SOAS University of London

Workshop Participants

Ariella D’Andrea

Ariella D’Andrea is an international lawyer specialized in water and fisheries matters. Member of the Rome Bar and of the International Association for Water Law, Ms D’Andrea has been working with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since 2002 and has occasionally served as expert in development projects with other organizations such as the European Union and the World Bank. Ms D’Andrea is fluent in four languages (English, French, Italian and Spanish) and has worked on a number of legal publications on water resources management, fisheries and aquaculture. 

Birsha Ohdedar

Birsha Ohdedar is a lawyer and researcher on environmental law and policy issues. He currently works in London as a lawyer on environment and climate change regulatory issues. He is also engaged as a Legal Officer with the Legal Response Initiative, providing legal advice and assistance during the UNFCCC negotiations to vulnerable developing countries. Birsha has previously interned with the Alternative Law Forum and EQUATIONS in Bangalore, India. He is admitted as a Solicitor in New Zealand. Birsha holds an LLM in Environmental Law from SOAS, University of London and a BA LLB from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research interests are in climate change, water and human rights.

BS Bajpai

Dr. G S Bajpai serves as Professor & Registrar at NLU, Delhi. Before joining the NLU Delhi he was serving (2007-2011) as Professor & Chairperson at the Centre for Criminal Justice Administration, National Law Institute University, Bhopal (MP), India. He has also officiated as Director as well as  Registrar, National Law Institute University, Bhopal for a brief period. He has held many positions in his professional career spanning over two and half decades. He was selected through the Union public service Commission, MP Public Service Commission and Punjab Public Service Commissions to hold various offices which primarily includes- Indian Institute of Public Administration, (1989) Bureau of Police Research & Development, (1989- 1995) Punjab Police Academy, Punjab and Department of Criminology & Forensic science, University of Saugar, MP (1998-2007). He has more than twenty years of active research/teaching experience at the UG/PG level.

Feja Lesniewska

Currently Feja is finalising her PhD on International Law and Forests. She holds an MA in International Legal Studies (Distinction) from SOAS and MSC in Human Ecology from the University of Edinburgh.

Gabriel Eckstein

Gabriel Eckstein is Professor of Law with Texas A&M University where he focuses on water, natural resources, and environmental law and policy issues, both at the US and international levels. Professor Eckstein directs the Internet-based International Water Law Project (, serves as an Associate Editor for Brill Research Perspectives: International Water Law and on the Editorial Board of Journal of Water Law, is an Executive Council member of International Association for Water Law, and serves as Treasurer of the International Water Resources Association. Professor Eckstein has served as an expert advisor and consultant for various UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other groups on US and international water and environmental issues.

Professor Eckstein holds a J.D. and Master of Laws degrees from American University, a Master degree in International Affairs from Florida State University, and a Geology degree from Kent State University

Joyeeta Gupta

Joyeeta Gupta is professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft. She is also a member of the Amsterdam Global Change Institute. She is editor-in-chief ofInternational Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics and is on the editorial board of journals likeEnvironmental Science and Policy, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Carbon and Law Review,International Journal on Sustainable Development, Catalan Environmental Law Journal, Review of European Community and International Environmental Law and the new International Journal of Water Governance. 

She was lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which recently shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which won the Zaved Second Prize. She has published extensively. She is on the scientific steering committees of many different international programmes including the Global Water Systems Project and Earth System Governance. She is also on the Board of Directors of Oxfam Novib, is Vice-President of the Commission on Development Cooperation and member of the Advisory Council on International Issues, a statutory body that advises the Netherlands’ Government. 

