within the framework of the 'Trianon Dialogues'. As a result, this session could be of particular interest to international public law practitioners, diplomats, members of state regulatory bodies, judges, lawyers, members of international organizations and regional and international courts of justice.

The roundtable is organized with support of the Trianon dialogue.


Pierre Levy

Ambassador of the French Republic to Russia


Pierre Lévy (born in 1955) was recently ambassador of France to Poland (2016 - 2019) after being European Union Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013 - 2016) and ambassador of France to the Czech Republic (2009 - 2013).

He previously served as Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CAP : Centre d’analyse et de prévision 2005 - 2009).

He was Secretary General of the Commission of the White Paper on France’s foreign and European policy between October 2007 and July 2008. He was between 2002 and 2005 head of the Service for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

He was previously deputy head of the cabinet of the Minister for European Affairs (1997 - 2002). He has held various positions at the Quai d’Orsay, as assistant director at the Department of Economic and Financial Affairs, and at the Department for European Cooperation.

He served at the French Embassies in Germany and Singapore, after holding several positions at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, dealing with trade policy and economics relations with Asia.

Pierre Lévy holds degrees from the European School of Management (ESCP Europe), the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Institut d’études politiques de Paris), and a master degree in economics (DEA) from the University Paris IX Dauphine.

He is a former student of the École Nationale d’Administration (schoolyear "Solidarité" 1983).

Knight of the Légion d’honneur.  Officer in the National Order of Merit.


Yann Aguila

Professor at Sciences Po Paris, Partner, Bredin Prat


Professor at Sciences Po Paris and partner at Bredin Prat, a law firm in Paris, where he heads the firm’s Public Law practice.

Prior to joining the bar, he was judge at the French Administrative Supreme Court, the Conseil d’État (1990/1995 – 2001/2011). He also acted as legal adviser to the President of the Republic of Senegal (1995-2001). In 2014, he was awarded the 2014 Law Book Prize for his book Droit public français et européen (in French) («French and European public law»).

He chairs the Environment Commission of the French think tank “Le Club des juristes”.

He has authored several reports on environmental law, including “Increasing the Effectiveness of International Environmental Law – Duties of States, Rights of Individuals” in 2015.

He is one of the initiators of the Global Pact for the Environment, which was drafted in 2017 by an international network of about 100 experts. He is the Executive Director of the Global Pact Coalition, an association which aims to promote the Global Pact project.

Anatoly Kapustin

First Deputy Director, Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation


Doctor of Law, Professor, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation.

Graduated in 1980 from the Faculty of Economics and Law (Department of Law) People's Friendship University named after P. Lumumba, specialty 'International Law'. In 1984 defended PhD  thesis (Candidate of Law), in 2001 defended his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Law.

1983-2010-Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of International Law, Dean of the Law Faculty of the Peoples 'Friendship University named after P. Lumumba (Peoples' Friendship University of Russia).

From 2010-to present-Head of the Center for Comparative Legal  Studies of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation, Head of the Center for Educational Programs of the Institute, Deputy Director of the Institute, First Deputy Director of the Institute, Scientific Director of the Institute, Acting Head of the Department of Foreign Constitutional, Administrative, Criminal Legislation and International Law of the Institute, Head of the Department of International Law of the Institute.

His research interests include the study of current problems in the theory and practice of International Law.

President of the Russian Association of International Law, member of the Executive Board of the Association of International Law (London, UK).

Maria Magdalena Kenig-Witkowska

Professor of Legal Sciences, Full Professor, University of Warsaw


Professor of Legal Sciences and the Full Professor at the University of Warsaw and a visiting lecturer at a number of universities in Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA.

The author of many publications in the field of international and European environmental law, and an expert and legal advisor in the field of environmental law for a wide range of international bodies and organisations including: UNEP, UNDP, UNECA, the EU and national authorities.

The Chairwoman of the Program Council of the 'Civic Society' foundation.

Maria Magdalena Kenig-Witkowska has won the Judge Manfred Lachs Prize and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education Award for outstanding scientific achievements.

She is a member of the group of experts working on the draft Global Pact for the Environment ('Group of Experts for the Pact').

Nicholas A Robinson

Executive Governor of the International Council of Environmental Law, Professor Emeritus, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University


Executive Governor, International Council of Environmental Law and Professor Emeritus, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

From 1974 to 1992, he was a US delegate to the environmental law consultations with the Soviet Union under the 1972 USA-USSR Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection. 

He participated in the drafting for IUCN/ICEL of both the UN World Charter for Nature (Res. 37/7 of 1982) and Convention on Biodiversity.

He attended the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and the 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development (“Earth Summit”) and other international consultations to advance environmental law.

He edited the preparatory work for the 1992 Earth Summit, and has published numerous books and articles. He served as Legal Advisor to IUCN, was elected twice to chair IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law, and led establishment of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

Aleksandr Solntsev

Deputy Head of the Department of International Law, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia


Studed at RUDN University and at the University of Amsterdam. Author of the course and textbook 'Human Rights and Environment' (Moscow, 3rd ed., 2021). Author of over 600 scientific papers published in Russia and abroad and a series of interviews with leading foreign experts in the field of environmental law, which are published in the "Eurasian Law Journal" (Nick Robinson, Marjan Peeters, Jutta Brunnee). Co-initiator of the project for the publication in Russian of international environmental agreements with comments (currently 4 issues have been published). Took part in the preparation of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Edward Elgar Publishing). Member of the European Society of International Law (Group on International Environmental Law), the European Environmental Law Forum, the World Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Took part in the preparation of Russia's voluntary national report on the Sustainable Development Goals (2019). Annually organizes a round table on international environmental law in English as part of the international congress 'Blischenko Readings' at RUDN University.

Patricia Teles

Member of the United Nations International Law Commission, Professor of International Law, Autonomous University of Lisbon

* The Programme may be subject to change