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The River Taff
The River Taff

The Centre for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) sits within the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University. The aim of the group is to bring together staff and students that share a concern in environmental degradation and the social conditions of its making. In doing so, CELP provides a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder forum for sharing thoughts and actions to reveal and challenge the social, political and legal relations degrading our planet.

Our website, blog and publication page provide an overview of the Centre’s ethos, its members, its events and the Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching available for students within the School of Law and Politics. Please also see our Student Division webpage for updates on their events and ongoing projects.

CELP Recent Developments

Student CELP Spring Symposium

23rd March 2023 Student CELP Spring Symposium

Guest Speaker

Associate Professor Dr Victoria Jenkins (Swansea University)


Embracing Clean Tech Developments – Kinga Plata, Olivia Wen Xi Ong, Angela Lim, Joseph Semmens and Melissa James

Sustainable coal mining? Revisiting the public’s perception of coal mining in Wales – Kian Yew Nah

Slow the Flow. Shifting Accountability Further Upstream – Megan Parker Williams and Sol Withers

Blogging for Change : Raising Awareness About Butterfly Conservation – Vishnusri Palanisamy Sumithralakshmiv

Issues with the European solar power panel supply chain – Nikolas Margaritis

The Spring Symposium was an opportunity for Student CELP members to present research on their recent blog publications.

Launch Event : Facilitating public involvement and environmental protection in Welsh planning decision-making

23rd February 2023 Dr Caer Smyth : ​​Facilitating public involvement and environmental protection in Welsh planning decision-making​.

Event Organisers

Dr Caer Smyth (Cardiff University)

Jade Jones (Cardiff University)

A launch event for a policy briefing and toolkit that provides practical guidance on taking part in Welsh planning decision-making. The toolkit provides practical guidance on what ENGOs/community groups need to know about taking part in late-stage planning decision-making in Wales; the mistakes to avoid and unexpected advantages they can utilise.  Whilst the briefing sets out practical steps that enhance public participation in late-stage planning decision-making in Wales and identifies ways that arguments for environmental protection can be best facilitated.

The policy briefing and toolkit builds on research conducted by Dr Caer Smyth at a planning inquiry into the M4 Corridor around Newport Scheme.

CELP Conference ‘Protecting the Environment Through Human Rights?’

12th December 2022 CELP Conference ‘Protecting the Environment Through Human Rights?’


Natalie Kobylarz (European Court of Human Rights)

Dr Noreen O’Meara (Surrey University)

Dr Marie-Catherine Petersmann (Tillburg University)

This event explored the challenges and opportunities in using human rights law to protect the environment and combat climate change. As environmental crises grow more severe, we are seeing more attempts to utilise international human rights law to push for greater environmental protection and stronger responses to climate change. We might wonder why this is the case. Environmental harms cross boundaries and generations; complex causal relationships mean that it can be extremely challenging to attribute responsibility for a damaging effect that violates human rights to a particular state’s emissions. Is international human rights law a suitable tool to protect the environment? Why are we seeing this move to use human rights law in this way?


This fantastic event brought out some of the full complexity and importance of the relationship between environmental law and human rights. Even within the distinction between ‘anthropocentric’ and ‘ecocentric’ approaches we learned that there is nuance, such as ‘extractive’ and ‘enlightened’ anthropocentrism, with similar shades within ecocentric approaches. Overall a significant event rounded off with some intriguing questions from the audience. – Prof Ben Pontin.