She has published several books including Gupta, J. (1997). The Climate Change Convention and Developing Countries - From Conflict to Consensus?, Environment and Policy Series, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht; and Gupta, J. (2001). Our Simmering Planet: What to do About Global Warming, Zed Publishers, London. Edited books include  Faure, M., J. Gupta and A. Nentjes (eds.) (2003),Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol: The Role of Institutions and Instruments to Control Global Change, Edward Elgar Publishers, Cheltenham Glos; Van Ierland, E., J. Gupta and M. Kok (eds.) (2003). Issues in International Climate Policy: Theory and Policy, Edward Elgar Publishers, Cheltenham Glos; Gupta, J. and M. Grubb (eds.) (2000), Climate Change and European Leadership: A Sustainable Role for Europe, Environment and Policy Series, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht; Dellapenna, J. and J. Gupta (eds.) (2009). The Evolution of the Law and Politics of Water, Springer Verlag, Dordrecht; Gupta, J. and N. van de Grijp (eds.) (2010).Mainstreaming Climate Change in Development Cooperation: Theory, Practice and Implications for the European Union, Cambridge University Press, and Gupta, J., N.van der Grijp and O. Kuik (eds.) (2013). Climate Change, Forests and REDD: Lessons for Institutional Design, Routledge. Her book on the ‘History of Global Climate Governance’ was  published by Cambridge University Press in 2014 and won the Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) Choice Award for 2014 in its history category.

Kerstin Mechlem

Kerstin Mechlem is a Lecturer at the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) of Ulster University. She is a fully qualified German lawyer (member of the bar of Cologne) and also holds a Master of Science in Development Studies degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her main areas of expertise are public international law, economic and social rights, natural resources law, in particular surface and groundwater law, and agricultural law. She also teaches public international law at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Prior to joining the TJI, Kerstin worked as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and as a Legal Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome. At FAO she supported the negotiations of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food. She also advised the Special Rapporteur on Shared Natural Resources of the International Law Commission as a member of a UNESCO-led interdisciplinary advisory group during the drafting process of the “Draft Articles on Transboundary Aquifers”, which were subsequently endorsed by the UN General Assembly. In the context of development assistance projects Kerstin has provided legal and policy advisory services on natural resources and agricultural legislation and institutions to various countries, particularly in the fields of surface and groundwater law. Kerstin has also delivered training courses on international law and water law for IDLO, UNITAR, GEF-Projects and others. She has extensive experience working as a consultant, for instance, for FAO, UNESCO, GEF-funded projects, ICBA and others. Recently, she has been the lead legal consultant for a large GEF-funded project on Groundwater Governance.

Lovleen Bhullar

Lovleen Bhullar is a lawyer and researcher working on environmental law and policy issues in India and climate change adaptation in the ASEAN region. She is associated with the Environmental Law Research Society, New Delhi and the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, National University of Singapore where she has previously worked as an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law and as a Research Associate with the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Lovleen holds a BA LLB (Hons) from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, a LLM in Environmental Law from SOAS and a MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from LSE.

Lovleen has recently co-edited a volume - Water Governance: An Evaluation of Alternative Architectures (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013). Her research has also been published in various journals and some of her recent publications include “Ensuring Safe Municipal Wastewater Disposal in India: Is there a Legal Basis?”, 25(2) Journal of Environmental Law 235-260 (2013), “Climate Change Adaptation and Water Policy: Lessons from Singapore”, 21(3) Sustainable Development 152-159 (2013) and “CDM and REDD+: A Comparative Perspective”, Journal of Rural Law and Policy (2013).

Marcel Kuper


Michael Kidd

Michael Kidd is a Professor at the UKZN, School of Law, Pietermaritzburg Campus, Pietermaritzburg and lectures in various aspects of Environmental law such as Pollution Control Law, Natural Resources Law, Land Use and Planning Law, International Environmental Law and Ocean & Coastal Law. He holds qualifications in Bachelors of Commerce (BCom), Bachelors of Law (LLB), a Masters in Law (LLM) as well as a Doctor in Philosophy (PhD) obtained from University of Natal.  Michael is the author of Environmental Law (2011, Juta) and editor of the South African Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. He is a director of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) holding the environmental law portfolio and his research interests include Environmental Law, Water Law and Administrative Law. He has published extensively in these fields.

