Law, Environment and Development Centre & Centre for Human Rights Law

Professor Philippe Cullet

Key information

School of Law, Gender and Media Professor of Law School of Law, Gender and Media LLM Environmental Law and MA Environmental Law & Sustainable Development Convenor School of Law, Gender and Media PGT Programme Covenor School of Law, Gender and Media MRES Law Convenor Law, Environment and Development Centre Chair, Centre of Law, Environment and Development SOAS South Asia Institute Member Centre for Water and Development Member Food Studies Centre Member Centre for Human Rights Law Member Centre for Law in Asia Member
LLB (Geneva) LLM (London) MA (SOAS) JSM, JSD (Stanford)
Senate House
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)20 7898 4651
Support hours
Wednesday 11:00-1:00pm (Link in Bio to book a slot)


Dr Philippe Cullet is Professor of international and environmental law. He came to teach at SOAS with qualifications in law and development studies from Geneva University, London (King’s College and SOAS) and Stanford University.

Philippe’s main areas of interest include environmental law, natural resources, human rights and the socio-economic aspects of intellectual property. He works on these at the international level and in India. His current research includes work on water law and governance with a particular focus on groundwater, drinking water, sanitation, inter-sectoral water allocation and institutional reforms in India; equity and justice in environmental law; biodiversity, including benefit sharing and biosafety; climate change; and justice, with a particular focus on environmental and water rights. His monographs include Water Law, Poverty and Development – Water Law Reforms in India (Oxford University Press, 2009), Intellectual Property Protection and Sustainable Development (Butterworths, 2005) and Differential Treatment in International Environmental Law (Ashgate, 2003). 

Philippe co-convenes the two postgraduate degrees in environmental law in the School of Law, the LLM and the MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development. He also the convenor of the Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC) and is the Editor of the Law, Environment and Development Journal (LEAD Journal), a peer-reviewed academic journal published at

He has been leading on collaboration with National Law University, Delhi where he is also a Visiting Professor. He has been closely involved in policymaking. He was the Convenor of the Sub-group on Legal Issues Related to Groundwater Management and Regulation of the Planning Commission of India that prepared the draft Model Bill for the Conservation, Protection and Regulation of Groundwater, 2011. In 2015-2017, he was a member of the committee of the Government of India's Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation drafting the Draft National Water Framework Bill, 2016 (PDF) and the Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Bill, 2017 (earlier draft - PDF).

He is currently working on river rights and nature rights and is the chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) Task Force on rights of nature. His forthcoming publications include: P. Cullet, L. Bhullar & S. Koonan eds, The Oxford Handbook of Environmental and Natural Resources Law in India (OUP, forthcoming 2024) and P. Cullet  & R. Shree eds, River Rejuvenation and River Rights: Evolving Debates in India (Orient BlackSwan, forthcoming).

Philippe is the recipient of a €2.48million Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) to fund his project focusing on the Multi-scalar Dimensions of Sectoral Water Conflicts  in South Asia (2024-2029).


Support hours: Book a slot at:

Research interests

Inaugural Lecture

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Harendra Beniwal Integrated Governance of Water, Energy, Food, Land, Forests, and Human Resources to achieve Sustainable Development and Social Justice in India
Naser Alsayed The Human-Nature-Animal Nexus: Analysing the Impact of Ecocentric Theories in an Anthropocentric World
Zainab Lokhandwala Indian Farmers and Rights over Biogenetic Resources towards Greater Food Sovereignty
Professor Roopa Madhav Beyond Judicial Veto: Public Trust Doctrine, Administrative Decision Making and Implementation of Mining Related Laws
Fara Mohammad Islamic financial law: a review of sustainability considerations and its impact
Nate Palmer Harmony with Nature: Evolving Dimensions of Water Governance in India
Mohammad Golam Sarwar Rights of Nature and the Climate Crisis in Bangladesh: The Role of Alternatives to Development
Ms Sharowat Shamin
Marta Simonetti Realising environmental rights in national and sub-national contexts. Global to local perspective, with focus on Indonesia.
KMS Tareq Efficacy of Legal Mechanisms to Recognise the Rights of Climate Change Displaced Persons (CCDPs): A Case Study in Bangladesh


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