BSc/LLB (UQ), LLM (NYU), PhD (Melbourne)

Law and Legal Studies

I am an environmental and climate lawyer with cross-cutting knowledge of international, transnational and domestic aspects of the field, as well as a background in science, including botany, applied ecology and biotechnology studies. Few scholars internationally have this combination of expertise and it has proved a powerful tool for analysing environmental problems that often present a mix of law, scientific and policy questions. My research over the past 20 years is distinguished by its breadth of coverage of a diverse field, its depth in specialist areas such as climate law, and its interdisciplinary approach integrating insights from law and the sciences in the analysis of issues such as risk, precaution and scientific uncertainty in environmental regulation.

I am a co-author of one the most highly cited treatises on international environmental law (Principles of International Environmental Law) and have been appointed as a lead author to Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its Sixth Assessment Report. The influential nature of my research has been recognised through honours such as the 2018 Morrison Prize ‘awarded to the author(s) of the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic paper published in North America during the previous year.’

My research has also shaped policy debates on environmental issues both nationally and internationally. On the national level, my work on the precautionary principle and risk regulation, environmental impact assessment, carbon pricing and corporate disclosure of climate risk has fed into and was referenced in parliamentary inquiries and law reform efforts (e.g. Hawke federal environmental law review, Senate carbon risk disclosure inquiry). On the international level, my nomination by the Australian government to serve on the IPCC was a key recognition of my disciplinary leadership and contribution to law reform efforts. In addition, I am regarded as a world leading expert on the topic of climate litigation and its contribution to global climate governance. My research on climate litigation (with US colleague, Hari Osofsky) has been referenced in leading Australian cases, such as Walker v Minister for Planning, has been relied upon by the Asian Development Bank in projects designed to help regional judiciaries understand the link between case law and policy, and has informed directly the development of strategic climate litigation programs by environmental not-for-profit organisations in the UK and Europe.

Professional roles:

2018-present Lead author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group III (mitigation)

2017-present Australia New Zealand Society of International Law, Executive Council Member

2018-2019     Australia New Zealand Society of International Law, Secretary

2016-present American Society of International Law, Membership Committee, member

2014-2017 American Society of International Law International Environmental Law Interest Group, Co-Chair

2015-2018 Member, International Bar Association Working Group on a Model Statute for Climate Change Actions and Relief

2009-2014 Member, International Law Association Committee on Legal Principles Relating to Climate Change

2019-present Transnational Environmental Law, editorial board member

2018-present Yearbook of International Disaster Law, co-editor

2012-present Climate Law, editorial board member

2015-present Environmental and Planning Law Journal, editorial board member

2009-present Member, Advisory Board, Melbourne Journal of International Law

Academic appointments and roles:

2013-present Professor of Law, Melbourne Law School

2013-present Associate Director, Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Melbourne Law School

2015-2018     Associate Dean, Masters, Melbourne Law School

2013-2015 Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, Woods Institute for the Environment

2012-2013 Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Law School, Center for Law Energy and the Environment 

2008-2012 Associate Professor (Level D), University of Melbourne Law School

2005-2007 Senior Lecturer (Level C), University of Melbourne Law School

2002-2004 Lecturer (Level B) University of Melbourne Law School

2001 Lecturer (Level B) Queensland University of Technology, Faculty of Law  

2000  Senior Research Assistant, QUT, Faculty of Law

2018  Winner, Arizona State University’s 2018 Morrison Prize for ‘Energy Partisanship’

2009  United States Studies Centre Research Associateship

2003-2004 Hauser Research Scholarship, New York University

2003-2004 Emile Noël Fellowship, New York University

2003  Potter Foundation Travel Grant

2001  Australian Mining and Petroleum Association Essay Prize

2000  United Nations International Law Commission Scholarship, NYU

1999-2000 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship, Fulbright Australia

1999-2000 Commemorative Fellowship, Australian Federation of University Women

1999-2000 Graduate Merit Scholarship, New York University

1996  University Medal, University of Queensland, Faculty of Law

1. Sands, P & Peel J, 2018, Principles of International Environmental Law, 4th edn, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, UK

2. Peel J and J Lin, 2019 ‘Transnational Climate Litigation: The Contribution of the Global South’ American Journal of International Law,


3. Peel J and H.M. Osofsky, 2015, Climate Change Litigation: Regulatory Pathways to Cleaner Energy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, UK

4. Osofsky H.M. and Peel, J 2015 ‘Energy Partisanship’ 65(3) Emory Law Journal 695-794

5. Peel J, 2010, Science and Risk Regulation in International Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, UK