Owen McIntyre

Dr. Owen McIntyre is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of Research at the School of Law, University College Cork.  His principal area of research is Environmental Law, with a particular focus on International Water Law.  He is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law’s Specialist Group on Water and Wetlands, and an Honorary Lecturer at the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science, University of Dundee.  He is a member of the Project Complaints Mechanism of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency.  In 2014 Dr. McIntyre was appointed as an Honorary / Visiting Professor jointly by the School of Law and the Centre for International Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS), Wuhan University and as an Honorary Associate by the China International Water Law (CIWL) Programme at Xiamen University Law School.

Philippe Cullet

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.

Professor Cullet’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 and institutional reforms in India; equity in environmental law; biodiversity, including benefit sharing and biosafety; and justice, with a particular focus on environmental and water rights.

Philippe has published widely in his various areas of research. His books 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 oversees the two postgraduate degrees in environmental law in the School of Law, the LLM in Environmental Law and the MA in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development. He also convenes 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

Beyond SOAS, Philippe is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. He has been closely involved in policymaking and was, for instance, 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, and a Member of the Planning Commission of India’s Sub-group that prepared the draft National Water Framework Law, 2011.

Raya Marina Stephan

Raya Marina Stephan is an expert in water law and an international consultant.  She has a wide experience in international projects related to water issues, and specifically the legal aspects of transboundary aquifers and groundwater. She was involved in the experts advisory group of UNESCO IHP to the Special Rapporteur of the UN International Law Commission for the preparation of the draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers. She has a personal interest and a good knowledge of water legal issues in the Arab World. She has numerous publications on these topics. She is currently the Chair of the Publications Committee of the International Water Resources Association, and she serves on its Executive Board.  She is member of the International Water Law Association AIDA, the French Water Partnership and the French Water Academy.

Stefano Burchi

Stefano Burchi is the Executive Chairman of the International Association for Water Law in Rome. He has over 35 years of experience as legal adviser on domestic and international water law and administration, with the United Nations Secretariat (1979-83), with the Legal Office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (1983-2008) and, since retirement, as a consultant. He has undertakenadvisory assignments to several member countries of the United Nations. Stefano is the author of several publications on water law, and he is a regular contributor of a freshwater treaties year-in-review feature to the Yearbook of International Environmental Law, and of a year-in-review national water legislation feature in the Journal of Water Law.

Sujith Koonan

Sujith Koonan’s main areas of interest include environmental law, natural resources and human rights. His recent research has been mainly on law and policy framework relating to water and sanitation and he has published his research papers in various reputed national and international publications. He has co-edited a volume on water law instruments in India - Water Law in India – An Introduction to Legal Instruments (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011). He has published his research in various journals. His publications include - S. Koonan and P. Sampat, ‘Delhi Water Supply Reforms: Public Private Partnerships or Privatisation?’, 47/17 Economic and Political Weekly 32 (2012) and ‘Constitutionality of the Plachimada Tribunal Bill, 2011: An Assessment’, 7/2 Law, Environment and Development Journal 151 (2011).

His work on water laws led him to be invited to join a Working Group on Water Governance constituted by the Planning Commission of India (Government of India) for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). As part of this Working Group, he actively participated in drafting the Model Bill for the Conservation, Protection and Regulation of Groundwater, 2011. His publications can be accessed at IELRC.

Trevor Birkenholtz

Dr Trevor Birkenholtz is an Associate Professor at the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a cultural and political ecologist, and development geographer. His work attempts to link the political economy of access to and control over environmental resources, and ecological change (political ecology), to issues of technology, knowledge, and social power, more typical of research in science and technology studies (STS). To date, he has advanced these concerns by investigating the transformation of groundwater-based irrigation, and urban and rural water supplies in South Asia. He also serves as the Environment and Society Section Editor for the journal Geography Compass.